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1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 neysx 1.3 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-mips-faq.xml,v 1.2 2005/09/08 12:18:45 yoswink 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 neysx 1.3 <faqindex>
26 swift 1.1 <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 neysx 1.3 </faqindex>
47 swift 1.1
48     <chapter>
49     <title>About the Gentoo/MIPS Project</title>
50     <section id="what">
51     <title>What is Gentoo/MIPS?</title>
52     <body>
53    
54     <p>
55     Gentoo/MIPS is a small project within the Gentoo Foundation, responsible for
56     looking after the MIPS port of Gentoo Linux. We currently look after two main
57     sub architectures of the MIPS family specifically: Silicon Graphics systems and
58     MIPS-based Cobalt servers.
59     </p>
60    
61     </body>
62     </section>
63     <section id="why">
64     <title>Why install Gentoo Linux on MIPS?</title>
65     <body>
66    
67     <p>
68     Okay, sure, some MIPS machines aren't the fastest boxes on the block these days.
69     However, despite the age of some of these beasts, they still can make very
70     functional, useful machines. A Cobalt Qube 2 could make a very nice broadband
71     Internet router, capable of hosting websites, email, IRC and numerous other
72     tasks. There are a number of reasons why you'd want to install Linux on this
73     sort of hardware.
74     </p>
75    
76     <ul>
77     <li>
78     It teaches you a lot about computer hardware by giving you an alternate
79     frame of reference
80     </li>
81     <li>
82     It allows you to turn what would otherwise be useless junk into a very
83     functional system
84     </li>
85     <li>
86     Status Symbol: Linux on x86 is so common these days it's not funny.
87     However, Linux on MIPS is a lot less common and quite a talking point.
88     </li>
89     </ul>
90    
91     </body>
92     </section>
93     <section id="port">
94     <title>Why don't you port Gentoo to NetBSD/MIPS or IRIX?</title>
95     <body>
96    
97     <p>
98     Hey, great idea. Unfortunately, a lot of the Gentoo/MIPS team already have
99     their hands full looking after Linux/MIPS as well as other commitments.
100     However, you're welcome to give it a try. May I suggest raising this on the
101     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum-f-32.html">Gentoo Forums</uri> and
102     see what the interest is first. Also, have a look at some of the other threads
103     on porting Gentoo to other architectures such as
104     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-113387.html">Solaris/SPARC</uri>,
105     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-319607.html">IBM OS/2</uri> and
106     <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-319691.html">Microsoft Services
107     For Unix</uri> for hints on how to proceed. If after some hacking you get
108     something useful out of it... chances are a few developers will pick up on this
109     and help you get it to the next stage.
110     </p>
111    
112     </body>
113     </section>
114     </chapter>
115    
116     <chapter>
117     <title>MIPS Hardware FAQs</title>
118     <section id="hw-what">
119     <title>What is MIPS?</title>
120     <body>
121    
122     <p>
123     <uri link="http://www.mips.com">MIPS Technologies</uri> is a company that
124     produce a number of RISC CPU cores which implement the MIPS Instruction Set
125     Architecture. These processors appear in all sorts of hardware ranging from
126     small embedded devices to large servers.
127     </p>
128    
129     <p>
130     It also happens to be an acronym; <b>M</b>illions of <b>I</b>nstructions
131     <b>P</b>er <b>S</b>econd.
132     </p>
133    
134     </body>
135     </section>
136     <section id="hardware">
137     <title>What sort of hardware uses MIPS processors?</title>
138     <body>
139    
140     <p>
141     Good question. In short... Heaps. MIPS Processors see use inside all sorts
142     of machines, ranging from small PDAs (such as the early Windows CE powered Casio
143     PDAs), X Terminals (e.g. Tektronix TekXPress XP330 series), through to
144     workstations such as the Silicon Graphics Indy and O2 and even high end servers
145     such as the Silicon Graphics Origin 2000.
146     </p>
147    
148     <p>
149     Here is a list of some of the more famous MIPS-based systems in use. A more
150     comprehensive list can be found on the
151     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Systems">Linux/MIPS website</uri>
152     </p>
153    
154     <table>
155     <tr>
156     <th>Sony Game Consoles</th>
157     <ti>
158     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/PS1">
159     PlayStation</uri><br />
160     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/PS2">
161     PlayStation 2</uri><br />
162     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/PSP">
163     PlayStation Pocket</uri>
164     </ti>
165     </tr>
166     <tr>
167     <th>Nintendo Game Consoles</th>
168     <ti>
169     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Nintendo_64">
170     Nintendo 64
171     </uri>
172     </ti>
173     </tr>
174     <tr>
175     <th>Silicon Graphics Machines</th>
176     <ti>
177     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP12">
178     Iris Indigo</uri><br />
179     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP19">
180     Challenge</uri><br />
181     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP19">
182     Onyx</uri><br />
183     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP22">
184     Indy</uri><br />
185     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP22">
186     Indigo 2</uri><br />
187     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP22">
188     Challenge S</uri><br />
189     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP27">
190     Origin 200</uri><br />
191     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP27">
192     Origin 2000</uri><br />
193     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP27">
194     Onyx 2</uri><br />
195     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP30">
196     Octane</uri><br />
197     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP30">
198     Octane 2</uri><br />
199     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP32">
200     O2</uri><br />
201     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP34">
202     Fuel</uri><br />
203     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP35">
204     Origin 3000</uri><br />
205     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP45">
206     Origin 300</uri><br />
207     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP53">
208     Origin 350</uri><br />
209     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/IP53">
210     Tezro</uri>
211     </ti>
212     </tr>
213     <tr>
214     <th>DECStations</th>
215     <ti>
216     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Deskstation_rPC44">
217     rPC44</uri><br />
218     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Deskstation_Tyne">
219     Tyne</uri>
220     </ti>
221     </tr>
222     <tr>
223     <th>Cobalt Microservers</th>
224     <ti>
225     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
226     Qube 2700</uri><br />
227     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
228     Qube 2800</uri><br />
229     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
230     RaQ</uri><br />
231     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Cobalt">
232     RaQ 2</uri>
233     </ti>
234     </tr>
235     <tr>
236     <th>
237     Broadcom-based 802.11g<br />
238     Broadband Internet Routers
239     </th>
240     <ti>
241     <uri link="http://openwrt.org/">Linksys WRT54G</uri>
242     </ti>
243     </tr>
244     </table>
245    
246     <p>
247     ... and that's only just scratching the surface. These machines are wide and
248     varied. Many of them do not currently run Linux. Of those that do, we only
249     support a handful, although you're welcome to port Gentoo/MIPS to any MIPS
250     machine if you so wish. Some of these machines are also the focus of the <uri
251     link="http://embedded.gentoo.org">Embedded Gentoo Project</uri> such as the
252     Linksys WRT54G.
253     </p>
254    
255     </body>
256     </section>
257     <section id="supported">
258     <title>Is my machine supported?</title>
259     <body>
260    
261     <p>
262     This question is difficult to answer. Your machine could fall into one of three
263     different baskets:
264     </p>
265    
266     <ul>
267     <li>Your machine is supported by Gentoo/MIPS</li>
268     <li>Your machine is supported by Linux/MIPS, but not by Gentoo/MIPS (yet)</li>
269     <li>Your machine is not supported by Linux/MIPS</li>
270     </ul>
271    
272     <p>
273     For the first one an easy way to find out is to have a look at the
274     <uri link="/doc/en/mips-requirements.xml">Gentoo/MIPS
275     requirements page</uri>. This will tell you if the system you've got can
276     theoretically run Gentoo/MIPS. Stuart has also written a
277     <uri link="http://stuartl.longlandclan.hopto.org/gentoo/mips/">hardware support
278     database</uri> in which users may contribute their experiences. This can help
279     measure how well Gentoo/MIPS runs on a particular machine.
280     </p>
281    
282     <p>
283     If you don't find your machine listed there, you may wish to have a look on the
284     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Systems">Linux/MIPS
285     website</uri> to find it there. Installation won't be straightforward however,
286     as the actual process of producing a kernel and suitable boot media for your
287     hardware will have to be done largely by yourself. Naturally though, we'll try
288     to help where we can.
289     </p>
290    
291     </body>
292     </section>
293     <section id="support_X">
294     <title>Why don't you support machine X</title>
295     <body>
296    
297     <p>
298     If you've looked at the Gentoo/MIPS Hardware Requirements page, you've probably
299     noticed there are a LOT of machines we don't support. In the case of SGI
300     hardware, very little is known about some of them, not enough
301     to successfully port Linux to them.
302     </p>
303    
304     <p>
305     If you managed to get Linux working on a box currently listed as
306     <e>unsupported</e> however, feel free to tell us. We'd be interested to know.
307     </p>
308    
309     </body>
310     </section>
311     </chapter>
312    
313     <chapter>
314     <title>MIPS Software FAQs</title>
315     <section id="stage">
316     <title>Which stage tarball do I use?</title>
317     <body>
318    
319     <p>
320     This will depend on the CPU type running in your system. The stage filename is
321     named as follows:
322     </p>
323    
324     <pre caption="Stage Tarball Naming Scheme">
325     stage3-mipsel4-2005.0.tar.bz2
326     \____/ \_____/ \____/
327     | | |
328     | | `--- Gentoo Release (e.g. 1.4, 2004.3, 2005.0)
329     | |
330     | `----------- Endianness and ISA Level
331     | mips ==> Big Endian
332     | mipsel ==> Little Endian
333     |
334     | R3xxx and earlier: ISA Level 1
335     | R4xxx series: ISA Level 3
336     | R5000 and above: ISA Level 4
337     |
338     `------------------ Stage Tarball type: 1, 2 or 3.
339     </pre>
340    
341     <p>
342     So for those of you who are running R4000-class CPUs, try a <c>mips3</c> or
343     <c>mipsel3</c> stage tarball.
344     </p>
345    
346     <p>
347     For those running R5000-class or later CPUs, try a <c>mips4</c> or
348     <c>mipsel4</c> stage tarball.
349     </p>
350    
351     <p>
352     Sometimes the filename will have <c>n32</c> or <c>n64</c> in the filename as
353     well. These refer to 64-bit userland images. At the moment, support for 64-bit
354     userlands is still quite flaky and a lot of packages are broken. I'd suggest
355     leaving these alone unless you're particularly brave and don't mind a rather
356     bumpy ride.
357     </p>
358    
359     </body>
360     </section>
361     <section id="chroot">
362     <title>I got told "Illegal Instruction" or "Cannot Execute Binary
363     File" when chrooting. What did I do wrong?</title>
364     <body>
365    
366     <p>
367     This is generally caused by using the wrong stage tarball. If you try to run a
368     <c>mips4</c> userland on a <c>mips3</c> CPU, you'll get an <e>illegal
369     instruction</e> error message. Likewise, if you have a Big Endian CPU and you
370     try running Little Endian code on it, you'll get told <e>cannot execute binary
371     file</e>.
372     </p>
373    
374     <p>
375     The fix is simple... clean out your partition, then unpack the correct tarball.
376     Which one is that I hear you ask? Have a read of the previous FAQ entry.
377     </p>
378    
379     </body>
380     </section>
381     </chapter>
382    
383     <chapter>
384     <title>Silicon Graphics Specific FAQs</title>
385     <section id="netboot">
386     <title>Why doesn't my SGI machine netboot?</title>
387     <body>
388    
389     <p>
390     This could be for any number of reasons, ranging from cabling issues, through to
391     issues on the server. The best way to troubleshoot any problem is a
392     step-by-step approach...
393     </p>
394    
395     <ol>
396     <li>
397     <b>Have you got the SGI machine (and server) plugged into the right
398     network ports?</b><br />
399     Make sure the network is cabled correctly. Also note that some machines
400     have special needs. For instance the Challenge S cannot obtain network
401     connectivity under Linux via its UTP port, you need to use the AUI port
402     via a transceiver.
403     </li>
404     <li>
405     <b>Are there any firewalls in use?</b><br />
406     Make sure your firewall is not blocking DHCP/BOOTP requests (ports 67 and
407     68 on UDP) or TFTP (port 69 on UDP).<br />
408     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 67:69 -j ACCEPT</c> should get things
409     rolling.
410     </li>
411     <li>
412     <b>Have you disabled packet MTU discovery and set the port range?</b><br />
413     SGI boxes require <path>/proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_no_pmtu_disc</path> = 1 and
414     <path>/proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_local_port_range</path> = "2048 32767". See <uri
415     link="/doc/en/handbook/handbook-mips.xml?part=1&amp;chap=2#doc_chap4">the
416     Gentoo/MIPS handbook</uri>.
417     </li>
418     <li>
419     <b>Is the server giving out the correct details via BOOTP?</b><br />
420     Double check your <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>. ISC's dhcpd won't dish
421     out addressing information via BOOTP unless the machine has been statically
422     defined with a fixed address.
423     </li>
424     <li>
425     <b>Which TFTP server are you using?</b><br />
426     <c>tftp-hpa</c> and <c>netkit-tftp</c> are known to work. <c>atftp</c> is a
427     lot more advanced, this can cause problems. If in doubt, try installing
428     <c>tftp-hpa</c> and see if the problem clears up.
429     </li>
430     <li>
431     <b>Are the daemons running?</b><br />
432     <c>dhcpd</c> should show up when typing <c>ps ax</c>. As for TFTP, it'll
433     largely depend on whether its a standalone server, or if its running from
434     <c>(x)inetd</c>. <c>tftp-hpa</c> runs as a process called <c>in.tftpd</c>.
435     Look for that in the <c>ps ax</c> output and start any services not
436     currently running.
437     </li>
438     <li>
439     <b>Does the kernel exist in <path>/tftpboot</path>?</b><br />
440     Make sure you place the kernel image to be booted in this directory and
441     that it is world-readable. (<c>chmod 644 /tftpboot/foo</c>) Also, in your
442     <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>, note that the path to the kernel will be
443     relative to the <path>/tftpboot</path> directory if you're using
444     <c>tftp-hpa</c>.
445     </li>
446     <li>
447     <b>Have you unset the <c>netaddr</c> and <c>dlserver</c> PROM
448     variables?</b><br />
449     Try running <c>unsetenv netaddr</c> and <c>unsetenv dlserver</c>.
450     </li>
451     </ol>
452    
453     </body>
454     </section>
455     <section id="serial">
456     <title>The machine downloads the kernel, but then "hangs" (using a monitor and
457     keyboard -- not serial console)</title>
458     <body>
459    
460     <p>
461     Unfortunately, not all graphics frame buffers are supported under Linux yet.
462     This doesn't mean you can't use the machine... it just means you'll need a
463     null-modem serial cable to interact with it. It is quite possible that the
464     machine is in fact running, however, the system is outputting to the serial
465     console rather than the screen.
466     </p>
467    
468     </body>
469     </section>
470     </chapter>
471    
472     <chapter>
473     <title>Cobalt Specific FAQs</title>
474     <section id="cobaltboot">
475     <title>Why won't my Cobalt machine boot?</title>
476     <body>
477    
478     <p>
479     This could be for a number of reasons. Our easiest bet however is to run
480     through a checklist and make sure everything is correct.
481     </p>
482    
483     <ol>
484     <li>
485     <b>Have you got the Cobalt machine (and server) plugged into the right
486     network ports?</b><br />
487     Make sure the network is cabled correctly. Please note, the Cobalt firmware
488     will only boot via the Primary network port.
489     </li>
490     <li>
491     <b>Are there any firewalls in use?</b><br />
492     Make sure your firewall is not blocking DHCP/BOOTP requests (ports 67 and
493     68 on UDP) or RPC/Portmap (port 111 on UDP and TCP).<br />
494     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 67:68 -j ACCEPT</c><br />
495     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT</c><br />
496     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT</c>
497     should get things rolling.
498     </li>
499     <li>
500     <b>Is the server giving out the correct details via BOOTP?</b><br />
501     Double check your <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>. ISCs dhcpd won't dish
502     out addressing information via BOOTP unless the machine has been statically
503     defined with a fixed address.
504     </li>
505     <li>
506     <b>Are you exporting <path>/nfsroot</path> in your
507     <path>/etc/exports</path>?</b><br />
508     Make sure you are exporting that to the Cobalt machine. It only needs
509     read-only access. Also remember to run <c>exportfs -av</c> after you edit
510     the file.
511     </li>
512     <li>
513     <b>Are the daemons running?</b><br />
514     <c>dhcpd</c> should show up when typing <c>ps ax</c>. Likewise with
515     <c>portmap</c> and the other RPC daemons. The following commands should
516     look after this for you:<br />
517     <c>/etc/init.d/dhcp start</c><br />
518     <c>/etc/init.d/nfs start</c>
519     </li>
520     <li>
521     <b>Does the kernel exist in <path>/nfsroot</path>?</b><br />
522     Make sure you place the kernel image to be booted in this directory and
523     that it is world-readable. (<c>chmod 644 /nfsroot/foo</c>)
524     </li>
525     </ol>
526    
527     </body>
528     </section>
529     <section id="qube2700">
530     <title>Why don't you support the Qube 2700?</title>
531     <body>
532    
533     <p>
534     The Qube 2700 was the first of the Cobalt servers. While they are very nice
535     machines, unfortunately, they lack a serial port. In other words, any
536     interaction with the machine has to be done through a network. At present, our
537     netboot images do not support this, although plans are in the works that may
538     enable support for this machine.
539     </p>
540    
541     </body>
542     </section>
543    
544     </chapter>
545     </guide>

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