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[etch] sparc32 install report


After about 6 years using sparc64 systems only, I went downstairs to
fetch that ol'good SS20 and try a Debian install.

System configuration:

2xFSBE (lance+esp sbus cards, unused)
Serial console

I used that image to boot the system:

Install itself went smoothly, though this is not a fast box by any of
today's standards. Installer wouldn't let me choose a 2.6 kernel, so I
went for the 2.4.27-smp kernel. Bad choice.

After rebooting, network interface wouldn't come up automatically
(dhcp). Manually running "ifup eth0" would bring the interface up, but
the serial console would immediatly deadlock. Irk. Oddly enough,
configuring the interface by hand worked without any adverse effect.
Installing openssh-server resulted in key generation running for
*hours*, eating a whole CPU.

I finally had enough, stopped the openssh-server installation, and
installed the 2.6.17-1-sparc32 kernel from sid. This immediatly cured
*all* my problems, at the cost of a CPU.

So it looks like 2.4.27-smp is broken (not a surprise, though), and
that 2.6.17-1 is the right choice for my system, even if I miss the
second CPU. This very system is currently busy compiling the latest
GIT, so I can try booting an SMP kernel.

Overall, it looks like the sparc32 support is slowly getting back to a
useable shape. I'm already thinking about digging out the SS5 that I
switched off so long ago.

Good job, people.

And if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there...

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