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Installing on a Sunblade100 with gentoo-s32-s64-test3.iso
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reesm
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Joined: 02 Mar 2003
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Location: AB, Canada

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 10:09 pm    Post subject: Installing on a Sunblade100 with gentoo-s32-s64-test3.iso Reply with quote

I have successfully got gentoo to run on a sunblade 100. Here is a description of my experiences.

To Weeve: the test3 iso did not work. It would boot and then get a "fast data mmu miss" error. See the previous thread about test2 iso, as I posted the problem there. Seems like the SILO version on the CD is too old for sun4u machines. Apparently.

So, since I had another sunblade100 availiable, I netbooted one from the other using RARP for a bootup ip and in.tftpd for sending debian boot images to the machine to be installed. I did this using the instructions and the link in the SPARC-install howto on the main page of gentoo.org.

One thing that caused me a lot of hassle booting is the Creator3D 2 add-on card that I had installed in my Sunblade 100. It seems that the current kernel does not support it very well, so just after "booting linux" nothing else would occur. It turned out the system was booting, but using the onboard Rage XL framebuffer integrated on the mobo. So switching the display connector to the on-board video fixed that problem.

Without removing the Creator3D card (which caused me problems later) I installed a fully functional, up to date gentoo install using the 1.4_rc3 stage3 release. (note: I did not have time to build the system from scratch.) However, the debian boot images that I used did not suport bzip2/bunzip2, so I had to download the stage3 image from my local gentoo mirror, bunzip it on my other sparc box running solaris, and then gzip it. Then i just ftp'ed that new stage3 tarball to my netbooted sparc box.

When everything was completely installed, I rebooted my system and lo and behold, my system wouldn't boot at all. I can't quie remember exactly what happened, but I think my Creator3d card showed "booting linux..." and when I switched my vga cable to the on-board ATI Rage XL video the kernel would show no output. Not even a tux logo. I think it panicked right away since it did not support the framebuffer of the Creator 3d. However, I imagine that the system was still accessible through the serial console, but I did not check that. Instead I got "smart" and just removed the Creator3d card from the blade 100. I rebooted using the on-board Rage video and voila! I had a fully operation gentoo linux system on sparc!

So, I guess my point here is, remove any add-on graphics cards on the SunBlades if you have any, because they don't seem to be fully supported yet!

Later dudes 8)
Keep hacking
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reesm
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Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Posts: 29
Location: AB, Canada

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another note: XFree86 4.3 has a bug in it in that it "cancels" many valid mode lines when it probes for them at X startup. I recommend installing XFree86 4.2.1 on a SunBlade100 until XFree86 4.3 is patched or the bug is fixed. The maximum res I could run X on ver. 4.3 was 1024x768. With X ver. 4.2.1 I am happily sitting at 1600x1200x16 on a 21" Sun Monitor. Wow. If anybody needs a XF86Config file, let me know, and I'll post it for you.
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