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Bug#401271: [powerpc,prep] Motorola Powerstack II installation report.

Package: installation-reports

Boot method: netboot image
Image version: http://people.debian.org/~wouter/d-i/powerpc/20061201-12:56/prep/netboot/vmlinuz-prep.initrd
Date: 2006/12/02 10:27

Machine: Motorola PowerStack II
Processor: PPC 604e

Base System Installation Checklist:
[O] = OK, [E] = Error (please elaborate below), [ ] = didn't try it

Initial boot:           [O]
Detect network card:    [O]
Configure network:      [O]
Detect CD:              [ ]
Load installer modules: [O]
Detect hard drives:     [O]
Partition hard drives:  [O]
Install base system:    [E]
Clock/timezone setup:   [O]
User/password setup:    [O]
Install tasks:          [O]
Install boot loader:    [O]
Overall install:        [E]


Well, there are several issues here : 

  1) PReP machines need 2.6.18 based -prep kernels, as thus, a unstable
  install will do it, and a testing/etch install needs some work. Workarounds

  2) PReP boxes need version 27 of mkvmlinuz, currently only in unstable, but
  which is scheduled for testing migration today.

  3) /boot separate partition in RAID/LVM/Crypto cases is wasted, since the
  kernel will anyway reside on the PReP partition.

  4) PReP boxes don't know how to set command line options, so there is need
  to set it inside the ramdisk (not supported by initramfs-tools, but
  supported by yaird), so they need to be given by hand at the kernel
  bootwrapper kenrel args prompt. (This is a initramfs-tools bug, maybe RC ?).

  5) Even when 2.6.18 kernels are moved to etch, or with a sid install, there
  is still a problem with base-installer, which will install the -powerpc
  kernel. The patch attached to #386265 (Open since 86 days or so), is needed
  to fix this.

Apart from these issues, the install went fine, i suppose. I didn't note the
name of the LVM partition, so i have some trouble getting it by hand, but
finally managed, it is /dev/<hostname>/root or /dev/mapper/<hostname>-root.

Now, about the workaround, currently you need to :

  1) as soon as the base system is installed, when you are in the tasksel
  dialog, go to console 2, chroot /target, install lftp or some other tool and
  get the unstable mkvmlinuz and linux-image-2.6.18-3-prep kernels.

  2) remove the already installed 2.6.17-2-powerpc kernels. Make sure no more
  /boot/vmlinuz* file is left. 

  3) install mkvmlinuz 27 (probably no more needed starting tomorrow).

  4) go into /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs-tools, and set
  ROOT=/dev/<hostname>/root. This used to work with yaird at least, and i
  think i remember this from the early initramfs-tools days, but i see it
  documented nowhere, so YMMV.

  5) install the downloaded linux-image-2.6.18-3-prep with dpkg -i.

Reboot. Try simply rebooting, if initramfs-tools fails at the finding root
stage, reboot, and at the kernel command line option prompt, add a propper
root=/dev/... entry.


Sven Luther

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