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Re: smp problems on AlphaServer 4100

Bill MacAllister wrote:
> Yes, it does look similar and this system has two qLogic cards in it.  I
> won't get a chance to try and build a kernel myself on this system for a
> couple of days at least.  (My wife was relatively ticked off that I
> didn't get home until 5am.)  One thing that does seem different is that
> the boot failures that I was ending up with were not kernel panics, but
> file not found before the boot really got rolling.  Although I am sure I
> saw a kernel panic once or twice in the seemingly thousands of boots I
> tried last night.

'file not found' is an end message that is due to a lack of 'storage room': ramdisk.

In our case, I would not stuck to 'file not found', but to 'why could not the kernel
find the ramdisk room ? ... I meant, cant using SMP, and can using Generic !

my /non answer/ is:
some thing /else/ prevents your kernel working fine, and on your system, it ends
with: 'cant load ramdisk driver'. Right, this driver may be linked statically, BUT
STILL, the kernel shall find it in its code, detect, load, and initialise it.

For some people, we end up with no root, no initrd, for you with no ramdisk, and for
me I had already 'trying to kill init', 'cant find init program' and ... 'killing
interrupt handler' !!!


and for all of us, if we use exactly the same conf, the same kernel conf but without
 SMP, or same binary kernel-SMP and manage to boot it without ISP10x0 ... it works.

My answer is: QLA driver for ISP is 'very dably coded'.

Some people on IRC say that the actual version of QLA-isp in 2.6 is in fact an
'untouched' fork of the driver from 2.4.21 (from memory, not sure about 21).

And obviously, that one does not like the SMP part of 2.6.

My way to boot SMP kernel without QLA hardware requires SCSI adaptors:
in AS1200, find a [50/80] adapter to SCA (the passive adapter), then use it to plug
the internal SCSI plane to the mother board; now, I can not boot CDs any more, but
HDDs can be booted under dka0 (instead of dkb0 ); dont forget to force manually
root= argument so that mount/remount can 'keep' a '/'. Still, this shown me that it
is possible to go /further/ in boot process when ISP Card is out; put it back (just
the card, not putting back any SCSI chain on it), and you hang way earlier. Take it
out, you go further. Of course, by the way, the chain bit rate gets a bit lowered ^^

It costs an adapter, but it proffs where the problem is: ISP10x0 chipset present in

!!! This bug is also reproductible with intel SMP Debian kernels !!!

insert the card in a working intel station: wont boot any more.

> Though, it still is hard for me to believe it isn't just something that
> I am doing wrong.  I have only a fuzzy idea of how things should look in
> / and /boot for this to work.  I saw a not that indicated that when you
> have / and /boot on different partition you need to make sure the links
> in /boot are okay and the links from / to ./boot don't matter.  But,
> apt-get is not creating any links in /boot only from / to /boot.  Maybe
> I should try another disk with a single partition on it and see what
> happens.
> Well, at least its nice to know that it was not just me having
> problems.  I have been trying to get this system to 2.6 for awhile now.
> Bill

This ISP thing is a know problem for people from irc.freenode.net #gentoo-alpha and
#alpha, but they have actually bigger problem with other chipsets not working at all
with 2.4 and 2.6.

DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP ) http://www.demaine.info/
\_o< If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work >o_/

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