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Re: can't boot kernel 4.x on SX164

On 25.02.2016 21:01, Alex Winbow wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Feb 2016, Bob Tracy wrote:
>> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 08:27:42PM +1300, Michael Cree wrote:
>>> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:23:44PM -0500, Alex Winbow wrote:
>>>> On Sat, 20 Feb 2016, Helge Deller wrote:
>>>>> On 20.02.2016 08:41, Michael Cree wrote:
>>>>>> On Sat, Feb 20, 2016 at 12:09:49AM -0500, Alex Winbow wrote:
>>>>>>>     I'm unable to boot kernel 4.2 or 4.4 on SX164. aboot loads the kernel
>>>>>>> and the initrd successfully, then returns to the SRM prompt -- no
>>>>>>> error messages. (I'm using kernel 3.16 at present.)
>>>>>>>     Are there any known issues with Linux 4.x over 3.x on alpha, or on
>>>>>>> SX164/EB164 in particular?
>>>>>> Yes, I have seen the same thing with the Debian 4.3 generic kernel.
>>>>>> But a self-built 4.3 kernel boots fine.
>>>>     I'm glad to hear that self-built kernels do boot for both of y'all, so
>>>> there must be something in the kernel config that relates to the very early
>>>> kernel startup that is different for the generic Debian config vs. your own
>>>> configs. Any ideas what that might be? I guess I'll start by setting
>>>> machinetype from generic to SX164 and rebuilding.
>>> Yes, that is worth trying.  I had built kernels for dp264 and titan
>>> and they are working.
> Success with kernel 4.4.2, built entirely using the Debian package
> configuration options with only two changes: machinetype set from
> generic to SX164, and CONFIG_ALPHA_SRM=y.


> Obviously I'm thinking that CONFIG_ALPHA_SRM may be highly
> significant here! But this is just /too/ obvious, to the point of
> rediculousness. Did older Debian kernels have this option =y? 

My last change was in March 2015: https://alioth.debian.org/scm/browser.php?group_id=30428

> Is not having this option known to cause SRM to fail? Did this option become
> required at some point?

Either that or the debian kernel autoconfig suddenly doesn't enabled it.
> The other question is, can we set this option in the default Debian
> config for the auto-built packages? 

Yes, I can submit it if it's needed.
Could you maybe try to build & boot a kernel where you keep machinetype at generic ?
That way we know if it's sufficient to just change CONFIG_ALPHA_SRM.


> I would imagine that most (all?)
> users of Debian-alpha are running SRM and not AlphaBIOS at this
> point.

>>>> Possibly related:
>>>>     Are you both using aboot 0.9b? I found the following post on LKML:
>>> ii  aboot  1.0~pre20040408-4  alpha Linux bootloader for the SRM console
>> I'd definitely try the newer "aboot" version, but you report making it past the kernel+initrd load successfully.  Back in 2007 when the rest of the Alpha community was having boot problems, we saw "unzip: invalid exec header" with an earlier message from "aboot" having the template
>> aboot: Can't load kernel.
>>  Memory at %lx - %lx (chunk %i) is %s
>     Curiously, I found I'm actually running aboot 0.9b, and it works with the kernel 4.4.2 build above (as well as Debian's build of 3.16). I have 1.0~pre20040408-4 installed, but didn't know about the need to update swriteboot.
>> For what it's worth, I've been running self-built kernels from the official kernel.org source tree since I first installed Debian on my Alpha way back when.  My machine is no speed-demon either: builds are an overnight proposition, but they aren't anywhere near the 30 hours you're reporting :-(.
>     Long ago I used to run self-built kernels, straight from the kernel.org tree, but the Debian packages became so much more convenient. (Anyone looking to sell 21264DP-class hardware?)
>                 Thanks,
>                 -Alex

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