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Lupin_the_3rd
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 4:07 pm    Post subject: Gentoo on SGI Octane2? Reply with quote

So I've just obtained an Octane2, V8 gfx, 2GB memory. I had originally planned to load IRIX 6.5 on it but I'm toying with the idea of Gentoo. (I'm currently running Gentoo on several Alphas...)

My question for the MIPS geeks here, is what is the state of hardware support on this machine? I've got the nicer V8 graphics option so I would hope that there is some sort of well accelerated X server for it. How about the onboard Sound, SCSI, Ethernet?

Also, I noticed that there are no Firefox or Thunderbird builds for MIPS? Why is that?

Thanks all
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Redhatter
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay... Octane 2 in general, does run Linux. Audio, SCSI, ethernet... is all operational... however, V8 graphics, is not fully working just yet. The current netboot images don't (AFAIK) support VPro yet... however support for Console on VPro is in upstream Linux/MIPS CVS kernels.

As for X... due to the complexity of X drivers, no driver for X has been made for VPro yet... Same with ImpactSR. This may change in the future... but at the moment, Octane Linux is a console-only affair.

At the moment, Mozilla fails to build on MIPS... something in the toolchain h0rks up the produced binary... at best, even if it does build... it generally segfaults immediately at startup. If you know enough to fix it though... feel free... any offers of assistance here are welcome. :-)
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Kumba
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Gentoo on SGI Octane2? Reply with quote

Lupin_the_3rd wrote:
So I've just obtained an Octane2, V8 gfx, 2GB memory. I had originally planned to load IRIX 6.5 on it but I'm toying with the idea of Gentoo. (I'm currently running Gentoo on several Alphas...)

My question for the MIPS geeks here, is what is the state of hardware support on this machine? I've got the nicer V8 graphics option so I would hope that there is some sort of well accelerated X server for it.

Doesn't exist, and likely won't for a very long while. Stan (the IP30 Port Author) recently got console mode running on this card, but from what I understand, this is a rather complex piece of video hardware, so it may be some time (likely some time after xmas '05) before an X driver gets started on. Remote X works, however


Lupin_the_3rd wrote:
How about the onboard Sound, SCSI, Ethernet?

Onboard sound works well enough from what I hear. I tested several MP3s from console via mpg123, and they worked well. A new patch coming out next week (Jul 23-24) will enable support for the optical inputs/outputs for AES (ADAT capabilities will not be supported).

Onboard Scsi works like a charm. It wasn't entirely usable about 3 weeks ago due to reliance on the old qlogicisp driver, but with some very recent fixes to qla1280, it has replaced qlogicisp. I now run a RAID5 array using 3 50G seagate drives on my Octane, and so far, everything works great (and hdparm reports ~17.4MB/s throughput).

Onboard Ethernet works fine too. The IOC3 driver was recently re-written to make IOC3 more of a Bus device with peripherals hanging off of it, which makes IOC3 less of a nightmare device from a coder's standpoint (but not by much).


Lupin_the_3rd wrote:
Also, I noticed that there are no Firefox or Thunderbird builds for MIPS? Why is that?

Fatal flaw in Mozilla AFAIK that causes binaries to segfault on execution. One of those "compiles, but doesn't run" scenarios. We believe the problem is a really obscure binutils bug, but no one with adequate knowledge of binutils has managed to take a good, long look at it.


--Kumba
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spbecker
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Gentoo on SGI Octane2? Reply with quote

Quote:
Lupin_the_3rd wrote:
Also, I noticed that there are no Firefox or Thunderbird builds for MIPS? Why is that?

Fatal flaw in Mozilla AFAIK that causes binaries to segfault on execution. One of those "compiles, but doesn't run" scenarios. We believe the problem is a really obscure binutils bug, but no one with adequate knowledge of binutils has managed to take a good, long look at it.


--Kumba


I should elaborate on this a bit more, since I have done some extensive testing to get this to work. It is a bit more complicated than the "compiles, doesn't work" thing. The mozilla codebase uses some assembly code in libxpcom. Basically, whoever wrote the mips code there was an idiot, because it doesn't even compile on linux/mips.

However, Thiemo Seufer of the Debian/MIPS project cooked up a patch to fix this build error, which allows it to build. See https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=258429 for the patch and more information. Apparently on Debian, this makes everything work just fine, but over here in Gentoo land the resulting binary just segfaults on start. In all liklihood, this is a toolchain problem of some sort. Debian uses GNU binutils by default, with some potentially dangerous mips specific patches that break certain things like building qt for example. We use H.J. Lu's binutils (which are notorious for having problems I might add), and we don't use these patches. Anyway, I have cooked up a GNU binutils with these patches in the past, compiled mozilla-*, and it *still* segfaults, so I'm at a total loss. Recently, I even grabbed the Debian/MIPS binary of firefox, and it segfaulted as well. The upshot is there is something funky about our toolchain/userland that is totally breaking it. Could be glibc, could be gcc, could be the optimizations we use (Debian is entirely unoptimized MIPSI ISA binaries)....I just don't know, and tracking down the problem would a pain in the ass, especially since my O2 and Indy aren't speed demons.

Anyway, for a good graphical web browser on mips, Konqueror does work, so we've just been using that, although I'm not sure we've added ~mips keywords to it yet.

-Steve
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Lupin_the_3rd
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all for explaining the issue to a MIPS newbie!

Does anyone know if the Octane2 is able to dual-boot? I will require IRIX for the OpenGL acceleration but I'd still like to try Gentoo on this machine to begin experimenting with it....

TIA
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64bit PCI: Sil3124 SATA w/ mdadm RAID1 (pair of WD VelociRaptors)
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Redhatter
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should be possible... Just set up IRIX as per normal... but leave space on the drive for Linux. Install Linux as per the guide... except when you get to set up the PROM. -- you'll want to leave that as is.

Then you'd set up arcload to boot up Linux on demand.

To boot IRIX, just switch the machine on.
To boot Linux, drop to the monitor prompt and run boot -f arcload.
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tunkaflux
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happened to Stan (The IP30 port author)? I used to track the status of the 2.6 kernel on the SGI Octane via http://skylark.cs.put.poznan.pl/ip30/. However, that links seems to be dead now...
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Redhatter
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.linux-mips.org/~skylark/ <-- I'd say the site just moved. :-)

Skylark still pops into #mipslinux on FreeNode on a semi-regular basis... and there's always the Linux/MIPS mailing list.
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