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Evangelion
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:48 am    Post subject: Graphics on Octane2 Reply with quote

Octane2 can use variety of vid-cards, most of which are unsupported by Linux (ImpactSR seems to work, though).. But, as I was reading Linux-mips.org info about Octane2, I noticed this part:

Quote:
A PCI cage can be slid into a specially shaped XIO slot. The cage contains a BRIDGE chip and three 64-bit PCI sockets (one of the cards has to be shorter because of the mechanical constraints). From programmer's point of view, there is no difference between the system board BRIDGE and the PCI cage one.


Stupid question to follow: Could I use those PCI-slots to install a PCI vid-card that IS properly supported by Linux, and use it instead?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theoretically... yes... but I don't think it'll work in practice.

PCI implementations vary between platforms. And video cards are really particular about the implementation used.

The Indigo2 has 4 EISA slots... as has my IP28. I'm yet to see the ET4000 ISA video card in my IP28 start working though.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redhatter wrote:
Theoretically... yes... but I don't think it'll work in practice.

PCI implementations vary between platforms. And video cards are really particular about the implementation used.

The Indigo2 has 4 EISA slots... as has my IP28. I'm yet to see the ET4000 ISA video card in my IP28 start working though.


OK, got it. Thanks for the reply :).

Not related to original question, but since you are here.... Are there any online resources showing differences (in performance and design) of various MIPS-CPU's used in SGI-machines? SGI had a very informative datasheet comparing R10000 and R12000, but I haven't found datasheets about other CPU's.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say I've seen any... :-)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PCI gfx in Octane card cage will never work. The PCI card cage is treated as an XIO device, and you'll never get a gfx card to work in it under Linux (or IRIX). If you're looking for MIPS processor comparisons, just use google - there are several out there. MIPS R4k was the first 64 bit MIPS. R5k is a big improvement and has features that accelerate graphics performance over R4k. R8k is not common but it very fast for it's slow clock speed. R10k is the next step up. R12k and R14k are very similar - a dual 300Mhz R12k performs almost identically to a single 600Mhz R14k in the same machine (using multi-threaded applications). If you can afford an R16k machine, then you tell us how fast it is!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:13 am    Post subject: R8000 Pics Reply with quote

Those curious on the truly whacked out nature of an R8000 Processor can see some pics I took of my truly rare, one-of-a-kind R8000 CPU from an IP26 Indigo2 Power system:

http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/pics/ip26/


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:47 pm    Post subject: Re: R8000 Pics Reply with quote

Kumba wrote:
Those curious on the truly whacked out nature of an R8000 Processor can see some pics I took of my truly rare, one-of-a-kind R8000 CPU from an IP26 Indigo2 Power system:

http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/pics/ip26/


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8O

That's a lot of chips!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:40 am    Post subject: Re: R8000 Pics Reply with quote

Kumba wrote:
Those curious on the truly whacked out nature of an R8000 Processor can see some pics I took of my truly rare, one-of-a-kind R8000 CPU from an IP26 Indigo2 Power system:

http://dev.gentoo.org/~kumba/mips/pics/ip26/


--Kumba


Have you seen this (warning: large file!)?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: R8000 Pics Reply with quote

Evangelion wrote:
Have you seen this (warning: large file!)?


Yup, already downloaded a copy too. I asked Ralf Baechle about it after finding a CVS commit from about a year ago (during 2.6.8's lifecycle), since the docs were supposedly opened. He then uploaded the manual to linux-mips.org.

Now the difficult part is using that manual to finish R8000 support for Linux. arch/mips/mm/tlb-r8k.c (implements the TLB support) is already written (but lacks a few macros that I think are loosely described in the manual). One of the things that is left is coding up a driver for the R8000's CPU cache. That in itself will be tricky, as it's a _very_ odd processor. Then there's likely some other bits and Linux may be able to be partially booted on an IP26 (Indigo2 Power) system.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a graphics option card meant to be used in the card cage in order to provide a second head on O2s. It is not an SGI product. I've heard that performance is terrible. It only works under IRIX in any case.

Honestly, running anything but IRIX on an SGI is a waste of time.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blood Fluke: What makes you say it's a waste of time? Sure, the machines can function better on IRIX ... but (1) IRIX costs lots of money (to obtain legally), and (2) Sometimes Linux supports enough for the machine to be useful for one's needs anyways.

Okay, my O2's VICE subsystem doesn't work on Linux (yet). Fine. Do I do video editing on my O2? No. Thus, is VICE important? No.
My Indigo2 Impact has a few EISA slots. Now Linux support for those slots is practically nonexistant. Do I care? Not really ... fact is, chances are likely, IRIX wouldn't have the driver for my EISA cards anyways.

What I could use on the O2, would be 3D acceleration (CRIME chipset) and sound. The latter partially works in Linux, but needs more work. The former, will have to wait for now. But the machine is perfectly useable without. distcc runs fine, and so it assists my other two SGI machines in compiles, and it allows me to try out Linux, looking for oddities that might trip an unsuspecting newbie in installing Linux.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blood Fluke wrote:
Honestly, running anything but IRIX on an SGI is a waste of time.

You have to remember, we run Linux on SGI hardware as a hobby. Not all of us can afford to accquire IRIX media off eBay, let alone the additional software needed to actually put a given SGI Machine to very good use, or even the exotic hardware (seen the prices of DV capture cards for Octane on eBay lately?). One good example of running Linux on these systems is the knowledge gained by learning how these systems are built differently. The MIPS Processor design and the various bus topologies used (like Octane's crossbar system) are fascinating to learn about. Comparing that knowledge to the knowledge of how other architectures are built and systems implemented allows for understanding.

Granted, this concept may not appeal to all. But that is an independent choice each user must make for themselves.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kumba wrote:

Not all of us can afford to accquire IRIX media off eBay, let alone the additional software needed to actually put a given SGI Machine to very good use [...]

A base set of IRIX media is less than a hundred dollars on ebay, shipped anywhere in the world.
If you're in the U.S. or Canada, it's a lot less.

Most UNIX desktop software is available on IRIX. There's no reason you can't use your favorite Linux software.

Kumba wrote:
One good example of running Linux on these systems is the knowledge gained by learning how these systems are built differently. The MIPS Processor design and the various bus topologies used (like Octane's crossbar system) are fascinating to learn about. Comparing that knowledge to the knowledge of how other architectures are built and systems implemented allows for understanding.

Heh, the irony here is that the systems that are the most awful under Linux are the ones most useful under IRIX and vice versa.

Porting Linux to the R8k Indigo2 strikes me as a really, really cool project. The I2 is already useless under IRIX, it will soon be EOLd, and the R8000 is an extremely unusual processor. There's a lot to learn and not much to lose.

The Octane, on the other hand, is still powerful enough under IRIX to be a great every-day desktop. Under Linux, it's an expensive paperweight. :(
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Octane, on the other hand, is still powerful enough under IRIX to be a great every-day desktop. Under Linux, it's an expensive paperweight


hey now- it's not just a paperweight, it's also a good space heater!

Actually, if I recall correctly, owning a set of IRIX media isn't the same as actually having a license to run said software. I'm pretty sure that costs more.

I like running gentoo linux on my SGIs at home because I can (mostly) create a unity of system across my home computers- my other ones run gentoo linux as well- it's nice to be able to set up all the computers with the same basic configuration. It makes it easier to work with/administer, and not to have to try to remember what is installed on where. From what I remember of IRIX (last version i used was 6.5.4, i think), it had some stuff in odd places. Plus it was ugly... and it called me bad names...

now if only they can get an r10k o2 working in linux.. :)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dj604 wrote:

Actually, if I recall correctly, owning a set of IRIX media isn't the same as actually having a license to run said software. I'm pretty sure that costs more.

Other way around: The IRIX license is tied to the hardware. The IRIX media cost $600 retail. If you own a legitimately obtained SGI system, you are entitled to the IRIX "eoe"...

dj604 wrote:
From what I remember of IRIX (last version i used was 6.5.4, i think), it had some stuff in odd places.

6.5.4 is incredibly old, but aside from that, coming from a Free Software background, all commercial UNIX will have "Stuff in odd places" :P
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blood Fluke wrote:
Kumba wrote:

Not all of us can afford to accquire IRIX media off eBay, let alone the additional software needed to actually put a given SGI Machine to very good use [...]

A base set of IRIX media is less than a hundred dollars on ebay, shipped anywhere in the world.
If you're in the U.S. or Canada, it's a lot less.


Or I could just run Linux, which I already have, costs me nothing, and does everything I ask of it.

Quote:
Most UNIX desktop software is available on IRIX. There's no reason you can't use your favorite Linux software.


Yes, but can you get updates to support new filesystems, network protocols, etc... for IRIX? Does IRIX support IPv6 for instance? Will I eventually be able to read ZFS partitions (Linux can't yet, but AFAIC it's only a matter of time)?

Quote:
The Octane, on the other hand, is still powerful enough under IRIX to be a great every-day desktop. Under Linux, it's an expensive paperweight. :(


Not at all... It's equally as useful on Linux. The machine's almost completely reverse-engineered, there are very few secrets left to discover.
RAD1 is almost done, just ADAT to go (and the driver author just got such a unit recently, so that won't be long now). ImpactSR, just needs some work reverse-engineering the geometry engine to provide hardware 3D acceleration... VPro, just need to figure out how to perform DMA image transfers... A better X.org driver for Impact is needed, and a new driver for VPro, which will eventually come... R14000 support will come when a dev finally lays his/her hands on such a machine (I'm not ruling anything out here). Everything else works fine.

http://www.linux-mips.org/~skylark/

If anything, the Octane is one of the best supported workstations, second only to the Indy. :-)
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i know this is out of place and time, since I dont even have an SGI (yet -- i am working on getting on octane2 hopefully), i was wondering if you could just run the X that IRIX uses? (maybe with a few local support files/directories only available to IRIX) i guess this would only work if the complete Vpro support and drivers are entirely in the X windows system that SGI uses, and not in the IRIX kernel.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can... you'll need the libc that IRIX uses... the coreutils that IRIX uses... the kernel that IRIX uses... the desktop that IRIX uses......... ad nauseum.

Until a driver for X.org is written to support VPro, the only way you can run a GUI desktop on an Octane2, is via VNC, RDP, remote X or something similar.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shickapooka800 wrote:
i know this is out of place and time, since I dont even have an SGI (yet -- i am working on getting on octane2 hopefully), i was wondering if you could just run the X that IRIX uses? (maybe with a few local support files/directories only available to IRIX) i guess this would only work if the complete Vpro support and drivers are entirely in the X windows system that SGI uses, and not in the IRIX kernel.


Kernel/userland issues aside, Linux doesn't really have any IRIX binary compatibility.
(And I don't think Xsgi runs under NetBSD compat_irix, either.)
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a COMPAT_IRIX option under Linux... but it requires a 32-bit kernel, and part-emulates Irix 5.3. It therefore would not be able to drive VPro, and lacks mmap(), so couldn't even drive Newport.

In short, it's next to useless. I'm not sure how good the NetBSD/sgimips equivalent is, but I suspect it has similar limitations.
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