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Re: Debian on Fuloong

2010/2/16 Andreas Barth <aba@not.so.argh.org>:
> (The other question, if someone can confirm that the 2f-boards have a
> working serial console including bios, plus optimal autostart after
> pluging power in, that would be great as well.)

Info on some of that (everything but the power question I think) from
another list:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Philippe Vachon <philippe@cowpig.ca>
Date: Sun, Feb 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM
Subject: Re: Build farm down / building fuloong farms (was: Re:
[loongson-buildfarm] build farm down ?)
To: lemote / fsf / gnu loongson processor build farm
Cc: rms / fsf sysadmin / fsf volunteers / lemote <lemote@gnu.org>

[email reorged to use bottom posting only -DC]

On 2010-02-14, at 11:01 AM, Daniel Clark wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 14, 2010 at 10:36 AM, Rob Savoye <rob@omnow.org> wrote:
>> I can't seem to access the build farm, is it down or a routing problem ?
> I can't get to it either at the moment. It is Chinese Spring Festival
> at the moment, so I don't know if anyone from Lemote will be around
> until the 22nd, but cc:ing lemote list just in case.
> If Lemote can't get it back up soon, and it would be useful, I can see
> about getting people user accounts on the US-based
> loongson2f-1.gnewsense.org machine temporarily.
> I should have around 10 fuloongs in the US in 3-4 weeks, many of which
> will be put in a build farm configuration.
> I believe I recall that PMON either automatically also uses the serial
> port on the fuloong or can easily be made to do so; is that correct?
> Also, could someone with a fuloong tell me what the gender of the DB9
> end of the supplied serial cable is, if it has screws or bolts on the
> sides, and if you need a null modem adapter to connect to another
> computer?
> I'm planning to not use the VGA on the fuloong due to the VGA BIOS
> blob in PMON; eventually I'm going to look into removing the blob from
> PMON completely.
> Reason for using it instead of yeeloong for this application is just
> that it is significantly less expensive, and also it has an
> easily-accessible serial port which should make managing large numbers
> of them easier.
> Specifically I'm planning on using one of them as a console server, using:
> http://www.conserver.com/ ,
> http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33189 and
> ( http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5859 or
> http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9181 ) depending on the
> answer to the "screws or bolts" question.
> I'm not planning on doing remote power at this moment, but if anyone
> knows of an inexpensive way of doing that I'd love to hear about it.
> Using X10 stuff is a possibility, but maybe too hackish :)
> Happy Hacking,
> --
> Daniel JB Clark | Free Software Activist | http://pobox.com/~dclark

Hi Daniel,

WRT the serial port for the Fuloongs, it's a male DE9 connector on one
end, and a 3-pin female 2mm connector on the other end. You require a
null modem cable to connect to it, however. As I recall, PMON will
output its debug messages via the serial port by default, but I
haven't tried actually configuring the Fuloong from the RS232 port.

I've uploaded a photo of the connector at
http://lebesgue.cowpig.ca/~philippe/fuloong_rs232.jpg, in case that

As a side note, I think deblobbing PMON will be fairly simple -- just
delete the file with the VGA BIOS code in it (vgarom.c in the Bonito
directory, under Targets) in it and then disable the config option
that enables VGA output (probably commenting out 'select mod_vgacon'
in the Bonito config will be enough, but I haven't tried).


[ ... Later djbclark writes ...]

On IRC today, Philippe told me that he tried quickly to disable the
VGA console in PMON, but that a lot of the nice barriers that are
supposed to modularize PMON were not respected in code that was added
to support the fuloong and yeeloong (eg the diff between upstream PMON
2000 and the version that works on the Lemote boxes), so actually
removing the VGA console support and related blob may be difficult (at
least for someone who hasn't worked with that code a lot - perhaps it
would be easier for whomever did the Lemote changes in the first

Daniel JB Clark | Free Software Activist | http://pobox.com/~dclark

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