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#37231 - Adding Gentoo/SPARC FAQ

1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3 <guide link="sparcfaq.xml">
4 <title>Gentoo Linux/SPARC Frequently Asked Questions</title>
5
6 <author title="SPARC Developer">
7 <mail link="weeve@gentoo.org">Jason Wever</mail>
8 </author>
9
10 <abstract>
11 This FAQ is designed to help answer the most commonly asked
12 questions about Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Linux on SPARC architecture.
13 Feel free to send revisions and corrections to the sparc team or the
14 doc team.
15 </abstract>
16 <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
17 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0 -->
18 <license/>
19 <version>1.0</version>
20 <date>April 11, 2004</date>
21
22 <chapter>
23 <title>Documentation Notes</title>
24 <section>
25 <body>
26
27 <p>
28 These are some notes to elaborate on acronyms and terms used in this document.
29 </p>
30
31 <p>
32 When mentioning "SPARC and SPARC64", this refers to the type of sun4x system.
33 SPARC represents the 32 bit systems using the sun4c, sun4d and sun4m
34 architectures (i.e. SPARCstations). SPARC64 represents the sun4u architecture
35 seen in the UltraSPARC series of systems (Ultras, Blades, SunFires, etc).
36 </p>
37
38 <note>
39 Acronyms: OBP = OpenBoot PROM, SS = SPARCstation
40 </note>
41
42 <p>
43 The most frequently asked question we get is "Hey, foo is broken, who can I
44 blame?" After much discussion on how to handle this, we arrived at an answer.
45 Blame Seemant! Why blame Seemant you ask? Just look at
46 <uri>http://www.blameseemant.tk</uri> and it should make it clear :)
47 </p>
48
49 </body>
50 </section>
51 </chapter>
52
53 <chapter>
54 <title>Installation</title>
55 <section>
56 <title>How do I install/use my SPARC over a serial console?</title>
57 <body>
58
59 <p>
60 First, make sure you do not have a keyboard and monitor plugged in. OBP will
61 use the monitor for output by default if either are plugged in. You will need
62 a null modem cable or a regular serial cable with a null modem adapter to be
63 able to view output.
64 </p>
65
66 <p>
67 Standard serial port settings
68 </p>
69
70 <ul>
71 <li>9600 baud</li>
72 <li>8 data bits</li>
73 <li>None for parity</li>
74 <li>1 stop bits</li>
75 </ul>
76
77 <p>
78 Below is a list of commonly used programs for viewing a serial console. Check
79 to see if your serial console application has the ability to send a break, as
80 it can be very useful on a SPARC. The break signal on a serial console is the equivalent to issuing the Stop+A command on the keyboard.
81 </p>
82
83 <table>
84 <tr><th>Linux</th><th>Windows</th></tr>
85 <tr><ti>Minicom</ti><ti>Hyperterm</ti></tr>
86 <tr><ti>Kermit</ti><ti>TeraTerm Pro</ti></tr>
87 <tr><ti>Console</ti></tr>
88 <tr><ti>Seyon</ti></tr>
89 </table>
90
91 </body>
92 </section>
93
94 <section>
95 <title>How do I network boot my SPARC system for installation?</title>
96 <body>
97
98 <p>
99 Currently, Gentoo has experimental network boot/tftpboot images available
100 on a local Gentoo mirror in experimental/sparc/tftpboot. Get the appropriate
101 image for your SPARC computer and then proceed to the Netboot HOWTO for
102 further instructions.
103 </p>
104 </body>
105 </section>
106
107 <section>
108 <title>I have a CRT/LCD monitor attached to my SPARC that selects a resolution
109 my monitor can't handle when the kernel boots. How do I get a visible and/or
110 non-distorted display on my monitor?</title>
111 <body>
112
113 <p>
114 This problem is a result of the framebuffer support the Linux kernel loads
115 at boot time, and the modelines available on SPARC systems.
116
117 Here we will assume your monitor and video card will agree on a resolution of
118 1024 by 768 at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
119
120 In OBP, you can set the resolution by adjusting the setting for output-device.
121 To view the current setting, use the command:
122 </p>
123
124 <pre caption="View current settings">
125 ok <i>printenv output-device</i>
126
127 <comment>&lt;output-device&gt; &lt;screen&gt; &lt;screen&gt;</comment>
128 </pre>
129
130 <p>
131 Now, to set this so it will start the display using the above mentioned
132 resolution, we will use the setenv command as follows;
133 </p>
134
135 <pre caption="Setting display">
136 ok <i>setenv output-device screen:r1024x768x60</i>
137
138 output-device = screen:r1024x768x60
139 </pre>
140
141 <p>
142 In order for this to take effect, you will need to reset the machine;
143 </p>
144
145 <pre caption="Resetting the machine">
146 ok <i>reset</i>
147 </pre>
148
149 <p>
150 Additionally, for users using the onboard video card based on the ATI Mach64
151 chipset (Ultra 5/10 and Blade 100/150), you will want to append the following
152 to your kernel boot option;
153 </p>
154
155 <pre caption="Appending to the kernel boot option">
156 video=atyfb:1024x768@60
157 </pre>
158
159 <p>
160 If you are booting from SILO, you can append the above string onto the end
161 of a given boot image. The following example would be if you were booting
162 from the LiveCD.
163 </p>
164
165 <pre caption="Booting a Gentoo LiveCD">
166 boot: <i>gentoo video=atyfb:1024x768@60</i>
167 </pre>
168
169 <p>
170 If you were booting from the network, you would append the string onto the
171 end of the boot net command in OBP as illustrated below;
172 </p>
173
174 <pre caption="Booting from the net">
175 ok <i>boot net video=atyfb:1024x768@60</i>
176 </pre>
177
178 </body>
179 </section>
180
181 <section>
182 <title>I'm new to SPARC and am not sure what kernel options to use,
183 HELP!</title>
184 <body>
185
186 <p>
187 Most of the time, the default kernel options will be acceptable for hardware
188 support. You will need to make sure that devfs and virtual memory filesystem
189 support is enabled in the kernel as instructed in the Installation Handbook.
190 </p>
191
192 <p>
193 Additionally, Gentoo/SPARC developer Ciaran McCreesh maintains a collection
194 of kernel configuration files for various SPARC systems at
195 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~ciaranm/configs/kernel/</uri>. Feel free to submit kernel configuration files for any SPARC systems and/or kernel versions not currently avaiable to <mail link="ciaranm@gentoo.org">ciaranm@gentoo.org</mail>
196 </p>
197
198 </body>
199 </section>
200
201 <section>
202 <title>How do I dual boot Gentoo Linux/SPARC with Solaris?</title>
203
204 <body>
205
206 <p>
207 Dual booting Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris can be done one of two ways. The
208 two ways are having both Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris on the same drive, or
209 having them on seperate drives.
210
211 Below are example SILO configurations for each scenario. In the example
212 configs, the following things are assumed;
213 </p>
214
215 <p>
216 Single Drive Setup
217 </p>
218
219 <ul>
220 <li>Boot drive is SCSI ID 0</li>
221 <li>Gentoo boots from partition 1</li>
222 <li>Solaris boots from parition 5</li>
223 </ul>
224
225
226 <p>
227 Seperate Drive Setup
228 </p>
229
230 <ul>
231 <li>Second drive is SCSI ID 1</li>
232 <li>Gentoo is on SCSI ID 0</li>
233 <li>Solaris is on SCSI ID 1</li>
234 <li>boot-device in OBP is SCSI ID 0</li>
235 </ul>
236
237
238 <pre caption="Sample silo.conf for a single drive installation">
239 <comment># Generic config options</comment>
240 partition = 1
241 timeout = 50
242
243 <comment># Gentoo Linux/SPARC options</comment>
244 image = /boot/vmlinux
245 label = linux
246 root=/dev/sda4
247
248 <comment># Solaris options</comment>
249 other=5
250 label = Solaris
251 </pre>
252
253 <pre caption="Sample silo.conf for separate disk installation">
254 <comment># Generic config options</comment>
255 parition = 1
256 timeout = 50
257
258 <comment># Gentoo Linux/SPARC options</comment>
259 image = /boot/vmlinux
260 label = linux
261 root=/dev/sda4
262
263 <comment># Solaris options</comment>
264 other = /sbus/espdma/esp/sd@1,0;1
265 label = solaris
266 </pre>
267
268 </body>
269 </section>
270
271 <section>
272 <title>I just booted my SPARCstation after installing Gentoo but it won't boot.
273 Why isn't it booting?</title>
274
275 <body>
276
277 <p>
278 One possibility has to do with the way the that the SCSI IDs are assigned.
279 Gentoo/SPARC developer Keith Wesolowski provides us with the following;
280 </p>
281
282 <p>
283 Linux, normally, orders devices by SCSI ID. The lowest-numbered disk
284 is sda, the next-lowest is sdb, and so on. Note that devfs allows you
285 to specify devices by SCSI ID, so that adding a new device doesn't
286 cause your existing devices to be renamed, unless of course you use
287 the compatibility names. There are additional ways to solve this.
288 </p>
289
290 <p>
291 The OBP in most or all sun4c and sun4m systems aliases "disk" to the
292 device with SCSI ID 3, and "disk0" through "disk3" to the device with
293 = the corresponding SCSI ID, if it happens to be a disk rather than a
294 tape, CDROM, etc.
295 </p>
296
297 <p>
298 In the desktop systems of this era that support two SCA disks (the
299 Aurora chassis systems), the lower slot is assigned SCSI ID 3, and the
300 upper slot is assigned SCSI ID 1.
301 </p>
302
303 <p>
304 If you like, you can change the PROM alias "disk" to match that of
305 "disk1" so that the "boot disk" command causes the system to boot from
306 the same device Linux calls sda. This feels more consistent and
307 normal, especially for users with a PC background. Alternately, you
308 can simply place the filesystem containing /boot (which could be the
309 root filesystem or a separate boot filesystem) on device ID 3 (Linux
310 sdb) and boot from it, using a root filesystem on either sda or sdb,
311 or in fact any other disk attached to the system.
312 </p>
313
314 </body>
315 </section>
316 </chapter>
317
318 <chapter>
319 <title>Hardware</title>
320
321 <section>
322 <title>Will Gentoo run on my SPARC?</title>
323
324 <body>
325 <p>
326 It depends on the type of SPARC, but chances are yes. One exception seems to
327 be the SPARC based laptops from Tadpole, particularly the newer models. If
328 you have a working Tadpole on Gentoo/SPARC, please contact us and let us know
329 the details on the model and anything special needed to get it to work.
330 </p>
331 <p>
332 Gentoo/SPARC Developer Todd Sunderlin keeps a partial list of the status of
333 SPARC64 systems under Gentoo at <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~todd/sparc64.html</uri>. Email him with any additions or possible changes to <mail link="todd@gentoo.org">todd@gentoo.org</mail>.
334 </p>
335
336 <p>
337 To add details on your model SPARC64 to the list, email todd@gentoo.org with
338 the pertinant information. In general, support for the SPARC64 systems is
339 good enough to allow some users to run it successfully in production
340 environments.
341 </p>
342
343 <p>
344 32-bit SPARC systems vary. Systems with the sun4m architecture have been
345 reported to work fine (SS4 - SS20) including SMP configurations with the later
346 2.4 series kernels. sun4m systems using HyperSPARC or Ross processors in a
347 SMP configuration will have a lot of kernel related trouble. Additionally
348 the author hasn't heard of any user reports in regards to the Java-stations so
349 its status is unknown. sun4d based systems currently do not work in the 2.4
350 kernel series, and sun4c has been unstable as well.
351 </p>
352
353 <p>
354 Often, the problems encountered in trying to run Gentoo on a 32-bit SPARC
355 system stem from the kernel. Rob Radez (no relation to Gentoo) maintains a
356 webpage <uri>http://osinvestor.com/sparc/</uri> with the status of SPARC system support
357 for various versions of the Linux kernel. This can help indicate how usable
358 your SPARC system would be under SPARC/Linux.
359 </p>
360 </body>
361 </section>
362
363 <section>
364 <title>What additional hardware is supported under Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
365
366 <body>
367 <p>
368 For a list of additionally supported Sun hardware, consult the following list
369 from the UltraLinux homepage - <uri>http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_2.</uri>
370 </p>
371
372 <p>
373 A partial list of Sun devices which do NOT currently have support under
374 Gentoo/SPARC or SPARC/Linux in general are:
375 </p>
376
377 <ul>
378 <li>SunPCI cards</li>
379 <li>SBUS or PCI PCMCIA controllers</li>
380 <li>Smart card readers on some Sun Blade workstations</li>
381 <li>Floppy drive on some Sun Blade workstations</li>
382 </ul>
383
384 <p>
385 Also, Gentoo/SPARC developer Sven Blumenstein keeps a list of PC hardware
386 that has been tested with the PCI based SPARC64 systems at
387 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~bazik/hw.php</uri>. Feel free to add your results at testing PC or non-Sun hardware to the list by emailing <mail link="bazik@gentoo.org">bazik@gentoo.org</mail> with the information on the hardware as displayed in the existing hardware list.
388 </p>
389
390 </body>
391 </section>
392
393 <section>
394 <title>So you keep talking about sun4c/sun4d/sun4m/sun4u. How do I know which one I have?</title>
395 <body>
396
397 <p>The UltraLinux FAQ has the answer at <uri>http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_1</uri>
398 </p>
399
400 </body>
401 </section>
402 </chapter>
403
404 <chapter>
405 <title>Applications</title>
406
407 <section>
408 <title>
409 How do I get XFree86 to find a usable modeline on my Ultra 5/10 or Blade
410 100/150?
411 </title>
412 <body>
413 <p>
414 The ATI Framebuffer normally expects a PC's BIOS to set the Reference Clock
415 speed for the video card. However, on non-x86 architectures, this doesn't
416 happen. So what needs to be done is to set the Reference Clock speed in the
417 XF86Config file.
418 </p>
419
420 <p>
421 In the "Device" section of your XF86Config file, you will want to add a line
422 similar to the following;
423 </p>
424
425 <pre caption="Add to XF86Config">
426 Option "reference_clock" "28.636 MHz"
427 </pre>
428
429 <p>
430 The following URLs contain more information on how to set the reference clock:
431 <uri>http://www.xfree86.org/~dawes/4.3.0/ati5.html#26</uri>
432 </p>
433
434 </body>
435 </section>
436 <section>
437 <title>How come package foo is masked on Sparc?</title>
438
439 <body>
440 <p>Chances are, this is due to the fact that none of the Gentoo/SPARC developers
441 have gotten around to testing this yet, and/or the package is currently
442 marked with the ~sparc keyword (meaning it's in a testing phase).
443 </p>
444
445 <p>
446 If you still want to install the package, you can follow the instructions from
447 the Portage Masked Package FAQ at
448 <uri>http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=33534</uri>.
449 </p>
450
451 <note>
452 The FAQ mentions the sparc64 keyword, which is invalid.
453 </note>
454
455 </body>
456 </section>
457
458 <section>
459 <title>How can I help get package foo marked stable?</title>
460 <body>
461 <p>
462 If you want to help ensure a package gets marked stable in a timely fashion,
463 particularly if it's an application with a small userbase (i.e.
464 net-im/bitlbee), install the package and test to make sure it works. If it
465 appears to be working well, feel free to file a bug at <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri> and assign it to the Gentoo/SPARC team.</p>
466 </body>
467 </section>
468
469 <section>
470 <title>I tried to emerge a package, but emerge failed complaining that a dependency
471 is masked. How can I fix this?</title>
472 <body>
473 <p>
474 This is a bug. Please file a bug report at <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri> for the Gentoo/SPARC team indicating what package you tried to emerge, the error message emerge gave you, and the output of emerge info.</p>
475 </body>
476 </section>
477 </chapter>
478
479 <chapter>
480 <title>Misc</title>
481
482 <section>
483 <title>I'm interested in becoming more involved with Gentoo/SPARC. How do I go about
484 doing that?</title>
485
486 <body>
487
488 <p>
489 The best way is to join the #gentoo-sparc IRC channel on Freenode IRC network
490 irc.freenode.net. This is where all of the developers hang out and talk
491 SPARC (amongst other things). Short of email, this is the best way to get
492 our attention, and blame seemant! :)
493 </p>
494 <p>
495 Also, many users and developers make use of the <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC forum</uri>. This is a good place to ask questions and see what problems have come up before, as well as talk shop
496 about Gentoo/SPARC.
497 </p>
498 <p>
499 Additionally, you can view the bugs for Gentoo/SPARC via the <uri link="http://bugs.gentoo.org">Gentoo Bugzilla</uri>. The bugs will be assigned or CC'd to sparc@gentoo.org.
500 </p>
501 </body>
502 </section>
503
504 <section>
505 <title>Are there any currently known bugs/issues with software packages on
506 Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
507 <body>
508 <p>
509 A list of problematic packages can be found at
510 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~weeve/problems.html</uri>
511 </p>
512 </body>
513 </section>
514 </chapter>
515
516
517 <chapter>
518
519 <title>Additional Resources</title>
520 <section><body>
521 <p>Here is some info on the Gentoo/SPARC project itself.
522 </p>
523 <p>
524 <uri link="http://sparc.gentoo.org">Gentoo/SPARC Project Page</uri>
525 </p>
526 <p>#gentoo-sparc - Official IRC channel on irc.freenode.net
527 </p>
528 <p>
529 <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC Forum</uri>
530 </p>
531 <p>
532 <mail>sparc@gentoo.org</mail> - Gentoo/SPARC team email address
533 </p>
534 <p>Here are links to additional information about SPARC/Linux or SPARCs in general
535 </p>
536 <p>
537 <uri link="http://www.ultralinux.org">UltraLinux Homepage</uri> - Homepage of the SPARC/Linux port
538 </p>
539 <p>
540 <uri link="http://sunsolve.sun.com">Sunsolve</uri> - Great resource for Sun hardware documentation
541 </p>
542 <p>
543 <uri>http://docs.sun.com</uri> - Additional hardware and software information for SPARC systems, including instructions for flashing OBP
544 </p>
545 <p><uri link="http://www.obsolyte.com">Obsolyte</uri> - Information on older SPARC systems and links to a lot of other great SPARC related sites.
546 </p>
547 <p>
548 <uri link="http://040.digital-bless.com/texts/Unofficial_Sun_Blade_100_FAQ.htm">Unofficial Sun Blade 100 FAQ</uri> - Answers a lot of hardware related questions on the Blade 100
549 </p>
550 <p>
551 <uri link="http://docs.sun.com/db/coll/216.2">OBP Reference Guide</uri> - Sun's guide to the OpenBoot PROM.
552 </p>
553
554 </body>
555 </section>
556 </chapter>
557 </guide>

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