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brackenhill_mob
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: LCD Patch to Baselayout available Reply with quote

Kumba wrote:
http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/cobalt/misc/baselayout-1.8.6.13-cobaltmips-lcd.patch


The permissions on this file are wrong - I can see it in the directory but get a 403 error when trying to d/l. When you get a moment Kumba, could you fix this please :)

I've just about got my box at my personal "stage 4" when I can take a backup and then play with the harum scarum stuff. Everything takes an age, but works (after a bug in baselayout which has just been resolved in the latest portage (hence the need for this patch).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:58 pm    Post subject: Tip to speed up box Reply with quote

Got the serial port to work which showed up an interesting CPU hog.

INIT kept trying to start up the 6 non-existent tty consoles. If you comment these lines out in /etc/inittab, things improve noticably.

Philip
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kapper.net wrote:
hi
so - if there's a debian on the box (at least booting) is there a way to get gentoo eg. on a second hdd and then boot of this second one (yes,I'm willing to change the master-slave-setup here)?


http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/altinstall.xml#doc_chap6

You should install Gentoo on the slave drive, but configure everything inside the chroot as if it was the master drive. That way, when you switch the drives, the new master drive will be able to boot Gentoo successfully. Since you're installing on the Raq hardware itself, you should be able to emerge everything you need before you swap drives, although that's probably only really necessary for servers that are serving something on the old OS.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip de Lisle wrote:
Got the serial port to work which showed up an interesting CPU hog.

INIT kept trying to start up the 6 non-existent tty consoles. If you comment these lines out in /etc/inittab, things improve noticably.


Known issue with serial console-based systems. people running headless sparc systems also bump into this as well. I should add this to the mips install guide.



Philip de Lisle wrote:
The permissions on this file are wrong - I can see it in the directory but get a 403 error when trying to d/l. When you get a moment Kumba, could you fix this please :)

I've just about got my box at my personal "stage 4" when I can take a backup and then play with the harum scarum stuff. Everything takes an age, but works (after a bug in baselayout which has just been resolved in the latest portage (hence the need for this patch).

Philip


Fixed, though I changed the layout of the cobalt subdir on my dev site. The patch can be found here now along with a diff to baselayout-1.8.6.13-r1.ebuild to use the patch:
http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/cobalt/misc-patches/



kapper.net wrote:
hi
contrary to Philip de Lisle's experience mine with the known debian v2.4.18 kernel setup on raq2 boxes is less promising - boxes that ran for years without any trouble on the pretty old 2.0.52 kernel from cobalt do hang, corrupt filesystems and lots of other dirty things when being under "real" load - meaning either working as a mail-relay or ftp-server or whatever use I had for them :)

now, I'm looking at this promising gentoo-setup, but honestly I have no clue how to start - though I had some spare-raq2's to test.

so - if there's a debian on the box (at least booting) is there a way to get gentoo eg. on a second hdd and then boot of this second one (yes,I'm willing to change the master-slave-setup here)?

if I can at least net-boot a debian-install/-kernel as mentioned before fine - could some kind soul point me to the right init-scripts to get a gentoo-setup then working?

any help appreciated and yes, I'm sorry, I have no gentoo experience et all...


Well, lack of gentoo experience could be a issue, though if you have good working knowledge of linux itself, then this shouldn't be a problem. You'll just need a bit of patience.

For starters, Installing gentoo on the cobalt-mips systems is difficult because I haven't created a netboot setup yet (working on this), but you CAN use the debian netboot setup to kickstart an install. This is how gentoo was installed on SGI mips systems initially until I managed to create a netboot image.

You can start a debian install by netbooting their netboot image, go into the installer, configure networking, fdisk if you want, and then just drop to a shell. From there, you'll mount your hardisk partition(s), and unpack the gentoo stageball of your choice into this mount point. Then you'll copy /etc/resolv.conf to this mount point, and chroot into it. From there, you'll be effectively installing gentoo inside a chroot.

To understand more about Gentoo itself and the packaging manager, I recommend you read the Gentoo Handbook linked off the main Gentoo website, specifically the sections about Portage and how the basic install on x86 goes. Other useful documentation is the old mips install guide I still maintain at this location: http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/docs/gentoo-mips-install.html


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:36 am    Post subject: Mips stages correct ? Reply with quote

OK, so I am in my week of "vacation" from school so I thought I would come back and try again with gentoo on the Cobalt. I see Kumba has made AMAZING progress since I last checked in. I had eventually messed up my Debian/Gentoo build so much that it was un-usable so I figured I would try netbooting Debian to get a shell, and then untar a stage3 tarball and off I would go.

Unfortunately I ran into a problem. The system does not seem to recognize the binary files from the stage tarballs as valid. When I try to chroot I get

Code:
chroot: cannot execute /bin/sh: Exec format error


If I try to run any arbitray command I get

Code:
./sh: 1: Syntax error: "(" unexpected
./sh:


I believe these errors usually mean that the binary was not compiled for the correct processor. I used the file command on the binaries and they state that they are for a "MIPS-IV" machine, if I do a file on the debian netboot files I get "MIPS-I" So what am I missing?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Mips stages correct ? Reply with quote

xphyr wrote:
Unfortunately I ran into a problem. The system does not seem to recognize the binary files from the stage tarballs as valid. When I try to chroot I get ...


hi
I'm basically glad you got the same results - I've tried the last two days and gotten to nowhere and thought it's me ;-)

thx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll hopefully have some kind of a fix for this soon. I believe the debian netboot kernel is too old to recognize mips3/4 commands, so I have to find someway to generate a new kernel that will fit into the 675KB limit of the machine's crappy bootloader, and contain the necessary functions to netboot.

I for one will be very happy when the new bootloader is completed and published so I can put it into portage. Losing that 675KB limit is a blessing, considering the 2.4.25 kernel can barely compile under that limit.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm,
anyone got a harddisk-image to share in order to get such a box at least going?

or any workaround that would work (ok, finally I'd be willing to swap disks out and in if it helps, though I'm not even sure about the proper disk-layout - the debian-readymade one won't work for me - at least if I only put your kernel into the /boot it boots and hangs promptly).

thx
hk
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use Kumba's stage 3 and kernel image.

Drop another disk into your RaQ (or into a PC as I did), set up the partitions as you want them, then untar the stage 3 tarball. Edit /etc/fstab accordingly, and check the changes to /etc/inittab documented in this thread. You'll need to edit /etc/shadow to get a password into the box - I copied the line from my PC /etc/shadow for root. Then sort out your network settings in /etc/conf.d

Make sure that the kernal image is not d/l'ed using Mozilla (ie use wget) so that it isn't uncompressed on the fly. It must be less than 675k or it won't boot.

Once done, make this disk the primary in the RaQ and it should boot. You will probably need/want to tweak settings thereafter but at least you should have a working system.

If there is a demand, I can make available an image of my drive which is up to date as of a couple of days ago (end Feb) once I've incorporated Kumba's baselayout modifications against the latest portage version. All I've added to the basic system is Midnight Commander. I don't have enough bandwidth to put this on my personal web server, so I can either email it, or if Kumba has space/is agreeable I can place it with him. Or anyone else who offers come to that :)

Philip
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip de Lisle wrote:
Use Kumba's stage 3 and kernel image.

Drop another disk into your RaQ (or into a PC as I did), set up the partitions as you want them, then untar the stage 3 tarball. Edit /etc/fstab accordingly, and check the changes to /etc/inittab documented in this thread. You'll need to edit /etc/shadow to get a password into the box - I copied the line from my PC /etc/shadow for root. Then sort out your network settings in /etc/conf.d

Make sure that the kernal image is not d/l'ed using Mozilla (ie use wget) so that it isn't uncompressed on the fly. It must be less than 675k or it won't boot.


well - granted this - but what about the disk-partitioning?
/dev/hda1 still has to be ext2 rev 0 and be virtually /boot - is this already covered in the stage 3 tarball?

thx
hk
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kapper.net wrote:
well - granted this - but what about the disk-partitioning?
/dev/hda1 still has to be ext2 rev 0 and be virtually /boot - is this already covered in the stage 3 tarball?


When you drop the 2nd disk into your RaQ/PC you use the partitioning tools on the host. I used fdisk on a PC - the beauty of Linux is that the format of the drive is processor independant.

Alternatively you can mount the slave drive and then delete all the files on the disk, keeping the Debian partition table. Having said that, I'd change everything except /hda1 to ext3 (haven't used ReiserFS since it chewed a disk a couple of years ago). If you follow this route, make sure that you copy the Debian /etc/fstab file over to the Gentoo disk.

Whatever route you choose make sure that /etc/fstab is correct :)

Philip
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip de Lisle wrote:
kapper.net wrote:
well - granted this - but what about the disk-partitioning?
/dev/hda1 still has to be ext2 rev 0 and be virtually /boot - is this already covered in the stage 3 tarball?


When you drop the 2nd disk into your RaQ/PC you use the partitioning tools on the host. I used fdisk on a PC - the beauty of Linux is that the format of the drive is processor independant.

Alternatively you can mount the slave drive and then delete all the files on the disk, keeping the Debian partition table. Having said that, I'd change everything except /hda1 to ext3 (haven't used ReiserFS since it chewed a disk a couple of years ago). If you follow this route, make sure that you copy the Debian /etc/fstab file over to the Gentoo disk.

Whatever route you choose make sure that /etc/fstab is correct :)

Philip



The ext2 revision 0 requirement for /dev/hda1 is another limitation removed by the newer bootloader. The newer bootloader can read ext2/ext3 filesystems, so this won't be an issue for too much longer.

That said, the concept of putting the drive in another machine for stage3 works best until I can smash the kernel image down far enough to (hopefully) function as a netboot kernel that'll NFS mount the initrd I've constructed.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I've cobbled together a initrd/kernel/modules setup that (hopefully) should work. I haven't tested it as I'm running 2.6.3 on my raq2 to see how well it runs over a period of days, so if there are any issues with this setup, please let me know.

The files needed are in this folder: http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/cobalt/netboot/

First, unpack the initrd into an nfs-mountable location, then cd to that location, and unpack the modules tarball so that they get dumped into the lib/ folder in the initrd properly.

The kernel is already gzipped and clocks in at 673KB. I was unable to use any kernel more modern than 2.4.22 because the kernel image size just gets too big afterwards w/ all the netboot stuff added in (nfs root, kernel autoconfig, etc..). The kernel supports dhcp, bootp, and rarpd lookups, so followng the example on the debian install howto, see if this kernel will netboot, and sucessfully load/mount the initrd over NFS (I never had much luck with this stage). Only ext2 is built into the kernel, ext3, reiserfs, jfs, xfs, isofs, & scsi support are all built as modules.

If this all works out, you should wind up in a busybox-1.00pre8 shell. If this doesn't work out, complain here.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work Kumba, I will test this out when I get home tonight. One question for you though. You say that if all this works you will end up in a busybox-1.00pre8 shell, ummm where will this shell be? Can I telnet into the machine to get it, or do I need to have a serial console working? (If I need a serial console I will have to run out and get a cable to do the testing with). Thanks

Mark
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xphyr wrote:
Great work Kumba, I will test this out when I get home tonight. One question for you though. You say that if all this works you will end up in a busybox-1.00pre8 shell, ummm where will this shell be? Can I telnet into the machine to get it, or do I need to have a serial console working? (If I need a serial console I will have to run out and get a cable to do the testing with). Thanks

Mark


Yes, you will need a serial cable. The only remote networking utility available in busybox is telnetd, and I'm not to keen on running an unprotected telnet server for netboot installs. I'll probably test an sshd setup one day for the sgi mips netboots for installing and such, and if that pans out well, move it over to the cobalt. I'm unsure how debian managed to setup their busybox (0.6x) shell to load up under busybox's telnetd and all, as I've not fully dissected their netboot image.

Btw, don't forget the null modem adapter (if needed) or a gender changer. I have to use both for my cobalt, and I'm surprised I haven't pulled the serial connector off the mainboard yet, since all the connectors linked extends off the back of my machine by about 5-6in.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yes, you will need a serial cable. The only remote networking utility available in busybox is telnetd, and I'm not to keen on running an unprotected telnet server for netboot installs.


Not to complain, but UGGGHHH. I know telnet is not secure, but I would think for the purposes of building a machine you could enable telnet on the initrd image to make sorking with it easier. Serial cables are such a pain in the arse. Looks like I will be stoping by CompUSA tonight to try and find a serial cable.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xphyr wrote:
Quote:
Yes, you will need a serial cable. The only remote networking utility available in busybox is telnetd, and I'm not to keen on running an unprotected telnet server for netboot installs.


Not to complain, but UGGGHHH. I know telnet is not secure, but I would think for the purposes of building a machine you could enable telnet on the initrd image to make sorking with it easier. Serial cables are such a pain in the arse. Looks like I will be stoping by CompUSA tonight to try and find a serial cable.

--Mark


eh, they're not too bad. A bit cumbersome at times, but I've discovered that it's usually the serial client that will either help or hinder you. For client, I've grown fond of Tera Term Pro on windows, and a hacked 'xc' on linux. Minicom doesn't play nice with me, and sometimes likes to reset my SGI machines for reasons unknown. The xc in portage has a patch I made that lets it work at 115200bps for the Cobalt machines, so it's rather useful.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to let everyone know what I have found so far. I was able to get the RAQ2 to boot using the updated kernel and modules that Kumba created. However I was unable to access the hard disk. Insmod would either tell me it had installed a module, but not actually done so, or it would cause a page fault, and throw a kernel exception. (The page fault/kernel exception came when I tried using the debian root just for the heck of it).

The biggest problem I ran into was that the console was barely readable. Busybox or at least the ls which is included in the initrd file has color enabled, but color was not working for whatever reson from the console. Therefore there was a lot of garbage on the console and most of the text was not readable.

I will try again soon.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kumba wrote:
The xc in portage has a patch I made that lets it work at 115200bps for the Cobalt machines, so it's rather useful.


I installed this after reading your message and it doesn't support 115200. Is there a later, test ebuild? emerge -u world doesn't pull a new one down :(

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip de Lisle wrote:
Kumba wrote:
The xc in portage has a patch I made that lets it work at 115200bps for the Cobalt machines, so it's rather useful.


I installed this after reading your message and it doesn't support 115200. Is there a later, test ebuild? emerge -u world doesn't pull a new one down :(

Philip


It should be xc-4.3.2-r1.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 3:53 am    Post subject: update? Reply with quote

This forum was totally rockin' for awhile but has been silent for a week and a half...

Any updates? Any news?

Has the gentleman working on the new bootloader released his work yet?

sedawkgrep
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 5:19 am    Post subject: Re: update? Reply with quote

sedawkgrep wrote:
This forum was totally rockin' for awhile but has been silent for a week and a half...

Any updates? Any news?

Has the gentleman working on the new bootloader released his work yet?

sedawkgrep


He hasn't yet. I emailed him a patch for 2.6.4, as some header defines changed between 2.6.3 and 2.6.4 that needed patching. According to him, he took a slight detour and added slave IDE support to the bootloader before getting back to network booting. He initially planned for an end-of-March release, although whether that can be done remains to be seen. When he gives the okay, I'll put the bootloader into portage (after making sure it can be safely compiled by portage and be functional; I've been using pre-compiled bins).

I've not worked on the netboot image for the older bootloader lately, got caught up playing with an SGI O2 system I got in. It should work for the most part, but there's still a couple little quirks that need fixing, and I haven't flashed back to the old bootloader to work on it yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: update? Reply with quote

sedawkgrep wrote:
Any updates? Any news?


A success story ok? :)

My Debian RaQs are no more! Both running Gentoo and users of the live server reported that it feels much quicker - and with no prompting from me! Personally speaking it feels about 25% quicker than Debian and the load average has dropped dramatically to 0.05!! (Asks a lot of questions about the Debian build IMHO).

I did get clobbered by the need to format the boot partition as revision 0 - fortunately re-reading this thread gave me the kick in the pants I needed (wasted a couple hours on this!).

The live system is running Qmail against a MySQL database, djbdns and publicfile. The test server has the same setup but with Apache2 replacing publicfile as I need to run a PHP app. PHP is masked in portage so I've got to do a manual compile but i can live with that.

Anyway I'm as happy as a pig in ... :)

Philip
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:00 am    Post subject: Re: update? Reply with quote

Philip de Lisle wrote:
sedawkgrep wrote:
Any updates? Any news?


A success story ok? :)

My Debian RaQs are no more! Both running Gentoo and users of the live server reported that it feels much quicker - and with no prompting from me! Personally speaking it feels about 25% quicker than Debian and the load average has dropped dramatically to 0.05!! (Asks a lot of questions about the Debian build IMHO).

I did get clobbered by the need to format the boot partition as revision 0 - fortunately re-reading this thread gave me the kick in the pants I needed (wasted a couple hours on this!).

The live system is running Qmail against a MySQL database, djbdns and publicfile. The test server has the same setup but with Apache2 replacing publicfile as I need to run a PHP app. PHP is masked in portage so I've got to do a manual compile but i can live with that.

Anyway I'm as happy as a pig in ... :)

Philip


Sweet! Awesome news to hear!

The ext2 revision 0 thing is one of those weird requirements, but I guess that was all that was available at the time the cobalt's original bootloader was made. The newer bootloader supports modern ext2 and even ext3.

As for php being masked, it just lacks mips keywords most likely. I haven't really bothered with php since php-3.x (I tried coding my own message board before phpBB existed cause I didn't like UBB), so just add "~mips" or "mips" (unstable/stable) to the KEYWORDS line in each php ebuild you need and drop a line on how well it works and I can get the keywords added.

If you bump into any issues of a configure script not being able to detect the build system type, let me know as well, those need a small patch to the ebuild to fix the detection, which is a common thing for some mips systems (especially mips64 systems).

--Kumba
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: update? Reply with quote

Kumba wrote:
If you bump into any issues of a configure script not being able to detect the build system type, let me know as well, those need a small patch to the ebuild to fix the detection, which is a common thing for some mips systems (especially mips64 systems).


Added "mips" keywork to php-4.3.4-r4 ebuild. The ebuild failed during the configuration stage with

checking whether to include YP support... yes
checking for yp_match in -lnsl... no
checking for yp_match in -lc... no
configure: error: Unable to find required yp/nis library

I'm not sure why NIS is needed as it wasn't when I compiled PHP from source (didn't get it to work mind you!). Also this package wasn't picked up in the dependancy tree. All the other dependancies installed ok.

It did pick up mipsel_unknown_gnu_linux as the system type (or appeared to)

All help gratefully received as I'm now at an impasse.

Philip
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