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Booting from CDROM on sparc classic


I'm new to the issue "Linux on sparc", since in my job we only run Solaris
on our computers. (Although I'm somewhat familiar to installing Linux on

But now I became the owner of an old, retired SPARCclassic and like to
install Linux on it. I got the CDROMs (2.2_rev0/sparc) from the Internet and
boot from the first one, using the SCSI option.

Doing this, first the kernel will be loaded from the CDROM and that looks
okay. The CDROM and the harddisk drives are being found by the kernel, also
a couple of other peripherals which are in the box. Fine. But then, when the
kernel has to load init something fails, and until now I wasn't able to sort
out what the problem is. I always see:

Warning: unable to open an initial console
Kernel panic: No init found. Try passing init= option to kernel.

This sounds to may like an unfound root.bin, since I guess 'init' should be
there. And indeed, where on other Debian CDROMs usually is a file called
root.bin, I see root.tar.gz.
Is this okay?

Unfortunately I'm not able to give parameters to the commandline for
booting, since the label 'SCSI' in silo.conf is set to 'SingleKey'. And when
I boot with the label 'linux', the kernel likes to mount the root filesystem
through NFS (not there) or through floppy disk. (But this box hasn't a
floppy disk drive.)

Does anyone of you has a suggestion for me?

Thank you very much,

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