Re: Installation manual updates
I have now looked through the complete installation manual for sparc, and compiled
the following list of the topics which require corrections. If you can answer any
of the questions asked there, can perform the particular tests, or just would like
to comment, please do so. Current version of the installation manual which I used
is available at
Table in section 2.1.1 should list only sun4m, sun4u and sun4v as
supported sparc flavours.
Sections 2.1.3 and 2.1.4 are, in my opinion, redundant, and can be
safely dropped. Information about supported graphics options and
SMP support is included in the corrected version of the 2.1.2
In section 2.2.2: "CD-ROM based installation is supported for some
architectures" - this statement is overly generic and redundant. May
Chapter 2.2.6 contains the list of supported SCSI devices. Does this
list only includes the drivers included in initrd? Probably needs to
Chapter 2.4 - "Purchasing Hardware Specifically for GNU/Linux". This
is probably not useful. Also, in section 2.4.2 "Fake or Virtual Parity
RAM" there is a sentence "f you want complete information on SPARC
RAM issues, and what is the best RAM to buy, see the PC Hardware FAQ",
linking to the PC Hardware FAQ. I very much doubt that this FAQ
contains any information on SPARC RAM.
In chapter 2.5 the requirement of at least 32MB of RAM is listed. I
think that should be bumped to 64MB (or someone should really confirm
that install with 32 megs is possible).
List of the supported network hardware in section 2.6 - needs to be
Section 126.96.36.199 links to "Linux for SPARC Processors FAQ", which was
last updated in 2003. Is it still useful? Any newer sources of
Section 3.3.2 mentions "BIOS setup screens of your computer". Can
we replace it with something about PROM, which would be more relevant?
It would be good to list the archives of debian-sparc list as a source
of information, perhaps with a specific query for the search engine
(like 'foo bar site:lists.debian.org inurl:debian-sparc).
Chapter 3.4 lists recommended minimum system requirements, and "no
desktop" option mentions 24MB. That does not agree with section 2.5
and I really doubt that you can install with 24MB. Anyone volunteers
3.5.1 mentions the 1GB magic boundary -- silo will sometimes refuse to
boot the kernel, if it is physically located beyond the 1GB from the
start of the disk. I believe, however that this applies only to
sparc32 machines, is that correct?
3.5.1 also mentions that silo can boot from romfs, I don't think it's
Somewhere around here the bug in parted (probably) should be mentioned,
which leads to misdetection of disk sizes, if the machine has a disk
label created by Solaris. Recreating the disk label with Debian will
*not* resolved it, the only way to work around it so far is to dd the
first few kilobytes of the affected drive with zeros. Bug 384653, for
example. Anybody can try and reproduce it and provide debugging
Links to "Sun Openboot Reference" in 3.6.2 does not work anymore, needs
to be updated.
There is a stray dot at the start of the line "In older revisions..."
3.6.2 talks about the need to set different environment variables, depending
on the OpenBoot version. Probably worth to mention the 'show .version'
command to display this version. Also, I believe that neither of machines
we support is still using OpenBoot 1.x, so we can just remove instructions
for these versions. It also mentions 'eeprom' command on Solaris, this
command is available in Debian too, as a part of sparc-utils package.
Not sure what to do with section 3.6.3, pretty confident that this
information is irrelevant for sparc.
4.4.1: check that .enet-addr command really returns the MAC address of
the network card. Also it should be verified somehow that *all* commands
still work on newer Solaris versions (anybody with a working Solaris system?)
4.4.4/4.4.5: default package providing tftp server is tftpd. Default directory
from which the images are served is /srv/tftp, needs to be updated.
188.8.131.52: A bit more explanation about how image names are constructed?
On my system the requested file name is logged in /var/log/daemon.log,
Sep 28 19:16:25 debian tftpd: tftpd: trying to get file: C0A8016E.SUN4M
Sep 28 19:16:25 debian tftpd: tftpd: serving file from /srv/tftp
Also, 'boot net' or 'boot net-tpe' has always worked for me, is mentioned
syntax 'boot net my-sparc.image' is still used?
5.1.1: Drop information relevant for older OpenBoot revisions.
5.1.2: Ditto. Also, in my experience booting from CD-ROM on sun4m simply does
not work (it would boot, but when it comes to mounting the CD-ROM, any attempt
to read the CD aborts with an error). Hendrik originally reported it in
5.1.3: Drop sun4c information.
5.1.3: Note about broken firmware for Ultra 10 - is it relevant anymore? Where
should the information about various bugs which might prevent booting from
5.1.4: How relevant is Sun NVRAM FAQ linked from this section for us?
5.2: What is the command to set the console to selected framebuffer (given
that more than one is available?). Will console=/dev/fb0 work? Last sentence
should mention that the serial devices designators ttya and ttyb are valid
in PROM only.
5.2.1: Drop the footnote , relevant only for 2.4 kernels. Graphical installer
is not supported on sparc, so directfb/hw-accel installer parameter is irrelevant.
5.3: Usefult troubleshooting tips for sparc: typically high refresh rates, not
supported by all monitors; turning one graphics card off using something like
'video=atyfb:off'. Problems booting from CD-ROM. I also have a machine with two
framebuffer cards now, will try to play with this configuration (the "hang"
after "Booting Linux" problem). Some info on redirecting the console in prom
might be useful too.
184.108.40.206: check the sparc-specific note about USB keyboards for accuracy. Anyone
has USB keyboard experience with the recent installer?
C.5.1: check for accuracy.
Jurij Smakov email@example.com
Key: http://www.wooyd.org/pgpkey/ KeyID: C99E03CC