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Re: Help Starting on a SPARCstation2

On Fri, 17 Nov 2000, Evan DiBiase wrote:

> Hello,
> I have recently acquired a SPARCstation2, and I'd like to install Debian
> on it over the network if at all possible. So, I downloaded the correct
> rescue.img, dd'd it to a floppy on my Toshiba i386-based laptop, and
> stuck it in the Sun. Upon requesting to boot to the floppy, I get:
> Can't read disk label.
> Can't open Sun disk label package
> Can't open boot device

I assume you downloaded the sparc rescue image and checked the
floppy, there is now way of
creating a bootdisk without an image or a cross compiler and lots of time
under x86 for sparc.

I recall having a similar problem with an IPX using slink (an early
version of slink) I solved the problem using rarp and tftp, since you want
to install across a network this wont be a bad thing.

5.6. Booting from TFTP 

     You need to setup two servers: a RARP server and a TFTP server. The
     Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) is how your client will
     figure out what IP address to use; the Trivial File Transfer Protocol
     (TFTP) is used to serve the boot image to the client. Theoretically,
     any server, on any platform, which implements these protocols may be
     used. In the examples in this section, we shall provide commands for
     SunOS 4.x, SunOS 5.x (a.k.a. Solaris), and GNU/Linux.

     To setup RARP, you need to know the ethernet address of the client
     (a.k.a. the MAC address). If you don't know this information, you can
     pick it off the initial OpenPROM boot messages, use the OpenBoot
     `.enet-addr' command, or boot into ``Rescue'' mode (i.e., from the
     Rescue Floppy) and use the command `/sbin/ifconfig eth0'.

     In GNU/Linux you need to populate the kernel's RARP table. To do this
          /sbin/rarp -s <client-hostname> <client-enet-addr>
          /sbin/arp -s <client-ip> <client-enet-addr>
     Under SunOS, you need to ensure that the ethernet hardware address
     the client is listed in the ``ethers'' database (either in the
`/etc/ethers' file, or via NIS/NIS+) and in the ``hosts'' database.
     Then you need to start the RARP daemon. In SunOS 4, issue the command
     (as root): `/usr/etc/rarpd -a'; in SunOS 5, use `/usr/sbin/rarpd -a'.

     To get the TFTP server ready to go, you should first make sure that
     `tftpd' is enabled. This is usually enabled by having the following
     line in `/etc/inetd.conf': 
          tftp dgram udp wait root /usr/etc/in.tftpd in.tftpd -s /boot
     Look in that file and remember the directory which is used for the
     ``-s'' argument of `in.tftpd'; you'll need that below. If you've had
     to change `/etc/inetd.conf', you'll have to notify the running
     process that the file has changed. On a Debian machine, run
     `/etc/init.d/netbase reload'; on other machines, find out the process
     ID for `inetd', and run `kill -1 <inetd-pid>'.

     Next, place the TFTP boot image, `tftpboot.img', in the `tftpd' boot
     image directory. Generally, this directory will be `/boot' in Debian,
     and `/tftpboot' in other operating systems. Then, you'll have to make
     a link from that file to the file which `tftpd' will use for booting
     particular client. The form of the file that `tftpd' will look for is
     `<client-ip-in-hex>.<client-architecture>'. To compute
     <client-ip-in-hex>, take each byte of the client IP address and
     translate it into hexadecimal notation. You have you have a machine
     handy with the `bc' program, you can use the program. First issue the
`obase=16' command to set the output to hex, then enter the individual
     components of the client IP one at a time. As for
     <client-architecture>, try out some values. Sparc architectures for
     instance use the sub-architecture names, such as ``SUN4M'' or
     ``SUN4C''. Once you've determined the name, make the link like so:
     /boot/tftpboot.img /boot/<file-name>'.

     Now you should be ready to actually boot your system. On machines
     OpenBoot, simply enter the boot monitor on the machine you are
     installing to, and use the command `boot net'.

Best Regards,

Peter Firmstone.

> After a bit more probing, I found out that I actually get this message
> when I ask to boot from the floppy regardless of the contents of the
> drive at the time. So I'm wondering if there's any way to create a
> bootdisk for the SPARC using x86-based machines?
> Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> -- 
> Evan DiBiase
> PGP/GPG Key Available at http://www.wplug.org/~evand/key.asc
> Fingerprint: B4BC 503D F988 51E5 C800  2966 21D5 C3DF C4C1 BF64
> "Between living and dreaming
> there is a third thing.
> Guess it."
>   -Antonio Machado

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