Re: Etch running on an emulated DECstation
Michel Lespinasse wrote:
FYI, I have Etch working on an actual DECsystem 5000/260. The
Debianised 126.96.36.199 kernel works OK (although kernels that I have
subsequently built myself based on the latest Debian patch set have
strange DZ serial console problems), but the Etch Beta 3 netinst
installer CD is badly broken (and still was in daily snapshots as at
about a week ago). I had to use a Sarge netinst CD to bootstrap to
stable and then upgrade to testing from there.
On Fri, Sep 15, 2006 at 09:29:40PM -0400, email@example.com wrote:
I would like to help keep DECstation support alive for Etch.
I have plenty of hardware (DS 5000/240, 5000/150, 5000/120, and
Personal DS 5000/33 and 5000/25), but free time is short (as it
is for everyone). I'd appreciate any advice on the best way to
begin - just start trying the daily built images?
Trying some recent images might help - personally I was unable to get
very far with the gxemul emulator and linux 2.6 kernels but I can't
say for sure wether the issue is in linux 2.6 or in gxemul. Testing on
an actual DECstation would at least tell us that - who knows, maybe it
even works on actual hardware :)
Problems I have observed:
- The Etch B3 netinst CD kernel image apparently does not include the
sr_mod driver, and thus cannot detect the CD. This is a total
show-stopper. Quite possibly it doesn't contain iso9660 either (I've
seen reports to this effect about the SPARC port of Etch B3), but I
didn't even get that far.
- SCSI drivers in both Sarge 2.4 and Etch 2.6 kernels seem to take
exception to some of my 2.1 Gb HP-branded SCSI disks (which work 100%
fine under NetBSD 3.0 PMAX). Unless there are many other preceding
devices in the SCSI chain to slow things down, I get as far as "hoping
for mgsout" and then it hangs. Looks like some kind of a SCSI(-1) probe
- The Debian Sarge netinst installer can't install an R3000 kernel
(complains about a missing kernel package), so I couldn't get Debian
running on my DECstation 5000/240 except by cloning an existing install
using "dump" and then adding the r3k kernel package using dpkg.
- The DEFTA patch for Turbochannel FDDI adaptors is not only missing
from the official kernel tree and from the Debian kernel builds, but
also from the Linux-MIPS GIT repository. I had to Google extensively to
find it. This code is in danger of being lost. I've updated the
DECstation entry in the Linux-MIPS Wiki with a pointer to it. The
modified defxx driver appears to work fine on my DEFTA-FA hardware.
- It would be nice if the Debian kernel build would include support for
DEFTA FDDI (modified defxx, as above), and DEC MS02 NVRAM (and by
extension MTD core and MTD caching block) drivers. I've tested the
latter and it seems to work fine also.
Sorry if I'm a little light on detail, but I'm short on time and
hampered by multiple RAM module failures (not surprising considering the
age of the hardware) at present.