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Re: Use SMP kernel for Alpha (udeb) builds

On Sat, Dec 08, 2018 at 10:06:25AM +1300, Michael Cree wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 04, 2018 at 05:38:51PM +0100, Frank Scheiner wrote:
> > As per [1] and our recent discussions the generic 4.x kernels seem to no
> > longer work on Alpha machines which also renders any installer images using
> > the generic 4.x kernels non-working.
> Yes, that was noted some time ago.  A generic kernel does not boot
> since about 3.13.  I can't remember why I never attempted bisecting
> this back when it was first noted to be a problem, maybe because it
> didn't affect me because I normally run my own spun kernels.

Ditto on this end.  I figure a first pass at the problem would be to
compare our respective kernel configs against the generic one, just to
get a reading on what code *may* be involved.  I can provide my Miata
config for a 4.14 kernel (and that's about all I can do until I'm back
up and running) if that would be helpful.

Another data point to consider would be the kernel config for the
current (as of the end of November) Gentoo "install-alpha-minimal" image,
which works on Miata at least (modulo the missing Qlogic firmware issue).
The associated kernel is "4.14.65-gentoo", and two variants are present
on the image -- a "generic" one, and one without a "legacy start address".
The "aboot.conf" file has the following comment:

# Some later alphas need a special kernel without legacy start address, most
# notably the DS15A and DS25 workstations as well as the ES45, ES47 and GS 
# series of servers.

The Miata boots fine with the "generic" kernel, and panics when I try
the "nolsa" kernel.

Bottom line: I think the way forward will be easier from a Debian
perspective if the Debian installer for alpha includes a >= 4.14 kernel,
because the 4.8 and 4.9 kernels are known to have issues anyway.  An
upgrade would also put alpha closer to being in-sync with the "testing"
distro on Intel/AMD platforms.


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