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Re: debian-installer on ppc64

On Fri, Nov 14, 2003 at 08:47:12PM +1100, Anton Blanchard wrote:
> Hi,
> We tested debian-installer (daily build from a day ago) on a ppc64 box
> and found a few issues. To keep life interesting, we also used a 2.6
> kernel.
> 1. Installer requires devfs support. In 2.6 devfs is pretty much
>    deprecated, so it would be nice if d-i could handle a non devfs kernel.
>    It doesnt look like there are too many places that care. The initrd had
>    an empty /dev, thats easily fixed. It looks like the stuff that parses
>    /proc/partitions expects devfs style names but I havent looked into the
>    code yet.

Past discussion about these issues suggest that devfs is indeed needed,
but will not be enabled by default if you don't pass the devfs=mount or
something such command. My personal experience on this subject doesn't
seem to support this theory, at least for 2.6 kernels.

Mmm, maybe it should be possible to create a proper kernel package for
your boxes, could you send me a .config file for a 2.4.22 kernel ? Will
the standard linuxppc_2_4 tree do, or do you need special patches ?

> 2. Installer cant find any packages. Hacking the kernel to return "ppc"
>    instead of "ppc64" fixes this problem. Im guessing the sparc64 port
>    of d-i has solved this problem, we just need it too.

Well, this would need the corresponding magic to be added arch-detect. I
guess ppc64 uses ppc userland, right ? Could you provide us with the
output of lspci ? Or maybe hack arch-detect yourself ?

As for sparc64. I doubt anyone has already started to work on the sparc
port of d-i, so ...

> 3. No fdisk found. For some reason only mac-fdisk was available in the
>    install image.

Same as above, d-i doesn't support subarches yet. That said, parted
should be available, and normally you should be able to use partitioner
and/or autopartkit transparently. What partitioning scheme are your box
using ?

> 4. shm is not a valid filesystem in 2.6. Changing /sbin/init to use
>    tmpfs fixed this.

Mmm, no idea about this one, maybe a special 2.6 kernel support for d-i
would be nice to have, a bit like woody's boot-floppies supported 2.2
and 2.4 kernels ?


Sven Luther

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