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farmorg
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Joined: 14 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:15 pm    Post subject: Need to install using only a serial connection (no monitor) Reply with quote

Hello all, I am completely new to Sparc hardware and need a few pointers to get me started.

I have been using Gentoo for some time now and am fairly proficient with it but have only ever ran Intel hardware before, of which I am getting somewhat bored. So, I have aquired a couple of Sparc boxes, one is a Sun Ultra 1 Creator 3D and the other seems to be a very similar machine, but I have no monitor to fit either machine.

I have connected my serial port to the serial port on the Sparc box and I appear to be getting a connection in Minicom at which point I am presented with a login prompt. However, being a total Sparc newbie I am not sure if this is a login to the openboot or to an existing operating system. There was a fair amount of disk activity after I powered it up, and there was a Gentoo Sparc live cd in the cd drive which also showed some activity.

Can anyone help me to get started with a Gentoo install please?

Many thanks in advance

farmorg
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farmorg
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 14 Jun 2003
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Location: Leicester (UK)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update:

OK, I have managed to get a serial connection to the sun box and can watch the sunos boot process via minicom.

The problem I have now is that if I send a break before sunos has booted, the openboot prom won't accept any commands. Anyway, if I let it boot, I can send a break & type 'boot cdrom' - it then resets, boots from the cdrom & gives me a gentoo boot promt, BUT - I cannot type any commands at the prompt, ie I type but nothing apears on the screen.
Could this be something to do with the serial connection I have put together? It's a 9 pin cable from the serial port on my pc which goes to a 9 pin -> 25 pin adaptor which in turn has a gender changer attached to change from female -> male and then into the sun box.
I did use the cable to hook upto a HP hub and successfully configured that using minicom.

Perhaps I need to go out tomorrow & buy a new null modem cable?

farmorg
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Drunkula
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you said if you type you see nothing - but if when you get the gentoo boot prompt and hit enter (or type gentoo and hit enter) does anything happen? Perhaps your typing is working but not being echoed back to you???
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blu3bird
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had exactly the same error(on ultra 2).

I was unable to type a single word using minicom at the prom(before the real os has bootet). The solution was to use net-dialup/gtkterm. The output was a mess but I was able to boot.

But...after using gtkterm once, minicom started to work...I don't know why, I didn't change anything in the nvram.
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farmorg
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, sorry, i've been a little lazy & not updated the post.

I discovered that I needed to turn off flow control in minicom, once I did that I could see what I had typed into openboot prom and it accepted my commands :-)

Then I had problems booting with the cdrom, it crashed out with an error the nature of which I forget now.
Anyway, I tried with an old Redhat 6.2 for sparc which also gave me problems. The only cd that seemed to work was Ubuntu sparc which installed fine.
I'd still like to get Gentoo running on it though, i'll have another go asap & report back then.

Thanks again for the replies so far.

farmorg
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Drunkula
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the meantime, you do know that adapters are available so you can connect a VGA monitor to the 13W3 connector on the card, right? I got mine for about $6 USD off Ebay sometime back. Just a quick search turns up: http://tinyurl.com/yop36l If you want an actual Sun adapter plug the one I have here is part number 130-3034-01. Searching for that turns up plenty of matches.
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