Re: Debian on the Aspen Durango II [AlphaPC164 LX]
--- firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Dear mailing list,
> I am a complete newcomer to Debian Alpha, and
> Linux/Alpha in general. I recently
> bought an Aspen Systems Durango II workstation with
> the following specifications:
> 600MHz Alpha processor
> PC164 LX motherboard
> 512MB RAM
> 9GB SCSI HDD
> 10/100 Ethernet NIC
> CD-ROM drive
Very nice machine :) I've got a couple LX164s running
Debian myself - I'll share what's worked on my Alphas.
To get a background of what's entailed, check out the
DebianPlanet article for a brief overview of
installing Debian on Alpha:
I've always dispensed with ARC/AlphaBIOS - it's a bit
complex and doesn't seem to work cleanly over my VT420
terminal. You can get the latest SRM console here:
Follow the instructions and when you reboot, you'll
get the lovely SRM >>> prompt ;-)
Get the Testing rescue, root and drivers disk images:
Since I didn't see an entry for serial console
installation (in etc/aboot.conf) on the `Testing'
rescue disk, you'll have to specify the kernel boot
arguments at the SRM prompt.
Assuming dva0 is your floppy drive (use `show dev' at
the SRM prompt to see attached devices) and you've got
a terminal in the first serial port:
>>> boot dva0 -file linux.gz -flags "root=/dev/fd0
load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=1 console=ttyS0"
This should start the installation process
successfully. Apart from partitioning (using BSD
rather than DOS disklabel) and writing the bootstrap
stuff, the installation is identical to Debian i386
and other ports!
Once installed and rebooted you finish by adding a
normal user and running `dselect' to add packages.
BTW, ssh is selected by default and you can add
telnetd package (probably not recommended if you're on
a public network) at this point.
Hope this answers your questions and good luck!
PS - Installing from the boot floppies (without CDs)
assumes that you have an Internet connection.
Otherwise you may want to purchase a Debian CD set and
do a local CD installation.
> From what I gather from mailing lists, there are two
> issues (the below looks
> very much like a HOWTO itself, I have marked my
> questions with Q):
> * Booting. Apparently this must be done through a
> floppy. There is a HOWTO on
> installing Red Hat from floppies at Aspen's
> Q According to the HOWTO, I should put MILO and
> linload.exe on a floppy. Are
> MILO (I believe I need the "lx164 exmp" edition)
> and linload.exe available
> on the Debian install CD?
> Then I enter the BIOS utility screen through F2,
> and set up linload.exe on
> the floppy as my "bootfile" and the milo on the
> CD-ROM as my "ospath".
> Then I run ARCINST to set up my boot partition. I
> apparently get ARCINST from
> Q the Windows NT CD-ROM; is this available from the
> Debian CD too? (I can
> probably dig out my Windows NT 4.0 CD-ROM, but I
> would much prefer going
> through Debian)
> Then I boot MILO off the floppy which should bring
> me to a MILO prompt.
> I then say:
> boot scd0:/kernels/generic.gz root=/dev/scd0 (if
> it's a SCSI CD-ROM drive)
> boot hdd:/kernels/generic.gz root=/dev/hdd (if
> it's an IDE CD-ROM drive)
> Q Is the path to the kernel different for Debian?
> Will it boot properly if I
> do this?
> So then Debian boots and I do the install thing.
> After that there is some
> generic BIOS stuff I won't bug you with since it's
> no issue.
> * Headless running. There is a previous article
> about doing just this on the
> debian-alpha list:
> This hints that there might be a simpler way - it
> darkly hints at the
> existence of "debian install floppies."
> Q Does headless require a SRM or ARC BIOS, or are
> both OK? Since my Alpha will
> have a LX164 (which is a half-flash evaluation
> board capable of holding only
> one BIOS at a time) I must flash my BIOS to
> switch, not that that's a huge
> As far as serial terminals go, I can probably hook
> up some sort of serial link
> between my trusty IBM WorkPad z50 and the Alpha.
> Finally, one more question:
> * I eventually want the machine to boot smoothly to
> the point where it has its
> Q own IP address and I can telnet (or ssh) in. Do
> all NICs work in headless mode
> that work in headed mode?
> Thank you for reading this (long!) letter. I hope to
> contribute my knowledge to
> the Debian/Alpha community in the form of a HOWTO.
> Sean Callanan
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