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meyer37
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 11:25 pm    Post subject: sparc IPX Reply with quote

Has anyone had any success with a sparc IPX. I am currently struggling with this installing from a cdrom. If anyone has had some success and is willing to help, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Aiken
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not really started trying to get an install happening on mine yet. I have compiled a few things to get an idea of how long they will take.

glibc-2.2.5 18 1/2 hours
gcc-3.2.1 over 18 hours
gcc-2.95.3 over 10 hours

kernel, depending on the version anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.

My perfered option is to cross compile.
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danielrendall
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2003 10:23 pm    Post subject: Sparc IPX Install Reply with quote

Aha! Someone else trying to install on a Sparc IPX box...

You don't specify what kind of problem you're having with the CD install. I've run into a few (using the version 1.1a ISO), the last of which is currently blocking me. So I'll run briefly through my progress up to the point where I'm up to - you may have got further, you may not. Note that this is all from recent memory, there may be trivial mistakes...

Firstly, my IPX box had a VT220 serial console as its input and output. The CD-ROM boot seemed to hang after an 'Unimplemented SPARC system call 69' message. Solution - connect a proper monitor (weird cable needed) and Sun keyboard, and muck about in the PROM to set the output device - something like:
Code:
setenv output-device screen:r1152x900x66

Code:
setenv input-device keyboard

You can
Code:
printenv
to find the current values. Mine were both set to ttya (the serial console)

Having done this, the CD booted. Next problem - configuring the network. My box is plugged into a LAN in my house, and connected to the outside world via a cable modem and an intelligent router thingy which acts as a DHCP server. The docs say 'dhcpcd eth0' to configure, this doesn't work because the minimal filesystem image the CD doesn't have this command. Solution - use the mount command suggested after boot up (
Code:
cat /etc/profile
to re-read) to mount the CD ROM (I mount it at /mnt/cdrom, it suggests /mnt). Then I tried
Code:
/mnt/cdrom/root-sparc/sbin/dhcpcd eth0
and this seemed to work.

Next, partition disks. No idea about what's sensible, and you'll have to use fdisk. I have a 1.3Gb sda and a 424Mb (!) sdb. My partitions are: /dev/sda1 20Mb linux native /boot, /dev/sda2 40Mb swap, /dev/sda3 1.3gig (whole disk), /dev/sda4 remaining space linux native /usr, /dev/sdb1 384Mb linux native (root), /dev/sdb2 remaining space swap, /dev/sdb3 424Mb (whole disk). Created filesystems with mke2fs -j for EXT3 and mkswap for swap.

Think I chrooted to the CD image
Code:
chroot /mnt/cdrom/root-sparc /bin/bash

Then mount your drives
Code:
mount -n /dev/sda4 /mnt/gentoo

Code:
mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot

Code:
mount -n /dev/sda1 /mnt/gentoo/boot

...etc for other filesystems

You need the -n option (think it's n) because the CD ROM is a read only filesystem and it can't write /etc/mtab to keep track - use -n to disable it.

Next step - grab the most recent stage tarball. I'm optimistically trying for the most recent (1.4_rc3) stage 1. I suspect if you were to use the ones on the CD you'd have more luck, I haven't had time to try it. The busybox binary (command emulation thing) includes wget. You need to do this from the CD-ROM initial console, because it's in a writable filesystem with /etc/resolv.conf created by bringing the network up, it doesn't work from within the chroot environment. So, assuming discs are mounted, you do something like:
Code:
cd /mnt/cdrom/root-sparc/mnt/gentoo

Code:
wget http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/gentoo/releases/1.4_rc3/sparc/sparc32/stage1-sparc-1.4_rc3.tar.bz2


I think that in the chroot environment there's a bunzip2 binary which will unzip the image, and leave the tar in the root directory of your mounted disc. But I seem to recall the chroot 'tar' fails for some reason, so I use the busybox tar to extract it.

This leaves you with the most recent stage 1 tarball unzipped on your mounted drive. The problem I have is that when I try chrooting to it, I get 'FATAL: Kernel too old', which I assume is because the CD boots into a 2.2 kernel (2.2.20 I think) and I guess the stage 1 tarball includes a glibc and compiled binaries which aren't compatible. So that's my current position.

Luckily, I also have a Sparc Ultra 10 (also with Gentoo linux - that was a hassle too but it works now...), and my plan, if I can't track down a 2.4 kernel for Sparc Sun4c, is to learn about cross-compiling, and try and build one and net-boot it. I had a little bit of success with net-booting, but I was using the VT220 console at the time, which might have been the reason why it didn't succeed completely (well, actually, it hardly got anywhere apart from a 'booting linux' message which meant that at least something was happening).

If I get anywhere, I might write something more comprehensive about it. I also need to document installing on the Ultra, because the Gentoo install doc is a little unclear in places :)

Good luck with it though
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appetitus
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I was looking for something else and came across this old post. In case people are still taking a whack at the problem ever so often, I have some suggestions.

1) Use Splack to get out of your chicken and egg problem on kernels vs libc. Find it at http://www.netunix.com/splack.html. It's what I run on all the classic servers here. There are other distros, use them.

2) Use the earliest stage available, bootstrap up later to newer stuff (how my splack runs 2.4).

3) Cross compiling is trival [for sun4m vs ultra, I think it is the same in sun4c], except for the kernel. Early linux ultra distros were sun4m with a 64 bit kernel (and sometimes even a working gcc64). The boot process is very different, silo needs a different helper for the disk.

These boxes make excellent MTAs and FW NATs for typical home internet links, even squid does nicely. Anyplace where the bandwidths involved are a fraction of their horsepower is ideal, since they are cheap, small and ideal for remote control. You can even get paid for such services ;-)
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verruckt
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Sparc IPX Install Reply with quote

danielrendall wrote:
Aha! Someone else trying to install on a Sparc IPX box...

If I get anywhere, I might write something more comprehensive about it. I also need to document installing on the Ultra, because the Gentoo install doc is a little unclear in places :)

Good luck with it though


I too was having problems with the install doc. Though I have not attempted to do _anything_ with my IPX yet. My problem right now is my Ultra5. I would be VERY interested in hearing a full rundown of your IPX install. I had planned on using mine as a sort of mobile toolkit. Im just really wondering how it will perform. You didn't mention if you were going to install any gui? I would think it might be REALLY slow, but who knows. But anyways, plese let us know. Also, I would love to help out with updating the install doc, I too thought it was lacking in certain areas and could use some touching up. Let me know. :D
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danielrendall
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 3:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Sparc IPX Install Reply with quote

verruckt wrote:
I would be VERY interested in hearing a full rundown of your IPX install.

Unfortunately, I'm no longer in a position to do that - I was playing with it earlier this year, but now I'm studying full-time and consequently have no free time to devote to playing with my IPX box (or indeed the pair of SGI workstations currently cluttering up a dark corner of my bedroom). Such is life :-(

I remember that I had got as far as getting a 2.4 based system installed, with the kernel and everything, but whenever it booted and went through the standard 'starting x ... OK' phase I would get lots of random crashes - usually segmentation faults, and the occasional bus error. I remember also that running 'swapon' would tend to cause a segfault. I noticed that taking out some banks of memory seemed to make things a bit better - fewer errors, but they didn't go away. Also, the pattern of errors seemed random on each boot.

If you look at this: http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_1 you'll see that there's a footnote saying 'There are some kernel related memory management problems with sun4c. This is being worked on. '. My theory (and I stress that I'm not an expert, this is all based on intuition and guesswork) is that the errors I was getting were related to these 'problems'. I also recall reading something somewhere which suggested that some MM issues had been fixed in 2.4.21 (I think), but I can't remember where I saw this. I think the kernel I was using was either 2.4.19 or maybe 2.4.20.

If I'm feeling massively enthusiastic and I find some spare time, I might dig the machine out and try again, and if I do I'll post my findings, but don't hold your breath - my TODO list is quite fearsome and playing with computers is fairly low down...
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bazik
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2003 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone point me to a _working_ tftpboot.img for a IPX? :)

I tried all from Debian, Auroa and UltraPenguin now and none worked... :/
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verruckt
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bazik wrote:
Can anyone point me to a _working_ tftpboot.img for a IPX? :)

I tried all from Debian, Auroa and UltraPenguin now and none worked... :/


Please let us know how it goes. Im really anxious to do something with my IPX.

BTW, found some neat info on older sparcs at www.obsolyte.com
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bazik
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2003 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I got it booting with a RedHat 6.0 image from

ftp://fr2.rpmfind.net/linux/redhat/6.0/en/os/sparc/images/

I successfully installed RedHat 6.0 and did some evil hacks to it. Now I got the IPX (40MHz, 64mb ram, 1 GB scsi disk) booting with 2.6.0-test9-mm1.
Network works but some processes dont start... seems like the old RedHat conflicts with 2.6. Too bad one of the processes is telnetd _and_ that I didnt get the connected Keyboard working yet. So I cant really use the box until I fixed the keyboard issue and then the telnetd.
BTW, I use a x86 -> sparc32 cross compiler on my 2GHz P4 to build the kernels for this box :)
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bazik
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2003 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Success with 2.4.23pre9!

Booted almost fine - network and applications work. Chroot too. installed `screen` for RedHat 6.2 sparc (from rpmfind.net) and am doing a "emerge sync" right now. Next step is to nfsmount /var/tmp/portage and /usr/portage/distfiles as the 1 GB disk is a bit small ;)
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bazik
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2003 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bootstrap running... took 33 minutes to emerge portage ;)

Some info:

Code:

# uname -a
Linux hobbes.0x1337.net 2.4.23-pre9 #3 Sun Nov 2 02:51:31 CET 2003 sparc sun4c Fujitsu or Weitek Power-UP GNU/Linux

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
cpu             : Fujitsu or Weitek Power-UP
fpu             : Fujitsu or Weitek on-chip FPU
promlib         : Version 2 Revision 2
prom            : 2.9
type            : sun4c
ncpus probed    : 1
ncpus active    : 1
BogoMips        : 39.83
vacsize         : 65536 bytes
vachwflush      : yes
vaclinesize     : 32 bytes
mmuctxs         : 8
mmupsegs        : 256
kernelpsegs     : 34
kfreepsegs      : 0
usedpsegs       : 58
ufreepsegs      : 115
user_taken      : 2
max_taken       : 134

# free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:            61         52          9          0         18         18
-/+ buffers/cache:         15         46
Swap:          201          0        201

# df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             774M  288M  446M  39% /
192.168.100.170:/var/tmp/portage
                       18G   11G  7.6G  59% /mnt/gentoo/var/tmp/portage
192.168.100.170:/usr/portage/distfiles
                       18G   11G  7.6G  59% /mnt/gentoo/usr/portage/distfiles


I started the bootstrap at midnight CET. Wonder how long it will take :)
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pvz
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

verruckt wrote:


Please let us know how it goes. Im really anxious to do something with my IPX.


Why not give Debian a try? If you have a working floppy or a CD-rom it is very easy to install, and it works just fine. I have put some info about the install on my site (which runs on an IPX btw :D www.petrvz.net/
I have been considering Gentoo as well, but I didn't really see the benefits of building from source on such a machine, that would take days/weeks.. It's not like you will run the latest graphical stuff on it anyway.. Apache, php & ssh is all I need basically. But you can always update to Testing or Unstable if you like to have more up to date software. I am very happy with this cute little machine :)
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