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re:Debian Alpha ``install'' works

In message "Debian Alpha ``install'' works", smithgr@nagita.cs.colorado.edu writes:

> The installation procedure described by Ian Willmott
> (willmott@nortel.ca) a few days ago works!

Unfortunately, it did not work for me. The kernel (2.1.1) boots to the
point where it says something about mounting the root filesystem
read-only, and then it hangs with the following error message:

Unable to open an initial console.

A quick grepping expedition through the kernel source finds the following:

/* linux/init/main.c */

static int init(void * unused)

	if ((open("/dev/tty1",O_RDWR,0) < 0) &&
	    (open("/dev/ttyS0",O_RDWR,0) < 0))
		printk("Unable to open an initial console.\n");


Both these device files do in fact exist; they were in the base.tgz
archive. The device numbers, if I recall correctly, were (4,1) for tty1
and (4,64) for ttyS0. Video output worked fine up to this point, and one 
of the messages printed was about tty00 and tty01 being initialized with 
a 16550 UART, or something like that. Obviously, this error only occurs
if both open() syscalls fail, so it is unlikely to be a hardware
problem. It may be some incompatibility between the filesystem in the
archive and  kernel v2.1 .

Could there be some kind of problem with the termcap or terminfo
databases? Would this cause the open() syscall to fail? There was no
termcap in the archive (I copied one over), and the /usr/lib/terminfo
hierarchy is just a bunch of symlinks into /etc/terminfo :

$ tar tf base.tar
usr/lib/terminfo/l/linux symbolic link to ../../../../etc/terminfo/l/linux
usr/lib/terminfo/v/vt100 symbolic link to ../../../../etc/terminfo/v/vt100

Does anybody know what the problem is? Is there something wrong with
this kernel version, or some incompatibility?

Ian Willmott
Northern Telecom
Ottawa Ontario Canada

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