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Bug#122769: Debian PowerPC/PReP Boot floppies do not work on stock IBM 6015 machines

Package: Boot-Floppies
Version: All (Potato, Woody)

The boot floppies for PPC/PReP machines do not boot on an IBM 6015 machine
(IBM Power Series 400), despite the 6015 being listed as a supported
model.  I have two identical machines, and have tried both so I do not
believe this is caused by a hardware failure.The boot process hangs at the
"Uncompressing Linux" message.  This behavior is reflected both on the
computer monitor and on a serial console.

I have tried Potato PPC/PReP boot floppies, and Woody boot floppies dated
October 1999, April 2001, and November 2001.  I was unable to find Sid
boot floppy images on ftp mirrors.  The images were downloaded with ftp
and created on a RedHat 7.2 system using dd.  For all four sets, the boot
floppy hangs as above.  The rescue floppy is not recognized as bootable.

I have found a bootable floppy image at this URL:
http://www.remote.org/sven/ppc.html  The floppy image is specifically
here:  http://www.remote.org/sven/ppc/zImage.prep.  A kernel patch for
kernel 2.4.14 is here:  http://www.remote.org/sven/ppc/40p.patch.  This
image and patch are actually for the 7020, which is almost identical to a
6015 (only the video card is different as far as I can tell).  As the
rescue floppies are not recognized as bootable on my system (because they
are ext2 and not type 41 PReP boot?), replacing the kernel on a rescue
floppy does not help me.  I cannot mount a boot floppy (again, because it
is type 41 boot?) to change the kernel in it.

I suggest a boot floppy package be created for 40P models using Mr.
Dickert's patch.  (Probably most appropriate for Sid, as it is using a 2.4
kernel.)  I would do it myself, however I do not have another PowerPC
machine to install Debian and the boot-floppies package on in order to
complete the task.  I am trying to acquire a PowerMac to do just this, but
as these are my first PowerPC machines I'm not sure how to build a PReP
boot floppy on a CHRP PowerMac.  If a 40P patched kernel works on other
PReP machines, perhaps the 40P patch can be incorporated into the standard
PReP boot floppies so that they will boot on all hardware listed as
compatible on the PReP page.  As an alternative, remove the 6015 model
from the list of supported hardware.

Hardware: IBM Power Series 400 6015-0U0 - PowerPC 601 @ 66MHz, 32MB RAM,
Diamond Stealth 64  DRAM PCI video instead of the 7020 Weitec card,
AT/Lantic DP83905 ISA combo (RJ45, BNC) Ethernet, onboard SCSI with SCSI
hard drive & cd-rom.



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