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Re: Has anyone ever got Debian to install on an SGI Altix?

On Wed, 2005-08-31 at 09:14 -0500, Greg Edwards wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 29, 2005 at 07:04:54PM -0600, dann frazier wrote:
> | On Fri, 2005-08-26 at 16:55 +0100, Tim Cutts wrote:
> | > I've been looking into trying to install Debian on an SGI Altix (in  
> | > this case, a really baby Altix - one of the new Altix 330 machines).
> | > 
> | > I realise this is probably a forlorn hope, but we'd like to see just  
> | > how difficult it is.  With most of the SGI-specific stuff now in the  
> | > upstream kernel sources, it seems not beyond the realms of possibility.
> | 
> | Actually I tried to get this working on an Altix by ending debug d-i
> | drops to Jesse Barnes a while back.  I determined that reading/writing
> | from /dev/console started to silently fail once busybox init started -
> | anytime before it worked fine.  The standard debian kernel seemed to
> | work in his Fedora userspace, it was seemingly just a d-i issue.
> | Unfortunately, the debug cycle was too high latency so I never finished
> | it.
> This may still be happening.  About a month ago, I tried booting one of
> the daily builds on an Altix:
> http://cdimage.debian.org/pub/cdimage-testing/daily/ia64/
> and it failed about there.  I didn't have time to debug it at the time,
> so I just did a minimal install on an HP box, then rsynced the root
> over.  Interestingly enough, altix works fine with the standard 2.6.12
> debian kernel.

The dailies should be using 2.6.12 now, so can you give it another try
(unless the previous version you used was already 2.6.12 - then I expect
to see no difference).

> | Its good to hear that d-i can work with the right kernel.  I'd love to
> | know when standard Debian kernels aren't working, especially if someone
> | can tell me what's wrong (or give me access to a box remotely to fix
> | it).
> I'll try to dig into this today and see if I can isolate what's going
> on.

Great, thanks.  I've been given access to an Altix box as well (thanks
Ian), so I might be able to help.

> | Once Altix was known to work, my plan is to add an option to the elilo
> | graphical menu for an Altix console that will automatically append the
> | proper console option.
> Another thing that would be really helpful is to turn on the
> "relocatable" option by default in the installer elilo.conf (and the
> system copy once in place).  Altix requires elilo to use
> relocatable support.

I see you filed a bug (#324067) for this - cool.  I'd suggest adding a
code snippet/hint that will allow elilo to determine that it should use
relocatable on this system.  For instance - how do RH/SuSE make this
determination?  (This is what Bdale asked last time we brought it up -
however, elilo was frozen for sarge and we never did get the install
kernel working, so there wasn't much interest in following up).

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