Thank you, John Chapman, for telling me about the mailing list archives
and more recent boot floppies. Now I have some different problems:
This time I took resc1440.bin, root.bin and drv1440.bin from the
directory called 2.1.6-1999-02-02.
I discovered by random experimentation that to boot off "resc1440.bin"
I have to type at the "ok" prompt not "boot floppy", as I read
somewhere, but "boot floppy linux" or "boot floppy xxx". In the first
case it warns you to back up all your discs and then proceeds to boot
without waiting for you to press ENTER; in the second case you get a
"boot:" prompt at which you can type "help", for example.
I think the installation instructions should explain what to type at
the "ok" prompt. (Or is "boot floppy" supposed to work but silo.conf is
The kernel was then loaded, but it can't read the partition table from
sda; it can't guess its capacity either. According to SunOS I have:
sd0 at esp0 ... 3 ... 0
Quantum ProDrive 105S cyl 974 alt 2 hd 6 sec 35
sd1 at esp0 ... 1 ... 0
QUANTUM P105SS (can't read capacity?)
I assume sd0 corresponds to Linux's sda. Is there a kernel parameter I
can use to make Linux understand the disc?
When the kernel wanted me to insert the floppy with root.bin I had some
problems because no one told me that root.bin should be copied onto a
floppy with an ext2 file system. You should probably put a floppy image
root1440.bin on the FTP site; this is what the installation
Interestingly, the kernel seemed to consistently require two attempts
to read the root floppy:
VFS: Insert ...
RAMDISK: Compressed ... 0
crc error<5>VFS: Insert ...
VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem) readonly.
Freeding unused kernel memory: 36k code, 4k data
After that, it died, or, at least, it did nothing visibly. (Why is the
root filesystem ext2 and not minix, by the way?)
If I can get a bit further than this, I shall attempt to actually
acquire the SPARCstation 2 that I am currently playing with ...