my attempt to install
I took a little time this evening to try loading Debian on a Sparcstation 1+
with 16meg RAM and a couple of SCSI disks. So far, I'm mostly frustrated.
The first problem is that I really really want to use a serial console on the
box. That's impossible to do during a Redhat install, and I think it would
be a really good thing for Debian to be able to support. After the usual
fumbling with rarp/tftp/nfs, I got a kernel to boot and mount a root
filesystem. Unfortunately, after telling me it had mounted the root filesystem
and that it was freeing some unused kernel memory, the machine essentially
hung. I (correctly) assumed this meant that I really needed video hardware.
I stuck a video card on the sbus, attached a monitor and keyboard, and tried
again. This time, I got through the color selection and keyboard selection,
then block on /tmp/fdisk not being present. The boot disk last had SunOS on
it, so I need to do disk partitioning.
I fished around on ftp.redhat.com, and pulled over
which sort of worked with sun-style tables, but died trying to initialize a
dos-style partition table. I suspect a library funny or something.
For my next magic trick, I'm going to tftpboot a Redhat install image and see
if I can get as far as partitioning the hard disk, and then bail out to try
the Debian install again... unless someone has a better idea.
There's obviously a bunch of work yet to be done to make debian for Sparc
installable by normal users.
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