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Bug#243924: FWD: Unable to run debian-installer on SunBlade 150 (sparc sun4u arch.)

Package: debian-installer
Severity: grave
Tags: d-i

----- Forwarded message from Wiktor Wandachowicz <wiktorw@ics.p.lodz.pl> -----

From: Wiktor Wandachowicz <wiktorw@ics.p.lodz.pl>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 11:18:53 +0200
To: debian-boot@lists.debian.org
Subject: Unable to run debian-installer on SunBlade 150 (sparc sun4u arch.)
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1409

I'm trying to install Debian sarge using businesscard ISO images.
I'm unable to correctly run debian-installer on the computer I'm using.
I successfully installed Debian woody using netboot images from
phunnypharm, even though it wasn't an obvious task. But the sarge,
it doesn't install.

I have a SunBlade 150 machine:
* sparc 64-bit sun4u arch. 650 MHz
* 256 MB RAM
* 40GB IDE hard drive
* USB mouse & keyboard
* on-board ATI graphics

Now, for the problems (and some of my solutions):
1. After going to OpenProm and typing 'boot cdrom' a SILO screen
   appears, but none of the images (linux, rescue) work. The kernel
   panics, saying it is unable to mount root fs.
2. Going to 'boot cdrom' and typing on the SILO boot:
   linux devfs=mount,dall rw
   allows me to boot the kernel and start the debian-installer.
   (this is a trick I learned after installing sarge on my PC and checking
   the /etc/lilo.conf from a running system :)
   I unpacked the initrd, and I suspect that the skeleton /sbin/init depends
   on the devfs, but it is not started automatically (correct me if I'm
3. After start the debian-installer cannot proceed, because of the lack of
   specific kernel modules: ide-detect, ide-cd
   (this d-i sparc kernel looks not so good, on my PC it worked flawlessly)
4. Then I realized that if I somehow copy the contents of businesscard image
   to a spare partition, maybe it will help the debian-installer to proceed.
   And indeed, it worked. Finally!!!

This is a problem which persists for 2004-03-25 thru 2004-04-14 images,
maybe even sooner. I just waited until today to analyze the situation and to
be sure what to report (as I am new to the sparc-based computers).

Please, do correct this situation, as it would be a Good Thing to easily
install sarge on SunBlade 150, without all the above hassle.

Wiktor Wandachowicz

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----- End forwarded message -----
see shy jo

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