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Re: AlphaServer DS25 failure

On Wed, Aug 11, 2004 at 04:37:28PM -0400, Jay Estabrook wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 10, 2004 at 09:39:46PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > On Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 01:41:49PM -0400, Jay Estabrook wrote:

> > > Yes, one could have differently-configured kernels available via aboot
> > > "slots" on a single netinst CD/ISO; it's just a matter of building the
> > > kernels (as appropriate) and managing them.

> > Well, there doesn't seem to be much point in having a kernel listed in
> > the aboot config that's only needed on systems that don't support SRM,
> > does there?

> Indeed... ;-}

> > Given that there is no milo support in debian-installer anyway,

> It's actually not that hard - there's a MILO "aboot.conf" equivalent
> (aptly named "milo.cfg" :-) on the CD in / that has appropriate stuff
> in it (find an example attached).

Yep, it's been a few years since I've used milo, but I do remember the
basics of how it fits together.  The biggest obstacle is the requirement
that everything included in Debian main be buildable *and built* from
source; and building MILO from source is a particularly arcane art that
no one currently working on d-i has time for.

If you've succeeded in building it from source with a modern compiler,
I'd be interested in seeing your sources.  I'm sure this won't make the
cut for sarge, but we might as well try for it for etch (sarge+1).

> Only differences between the configs for MILO kernel and SRM UP kernel
> were:

> 	LEGACY_STARTS_ADDRESS=y	          # for MILO
> 	CONFIG_BLK_DEV_RAM_SIZE=12288     # for MILO, big install INITRD image

Ok.  Do you know if there are issues with using the same set of modules
for kernels built both with or without the LEGACY_START_ADDRESS setting?
I suspect not; in which case, I think that for d-i we should only need
one initrd w/ one set of modules, and can therefore neatly avoid the
second of these changes.

> > If there is a real case for supporting the MILO-only systems, in spite
> > of the overwhelming lack of effort to support it for sarge installs,
> > then I suppose we would need to talk to the kernel maintainers about
> > building two different kernel-images for this case.

> It can really be only a matter of adding a single additional kernel to
> the (many) already done ones (install/UP/SMP/NUMA/?).

Debian currently only ships two kernel images for alpha -- UP and SMP.
The installer uses the UP build.  

At any rate, I think the case for adding a third kernel flavor for alpha
is clear.  I'll submit a bug to the kernel package maintainers about
this.  Thanks for your input, Jay.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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