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1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
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
4 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 <guide link="/doc/en/gentoo-mips-faq.xml">
6
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 <version>1.1</version>
23 <date>2005-09-08</date>
24
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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