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Re: SRM (was: How to install MILO on hard disc?)

On Mon, 27 Mar 2000, David Huggins-Daines wrote:

> > (why is partition c always the whole disk?)

> That's not necessary on Linux/Alpha, actually.  The problem is that
> our tools for creating BSD disklabels are damaged by the need to be
> compatible with BSD.  The disklabel is actually a far superior type
> of partitioning, it's just that there is historical brain damage in
> BSD and derived operating systems like OSF/1.

But there seems to be some magic behind the BSD disklabels, because if
I created a partition "d" (ca. 1 GB), mke2fs wasn't able to create a
filesystem on this partition but told me that the partition is too
small.  So I removed "d" and created "e" (with the same start and end
cylinders) and everything worked all right.  Maybe this were bugs of
the fdisk on the slink boot disk (SRM-HOWTO also mentions a bug in
some fdisk versions, which allows to make the last partition one
cylinder wider than possible, this bug is in the slink bootdisks
fdisk, but it is solved in the potato util-linux' fdisk...).

> > (CONFIG_ALPHA_SRM needs to be "yes" now, while it is switched off
> > in the kernel-image-2.2.14-avanti kernel).

> That's because the subarchitecture-specific kernels were all built
> with the assumption that people would be using MILO (even when
> booting MILO from SRM).

That's why I was surprised not to find a MILO package in potato...
But now aboot works very well and I no longer want to get MILO running
on the harddisk.

BTW: It may be a good idea to mention the above option in
aboot/README.Debian, because otherwise a alpha newbie like me has a
very hard job to find all these tricks out (without CONFIG_ALPHA_SRM
the kernel simply stops while computing bogomips).

> > Now everything works and the machine boots with a simple "b"
> > "Enter" keypress.  Is there any chance to automatically boot
> > (without any keypress) the machine after a certain timeout?  Maybe
> > by setting some special SRM variable?
> >>> set auto_action boot

And how can I switch this off, if I need to access the SRM console
again (if the above switch automatically boots, I won't get a SRM
prompt, so I don't see how to undo this...).

> It's documented, but not very well :)

Where do I find some documentation about all this?  I got the
AlphaStation 200 4/166 without any documentation (only the plain
machine with a bus mouse and a (German) LK411 keyboard). I was really
happy to get this working under Linux, the old slink installation
manual wasn't a big help, but the README in the boot-disks folder
helped me very much (otherwise I had never found the correct boot
disks and had never found out how to start MILO from floppy etc.).



 * roland@spinnaker.de * http://www.spinnaker.de/ *

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