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Re: [Linux/390 under z/VM 4.2.0] CP works forever (Lenny): new attempt

Wed, 11 May 2011 10:20:12 -0400 (EDT), Christian Boitet wrote:
> At 7:42 -0400 11/05/11, Stephen Powell wrote:
>> First, please do not "top post" on this list.  (See
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-posting#Top-posting for
>> more details.)  Please use the usenet, or "bottom posting" style.
> I don't see how Jean-Claude could "top-post" as he wrote a new message.
> I take it as an advice for later messages such as this one.

I don't think you understand.  Look at Jean-Claude's post:


The new material is at the top.  The quoted material is at the
bottom.  That's top-posting.

This post is an illustration
of the posting technique that we prefer on this list (and all
the Debian lists).  Questions and answers are interleaved,
and the question appears before the answer.  Not all material
from the earlier post need be quoted if it is not needed to
establish a context to the replies in the new post.  That's called,
"trimming your posts".
> To answer you: yes we know well about binary and F 80 etc.
> I myself edited under Xedit the ASCII version of 
> PARMFILE (already put in F 80).
> I replaced the last character (X'20', a space), in position
> 80, by X'0A'.  We both know CMS and XEDIT quite well. 
> Jean-Claude wrote a tree editor all in REXX for 
> use under XEDIT for his PhD, and I wrote many 
> XEDIT macros... I can't see which mistake we 
> could have done. But we sure did one!

I'm not questioning anyone's competence in general z/VM matters:
I'm only giving you a check list of common causes of problems.
> To be sure, we retransferred the PARMFILE (in 
> binary, by ftp) on a Mac under MacOSX and 
> verified that the file was indeed in ASCII and 
> had the terminator in position 80 (only ONE 
> character, not 2 like under Windows).

No, that's not right.  Did you try an unmodified file,
as I suggested?  Here is the unmodified PARMFILE DEBIAN
file, in hexadecimal ASCII.  For readability, I have added a blank
between each group of two hex digits:

72 6f 20 6c 6f 63 61 6c 65 3d 43 0a 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

That's "ro locale=C" (without the quotes), followed by a
linefeed character, followed by 68 nulls.  Before you try
monkeying with the file at all, just try the raw binary download,
with no modifications.  I know you want to add extra stuff
when you do your actual install, but this is a diagnostic step.
> Considering the source: yes we took the files 
> from "generic" ...


> ... and made sure to get a lenny version (5.0.8).


> SOMETHING is a bit strange and might help: 
> immediately after the "IPL 00C" command is 
> issued, what is read from the reader seems to 
> cause another "CHANGE RDR ALL KEEP NOHOLD"
> as we get the message:

That is a normal message.  You didn't change the DEBIAN EXEC
file, did you, to eliminate the "PURGE RDR ALL" command?
Otherwise, you will keep accumulating reader files but you
will always IPL the oldest ones, which of course never change.
> Another question is, if the PARMFILE were wrong, 
> could it put the IPL process in a loop?

If it doesn't see the terminator it expects, it may read part
of the initial RAM disk as parmfile information.  Thus, the
initial RAM disk will be corrupted and unusable.  Who knows
what will happen then?

> In order to get the KERNEL and INITRD files 
> (already transferred in binary) in F80, we used 
> the CMS PIPE command as shown in the IBM 
> documentation:
> PIPE < fn1 ft1 fm1 | FBLOCKS 80 | > fn2 ft2 fm2 F 80

Almost.  Try

   PIPE < fn1 ft1 fm1 | FBLOCK 80 00 | > fn2 ft2 fm2 F 80

Apparently you don't have TCP/IP for z/VM installed on this
system?  I'm used to using the CMS FTP client to transfer the
files.  It makes things much easier.  In newer versions of z/VM,
TCP/IP for z/VM comes bundled with z/VM at no extra charge.  But
at the z/VM 4.2.0 level, perhaps TCP/IP is still a separate product?
I don't remember.

Please explain the EXACT steps you go through to transfer the file
to a CMS minidisk, in detail, plus all post-processing you do on
the file once it arrives on the CMS disk but before you run the

> If there is a problem there, maybe you could help 
> us detect it by comparing the lengths?

PARMFILE DEBIAN is 1 record (fixed length, 80 bytes).
INITRD DEBIAN is 34861 records (fixed length, 80 bytes)
KERNEL DEBIAN is 42020 records (fixed length, 80 bytes)
> Should we post an e-mail of this sort to the 
> whole list (debian-s390@lists.debian.org) or to 
> you alone ?

Send it to the list only, please.  I am subscribed to the list
and I will get a copy automatically.  Keep it on the list in case
someone else has something to add, and so that, once the problem
is solved, the solution will benefit someone else.

At this point, I suspect the problem has something to do with how
the files get from the Debian mirror to the CMS disk.  But you also
might want to check to see if there are any APARS against the z/VM
4.2.0 CP component that are Linux-related.  I'm not familiar with
the maintenance for 4.2.0 as I have not used it in nearly six years.

  .''`.     Stephen Powell    
 : :'  :
 `. `'`

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