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Re: linux for HP 9000 300/400 series

"Ray Knight" <audilvr@speakeasy.org> typed:
> I recently came into a rather large cache of HP9000/3xx machines.  I
> have at least 4 CPU's that will boot HPUX from one of the 3 disk units I
> recieved with them.  I also have 2 SCSI boards and many other
> peripherals.  I would also be interested in getting Linux to boot on

Great! One more person to join in the fun of rescuing these cool old
machines.  I love the way they are built - 14 gauge sheet metal over a 3/16
inch welded steel frame.  My chiropractor loves them also - especially when
I move the 21" monitors :)

> these units, so if you get any responses I'd be interested in hearing
> the results.  I can compile a kernel for the HP9000/300 but I can't
> figure out how I would get it on the box to boot and install.

I got a mostly complete set of HP manuals along with my 3 HP9000/425t
machines.  The OS installation manual says that you can install a new OS on
a bare empty machine from tape, from CD, or over the network, and gives
instructions on how to do it for HP-UX.

The NetBSD guys seem to think that the net boot process is the easiest.
They were the first outside of HP to be able to boot an HP9000.  They used
the over the network method.  The process is supposed to go something like

1)  Set up another computer to be the boot server.
1a)  This machine needs to be running the rbootd daemon.
1b)  The rboot protocol is pure ethernet - no IP stuff.
1c)  The boot server needs to be on the same ethernet as the HP9000 to be
booted up (no gateways between)

2)  Start the HP 9000.
2a)  Hold down the space bar on the keyboard when you turn it on.  Some
models you may have to also press a button on the front or back panel.
2b)  Let up on the space bar when 'Waiting System Selection' appears at
bottom of screen.
2c)  Wait for the HP 9000 to `see' the boot server - this may take 30-40
seconds or more.
24)  Pick your install source (the boot server) from the menu that appears.
It will usually be numbered I1 on a bare empty machine booting over the net.
(three keystrokes 'I' '1' 'enter')

3)  Boot.
3a)  This may take several minutes with no apparent activity.
3b)  Hopefully whatever you booted into has enough hooks (nfs, ftp, a shell,
etc) to get you the rest of the way through installation.

Peter Maydell (pmaydell@chiark.greenend.org.uk) claims to have a working
linux rbootd (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~pmaydell/hp/index.html).
>From reading the page it sounds like his code does some powerful ethernet
voodoo.  Just what the witch doctor ordered :)

I hope all that helps to get you booted.  Let me know how it goes.  I will
not be able to attempt my own net boot for a while - I don't have any other
computer that uses coax (thinnet) that can act as a boot server :(

Now let me in on your kernel building secrets:)  Exactly what do you put
into or exclude from your kernels?  Do you have a bootloader (lilo, silo,
grub, etc) ready to go?  I have not seen any information on what needs to be
done to be able to boot from the hard disk.  Maybe we should save disks that
boot HP-UX, so that we can reverse engineer the boot records.

If you have any more questions please ask me.  Like I said I have a
reasonably complete set of HP manuals.  You may also wish to read the NetBSD
port site http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/hp300/, Peter Maydell's site
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~pmaydell/, or Phil Blundell's site

Let's keep this conversation on the debian-68k list.  That way it is
archived, and when somebody else finds one of these machines, they can do a
search and find us.


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