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Re: Boot procedure on old SPARCs

Ben Collins <bcollins@debian.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 20, 2001 at 07:33:28PM +0100, Guenter Millahn wrote:
> > Dear Linux'ers,
> > 
> > I have some old diskless SPARCstations of 4c and 4m series (SLC, LC, LX).
> > I want to re-animate them as Desktopsthem using Debian.

How much memory do these machines have ? My advice is:
     <= 16 Mb , Sun4c,  go for NetBSD, it really shines.
     => 32 Mb , Sun4m,  go for Debian, it rocks.
     16-32 Mb, toss a coin...

> > 
> > The Boot/Rootserver is a  Sun E450 running Solaris8. I want to  set up
> > a DHCP server for easier maintainance of my computers.
> > 
> > And here are my questions:
> > 1. Can anybody send me a pointer to document/URL where is explained
> >    the Old SPARCstation diskless boot sequence in detail (explanations
> >    here are also welcome ;-)

Check your nearest debian mirror, in main/disks-sparc for instructions.
That should get you going.

> > 2. Is it enough to install the Solaris8 DHCP Server Software on the E450
> >    or do I need any of rarpd and tftpd?

Hmm... don't know about the Solaris dhcpd. Is it not possible to
use (or borrow) an IP address during the installation ?
That's because to netboot you will initially need to have rarpd running on
a machine on the same segment that answers the requests from the sparc.
Tftp is then needed to transfer the kernel or the ramdisk image.
ALSO NOTE: at the sparc boot prompt you'll have to
specify the IP address (and optionally the NFS-root mount), because
the bootkernel in 2.2r2 doesn't have autoconfig etc. built in!!! 
I.E. like:
boot net IP=123.223.333.443

> > 3. Are the Bootproms of the old SPARCs able to generate bootp requests
> >    and to process bootp replies or is RARP/TFTP the only way to map MAC
> >    to IP address for these machines and boot 'em up?
That's what I believe (iow, rarp/tftp), however, some Sun guru might be
able to clarify ;)

HTH, and good luck.


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