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mastergara
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:07 pm    Post subject: Installation on an 8550 (Workgroup server) Reply with quote

Greetings and Salutations!

Been battling through the hardware and software on this olde PowerPC, and have reached a brick wall (I think). Goes like this thus far:

On the 200-someodd meg drive that came with the system, I have OS 8.1 installed, and it seems to mostly work. It tends to work better when I have no extensions enabled upon boot, but that makes life a wee-bit difficult to do anything resembling network access. ;)
Installed on the PCI bus is a USB Card (works well in non-mac OS') and a 2940UW with the corresponding 9gig drive attached. No CPU upgrade card in here, so it is a 604e 200mhz. Oh, and 64 or 96meg of ram in the system. Now that the basic hardware info is out of the way, it goes like this for the software installation.

BootX installed, and working well, insofar as I can tell. I had a version of gentoo installed on this system long ago (I think it was 1.4?), and using the kernel and initrd included with that, I can get a working "LiveCD" boot using the busybox tools. I just need to remember to pass the option to mount things in read-write. :P

Now, after much hassle in getting different kernels, and using ancient version of the gentoo kernel/initrd to boot it, here is what I currently encounter:

With the old (1.4 Gentoo) kernel/initrd, I can boot into the system, and get to the point where I can chroot it, and it fails, as the kernel is too old.
With the "apple" kernel off the livecd, and the apple.igz as the initrd, after bootX, it sits on the screen with about 15-20 lines of information (not much info per line), and halts there.
With the OW-Kernel and the apple.igz as the initrd, it looks as if it starts to boot, but I just see Tux in the upper left corner, and a sea of neverending blackness below. Is there perhaps a different initrd image I should be using to boot?

My BootX options are as follows:

Code:
cdroot root=/dev/ram0 init=linuxrc loop=livecd.squashfs looptype=squashfs console=tty0 nodevfs udev video=ofonly:1024x768@75 rw


I have read through some other postings in regards to this issue, and I hope I am missing something obvious. If needed, I can find the output from the dmesg when booting into the successful (1.4) configuration. I would like to be able to get an updated version of Gentoo on this system, so I can decide if to track down an upgraded CPU for this machine. Incidentally, did Apple design these cases to destroy hands? My knuckles are all sorts of damaged from having to get in there to replace out the battery.

Many thanks.
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got an 8500/180 that's stock except for a CPU upgrade (G3/300, performed after installation) and extra RAM (200MB). Gentoo *will* run just fine on these. :)

The current (2006.1) InstallCD boots on my system running a stripped down MacOS 9.1 from BootX. You may not have enough ram to load the initrd, but if you could provide the lines of information that it prints, that would be helpful. If you can't get it booting, I'll provide a working kernel for that machine without the initrd, which should get you started.
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mastergara
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okies. I'll try it with the 96meg of ram in there, and see what comes up. I don't know how I am to get the initial lines that come up before tux shows off. I fully believe that this system can run gentoo, as I had the 1.4 on there, and was really wondering why it would come up with a black section. Is there any way to strip down what is needed for the boot? I am currently setting up a Gentoo on x86 using VPC to see if I can cross compile.

Been using Linux for a number of years, but I am lacking in certain knowledge. i.e. I dont know how to setup an initial ramdisk for systems. Who knows. I may try the tinygentoo soon to see what I can do with it.

Thanks much for the reply. I'll work on trying to get it booted, and if it is not too much trouble, I would appreciate a build that would work for a low-mem system, as I am having some issue tracking down what style of memory that system uses. :P
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mastergara
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So after a little more testing, and some time spend rebooting many a times, when attempting to boot to the kernel included with 2006.1, this is the information I see on the screen:
Code:

Total space used by parameters & ramdisk: 00009000
Preparing boot params...
Preparing BAT...
id mach(): done
MMU:enter
MMU:hw init
hash:enter
hash:find piece
hash:patch
hash:done
MMU:mapin
MMU:setio
MMU:exit


A little above the top, I see the kernel information flash by, but then it blanks out. As for testing on this, I attempted this without any ramdisk configured, as it didnt seem to even get to that point.

Interestingly enough, when I got a 2.4 kernel from ppckernel.org, the system had no issue booting to that, short of the fact that it didnt detect the 2940UW in the system (easy enough to fix :P). Tried to boot it with a 2.6 kernel from the same location, and the same behavior is seen with all other 2.6 kernels: Select in BootX, see the "MacOS" load a little further, boot into the screen with the above text (really quicklike), and then see Tux in the corner in the darkness.

I would suspect there is something not set in that kernel that would enable me to see what is booting, or some kernel parameter that I need to pass.

What sort of information would be useful to submit so I can determine why I am having such a rough time getting a 2.6 kernel to boot? I can probably grab a dmesg from the system while it is booted into the old 1.4 install kernel, and I know if nothing else, I can be glancing at the other screen, and type on this keyboard to get the info. Else, I am limited to what the version of Busybox that is in that initrd can do. :)

Thank you for your help in this.
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, that text is normal, it's the text on the OF console before the framebuffer starts. The question is why it's locking immediately after the framebuffer loads :(

For what it's worth, 2.6.16 and 2.6.17 kernels lock on OW machines, 2.6.15 and 2.6.18 should work. If you can supply a list of the hardware that you've got, I'll make a bootable kernel for you.
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mastergara
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the hardware in the system is whatever was default in an 8550/200. I believe it has the following default:
PowerPC 604e 200mhz
1meg Frame Buffer (shows as /chaos/control). I can look on the board to see what the actual Video Chip is, if needed.
Information from cpuinfo shows it as 7500 board (iirc).
Standard Mace ethernet
Usual ADB interface

Items in the PCI bus:
Adaptec QFE Card (uses tulip driver)
USB Card. Not sure if it is OHCI or EHCI, but it is detected on both the 2.4 kernels that would boot.
Adaptec 2940UW that connects to the 9gig where the linux drive is attached.

Not sure what else other information would be useful. I much appreciate the making of a kernel to boot the system :) With this one to be built, it should be able to use the apple.igz initrd that comes with 2006.1, yes?

Kind regards, and many thanks :D
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to be honest, a better approach would be to boot the kernel, but use an NFS root. That way your low main memory won't interfere. I'll see what I can come up with this weekend.
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mastergara
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picking this up again...

I must be missing some kernel configuration option setting. I had the output of the 2.6.9 /proc/config.cz that I copied to another iMac to attempt to build the kernel on, and ran make oldconfig. Mind you, wading through those menus was no comedy ;)
I get the kernel configured, built, copied over, attempt to boot it, and I see the same damn thing I see when I attempt to use both the 2006.0 and 2006.1 kernels: Tux is the top left corner, and a sea of blackness.

If I had to speculate, it seems that it is simply not outputting the kernel boot process to the proper console. I dont know if the parameters from BootX are being honored. At least for the video settings. This is not an outboard card, but the built in device (shows as /chaos/control). If needed, I will tear open the box and look at the specific video chips.

JoseJX: Is there a way I can get a copy of your kernel config, so I can look at see what I am doing wrong? Or mayhaps even just compile one of my own using this Ruby iMac I have temporarily :)

Thanks again in advance.
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I've been kind of busy with the end of the school year here, worst time of the year to be a grad student ;). I've uploaded the kernel that's currently booting my 8500 here: http://dev.gentoo.org/~josejx/8500-vmlinux

It's a bit old (2.6.18-rc7!) and won't work for the livecd since there is no squashfs support, but it does boot here. So if the kernel boots and gives you a VFS error, it works. If you get that far, then feel free to compile a kernel based on that config (available here: http://dev.gentoo.org/~josejx/8500.config ) using Gentoo sources instead (which has squashfs filesystem support). This should allow you to boot a livecd and get things working.

If it doesn't work, let us know and we'll see what we can figure out.

Good luck!
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mastergara
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well hot damn.

This kernel boots, and gets to the point where it attempts to load init, and fails. Excellent!
Now when I attempted to build a 2.6.20 kernel with the same options in the config, BootX seems to have a fit :( i.e. it does not even swap to the black screen to show the hardware info before it boots to the kernel...

Currently, I am in the process of getting 2.6.18-gentoo-r7, and will take your config to build a kernel based upon such. Obviously, I will need to change the nfs boot options you have for the default, as well as include the tulip driver for the nic, and the aic7xxx for the 2940UW that houses all the linux stuff.

I'll keep you posted as to how this all goes, and I quite appreciate the help.

Side Note: Mine GF is finishing up school atm as well, so I can fully understand the stress that goes into such. I just do my best to make sure all the technology around the house working and transparent to her, so she can only stress upon what her sadistic professors have in store for her ;)
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JoseJX
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

heh, well, tell her good luck. :)

I haven't tried anything newer on that machine yet as I haven't really had time, but I'll look into 2.6.20 when I get a chance. I'm glad 2.6.18 worked for you. :)
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