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Re: shiny new rp2430 (A400) won't boot :-(

On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 10:00:24 -0500
"Glascock, Donald S." <glascock.donald@mayo.edu> wrote:

> Hi, Joel --
>   The prevailing feeling here is that the simplest install method
> ought to work:  if the problem that prevents a successful install
> of Debian 3.0 on an rp2430 was resolved in 2002, the 3.0r2 CDs
> downloaded in April of 2004 should be up-to-date.  (Do let me
> know if I've misunderstood the postings which seem to indicate
> this to be the case.)  I sense that if any work whatsoever beyond
> a CD-rom install is needed, I will be directed to scrap our rp2430s
> in favor of new Dell servers on which we would run Fedora Core 2.

It seems that there's a little misunderstanding here.

Though you downloaded 3.0r2 ISOs on April 2004, it doesn't mean that
they were prepared by that date. In fact, judging by what I can see on
the .de mirror, theses ISOs have been put together in late 2003.

What's more, the "r2" release appendix isn't a new release number. Which
is normal since 3.0r2 is _not_ a new release. It's just a
security/bugfix update of the frozen woody distribution. That means that
in no way software present in that distribution will be *upgraded* (like
having gnome 2.6 getting in).

The software versions are kept to what was decided during the freeze.
Woody has an old 2.4.17 kernel, which doesn't support as much material
as later ones do. 3.0r2 still has that kernel.

This is precisely the reason why we made the netinst ISOs available,
with newer kernels on it. So, if you want a quick installation method
from CD, download a netinst ISO (the last one features 2.4.21) and
follow the instructions from the Boot HOWTO here:


>   I hope to use one rp2430 as a CUPS print server, and another as an
> OS install server.  Later, another would be deployed as a replacement
> for a CD/DVD/PDF NFS/Samba cache server.  For three machines offering
> relatively simple services to Pentium Linux boxes, HP-UX workstations,
> and Windows PCs, doing much more than installing from CD-rom is viewed
> as difficult to justify, since the kickstart/install process for the
> Fedora boxes is *relatively* well understood here.  Yet these rp2340s
> are very stable, and have fibre-channel cards with which I have good
> experience.  So I would like to see them used for these specific
> services.

This is great, but there's absolutely no point in comparing perfs
between parisc and x86 material. Now, as you said, parisc boxes are
tough, strong and stable. I mean, _hardware_ is. But, when it comes to
linux, I hope you do not expect breathtaking performances from your

There are know issues with linux (SMP, network throughput etc...), so if
you're looking for power, and want to have your material being used at
full capacity, you definitely don't want to install linux on parisc

Now, regarding the CD installation procedure, (sysadmins don't know
anything else these days, heh? :P), it is very easy, assuming you use
the netinst ISO, install kernel and base system from it, and the rest of
your system from network (remember than debian does rely a lot on
network, and what's more, we're talking about servers...)

AFAICR, it took me about 30mn (slow internet connection alas) to get a
fully operationnal A500 builder with this netinst thingy...

>   Fortunately there is not yet a huge rush to deploy these services,
> and it is my hope that the Sarge hppa CDs will resolve this issue for
> me, by giving me what I want at a cost in terms of time spent that my
> manager will accept.  After all, once the software is installed on
> the box, everything will work on the first try, won't it? :-)

Yeah, and of course Santa Claus rides a sledge powered by 6 (or was it
8?) reins traveling at warp 9 over light speed on the night of Dec
24th, doesn't he? :^]

Oh, by the way, if you finally decide that your A400s aren't worth it,
we'd be glad to take care of them ;)


Thibaut VARENE
The PA/Linux ESIEE Team

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