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Install Report: Tyan Thunder K8S Pro / dual Opteron 250 / 2GB / SATA root

Executive Summary:

I didn't use the installer, rather I debootstrapped on a HDD and then
put it in the new machine.  Unlike any of my previous debian-amd64
installs, everything "just worked".

Thanks debian-amd64 developers for all of your hard work, as this port
has come a long way!

A Few Details:

After rocky experiences installing debian-amd64 on Athlon64 boxen, I
nevertheless decided to use it for my new computation server.  This
machine will be used for various long-running
computationally-intensive mathematical tasks.  The specs are:

Tyan Thunder K8S Pro (s2882) with BIOS 2.03
Dual Opteron 250
2 GB Kingston ECC/Registered PC3200 DDR RAM
Samsung SP1213C 120GB SATA HDD

(By the way, the BIOS version may be important here.  Tyan's web site
says that Opteron 250 support was only recently added, but thankfully
2.03 has this feature.)

I bootstrapped the installation rather than using a bootable CDROM; my
procedure was:

1) Install HDD in working debian-amd64 box, partition and create filesystems.
2) cdebootstrap from alioth
3) chroot and apt-get miscellaneous utilities (scsi-tools, etc.)
4) compile kernel with hardware support as listed on debian-amd64 K8
mainboard compatibility list and "safe" options (e.g. no NUMA)
5) edit fstab and other config files to reflect predicted
configuration of new machine
6) install GRUB
7) transplant HDD into dual Opteron machine and boot
8) apt-get more applications, recompile kernel with "optimal" settings
(SMP, NUMA etc)

The only hitch was that I left a "/dev/sdb" in fstab that needed to be
"/dev/sda", and as a result fsck failed on boot.  The root filesystem
seemed stuck in readonly mode, so my solution was to add the kernel
parameter "rw" and skip fsck on boot.  I was then able to edit fstab.

The K8 mainboard compatibility list was very helpful and all of the
onboard hardware was supported immediately when I compiled a kernel
with the drivers listed there.  Maybe, though, it would be good to add
a list of XFree86 drivers for the onboard video where appropriate? 
The K8S Pro has builting ATI Rage/XL which works fine with the "ati"

Hardware monitoring with lm_sensors works well but really requires the
custom "sensors.conf" available from http://www.tyan.com.

So far, I can definitely recommend this board/CPU combination for use
with debian-amd64.  I will post an update if anything changes


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