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2 yoswink 1.2 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-mips-faq.xml,v 1.1 2005/09/06 17:59:53 swift Exp $ -->
3 swift 1.1
4     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 yoswink 1.2 <guide link="/doc/en/gentoo-mips-faq.xml">
6 swift 1.1
7     <title>Gentoo Linux/MIPS Frequently Asked Questions</title>
8    
9     <author title="Author">
10     <mail link="redhatter@gentoo.org">Stuart Longland</mail>
11     </author>
12    
13     <abstract>
14     This FAQ is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions
15     relating to Gentoo/MIPS and Linux/MIPS in general.
16     </abstract>
17    
18     <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
19     <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
20     <license/>
21    
22 yoswink 1.2 <version>1.1</version>
23     <date>2005-09-08</date>
24 swift 1.1
25     <chapter>
26     <title>About this document</title>
27     <section>
28     <title>Introduction</title>
29     <body>
30    
31     <p>
32     This FAQ is intended to answer frequently asked questions about Gentoo/MIPS and
33     Linux/MIPS that we receive from various users. It's aimed at both new users
34     and experienced users alike. It has been split into a number of categories
35     to make navigation easier.
36     </p>
37    
38     <p>
39     If you have anything to contribute to the FAQ or, having read this guide, you
40     still have questions that are left unanswered, feel free to
41     <uri link="http://mips.gentoo.org">drop us a line</uri>.
42     </p>
43    
44     </body>
45     </section>
46     <section>
47     <title>Content</title>
48     <body>
49    
50     <p>
51     <b>About the Gentoo/MIPS project</b>
52     </p>
53    
54     <ul>
55     <li><uri link="#what">What is Gentoo/MIPS?</uri></li>
56     <li><uri link="#why">Why install Gentoo Linux on MIPS?</uri></li>
57     <li>
58     <uri link="#port">Why don't you port Gentoo to NetBSD/MIPS or IRIX?</uri>
59     </li>
60     </ul>
61    
62     <p>
63     <b>MIPS Hardware FAQs</b>
64     </p>
65    
66     <ul>
67     <li><uri link="#hw-what">What is MIPS?</uri></li>
68     <li>
69     <uri link="#hardware">What sort of hardware uses MIPS processors?</uri>
70     </li>
71     <li><uri link="#supported">Is my machine supported?</uri></li>
72     <li><uri link="#support_X">Why don't you support machine X</uri></li>
73     </ul>
74    
75     <p>
76     <b>MIPS Software FAQs</b>
77     </p>
78    
79     <ul>
80     <li><uri link="#stage">Which stage tarball do I use?</uri></li>
81     <li>
82     <uri link="#chroot">I got told "illegal instruction" or "Cannot Execute
83     Binary File" when chrooting. What did I do wrong?</uri>
84     </li>
85     </ul>
86    
87     <p>
88     <b>Silicon Graphics Specific FAQs</b>
89     </p>
90    
91     <ul>
92     <li><uri link="#netboot">Why doesn't my SGI machine netboot?</uri></li>
93     <li>
94     <uri link="#serial">The machine downloads the kernel, but then "hangs"
95     (using a monitor and keyboard -- not serial console)</uri>
96     </li>
97     </ul>
98    
99     <p>
100     <b>Cobalt Specific FAQs</b>
101     </p>
102    
103     <ul>
104     <li><uri link="#cobaltboot">Why won't my Cobalt machine boot?</uri></li>
105     <li><uri link="#qube2700">Why don't you support the Qube 2700?</uri></li>
106     </ul>
107    
108    
109     </body>
110     </section>
111     </chapter>
112    
113     <chapter>
114     <title>About the Gentoo/MIPS Project</title>
115     <section id="what">
116     <title>What is Gentoo/MIPS?</title>
117     <body>
118    
119     <p>
120     Gentoo/MIPS is a small project within the Gentoo Foundation, responsible for
121     looking after the MIPS port of Gentoo Linux. We currently look after two main
122     sub architectures of the MIPS family specifically: Silicon Graphics systems and
123     MIPS-based Cobalt servers.
124     </p>
125    
126     </body>
127     </section>
128     <section id="why">
129     <title>Why install Gentoo Linux on MIPS?</title>
130     <body>
131    
132     <p>
133     Okay, sure, some MIPS machines aren't the fastest boxes on the block these days.
134     However, despite the age of some of these beasts, they still can make very
135     functional, useful machines. A Cobalt Qube 2 could make a very nice broadband
136     Internet router, capable of hosting websites, email, IRC and numerous other
137     tasks. There are a number of reasons why you'd want to install Linux on this
138     sort of hardware.
139     </p>
140    
141     <ul>
142     <li>
143     It teaches you a lot about computer hardware by giving you an alternate
144     frame of reference
145     </li>
146     <li>
147     It allows you to turn what would otherwise be useless junk into a very
148     functional system
149     </li>
150     <li>
151     Status Symbol: Linux on x86 is so common these days it's not funny.
152     However, Linux on MIPS is a lot less common and quite a talking point.
153     </li>
154     </ul>
155    
156     </body>
157     </section>
158     <section id="port">
159     <title>Why don't you port Gentoo to NetBSD/MIPS or IRIX?</title>
160     <body>
161    
162     <p>
163     Hey, great idea. Unfortunately, a lot of the Gentoo/MIPS team already have
164     their hands full looking after Linux/MIPS as well as other commitments.
165     However, you're welcome to give it a try. May I suggest raising this on the
166     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum-f-32.html">Gentoo Forums</uri> and
167     see what the interest is first. Also, have a look at some of the other threads
168     on porting Gentoo to other architectures such as
169     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-113387.html">Solaris/SPARC</uri>,
170     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-319607.html">IBM OS/2</uri> and
171     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-319691.html">Microsoft Services
172     For Unix</uri> for hints on how to proceed. If after some hacking you get
173     something useful out of it... chances are a few developers will pick up on this
174     and help you get it to the next stage.
175     </p>
176    
177     </body>
178     </section>
179     </chapter>
180    
181     <chapter>
182     <title>MIPS Hardware FAQs</title>
183     <section id="hw-what">
184     <title>What is MIPS?</title>
185     <body>
186    
187     <p>
188     <uri link="http://www.mips.com">MIPS Technologies</uri> is a company that
189     produce a number of RISC CPU cores which implement the MIPS Instruction Set
190     Architecture. These processors appear in all sorts of hardware ranging from
191     small embedded devices to large servers.
192     </p>
193    
194     <p>
195     It also happens to be an acronym; <b>M</b>illions of <b>I</b>nstructions
196     <b>P</b>er <b>S</b>econd.
197     </p>
198    
199     </body>
200     </section>
201     <section id="hardware">
202     <title>What sort of hardware uses MIPS processors?</title>
203     <body>
204    
205     <p>
206     Good question. In short... Heaps. MIPS Processors see use inside all sorts
207     of machines, ranging from small PDAs (such as the early Windows CE powered Casio
208     PDAs), X Terminals (e.g. Tektronix TekXPress XP330 series), through to
209     workstations such as the Silicon Graphics Indy and O2 and even high end servers
210     such as the Silicon Graphics Origin 2000.
211     </p>
212    
213     <p>
214     Here is a list of some of the more famous MIPS-based systems in use. A more
215     comprehensive list can be found on the
216     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Systems">Linux/MIPS website</uri>
217     </p>
218    
219     <table>
220     <tr>
221     <th>Sony Game Consoles</th>
222     <ti>
223     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/PS1">
224     PlayStation</uri><br />
225     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/PS2">
226     PlayStation 2</uri><br />
227     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/PSP">
228     PlayStation Pocket</uri>
229     </ti>
230     </tr>
231     <tr>
232     <th>Nintendo Game Consoles</th>
233     <ti>
234     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Nintendo_64">
235     Nintendo 64
236     </uri>
237     </ti>
238     </tr>
239     <tr>
240     <th>Silicon Graphics Machines</th>
241     <ti>
242     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP12">
243     Iris Indigo</uri><br />
244     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP19">
245     Challenge</uri><br />
246     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP19">
247     Onyx</uri><br />
248     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP22">
249     Indy</uri><br />
250     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP22">
251     Indigo 2</uri><br />
252     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP22">
253     Challenge S</uri><br />
254     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP27">
255     Origin 200</uri><br />
256     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP27">
257     Origin 2000</uri><br />
258     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP27">
259     Onyx 2</uri><br />
260     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP30">
261     Octane</uri><br />
262     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP30">
263     Octane 2</uri><br />
264     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP32">
265     O2</uri><br />
266     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP34">
267     Fuel</uri><br />
268     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP35">
269     Origin 3000</uri><br />
270     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP45">
271     Origin 300</uri><br />
272     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP53">
273     Origin 350</uri><br />
274     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP53">
275     Tezro</uri>
276     </ti>
277     </tr>
278     <tr>
279     <th>DECStations</th>
280     <ti>
281     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Deskstation_rPC44">
282     rPC44</uri><br />
283     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Deskstation_Tyne">
284     Tyne</uri>
285     </ti>
286     </tr>
287     <tr>
288     <th>Cobalt Microservers</th>
289     <ti>
290     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
291     Qube 2700</uri><br />
292     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
293     Qube 2800</uri><br />
294     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
295     RaQ</uri><br />
296     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
297     RaQ 2</uri>
298     </ti>
299     </tr>
300     <tr>
301     <th>
302     Broadcom-based 802.11g<br />
303     Broadband Internet Routers
304     </th>
305     <ti>
306     <uri link="http://openwrt.org/">Linksys WRT54G</uri>
307     </ti>
308     </tr>
309     </table>
310    
311     <p>
312     ... and that's only just scratching the surface. These machines are wide and
313     varied. Many of them do not currently run Linux. Of those that do, we only
314     support a handful, although you're welcome to port Gentoo/MIPS to any MIPS
315     machine if you so wish. Some of these machines are also the focus of the <uri
316     link="http://embedded.gentoo.org">Embedded Gentoo Project</uri> such as the
317     Linksys WRT54G.
318     </p>
319    
320     </body>
321     </section>
322     <section id="supported">
323     <title>Is my machine supported?</title>
324     <body>
325    
326     <p>
327     This question is difficult to answer. Your machine could fall into one of three
328     different baskets:
329     </p>
330    
331     <ul>
332     <li>Your machine is supported by Gentoo/MIPS</li>
333     <li>Your machine is supported by Linux/MIPS, but not by Gentoo/MIPS (yet)</li>
334     <li>Your machine is not supported by Linux/MIPS</li>
335     </ul>
336    
337     <p>
338     For the first one an easy way to find out is to have a look at the
339     <uri link="/doc/en/mips-requirements.xml">Gentoo/MIPS
340     requirements page</uri>. This will tell you if the system you've got can
341     theoretically run Gentoo/MIPS. Stuart has also written a
342     <uri link="http://stuartl.longlandclan.hopto.org/gentoo/mips/">hardware support
343     database</uri> in which users may contribute their experiences. This can help
344     measure how well Gentoo/MIPS runs on a particular machine.
345     </p>
346    
347     <p>
348     If you don't find your machine listed there, you may wish to have a look on the
349     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Systems">Linux/MIPS
350     website</uri> to find it there. Installation won't be straightforward however,
351     as the actual process of producing a kernel and suitable boot media for your
352     hardware will have to be done largely by yourself. Naturally though, we'll try
353     to help where we can.
354     </p>
355    
356     </body>
357     </section>
358     <section id="support_X">
359     <title>Why don't you support machine X</title>
360     <body>
361    
362     <p>
363     If you've looked at the Gentoo/MIPS Hardware Requirements page, you've probably
364     noticed there are a LOT of machines we don't support. In the case of SGI
365     hardware, very little is known about some of them, not enough
366     to successfully port Linux to them.
367     </p>
368    
369     <p>
370     If you managed to get Linux working on a box currently listed as
371     <e>unsupported</e> however, feel free to tell us. We'd be interested to know.
372     </p>
373    
374     </body>
375     </section>
376     </chapter>
377    
378     <chapter>
379     <title>MIPS Software FAQs</title>
380     <section id="stage">
381     <title>Which stage tarball do I use?</title>
382     <body>
383    
384     <p>
385     This will depend on the CPU type running in your system. The stage filename is
386     named as follows:
387     </p>
388    
389     <pre caption="Stage Tarball Naming Scheme">
390     stage3-mipsel4-2005.0.tar.bz2
391     \____/ \_____/ \____/
392     | | |
393     | | `--- Gentoo Release (e.g. 1.4, 2004.3, 2005.0)
394     | |
395     | `----------- Endianness and ISA Level
396     | mips ==> Big Endian
397     | mipsel ==> Little Endian
398     |
399     | R3xxx and earlier: ISA Level 1
400     | R4xxx series: ISA Level 3
401     | R5000 and above: ISA Level 4
402     |
403     `------------------ Stage Tarball type: 1, 2 or 3.
404     </pre>
405    
406     <p>
407     So for those of you who are running R4000-class CPUs, try a <c>mips3</c> or
408     <c>mipsel3</c> stage tarball.
409     </p>
410    
411     <p>
412     For those running R5000-class or later CPUs, try a <c>mips4</c> or
413     <c>mipsel4</c> stage tarball.
414     </p>
415    
416     <p>
417     Sometimes the filename will have <c>n32</c> or <c>n64</c> in the filename as
418     well. These refer to 64-bit userland images. At the moment, support for 64-bit
419     userlands is still quite flaky and a lot of packages are broken. I'd suggest
420     leaving these alone unless you're particularly brave and don't mind a rather
421     bumpy ride.
422     </p>
423    
424     </body>
425     </section>
426     <section id="chroot">
427     <title>I got told "Illegal Instruction" or "Cannot Execute Binary
428     File" when chrooting. What did I do wrong?</title>
429     <body>
430    
431     <p>
432     This is generally caused by using the wrong stage tarball. If you try to run a
433     <c>mips4</c> userland on a <c>mips3</c> CPU, you'll get an <e>illegal
434     instruction</e> error message. Likewise, if you have a Big Endian CPU and you
435     try running Little Endian code on it, you'll get told <e>cannot execute binary
436     file</e>.
437     </p>
438    
439     <p>
440     The fix is simple... clean out your partition, then unpack the correct tarball.
441     Which one is that I hear you ask? Have a read of the previous FAQ entry.
442     </p>
443    
444     </body>
445     </section>
446     </chapter>
447    
448     <chapter>
449     <title>Silicon Graphics Specific FAQs</title>
450     <section id="netboot">
451     <title>Why doesn't my SGI machine netboot?</title>
452     <body>
453    
454     <p>
455     This could be for any number of reasons, ranging from cabling issues, through to
456     issues on the server. The best way to troubleshoot any problem is a
457     step-by-step approach...
458     </p>
459    
460     <ol>
461     <li>
462     <b>Have you got the SGI machine (and server) plugged into the right
463     network ports?</b><br />
464     Make sure the network is cabled correctly. Also note that some machines
465     have special needs. For instance the Challenge S cannot obtain network
466     connectivity under Linux via its UTP port, you need to use the AUI port
467     via a transceiver.
468     </li>
469     <li>
470     <b>Are there any firewalls in use?</b><br />
471     Make sure your firewall is not blocking DHCP/BOOTP requests (ports 67 and
472     68 on UDP) or TFTP (port 69 on UDP).<br />
473     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 67:69 -j ACCEPT</c> should get things
474     rolling.
475     </li>
476     <li>
477     <b>Have you disabled packet MTU discovery and set the port range?</b><br />
478     SGI boxes require <path>/proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_no_pmtu_disc</path> = 1 and
479     <path>/proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_local_port_range</path> = "2048 32767". See <uri
480     link="/doc/en/handbook/handbook-mips.xml?part=1&amp;chap=2#doc_chap4">the
481     Gentoo/MIPS handbook</uri>.
482     </li>
483     <li>
484     <b>Is the server giving out the correct details via BOOTP?</b><br />
485     Double check your <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>. ISC's dhcpd won't dish
486     out addressing information via BOOTP unless the machine has been statically
487     defined with a fixed address.
488     </li>
489     <li>
490     <b>Which TFTP server are you using?</b><br />
491     <c>tftp-hpa</c> and <c>netkit-tftp</c> are known to work. <c>atftp</c> is a
492     lot more advanced, this can cause problems. If in doubt, try installing
493     <c>tftp-hpa</c> and see if the problem clears up.
494     </li>
495     <li>
496     <b>Are the daemons running?</b><br />
497     <c>dhcpd</c> should show up when typing <c>ps ax</c>. As for TFTP, it'll
498     largely depend on whether its a standalone server, or if its running from
499     <c>(x)inetd</c>. <c>tftp-hpa</c> runs as a process called <c>in.tftpd</c>.
500     Look for that in the <c>ps ax</c> output and start any services not
501     currently running.
502     </li>
503     <li>
504     <b>Does the kernel exist in <path>/tftpboot</path>?</b><br />
505     Make sure you place the kernel image to be booted in this directory and
506     that it is world-readable. (<c>chmod 644 /tftpboot/foo</c>) Also, in your
507     <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>, note that the path to the kernel will be
508     relative to the <path>/tftpboot</path> directory if you're using
509     <c>tftp-hpa</c>.
510     </li>
511     <li>
512     <b>Have you unset the <c>netaddr</c> and <c>dlserver</c> PROM
513     variables?</b><br />
514     Try running <c>unsetenv netaddr</c> and <c>unsetenv dlserver</c>.
515     </li>
516     </ol>
517    
518     </body>
519     </section>
520     <section id="serial">
521     <title>The machine downloads the kernel, but then "hangs" (using a monitor and
522     keyboard -- not serial console)</title>
523     <body>
524    
525     <p>
526     Unfortunately, not all graphics frame buffers are supported under Linux yet.
527     This doesn't mean you can't use the machine... it just means you'll need a
528     null-modem serial cable to interact with it. It is quite possible that the
529     machine is in fact running, however, the system is outputting to the serial
530     console rather than the screen.
531     </p>
532    
533     </body>
534     </section>
535     </chapter>
536    
537     <chapter>
538     <title>Cobalt Specific FAQs</title>
539     <section id="cobaltboot">
540     <title>Why won't my Cobalt machine boot?</title>
541     <body>
542    
543     <p>
544     This could be for a number of reasons. Our easiest bet however is to run
545     through a checklist and make sure everything is correct.
546     </p>
547    
548     <ol>
549     <li>
550     <b>Have you got the Cobalt machine (and server) plugged into the right
551     network ports?</b><br />
552     Make sure the network is cabled correctly. Please note, the Cobalt firmware
553     will only boot via the Primary network port.
554     </li>
555     <li>
556     <b>Are there any firewalls in use?</b><br />
557     Make sure your firewall is not blocking DHCP/BOOTP requests (ports 67 and
558     68 on UDP) or RPC/Portmap (port 111 on UDP and TCP).<br />
559     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 67:68 -j ACCEPT</c><br />
560     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT</c><br />
561     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT</c>
562     should get things rolling.
563     </li>
564     <li>
565     <b>Is the server giving out the correct details via BOOTP?</b><br />
566     Double check your <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>. ISCs dhcpd won't dish
567     out addressing information via BOOTP unless the machine has been statically
568     defined with a fixed address.
569     </li>
570     <li>
571     <b>Are you exporting <path>/nfsroot</path> in your
572     <path>/etc/exports</path>?</b><br />
573     Make sure you are exporting that to the Cobalt machine. It only needs
574     read-only access. Also remember to run <c>exportfs -av</c> after you edit
575     the file.
576     </li>
577     <li>
578     <b>Are the daemons running?</b><br />
579     <c>dhcpd</c> should show up when typing <c>ps ax</c>. Likewise with
580     <c>portmap</c> and the other RPC daemons. The following commands should
581     look after this for you:<br />
582     <c>/etc/init.d/dhcp start</c><br />
583     <c>/etc/init.d/nfs start</c>
584     </li>
585     <li>
586     <b>Does the kernel exist in <path>/nfsroot</path>?</b><br />
587     Make sure you place the kernel image to be booted in this directory and
588     that it is world-readable. (<c>chmod 644 /nfsroot/foo</c>)
589     </li>
590     </ol>
591    
592     </body>
593     </section>
594     <section id="qube2700">
595     <title>Why don't you support the Qube 2700?</title>
596     <body>
597    
598     <p>
599     The Qube 2700 was the first of the Cobalt servers. While they are very nice
600     machines, unfortunately, they lack a serial port. In other words, any
601     interaction with the machine has to be done through a network. At present, our
602     netboot images do not support this, although plans are in the works that may
603     enable support for this machine.
604     </p>
605    
606     </body>
607     </section>
608    
609     </chapter>
610     </guide>

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