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Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 11
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 6:56 am    Post subject: Serial port install Reply with quote

I have an Xserve G5 and would like to try Linux on it to see if it can perform better than OSX (which I don't think would be too difficult!).

It has no video card. Is it possible to install using the serial port, or do I need to put in a PCI graphics card?

I am a total noob with Gentoo/PPC, but have used it on x86. Any tips or pointers peculiar to G5 most welcome.
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Joined: 20 Nov 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I did this there was no liveCD that would boot and Xserve through a USB CDROM. I tried for a while to create my own LiveCD to boot through USB CDROM and serial output but gave up after my cd coaster collection became to large.
First thing you'll have to do is setup openfirmware to output to serial. From open-firmware its something like:
>setenv output-device scca
I'd double check the 'output-device', I'm not 100% positive on that.

Then I had to compile a kernel and yaboot for the Xserve and I booted via tftp. I used the Debian network install because that was the only option at the time, still might be. Its and initrd with their installation on there. I setup the partitions how I wanted for my gentoo system and just put the debian on a 10 gig partition, that later just became /opt. I had to install debain so I had an evironment in which to chroot from. I couldn't install yaboot locally from debian so when reboot after installation you still need to boot via tftp.

Once your up in debain you can install gentoo to your designated partition from Stage1 or 2, in pretty much normal procedure.

The key to get linux to output to serial (both installs need this) is to have your /etc/inittab look like this:


#c1:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty1 linux
#c2:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty2 linux
#c3:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty3 linux
#c4:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty4 linux
#c5:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty5 linux
#c6:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty6 linux

T0:23:respawn:/sbin/agetty -L ttyS0 57600 vt100

and add

> echo "tts/0" >> /etc/securetty

This is kind of high level but hopefully it gets you started.
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