[lug] linux on sparc

Ryan Kirkpatrick linux at rkirkpat.net
Mon Jan 28 20:50:23 MST 2002

On Fri, 25 Jan 2002, Ken Weinert wrote:

> Any gotchas about installing ultraLinux on these kind of boxes? Any pointers 
> on where to look? I've found the SuSE distro for these boxes and since that's 
> what I'm running at work (SuSE) that's what I intend on installing.

	Can't speak much to SuSE (I run Debian on my sparcs), but in
general running Linux on Sparcs is not too difficult at all. The biggest
thing is to make sure you partition the hard disk with a sun disk label
('s' command in fdisk), otherwise you will never be able to boot the
system. SILO and Sparc PROM requires a sun disk label to boot an operating
system. Many of the (often x86 centric) installation systems miss this
	Otherwise everything is pretty straightforward. Installing via
serial console is quite common, especially on other Sparcs. Also
installing via the network is quite common (easier than finding a sun
bootable CD-ROM drive). The distribution you use should give you details
on this. The only other Sparc specific issue I have come across is that
software RAID under the 2.2.x kernel is a bit hit and miss, so I would
recommend lots of testing before trusting it.
	Oh, one other thing, put 'kernel.stop-a = 0' in your sysctl.conf
file. That will keep breaks on the serial port (often caused when the
attached serial terminal, i.e. PC, is power cycled) from crashing Linux
back to PROM. 
	If you hit any specific Linux/Sparc problems, feel free to ask. I
have installed Linux on Sparc IPC/IPX/5/10/20 machines, so I have had a
bit of experience. :) TTYL.

|   "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."                    |
|                                            --- Philippians 1:21 (KJV)   |
|   Ryan Kirkpatrick  |  Boulder, Colorado  |  http://www.rkirkpat.net/   |

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