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Re: Alpha Installation from i386?

On Thu, 14 Aug 1997, Nikhil Nair wrote:

> In about a month's time I'll be installing Debian on a PC164 (a Microway
> machine of some sort).  As I'm blind, I really need my Braille display to
> start working before I can do anything by myself - that means a daemon
> (/sbin/brltty) which I run from /etc/init.d/boot .
> (a) Would someone mind compiling it for me?  It should be quick - the i386
> executable is only about 28kb.  It was tested on a Noname about 18 months
> ago, so should work out of the box (hopefully ...).

I will go ahead and compile this for you, most likely within the week.  As
for debian-ising it, that may be another story (I'm new to package
management, so, unless it's straightforward, it may be tough).  I've been
busy compiling all kinds of Debian packages on the Alpha, so this will be
a challenge even if it doesn't work out of the box :)

> (b) I wondered if I could create a basic but operational system on a Jaz
> disk, from an *i386* Debian system.  I.e., mount the Jaz drive on /jaz/,
> then untar base.tgz there and use `dpkg --root=/jaz' with i386 dpkg but
> alpha .deb files.
> If that would work, and I could boot to it on my PC164, I could then go on
> to partition my hard drive and copy the installation, while using my
> Braille display to `see' what I'm doing.

I'm not really sure how well this will work, since I've never done it.
Since the install scripts are generally portable, it should work.  FYI, I
also use a Jaz disk on my Alpha, but not for booting (I keep source
archives on it).  It works very well :)

> (c) If this can all be done, then once I've got the Jaz disk, how do I
> boot to it?  On an i386 system, I'd use a boot (kernel) floppy with root
> device /dev/sdb1 or whatever.  Is it different with an Alpha - do I have
> to use Milo to boot the kernel floppy?  [It'll be an NT-designated CPU,
> i.e. without SRM console.]

If you have the ARC firmware, setup may be a pseudo-breeze (ie, just like
it's described in the Linux-Alpha web page).  If you end up with the SRM
console, that may be alot more complicated.  I, personally, have a UDB, so
I can't speak for the PC164 boards, but if you need some help, I'd be
happy to offer my knowledge :)

Oh, yeah, and welcome to the world of Debian-Alpha :)

 Christopher C. Chimelis          chris@classnet.med.miami.edu
 Systems Supervisor
 Division of Biomedical Communications
 University of Miami School of Medicine
 --> finger chris@classnet.med.miami.edu for PGP public key <--

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