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Re: Hello!

On Wed, Mar 31, 2004 at 03:00:25AM -0600, K B wrote:
> I recently purchased an eMachines m6805 laptop, which runs an AMD 
> Athlon64 proccessor...was hoping to get working, debian's the distro I 
> want to use (despite having no experience with debian itself) so I'm 
> here to volunteer my time and machine to getting this working.

Search through the archives for debian-amd64 under my name,
there's a series of messages that discuss my progress to date.
Everything was on a M6805 laptop and, other than BIOS mistakes,
There's really nothing unusual beyond normal laptop issues.

I've got a triple boot machine, all three boots are Debian,
- 32arch testing  ... everything works normally, except the 802.11g
- 64arch unstable ... no non-free software and no math libraries
- biarch stable (mostly) ... kernel-package (and other stuff) fails

The PCTEL modem is probably only usable with a 32 bit kernel,
the ATI driver needs a 32 bit userspace (can be a 64 bit kernel),
I haven't tried to get the Broadcom 54G chipset running yet.
There are two kernel patches out there for the M6805 - you need both.
You also need to put PCI=NOACPI on all the kernel command lines.

If I need the built in modem, I need to stick in the pure 32arch.
Otherwise, I can boot as biarch, chroot to 32arch for the X server
and also chroot to 64arch for serious development related work.
That essentially splits the laptop into three independent systems
that each give me the best features of one architecture.

> Any working examples as of yet?  I googled an found on the Gentoo forums 
> they've gotten a 64-bit version installed, with a 32-bit wrapper mode 
> working as well.  Maybe something could be ported from there?

There are lots of ways to install.  My lazy way was:
- Boot with knoppix (failsafe mode) and check everything works.
  That's important because you may need to return the unit.
- hard disk install the knoppix to the 64arch partition.
  That's only temporary, but gives me my CDROM drive back.
- Use debootstrap to put Testing onto the 32arch partition,
  then finalize the install until everything is working fine.
- The knoppix is superfluous now, so cdebootstrap with biarch.
  The instructions for that are in an earlier e-mail from me.
- Install pure 64arch using the excellent instructions from John,
  and add the sources.list lines for others' package archives.
- Compile a third kernel to be 64arch (no 32 bit support)
  which is useful to be sure the pure 64arch really _is_ pure.

I listed those tasks sequentially, but bear in mind you can do
a lot of them in parallel.  For example, you can do the knoppix
hdinstall and debootstrap in parallel, the 64arch install while
the biarch kernel builds, etc.  Without mistakes, it's an evening.

When you get that far, you have a fully working laptop for work
and two development environments that have _different_ problems
that you can work on (separately) as time and interest permit.

Hope that helps ...

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