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Installing Gentoo on Dual Opteron [I've had it up to here..]
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rowbin hod

Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:45 pm    Post subject: Installing Gentoo on Dual Opteron [I've had it up to here..] Reply with quote

Firstly I apologise if this post is a bit angry. If you've spent over 20 hours trying to install an operating system, you may know what this feels like :evil:

So, I got this new computer about 6 weeks ago. Lovely machine. Dual opteron 244, 1GB DDR, 250GB hdd, 6600GT... in short, the best pc i've ever owned. I first installed Windoze on it, which i need for work and games, restricting it to a measly 30GB partition. I left the rest for gentoo.

Well, that was the plan.

Here follows my installation woes. I have had exactly the same problems using the amd64 and x86 versions of the gentoo install disk. Much of it i believe is to do with my motherboard (asus k8n-dl), having the bleeding edge nForce Pro 220 chipset. The chipset is over 8 months old, so my "bleeding edge" simply refers to the fact that it doesn't seem to work at all, rather than the actual age :?

So, I boot the cd. I'm using the on board nvidia chipset sata controller, but the livecd just hangs when it gets to loading the module sata_nv for this. Swell. I have to use the Silicon Image sata controller instead. I don't like using this one because a) it's not as good as the nvidia one and b) the motherboard won't boot off it. Still, one step at a time, at the moment i'm just trying to get the disk mounted....

So, booting the livecd with "gentoo noload=sata_nv" works, no hanging, yay \o/ But what's this? Autoconfiguring devices? I'm sure that green scroll bar isn't meant to get to the end of the screen and then keep going ad infinitum. *sigh* Now i try adding noapic to the boot args, no difference. I end up booting with "gentoo noload=sata_nv nodetect".

I finally make it to a prompt. First thing to do is load the driver for the onboard broadcom network chipset. "modprobe tg3". Well, this seems to work, with a few odd messages about IRQs. I try net-setup eth0, but that won't work with dhcp, so i specify an IP address manually. The network card seems to be able to ping itself but not the router. Great.

So i rummage around and find a realtek-based card and use that. Seems to work ok. So I finally seem to be on the track to installing. I do everything by the book, and finish up by installing grub. At this point i'm trying very hard to ignore the fact that sata_nv doesn't seem to work, and the mobo won't boot off the other sata controller, but eventually i have to face the problem. And that's where it finishes. I currently have a pristine gentoo install on a partition on my disk which is connected to the nvidia sata controller, so at least i can use windows. it's got grub on it, and i'm booting to windows using the grub menu. If i select the linux option, it panics because the kernel can't load the module for the sata controller which it is already booting off. Seems pretty shitty to me :cry:

My friend, to whom I have been extolling the virtues of gentoo and portage, comes over and laughs at me. He thinks compiling something everytime you upgrade is stupid, i love it. I tell him my problem. He passes me the latest centos 4 disk (x86). I load it up, it detects the sata drive no problem, sata_nv running fine.

I love gentoo, everything about it. But I'm at a loss as to how i still argue its plus points to my friend when he has an OS which actually works. Any ideas?
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Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 2971
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never actually used a Gentoo install disk - I get stage1 tarball and that's it, download and compile everything from there. Of course, you need to know how to install the drivers you need in a way that it works. This might be a tad of a problem with proprietary chipsets. Gentoo is not that comfortable as other distributions in that aspect - I see Gentoo much like an automated LFS, which means it has a 'do it yourself' part attached.

What you need to do is find out as much information as possible about your hardware and why the drivers for it do not work. Then if you can't solve the problems yourself open a thread here in which you provide the information you gathered.

In your post, all you write comes down to 'I get some weird messages and it does not work' which unfortunately does not leave much room for us to help you - unless you get really lucky and find someone else here who's got a dual opteron system with exactly your MoBo and chipsets and problems...
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Pete M

Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rowbin hod

ViViDVeW in this post seems to have the same hardware

System Specs:
Asus K8N-DL w/ 2xOpteron 244
4xOCZ 512MB CL3 DDR400
Gentoo kernel 2.6.11

He may help you

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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 4734
Location: Angra do Heroísmo (PT)

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Unfortunately, I won't be able to help since I don't own a Dual AMD64 let alone a Dual Opteron! :-(
However, I'll try to help you as much as if I could answer your questions, by redirecting you to the proper forum. I'm going to ask a moderator to move this thread to the Gentoo on AMD64 forum. You're more likely to get help there than here in the Installing Gentoo forum.

Your twisted, but hopefully friendly daemon.
AMD64 / x86 / Sparc Gentoo
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Joined: 13 Jun 2003
Posts: 4087
Location: Dresden, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo to Duplicate Threads.

The problems you have described have been discussed in the following thread:

Please, follow up.
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