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valiant
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Joined: 04 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 2:21 pm    Post subject: Good place to start? Headless Server Reply with quote

Hi All,

I picked up a used Sun Enterprise 250 2x 400MHz, 512MB 2x9.1GB SCSI with no video card.

Its in a rackmount box and has no OS currently installed (I was told the HDs were wiped).

I was thinking that a Gentoo Live CD should be the way to get me up and going and then I ought to be able to telnet in.

I dont have a null modem cable and havent ever tried connecting that way anyway but if I have to I can pick one up.

Any recommendations? I plan to use it as a server and may leave it headless but it seems like I should probably pick up a vidcard for it anyway.

Any opinions? Good places to get started with Docs, How-tos?

Thanks a lot!!
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HackingM2
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Joined: 26 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am trying a headless install at the moment and it is a nightmare!

If you can get a video card in that box and put a keyboard on it then you should imho.

The main problem you will face is that there is (as far as I know) no way of changing the default ttyS0 speed from 9600bps, which as you can imagine is slow to say the least. I can change it in OpenBOOT but the kernel sets it back when it boots. :x

If you do persist with a headless install then I seriously recomend doing:

emerge sync >/dev/null

as it takes more than 12 hours otherwise. :) Only takes the normal time (10 mins) for me when I redirect to null.
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valiant
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:15 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

I successfully installed Gentoo this weekend on my E 250. It went pretty well. The biggest pain was finding the right cable to connect my laptop as a serial console. Ended up finding the correct 9Pin Female to 25Pin Male Null Modem cable at a local mom & pop computer shop.

Installing Gentoo went smoothly - except that I did not read the install doc close enough and initially thought I had created a seperate boot partition. Had to reboot the LiveCD and edit the fstab. And everything worked just fine after that.

Once I got that going I used SSH for the rest of my installing.

I am running two instances of Setiathome and it looks like each one completes about 5% per hour. So I can complete about 2.2 - 2.5 work units per day if it holds.
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HackingM2
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:55 am    Post subject: Re: Update Reply with quote

valiant wrote:
I successfully installed Gentoo this weekend on my E 250.


Glad it went well. :)

valiant wrote:
Installing Gentoo went smoothly - except that I did not read the install doc close enough and initially thought I had created a seperate boot partition. Had to reboot the LiveCD and edit the fstab. And everything worked just fine after that.

Once I got that going I used SSH for the rest of my installing.


Sounds like that box had a CD drive, lucky *%$&%$*, my headless install was also a netboot so no SSH for a while. :(

Just to warn you - not sure how many SPARCs you have used - do not expect anything marked -sparc to work, it wont! :wink:

Also there are some issues with the interface between the 64bit kernel and 32bit userspace - ulogd and snort/snort_inline are both seriously borked, which is a shame as I fancied having a head-less, cd-less, disk-less, 1u machine as my firewall. :(
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valiant
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sounds like that box had a CD drive, lucky *%$&%$*, my headless install was also a netboot so no SSH for a while.


Ahhh, yes I d0!

Quote:
Just to warn you - not sure how many SPARCs you have used - do not expect anything marked -sparc to work, it wont!


Thanks I will keep that in mind. Have you tried the JRE? If so how about Tomcat? I am thinking about trying to get Tomcat working but its not a big deal if I cannot.

Quote:
Also there are some issues with the interface between the 64bit kernel and 32bit userspace - ulogd and snort/snort_inline are both seriously borked, which is a shame as I fancied having a head-less, cd-less, disk-less, 1u machine as my firewall.

I am also thinking about trying to proxy the box with SSH tunneling. My company has just decided to block IM traffic. My thought was maybe I could point GAIM over SSH to my E250 and have it proxy to AIM. Any ideas?
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HackingM2
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

valiant wrote:
Have you tried the JRE? If so how about Tomcat? I am thinking about trying to get Tomcat working but its not a big deal if I cannot.


Blackdown JRE 1.4.1 seems to work fine although I have not tested it with anything too complex yet. JBoss 3 seems to work so I see no reason why Tomcat wouldn't.

Quote:
I am also thinking about trying to proxy the box with SSH tunneling. My company has just decided to block IM traffic. My thought was maybe I could point GAIM over SSH to my E250 and have it proxy to AIM. Any ideas?


If you have, or know of, software to do this it should work fine. You are only likely to run into problems when things need specific kernel modules loaded - they may work, they may not.

Most problems seem to stem from the developers inability to use a fixed size variable instead of long, etc. When it is compiled by gcc as 64bit they are a different size than when it is compiled with gcc as 32bit. As you can imagine this doesn't make for reliable interfacing between user and kernel space. :roll:

I have tried the 2.6.x kernel from dev-sources and it seems to work better for me than 2.4.x from sparc-sources or dev-sources. If it is not a mission critical box (which it doesn't sound like) then all I can suggest is that you try it and see. :)
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