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styx
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Joined: 02 Jan 2003
Posts: 12
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:59 am    Post subject: Installing Gentoo via serial console? Reply with quote

(I didn't get any response in the Installing Gentoo forum, so I blatantly crossposted here)

I've gotten my hands on some old, somewhat exotic hardware (by my standards), namely a SparcStation LX, a DECStation Alpha 3000 and a HP 9000 800/F10. I'm planning on running Gentoo on the Sparc and the Alpha, but I haven't got a monitor or keyboard for any of them (they use a Sparc keyboard and 13w3 monitor connector, and a weird 15 pin keyboard plug and sync-on-green monitor connector, respectively).

However, both of them support standard serial consoles, 10BaseT ethernet, and have reasonable amounts of disk space and memory, so it should be possible to install Gentoo on them. Has anyone got any experience installing Gentoo via a serial console, or a hint as to where I should start looking?

Thanks in advance!
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Kumba
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Joined: 16 Jul 2002
Posts: 382
Location: Sigma 957

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Installing Gentoo via serial console? Reply with quote

styx wrote:
(I didn't get any response in the Installing Gentoo forum, so I blatantly crossposted here)

I've gotten my hands on some old, somewhat exotic hardware (by my standards), namely a SparcStation LX, a DECStation Alpha 3000 and a HP 9000 800/F10. I'm planning on running Gentoo on the Sparc and the Alpha, but I haven't got a monitor or keyboard for any of them (they use a Sparc keyboard and 13w3 monitor connector, and a weird 15 pin keyboard plug and sync-on-green monitor connector, respectively).

However, both of them support standard serial consoles, 10BaseT ethernet, and have reasonable amounts of disk space and memory, so it should be possible to install Gentoo on them. Has anyone got any experience installing Gentoo via a serial console, or a hint as to where I should start looking?

Thanks in advance!



Serial console is probably downright annoying for me, but I've installed Gentoo on an SGI Indigo2 using serial console. It's not all that difficult.

If you're using Windows (like 2000), you'll probably use HyperTerminal for serial console, and all I can say for this us Upgrade. It will reduce the number of headaches you have to deal with as the basic HyperTerminal included in win2k lacks support for ANSI colors and made installing Gentoo via serial a pain. You can find the latest HyperTerminal here: http://www.hilgraeve.com/htpe/

Under linux I don't know, as I've never used serial console programs under it, but I have been reccommended to use "ckermit" if I ever need to use serial.

Basically, use serial console as far as you can until you can get SSH or even Telnet running, then use those from there to complete the install (like final emerging and stuff).


--Kumba
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dweigert
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Joined: 04 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It shouldn't be a problem, just like installing on any other sparc or alpha. The console is the console, whether on a monitor or using a terminal, or using a pc and terminal emulation software. To boot a sparc machine i.e. the LX, which is the old Sun-4c architecture, you should be able to say "b sd(0,6) vmunix" which stands for boot executable vmunix on scsi disk 6 on bus 0. Sun boxes have their CD ROM drives set to SCSI id 6 by default. Newer machines can just say "boot cdrom" but your milage may vary. Naturally, on a GENTOO cdrom, you aren't going to use vmunix, but instead bzImage. Just remember that the LX box is a 32 bit machine :-), and above all, HAVE FUN!

Dan
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styx
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Joined: 02 Jan 2003
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Location: Norway

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot! I guess this will be easier than I thought it would be. I didn't realize there was an ISO image for alpha until yesterday, when Jovu @ #gentoo-alpha pointed me to it. My only problem right now is finding these damn serial cables ;)

Btw, I think I'll be going for OpenBSD in stead of Gentoo on the SparcStation. I have a strange feeling that 50MHz will be somewhat of a problem when trying to keep the machine up-to-date and using it as a dev box. ;)
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