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varname
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:25 pm    Post subject: [alpha - srm] st3 - aboot boot failure [was: QLogic modules] Reply with quote

hello all,

Last week I was able to acquire an Digital Server 3000 (AS800 whitebox) which was running NT4.
As I have another machine (i386) running gentoo I decided to try and see if I could get gentoo on the Alpha.

I've never worked with an Alpha before, but after reading some documentation on SRM / AlphaBIOS and general Alpha related stuff, I felt confident enough to try it.

Besides an annoying problem with the onboard scsi controller (qlogic isp1040b - kernel panics), I've come to the point where one needs to install the bootloader; which I want to do.

The (helpfull) handbook for alpha's says:

Quote:
'We first install aboot on our system. Of course we use emerge to do so:

# emerge --usepkg aboot



And ofcourse I do so; after wget-ting the sources (I have no $PKGDIR set, and I was unable to find any mirror), emerge unpacks and starts the compilation-process which ends in:

Code:
!!! ERROR: sys-boot/aboot-0.9-r1 failed.
!!! Function src_compile, Line 25, Exitcode 2
!!! (no error message)
!!! If you need support, post the topmost build error, NOT this status message.


The topmost error is:

Code:
gcc  -I/var/tmp/portage/aboot-0.9-r1/work/aboot-0.9/include -I/usr/src/linux/include -D__KERNEL__ -mcpu=ev4 -Os -Wall -fno-builtin -mno-fp-regs -ffixed-8 -c -o utils.o utils.c
In file included from /usr/src/linux/include/linux/compiler.h:29,
                 from /usr/src/linux/include/linux/stddef.h:4,
                 from /usr/src/linux/include/linux/kernel.h:12,
                 from cons.c:3:
/usr/src/linux/include/linux/compiler-gcc3.h:17:1: warning: "__attribute_used__" redefined
In file included from /usr/include/features.h:296,
                 from /usr/include/alloca.h:22,
                 from cons.c:1:
/usr/include/sys/cdefs.h:192:1: warning: this is the location of the previous definition

...


I've found this thread 'Some notes on installing gentoo for alpha' (first post mostly) which appeared to be helpfull, but was not (same error).

As there appear to be no other really related posts on the forum (that I could find), I'm wondering if the problem lies with me. If I'm asking something blatantly obvious; I apologise.

I hope I've been thorough enough. Thanks in advance for your time.

----------
relevant specs (I think):

  • AS800 (DIGITAL Server 3000 Model 3300 6400A)
  • EV56 - 400Mhz
  • 128MB mem
  • Adaptec AHA-2940U/UW/D (as per lspci)
  • Onboard QLogic ISP1040B


Last edited by varname on Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:17 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, I found this site 'Woo-hoo! (or "Successful Miata Installation Notes")' and it seems the guy has a solution to the problem I posted above.

Let's see if it works.


[edit]
aboot does emerge now, and I can install fine. Might be a point for the alpha handbook?

Now to boot: anyone know a way to make SRM boot from a PCI SCSI card? Nothing shows up under 'show device'.


[edit2]
In case the site ever goes down, here's what helped:

Quote:

* aboot
- Package "aboot" (v0.9) will error out trying to compile.
- Grab 1.0 instead
- ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~alpha" emerge -v aboot
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok,

I'm still trying to find a solution for this AS.

SRM can't boot from the PCI Adaptec card, and the onboard QLogic is a disaster in terms of kernel panics.

This post 'http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?p=895692#895692' mentions a module from the Feral company website. They seem to have closed down, so I'm wondering if anyone else has this module?

Using the adaptec controller the machine was as stable as it should be, so together with all the posts I read about the QLogic cards, I'm betting the module can do some good.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try using the qla1280 driver (enable 10x0 support) with a vanilla 2.6.10 kernel. This seems to be rock stable on my alphaserver 800/500 aka 3005.

Hope this helps.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tnx, I'll try that.

Don't have access to the machine right now, so I ran menuconfig on an i386 machine; found the qla1280, but how exactly do i enable 10x0 support? The driver option doesn't enable any extra 'suboptions', or do you mean 'Qlogic ISP SCSI support'?


[edit]

Hm, this seems nice; 'Built 2.6.8 kernel without ext3 bug and working qlogic driver'. I'll try this sometime to see if it works for me. Was this what you suggested?


[edit2]

nevermind, the i386 wasn't using a recent 2.6 kernel.
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Kloeri
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2.6.8 might not support 10x0 - I'm currently using the qla1280 drivers 10x0 support on 2.6.10 and haven't had any problems at all.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kloeri wrote:
2.6.8 might not support 10x0 - I'm currently using the qla1280 drivers 10x0 support on 2.6.10 and haven't had any problems at all.


hello again,

might I ask you how you installed your Alpha? I've been trying for some time now, but as I can't boot from the Adaptec SCSI controller (SRM .. sigh) and the QLogic always causes kernel panics when installing using the LiveCD for Alpha (latest release), I'm pretty stuck here. I've configured and compiled a 2.6.10 kernel with the mentioned support for the ISP10x0 in the 1280 driver, but as stated above, I have no means of booting it.

I even tried netbooting (bootp) using this howto SRM Firmware Howto - The aboot Loader, but using either method (aboot or kernel sources) fails. Aboot gives 'invalid stack' problems, whilst using the bootpfile method prints some messages and then hangs, no more output.

I'd really like to use linux on this Alpha, anyone got any ideas?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2005.0 will use a 2.6.10 kernel with the QLA10x0 driver - that should finally fix the ISP1020 lockups of the livecd. If you can't wait for 2005.0 to be released (I hope it will be released soon now) you can use any other boot cd and just follow the Gentoo handbook after getting a prompt. I've used the Debian install cd once or twice myself.

Good luck.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ya,

after submitting my last post, I thought of that too :). Thanks for the tip. Any info on when 2005.0 is coming out?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, 2005.0 will be released when it's ready :D
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>Now to boot: anyone know a way to make SRM boot from a PCI SCSI card? Nothing shows up under 'show device'.

The card doesn't show up with a show dev? Ideally, you should see the scsi disk at least, and do a set bootdev thatnamefromshowdev.

How is the cdrom attached to the system? Is it scsi, and on the same scsi controller card, or is it attached directly to the motherboard?

What DO you get with a show dev?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbackeberg wrote:
The card doesn't show up with a show dev? Ideally, you should see the scsi disk at least, and do a set bootdev thatnamefromshowdev.

How is the cdrom attached to the system? Is it scsi, and on the same scsi controller card, or is it attached directly to the motherboard?

What DO you get with a show dev?

hi,

'>>>show device' does give me the SCSI PCI card (Adaptec AHA-2940U/UW/D), but as far as I could find on the internet, it's 'normal' for SRM to not be able to boot from devices other than the onboard QLogic.

Booting from the QLogic works fine, SRM shows all SCSI devices (2 cdroms, 4 hdd); it's just SRM not booting from the Adaptec card.

Do you know any way to convince it to do otherwise?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep.

Do a

>>> show b*

and this will dump all your boot settings. If you haven't noticed already, SRM behaves like old Unixes (VMS, for example) that let you abbreviate the command name, as long as it's unambiguous.

For instance, you can type
>>> b
to boot.

It's boot_dev that sets which device to boot from. You should see the scsi devices attached to your pci card (you may need to do a
>>> show dev | less
and you can set your boot device to be the other scsi disk instead.

You'll also need to know the partition table and where the kernel is, to be able to set the other boot settings. This is where a live disk comes in handy. If you haven't already setup aboot or some other boot loader on the boot disk you'll need to do that too.

Or, if you want to practice with the arguments before you make changes to your settings, you can specify everything on the boot line.

for instance:
boot dka0 -fi 3/boot/vmlinuz -fl root=/dev/sda3

hopefully that's obvious. device name according to SRM, where to find the kernel (the first number is the partition), and you always have to pass where to find root as an argument to the kernel. You can also pass all your other kernel arguments using -fl. Once you have things the way you want. Use
set boot_osflags root=/dev/sda3
etc., but use the correct values for your setup.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbackeberg wrote:
for instance:
boot dka0 -fi 3/boot/vmlinuz -fl root=/dev/sda3

Ok, I found a long enough SCSI cable to hook up all disks to the adaptec card, and install using the 'old' livecd (2004.3). No more kernel panics, and everything went fine (installed following the handbook, using qla1280+10x0 support compiled into kernel).

I then reattached disks to QLogic adapter, powered up the machine and at the prompt typed:

>>>boot dka0 -fi 2/boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 -fl root=/dev/sda2 (as dbackeberg suggested)

SRM then continues loading aboot, finds the kernel-image, and tries to load it (see output at end). Everything stops at this point, only thing to do is a hard-reset. sda2 is ext3 btw.

BTW: I think I was somewhat vague the last time; the Adaptec adapter shows up on 'show config', but 'show device' then shows no disks. If I try SRM to do 'boot dkb0 etc' I get: 'device dkb0 is invalid. Usage etc'.

I thought I hadn't given aboot enough space, as I read varying numbers on other sides for the amount of clusters to leave unused before the swappartition (from 3 to 12). I used 3; as specified in the handbook.

I'm about to try again using the 2005.0 livecd; anyone any other ideas?

-----------
Code:
(boot dka0.0.0.5.0 -file 2/boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 -flags root=/dev/sda2)
block 0 of dka0.0.0.5.0 is a valid boot block
reading 172 blocks from dka0.0.0.5.0
bootstrap code read in
Building FRU table
FRU table size = 0xa0b
base = 1d6000, image_start = 0, image_bytes = 15800
initializing HWRPB at 2000
initializing page table at 7fce000
initializing machine state
setting affinity to the primary CPU
jumping to bootstrap code
aboot: Linux/Alpha SRM bootloader version 1.0_pre20040408
aboot: switching to OSF/1 PALcode version 1.23
aboot: booting from device 'SCSI 0 5 0 0 0 0 0'
aboot: valid disklabel found: 3 partitions.
aboot: loading uncompressed boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1...
aboot: segment 0, 4336128 bytes at 0xfffffc0000310000
aboot: zero-filling 231992 bytes at 0xfffffc0000732a00
aboot: starting kernel boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 with arguments root=/dev/sda2
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:00 pm    Post subject: More aboot ideas... Reply with quote

varname wrote:

aboot: starting kernel boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 with arguments root=/dev/sda2[/code]


That's the last thing you see on the screen during the boot process?

Can you tell us how your drive is laid out? How about booting the livedisk and giving us the output of
fdisk -l /dev/sda

is
sda1 /boot
sda2 /
or how have you laid this out? Are all filesystems ext2 or ext3? Unless something has changed, aboot doesn't like the more modern filesystems like reiserfs and xfs. If you have your boot on sda1 and your root on sda2, then your boot command would need to change a bit.

boot dka0 -fi 1/boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 -fl root=/dev/sda2

Would be what you would need in that case. The 1 that prefixes /boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 is the nth partition where the kernel image is placed.

And another possible gotcha: If /boot is sda1, then in /boot, you'll need to have a symlink that points to /boot. In other words, if you did an ls -l in /boot you should see
boot -> .
So aboot would be looking for the kernel in /boot/boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1
Not suprisingly, you can also change your aboot argument to just 1/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 if that's where your kernel really is, and you can avoid the symlink silliness.

Hopefully this is making more sense as you play with it?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 7:34 pm    Post subject: Re: More aboot ideas... Reply with quote

dbackeberg wrote:
That's the last thing you see on the screen during the boot process?
yep.

Quote:
Can you tell us how your drive is laid out? How about booting the livedisk and giving us the output of fdisk -l /dev/sda

sure:
Code:
3 partitions:
#       start        end      size      fstype     [fsize bsize   cpg]
  a:        3         94        92        swap
  b:       95       1016       992        ext2
  c:        1       1017      1017      unused          0     0

Quote:

is
sda1 /boot
sda2 /

as far as I know, Alpha's don't need special boot partitions (alpha-handbook), so i didn't create one; see above (right?).

Quote:
Are all filesystems ext2 or ext3? Unless something has changed, aboot doesn't like the more modern filesystems like reiserfs and xfs.

Got only two partitions / slices, swap and root, root is ext3, swap is swap.

Quote:
The 1 that prefixes /boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 is the nth partition where the kernel image is placed.

So if I understand that correctly my original boot command would be correct for my setup.

Quote:
And another possible gotcha: If /boot is sda1, then in /boot, you'll need to have a symlink that points to /boot. In other words, if you did an ls -l in /boot you should see
boot -> .

Well, got all that; 'boot -> .' is there, and from what I gather from the output of aboot, it does find the kernel, it just doesn't really boot it.

it all makes sense, it just doesn't let me boot. Ext3 doesn't really seem to be a problem, as I can go into interactive mode with aboot, and list directory contents and such.

I appreciate any comments you might have.


Last edited by varname on Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:03 pm    Post subject: kernel image at fault? Reply with quote

I agree that your boot parameters look right. I only have three ideas now:

1) Did you setup your kernel with initrd built into the kernel, or did you build a separate initrd? If it's separate, you'll need to pass that as a boot parameter.

2) there's something wacky with the kernel, that somehow passes the initial aboot check, but doesn't boot properly. I wouldn't know what that would be. I'm surprised there's NO kernel output whatsoever, but it leads me to think you should at least try copying the /usr/src/linux/arch/alpha/boot/aboot (or whatever that file is called ) to /boot, change your aboot or boot arguments a little bit, and see if another kernel image does the same exact stuff.

3) this is admittedly a bad idea, but here goes:
alphas need to see a keyboard and a video card before they'll boot graphically. If they're missing either of these items, they'll boot to serial output instead. (But in my memory, this means complete boot, as in from when you first push the power switch to when the system is sitting at a login prompt.) Perhaps you didn't build keyboard support into your kernel? If you see your hard drive going crazy, like the system is booting, you might suspect this. If you've already built ssh you could try ssh-ing into the system, or pinging it if you've provided proper network device support. This is a long shot.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: kernel image at fault? Reply with quote

dbackeberg wrote:
I agree that your boot parameters look right. I only have three ideas now:

1) Did you setup your kernel with initrd built into the kernel, or did you build a separate initrd? If it's separate, you'll need to pass that as a boot parameter.

Errm, this might sound very stupid, but I've never had to do anything with a initrd. As I understood things, it is only needed for drivers (modules) the kernel needs to load before it mounts the root-filesystem. But if I compile my SCSI drivers into the kernel, is such a thing still needed?
(Btw, I copied the kernel of the livecd, plus the initrd, and had aboot boot those two which worked flawlessly; it's just a software thing it seems then.)

Quote:
.. try copying the /usr/src/linux/arch/alpha/boot/aboot (or whatever that file is called ) to /boot, change your aboot or boot arguments a little bit, and see if another kernel image does the same exact stuff.

Searched around in that dir, but couldn't really find anything that would make any difference; my money is on the initrd thing :].

The console / graphic mixup isn't an issue here I think. 'console' is set to graphics, and i've got both mouse+keyboard hooked up to the Alpha, together with a monitor.

I'm sure the current kernel has both drivers for the SCSI adapters (adaptec 7880 + qlogic (through the qla1280 driver)) compiled in.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea on trying the kernel from the livecd.

To check the way your initrd is getting made....

cd /usr/src/linux (assuming that's a symlink to your kernel source tree)
make menuconfig
check out
Device Drivers -> Block Devices -> Initial RAM Disk (initrd) support
* means it's compiled into your kernel

This option won't show up unless you're also including "RAM Disk support", which is in the same section.

I agree that if you're putting your scsi controller support in your kernel, this shouldn't matter (I don't have a 100% clear understanding here, so I don't know whether to recommend "trying it anyway"). Is there anything else you might be leaving out, filesystem, scsi system support, wrong scsi controller driver, wrong cpu? I was really hoping you'd have more info on your screen, like maybe it would boot to the point where it tries to mount root and fail.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see why initrd should be needed for booting. The only times I use initrd is when building the livecd kernels or if I'm using software raid or similar for /. Usually initrds only complicate matters further and I recommend not using it at all unless you have a very good reason why you need it.

Make sure you have built-in support (no module stuff) for your controllers, filesystem(s) and that /etc/fstab and your boot configuration is correct. If you somehow screw up the root=dev/??? argument in /etc/aboot.conf you wont be able to mount /.

Hope this helps,
Bryan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:32 pm    Post subject: hm Reply with quote

Kloeri wrote:
Make sure you have built-in support (no module stuff) for your controllers, filesystem(s) ..

Got all that, infact:

Code:
CONFIG_SCSI=y
CONFIG_SCSI_PROC_FS=y
..
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_SD=y
..
CONFIG_SCSI_AIC7XXX=m
CONFIG_AIC7XXX_CMDS_PER_DEVICE=253
CONFIG_AIC7XXX_RESET_DELAY_MS=5000
CONFIG_AIC7XXX_DEBUG_MASK=0
CONFIG_AIC7XXX_REG_PRETTY_PRINT=y
..
CONFIG_SCSI_QLOGIC_1280=y
CONFIG_SCSI_QLOGIC_1280_1040=y
CONFIG_SCSI_QLA2XXX=y
..
CONFIG_EXT2_FS=y
CONFIG_EXT3_FS=y
CONFIG_EXT3_FS_XATTR=y
CONFIG_JBD=y
CONFIG_FS_MBCACHE=y
CONFIG_REISERFS_FS=y


The machine boots from the QLogic (dunno what the QLA2XXX=y is doing there though).

Kloeri wrote:
.. and that /etc/fstab and your boot configuration is correct. If you somehow screw up the root=dev/??? argument in /etc/aboot.conf you wont be able to mount /.

I think I got that all right, /etc/fstab:

Code:
/dev/sda2               /               ext3            noatime                 0 0
/dev/sda1               none            swap            sw                      0 0
none                    /proc           proc            defaults                0 0
none                    /dev/shm        tmpfs           defaults                0 0

and /etc/aboot.conf:

Code:
0:2/boot/kernel-gentoo-2.6.10-r1 root=/dev/sda2


so that's basically the same line as I used to boot manually from SRM.

I'm gonna search google some more, to see if I can find something similare. I also tried to see if the it was maybe my combination of CFLAGS (-mcpu=ev56 -mbwx -O3 -pipe -mieee); compiled a 'hello world' using a crosscompiler with the same options which worked (not really conclusive but still).

This Alpha is taking more time than I thought.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:21 pm    Post subject: Same problem Reply with quote

I've got a similar setup on a Compaq AlphaServer DS10. Aboot freezes after "loading kernel..."

Has there been a resolution to this problem? I'd like to avoid using the kernel from the live cd. At least, I'd like to avoid using it permantently.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:15 pm    Post subject: no solution Reply with quote

nope, no solution yet. I haven't really had the time past week to work on it though.

I haven't tried the kernel from the new 2005.0 livecd; is it any good?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject: 2005.0 LiveCD Reply with quote

It boots the CD but only under 2.4. The 2.6 kernel on the CD hangs and turns the screen background red. I'm new to the Alpha so I'm not sure what it means but if you pay attention while booting the 2.4 kernel on the CD you'll see it flashes red right before going black for a normal Linux boot.

Realizing I could only boot the 2.4 kernel from the CD I tried compiling a 2.4 kernel but it also hangs at the "Starting kernel..." message. The next thing I'll try will be to copy the 2.4 kernel, initrd, and modules from the LiveCD to see if I can get them to boot from the HD. I'm not sure what this will tell me but at least I'll have a bootable machine.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:58 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

I managed to get the thing to boot by copying the 2.4 kernel, modules, and initrd to the hard drive and directing aboot to boot from these. I also had to emerge devfsd to work with 2.4. This is no kind of solution but the machine IS running under it's own steam now.
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