Using the KVM with the Desktop cluster.

These notes give an overview of getting console access with the Desktop based cluster.


The cluster is currently in JCMB-1305, there is no network based access to consoles.

There are six KVMs associated with the Desktop cluster, five of them are Belkin XXX 16 port KVMs and these are interconnected to provice console access to all the PE530s and 64 of the GX240s. The last one is an XXX 4 port KVM which switches between thirlestane and the active console port on the belkin KVM.


This is used to switch the active console between thirlestane and the cluster KVMs. Pressing the small grey vutton on the front will toggle between the two modes.

Belkin KVMs

These are all sited on the main beowulf rack, the blue agricultural looking racking beside rack 11. Four are sited sitting end on in the middle of the shelves holding the GX240s at both the front and the back of the rack. A fifth is sitting behind the P530s. Full documentation can be found on the shelf beside the fifth KVM. The kvms have an on screen menuing system that can be accessed by pressing the scroll Lock key twice (which will produce a beep), then pressing the spacebar. You can then scroll up and down the available consoles using the arrow keys and switch between the 16 port KVMs using the page up and page down. You select a console by highlighting it and pressing "enter".

Some things to note

  • The KVM interface is very clunky, make definite keypresses with a pause between presses in a sequence.
  • If you leave the scroll lock light on at a text console session the machine will lock up once the buffer has filled. If the machine is installing it will stay like that until the scroll lock is released. This is considered very bad.
  • If the machine scroll lock gets out of sync with the KVM (i.e. you can't activate the KVM without leaving the scroll lock light on) then press escape and leave the keyboard for a couple of seconds.
  • To move between adjacent machines press scroll-lock, scroll-lock, up/down arrow.
  • If you get yourself in a complete muddle you can reset the kvms back to the first active port on the first KVM by pressing both buttons on the front of any of the belkin KVMs.

-- IainRae - 08 May 2008

Topic revision: r3 - 08 May 2008 - 14:56:57 - IainRae
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