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Gentoo on SGI MIPS, Origin 200/2000, feasible?
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funkyade
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Joined: 12 Nov 2006
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Location: France (61)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Gentoo on SGI MIPS, Origin 200/2000, feasible? Reply with quote

Has anyone experience of installing and using Gentoo on an SGI origin series server?

Have opportunity to acquire a few with the idea of linking them up and using Gentoo. Is this too much like hard work, or is it worth the effort?

Have found a few howtos on how to do it, but not anything from a practical day-to-day aspect....

Any thoughts appreciated.

++ thought of using for rendering farm (Blender usage) or web/database-server
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creideiki
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Joined: 19 Feb 2003
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Location: Linköping, Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run (for small values of running) Gentoo on a 32-CPU Origin 2000, as a general purpose SSH server for a computer club. An older version of it, when it only had 16 CPU:s, is in the Gentoo/MIPS hardware database.

Hardware setup was a bit tricky, mostly because we had to cannibalize six system nodes to make our four working ones. Having access to the full documentation package at work helped a lot.

Software setup was not a problem. It was very similar to an Octane I had set up earlier, but even with no prior SGI experience it shouldn't be a problem - it's only different from, not harder than, any other hardware Gentoo runs on.

The problems start when I try to do some actual work on it. System overhead skyrockets, and it takes ages to get anything useful done. This gets worse as the number of CPU:s increases - with four CPU:s it's noticeable but not exterme, but with 32 it's completely unuseable. I tried asking on the linux-mips list, but never managed to solve the problem. One of the obstacles was that none of the developers have access to any Origin 2000:s with more than 4 CPU:s. I've been planning to take my machine out of production, slap a firewall in front of it and hand it over to Ralf Baechle so he can poke around in it over the net and hopefully fix the bug, but I've never gotten around to it.

On the other hand, I can't find any other mention of this problem on the Internet, so maybe it's my fault.
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