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Re: Installation on SGI Altix 350

On Thu, Apr 01, 2004 at 12:21:45PM +0100, Tim Cutts wrote:
> On 1 Apr 2004, at 12:11, Andreas U. Trottmann wrote:
> >So, does anyone have any hints? First for the kernel; is it just the
> >case that the debian kernel won't work on the altix? Does it have a
> >different memory map than others, which generates the relocation 
> >problem?
> Oh yes, and then some.  The architecture of the Altix is really very 
> different from other Itanium2 machines.  It uses SGI's own chips for 
> the interconnects, and even if it booted, a generic kernel wouldn't 
> know about the NUMA topology of the machine, so the performance would 
> most likely be very poor.

yeah, 2.4 is a pretty lost cause.  I don't think it will ever boot on
Altix out-of-the-box.  If 2.6 kernels work with debian installer now
then it should work just fine.

> The scheduler in SGI's kernel that they supply you with is supposed to 
> have a completely rewritten scheduler to understand the NUMA 
> architecture.

Well, but that's really pretty optional on an Opus box.  If it's a
single brick Altix 350 then there realy isn't much NUMA :-)

> >And second for the "trying to overwrite": Is it possible to somewhere
> >put a "force-overwrite" in order to get the current sarge state
> >installed at all?
> I really don't think there's much point in doing what you're trying to 
> do - lovely though Debian is, the performance is going to be very poor 
> without SGI's kernel modifications, and that's assuming you get it to 
> work at all.

Many of the performance fixes are already in the kernel.org kernels.
Propack is faster than the kernel.org stuff, but it isn't as big of a
deal as you make it out to be.  The most convincing reason to use SGI's
ProPack distro is 1.  to get support, and 2. To get all the proprietary
goodies that come with it.


Martin Hicks || mort@bork.org || PGP/GnuPG: 0x4C7F2BEE

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