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1 swift 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 swift 1.6 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-mips-faq.xml,v 1.5 2011/08/15 20:13:16 swift Exp $ -->
3 swift 1.1
4     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 swift 1.6 <guide>
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 swift 1.5 <author title="Editor">
13     <mail link="mattst88">Matt Turner</mail>
14     </author>
15 swift 1.1
16     <abstract>
17 swift 1.4 This FAQ is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions
18 swift 1.1 relating to Gentoo/MIPS and Linux/MIPS in general.
19     </abstract>
20    
21     <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
22     <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
23     <license/>
24    
25 swift 1.5 <version>2</version>
26     <date>2011-08-14</date>
27 swift 1.1
28 neysx 1.3 <faqindex>
29 swift 1.5 <title>About this Document</title>
30 swift 1.1 <section>
31     <title>Introduction</title>
32     <body>
33    
34     <p>
35     This FAQ is intended to answer frequently asked questions about Gentoo/MIPS and
36     Linux/MIPS that we receive from various users. It's aimed at both new users
37 swift 1.4 and experienced users alike. It has been split into a number of categories
38 swift 1.1 to make navigation easier.
39     </p>
40    
41     <p>
42 swift 1.5 If you'd like to contribute to the FAQ or, having read this guide, you
43 swift 1.1 still have questions that are left unanswered, feel free to
44 swift 1.5 <uri link="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/mips/">drop us a line</uri>.
45 swift 1.1 </p>
46    
47     </body>
48     </section>
49 neysx 1.3 </faqindex>
50 swift 1.1
51     <chapter>
52     <title>About the Gentoo/MIPS Project</title>
53     <section id="what">
54     <title>What is Gentoo/MIPS?</title>
55     <body>
56    
57     <p>
58 swift 1.5 Gentoo/MIPS is a small project responsible for looking after the MIPS port of
59     Gentoo Linux.
60 swift 1.1 </p>
61    
62     </body>
63     </section>
64     <section id="why">
65     <title>Why install Gentoo Linux on MIPS?</title>
66     <body>
67    
68     <p>
69     Okay, sure, some MIPS machines aren't the fastest boxes on the block these days.
70     However, despite the age of some of these beasts, they still can make very
71     functional, useful machines. A Cobalt Qube 2 could make a very nice broadband
72     Internet router, capable of hosting websites, email, IRC and numerous other
73     tasks. There are a number of reasons why you'd want to install Linux on this
74     sort of hardware.
75     </p>
76    
77     <ul>
78     <li>
79     It teaches you a lot about computer hardware by giving you an alternate
80     frame of reference
81     </li>
82     <li>
83     It allows you to turn what would otherwise be useless junk into a very
84     functional system
85     </li>
86     <li>
87     Status Symbol: Linux on x86 is so common these days it's not funny.
88     However, Linux on MIPS is a lot less common and quite a talking point.
89     </li>
90     </ul>
91    
92     </body>
93     </section>
94     <section id="port">
95     <title>Why don't you port Gentoo to NetBSD/MIPS or IRIX?</title>
96     <body>
97    
98     <p>
99     Hey, great idea. Unfortunately, a lot of the Gentoo/MIPS team already have
100 swift 1.5 their hands full looking after Linux/MIPS as well as other commitments. A
101     project like this would fall under the umbrella of the
102     <uri link="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/gentoo-alt/prefix/">Gentoo Prefix
103     project</uri>. Some work has been done for IRIX, the remnants of which can be
104     found in <uri
105     link="https://bugs.gentoo.org/buglist.cgi?quicksearch=irix">bugzilla</uri>.
106 swift 1.1 </p>
107    
108     </body>
109     </section>
110     </chapter>
111    
112     <chapter>
113     <title>MIPS Hardware FAQs</title>
114     <section id="hw-what">
115     <title>What is MIPS?</title>
116     <body>
117    
118     <p>
119     <uri link="http://www.mips.com">MIPS Technologies</uri> is a company that
120 swift 1.5 produce a number of RISC CPU cores which implement the <uri
121     link="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIPS_architecture">MIPS Architecture</uri>.
122     These processors appear in all sorts of hardware ranging from small embedded
123     devices to large servers.
124 swift 1.1 </p>
125    
126     <p>
127     It also happens to be an acronym; <b>M</b>illions of <b>I</b>nstructions
128     <b>P</b>er <b>S</b>econd.
129     </p>
130    
131     </body>
132     </section>
133     <section id="hardware">
134     <title>What sort of hardware uses MIPS processors?</title>
135     <body>
136    
137     <p>
138 swift 1.5 In short... lots. MIPS Processors see use inside all sorts
139 swift 1.1 of machines, ranging from small PDAs (such as the early Windows CE powered Casio
140     PDAs), X Terminals (e.g. Tektronix TekXPress XP330 series), through to
141     workstations such as the Silicon Graphics Indy and O2 and even high end servers
142     such as the Silicon Graphics Origin 2000.
143     </p>
144    
145     <p>
146 swift 1.5 A comprehensive list can be found on the <uri
147 swift 1.4 link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Systems">Linux/MIPS website</uri>
148 swift 1.1 </p>
149    
150     <p>
151 swift 1.5 ... and that's only scratching the surface. These machines are wide and
152 swift 1.1 varied. Many of them do not currently run Linux. Of those that do, we only
153     support a handful, although you're welcome to port Gentoo/MIPS to any MIPS
154     machine if you so wish. Some of these machines are also the focus of the <uri
155     link="http://embedded.gentoo.org">Embedded Gentoo Project</uri> such as the
156     Linksys WRT54G.
157     </p>
158    
159     </body>
160     </section>
161     <section id="supported">
162     <title>Is my machine supported?</title>
163     <body>
164    
165     <p>
166     For the first one an easy way to find out is to have a look at the
167     <uri link="/doc/en/mips-requirements.xml">Gentoo/MIPS
168     requirements page</uri>. This will tell you if the system you've got can
169 swift 1.5 theoretically run Gentoo/MIPS.
170 swift 1.1 </p>
171    
172     <p>
173     If you don't find your machine listed there, you may wish to have a look on the
174     <uri link="http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/index.php/Systems">Linux/MIPS
175     website</uri> to find it there. Installation won't be straightforward however,
176     as the actual process of producing a kernel and suitable boot media for your
177     hardware will have to be done largely by yourself. Naturally though, we'll try
178     to help where we can.
179     </p>
180    
181     </body>
182     </section>
183     <section id="support_X">
184     <title>Why don't you support machine X</title>
185     <body>
186    
187     <p>
188     If you've looked at the Gentoo/MIPS Hardware Requirements page, you've probably
189 swift 1.5 noticed there are a lot of machines we don't support. In the case of SGI
190 swift 1.1 hardware, very little is known about some of them, not enough
191     to successfully port Linux to them.
192     </p>
193    
194     <p>
195     If you managed to get Linux working on a box currently listed as
196 swift 1.5 <e>unsupported</e> however, please tell us. We'd be interested to know.
197 swift 1.1 </p>
198    
199     </body>
200     </section>
201     </chapter>
202    
203     <chapter>
204     <title>MIPS Software FAQs</title>
205     <section id="stage">
206     <title>Which stage tarball do I use?</title>
207     <body>
208    
209     <p>
210     This will depend on the CPU type running in your system. The stage filename is
211     named as follows:
212     </p>
213    
214     <pre caption="Stage Tarball Naming Scheme">
215 swift 1.5 stage3-mipsel4_multilib-20110627.tar.bz2
216     \____/ \_____/ \_____/ \______/
217     | | | |
218     | | | `-- Gentoo Release (date of creation)
219 swift 1.1 | | |
220 swift 1.5 | | `--- ABI: multilib, n32, n64 (nothing for o32)
221 swift 1.1 | |
222     | `----------- Endianness and ISA Level
223     | mips ==> Big Endian
224     | mipsel ==> Little Endian
225     |
226     `------------------ Stage Tarball type: 1, 2 or 3.
227     </pre>
228    
229     <p>
230 swift 1.5 For R4000-class CPUs, use a <c>mips3</c> or <c>mipsel3</c> stage tarball.
231 swift 1.1 </p>
232    
233     <p>
234 swift 1.5 For R5000-class or later CPUs, use a <c>mips4</c> or <c>mipsel4</c> stage
235     tarball.
236 swift 1.1 </p>
237    
238     </body>
239     </section>
240     <section id="chroot">
241 swift 1.5 <title>I got an "Illegal Instruction" or "Cannot Execute Binary
242     File" error message when chrooting. What did I do wrong?</title>
243 swift 1.1 <body>
244    
245     <p>
246     This is generally caused by using the wrong stage tarball. If you try to run a
247     <c>mips4</c> userland on a <c>mips3</c> CPU, you'll get an <e>illegal
248     instruction</e> error message. Likewise, if you have a Big Endian CPU and you
249 swift 1.5 try to run Little Endian code on it, you'll get <e>cannot execute binary
250 swift 1.1 file</e>.
251     </p>
252    
253     <p>
254 swift 1.5 The fix is simple: clean out your partition, then unpack the correct tarball.
255 swift 1.1 </p>
256    
257     </body>
258     </section>
259     </chapter>
260    
261     <chapter>
262     <title>Silicon Graphics Specific FAQs</title>
263     <section id="netboot">
264     <title>Why doesn't my SGI machine netboot?</title>
265     <body>
266    
267     <p>
268     This could be for any number of reasons, ranging from cabling issues, through to
269 swift 1.4 issues on the server. The best way to troubleshoot any problem is a
270 swift 1.1 step-by-step approach...
271     </p>
272    
273     <ol>
274     <li>
275     <b>Have you got the SGI machine (and server) plugged into the right
276     network ports?</b><br />
277     Make sure the network is cabled correctly. Also note that some machines
278 swift 1.4 have special needs. For instance the Challenge S cannot obtain network
279     connectivity under Linux via its UTP port, you need to use the AUI port
280 swift 1.1 via a transceiver.
281     </li>
282     <li>
283     <b>Are there any firewalls in use?</b><br />
284     Make sure your firewall is not blocking DHCP/BOOTP requests (ports 67 and
285     68 on UDP) or TFTP (port 69 on UDP).<br />
286     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 67:69 -j ACCEPT</c> should get things
287     rolling.
288     </li>
289     <li>
290     <b>Have you disabled packet MTU discovery and set the port range?</b><br />
291     SGI boxes require <path>/proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_no_pmtu_disc</path> = 1 and
292 swift 1.4 <path>/proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_local_port_range</path> = "2048 32767".
293     See <uri
294 swift 1.1 link="/doc/en/handbook/handbook-mips.xml?part=1&amp;chap=2#doc_chap4">the
295     Gentoo/MIPS handbook</uri>.
296     </li>
297     <li>
298     <b>Is the server giving out the correct details via BOOTP?</b><br />
299     Double check your <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>. ISC's dhcpd won't dish
300     out addressing information via BOOTP unless the machine has been statically
301     defined with a fixed address.
302     </li>
303     <li>
304     <b>Which TFTP server are you using?</b><br />
305     <c>tftp-hpa</c> and <c>netkit-tftp</c> are known to work. <c>atftp</c> is a
306     lot more advanced, this can cause problems. If in doubt, try installing
307     <c>tftp-hpa</c> and see if the problem clears up.
308     </li>
309     <li>
310     <b>Are the daemons running?</b><br />
311     <c>dhcpd</c> should show up when typing <c>ps ax</c>. As for TFTP, it'll
312     largely depend on whether its a standalone server, or if its running from
313     <c>(x)inetd</c>. <c>tftp-hpa</c> runs as a process called <c>in.tftpd</c>.
314     Look for that in the <c>ps ax</c> output and start any services not
315     currently running.
316     </li>
317     <li>
318     <b>Does the kernel exist in <path>/tftpboot</path>?</b><br />
319     Make sure you place the kernel image to be booted in this directory and
320     that it is world-readable. (<c>chmod 644 /tftpboot/foo</c>) Also, in your
321     <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>, note that the path to the kernel will be
322     relative to the <path>/tftpboot</path> directory if you're using
323     <c>tftp-hpa</c>.
324     </li>
325     <li>
326     <b>Have you unset the <c>netaddr</c> and <c>dlserver</c> PROM
327     variables?</b><br />
328     Try running <c>unsetenv netaddr</c> and <c>unsetenv dlserver</c>.
329     </li>
330     </ol>
331    
332     </body>
333     </section>
334     <section id="serial">
335     <title>The machine downloads the kernel, but then "hangs" (using a monitor and
336 swift 1.5 keyboard &ndash; not serial console)</title>
337 swift 1.1 <body>
338    
339     <p>
340     Unfortunately, not all graphics frame buffers are supported under Linux yet.
341     This doesn't mean you can't use the machine... it just means you'll need a
342     null-modem serial cable to interact with it. It is quite possible that the
343     machine is in fact running, however, the system is outputting to the serial
344     console rather than the screen.
345     </p>
346    
347     </body>
348     </section>
349     </chapter>
350    
351     <chapter>
352     <title>Cobalt Specific FAQs</title>
353     <section id="cobaltboot">
354     <title>Why won't my Cobalt machine boot?</title>
355     <body>
356    
357     <p>
358     This could be for a number of reasons. Our easiest bet however is to run
359     through a checklist and make sure everything is correct.
360     </p>
361    
362     <ol>
363     <li>
364     <b>Have you got the Cobalt machine (and server) plugged into the right
365     network ports?</b><br />
366     Make sure the network is cabled correctly. Please note, the Cobalt firmware
367     will only boot via the Primary network port.
368     </li>
369     <li>
370     <b>Are there any firewalls in use?</b><br />
371     Make sure your firewall is not blocking DHCP/BOOTP requests (ports 67 and
372     68 on UDP) or RPC/Portmap (port 111 on UDP and TCP).<br />
373     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 67:68 -j ACCEPT</c><br />
374     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p udp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT</c><br />
375     <c>iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT</c>
376     should get things rolling.
377     </li>
378     <li>
379     <b>Is the server giving out the correct details via BOOTP?</b><br />
380     Double check your <path>/etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf</path>. ISCs dhcpd won't dish
381     out addressing information via BOOTP unless the machine has been statically
382     defined with a fixed address.
383     </li>
384     <li>
385     <b>Are you exporting <path>/nfsroot</path> in your
386     <path>/etc/exports</path>?</b><br />
387     Make sure you are exporting that to the Cobalt machine. It only needs
388     read-only access. Also remember to run <c>exportfs -av</c> after you edit
389     the file.
390     </li>
391     <li>
392     <b>Are the daemons running?</b><br />
393     <c>dhcpd</c> should show up when typing <c>ps ax</c>. Likewise with
394     <c>portmap</c> and the other RPC daemons. The following commands should
395     look after this for you:<br />
396     <c>/etc/init.d/dhcp start</c><br />
397     <c>/etc/init.d/nfs start</c>
398     </li>
399     <li>
400     <b>Does the kernel exist in <path>/nfsroot</path>?</b><br />
401     Make sure you place the kernel image to be booted in this directory and
402     that it is world-readable. (<c>chmod 644 /nfsroot/foo</c>)
403     </li>
404     </ol>
405    
406     </body>
407     </section>
408     <section id="qube2700">
409     <title>Why don't you support the Qube 2700?</title>
410     <body>
411    
412     <p>
413     The Qube 2700 was the first of the Cobalt servers. While they are very nice
414     machines, unfortunately, they lack a serial port. In other words, any
415     interaction with the machine has to be done through a network. At present, our
416 swift 1.5 netboot images do not support this.
417 swift 1.1 </p>
418    
419     </body>
420     </section>
421    
422     </chapter>
423     </guide>

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