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1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-sparc-faq.xml,v 1.9 2006/01/25 01:52:57 jkt Exp $ -->
3
4 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 <guide link="/doc/en/gentoo-sparc-faq.xml">
6 <title>Gentoo Linux/SPARC Frequently Asked Questions</title>
7
8 <author title="SPARC Developer">
9 <mail link="weeve@gentoo.org">Jason Wever</mail>
10 </author>
11
12 <abstract>
13 This FAQ is designed to help answer the most commonly asked questions about
14 Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Linux on SPARC architecture. Feel free to send
15 revisions and corrections to the sparc team or the doc team.
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>1.6</version>
23 <date>2006-05-26</date>
24
25 <chapter>
26 <title>Documentation Notes</title>
27 <section>
28 <body>
29
30 <p>
31 These are some notes to elaborate on acronyms and terms used in this document.
32 </p>
33
34 <p>
35 When mentioning <c>SPARC</c> and <c>SPARC64</c>, this refers to the type of
36 <c>sun4x</c> system. SPARC represents the 32 bit systems using the
37 <c>sun4c</c>, <c>sun4d</c> and <c>sun4m</c> architectures (i.e. SPARCstations).
38 SPARC64 represents the <c>sun4u</c> architecture seen in the UltraSPARC series
39 of systems (Ultras, Blades, SunFires, etc).
40 </p>
41
42 <p>
43 Acronyms: <c>OBP</c> = OpenBoot PROM, <c>SS</c> = SPARCstation.
44 </p>
45
46 </body>
47 </section>
48 </chapter>
49
50 <chapter>
51 <title>Installation</title>
52 <section>
53 <title>How do I install/use my SPARC over a serial console?</title>
54 <body>
55
56 <p>
57 First, make sure you do not have a keyboard and monitor plugged in. OBP will
58 use the monitor for output by default if either are plugged in. You will need a
59 null modem cable or a regular serial cable with a null modem adapter to be able
60 to view output.
61 </p>
62
63 <p>
64 Standard serial port settings:
65 </p>
66
67 <ul>
68 <li>9600 baud</li>
69 <li>8 data bits</li>
70 <li>None for parity</li>
71 <li>1 stop bits</li>
72 </ul>
73
74 <p>
75 Below is a list of commonly used programs for viewing a serial console. Check
76 to see if your serial console application has the ability to send a break, as
77 it can be very useful on a SPARC. The break signal on a serial console is the
78 equivalent to issuing the Stop+A command on the keyboard.
79 </p>
80
81 <table>
82 <tr>
83 <th>Linux</th>
84 <th>Windows</th>
85 </tr>
86 <tr>
87 <ti>Minicom</ti>
88 <ti>Hyperterm</ti>
89 </tr>
90 <tr>
91 <ti>Kermit</ti>
92 <ti>TeraTerm Pro</ti>
93 </tr>
94 <tr>
95 <ti>Console</ti>
96 <ti></ti>
97 </tr>
98 <tr>
99 <ti>Seyon</ti>
100 <ti></ti>
101 </tr>
102 </table>
103
104 </body>
105 </section>
106 <section>
107 <title>How do I network boot my SPARC system for installation?</title>
108 <body>
109
110 <p>
111 Currently, Gentoo has experimental network boot/tftpboot images available on a
112 local Gentoo mirror in experimental/sparc/tftpboot. Get the appropriate image
113 for your SPARC computer and then proceed to the Netboot HOWTO for further
114 instructions.
115 </p>
116
117 </body>
118 </section>
119 <section>
120 <title>I have a CRT/LCD monitor attached to my SPARC that selects a resolution
121 my monitor can't handle when the kernel boots. How do I get a visible and/or
122 non-distorted display on my monitor?</title>
123 <body>
124
125 <p>
126 This problem is a result of the framebuffer support the Linux kernel loads at
127 boot time, and the modelines available on SPARC systems. Here we will assume
128 your monitor and video card will agree on a resolution of 1024 by 768 at a
129 refresh rate of 60 Hz. In OBP, you can set the resolution by adjusting the
130 setting for <c>output-device</c>. To view the current setting, use the
131 command:
132 </p>
133
134 <pre caption="View current settings">
135 ok <i>printenv output-device</i>
136
137 <comment>&lt;output-device&gt; &lt;screen&gt; &lt;screen&gt;</comment>
138 </pre>
139
140 <p>
141 Now, to set this so it will start the display using the above mentioned
142 resolution, we will use the <c>setenv</c> command as follows:
143 </p>
144
145 <pre caption="Setting display">
146 ok <i>setenv output-device screen:r1024x768x60</i>
147
148 output-device = screen:r1024x768x60
149 </pre>
150
151 <p>
152 In order for this to take effect, you will need to reset the machine:
153 </p>
154
155 <pre caption="Resetting the machine">
156 ok <i>reset</i>
157 </pre>
158
159 <p>
160 Additionally, for users using the onboard video card based on the ATI Mach64
161 chipset (Ultra 5/10 and Blade 100/150), you will want to append the following
162 to your kernel boot options:
163 </p>
164
165 <pre caption="Appending a kernel boot option">
166 video=atyfb:1024x768@60
167 </pre>
168
169 <p>
170 If you are booting from SILO, you can append the above string onto the end of a
171 given boot image. The following example would be if you were booting from the
172 LiveCD.
173 </p>
174
175 <pre caption="Booting a Gentoo LiveCD">
176 boot: <i>gentoo video=atyfb:1024x768@60</i>
177 </pre>
178
179 <p>
180 If you were booting from the network, you would append the string onto the end
181 of the boot net command in OBP as illustrated below:
182 </p>
183
184 <pre caption="Booting from the net">
185 ok <i>boot net video=atyfb:1024x768@60</i>
186 </pre>
187
188 </body>
189 </section>
190 <section>
191 <title>I'm new to SPARC and am not sure what kernel options to use,
192 HELP!</title>
193 <body>
194
195 <p>
196 Most of the time, the default kernel options will be acceptable for hardware
197 support. You will need to make sure that <c>devfs</c> (in case you don't use
198 <c>udev</c>) and <c>virtual memory filesystem support</c> is enabled in the
199 kernel as instructed in the <uri
200 link="/doc/en/handbook/handbook-sparc.xml">Installation Handbook</uri>.
201 </p>
202
203 </body>
204 </section>
205 <section>
206 <title>How do I dual boot Gentoo Linux/SPARC with Solaris?</title>
207 <body>
208
209 <p>
210 Dual booting Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris can be done one of two ways. The
211 two ways are: having both Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris on the same drive, or
212 having them on separate drives. Below are example SILO configurations for each
213 scenario. In the example configs, the following things are assumed:
214 </p>
215
216 <p>
217 Single Drive Setup:
218 </p>
219
220 <ul>
221 <li>Boot drive is SCSI ID 0</li>
222 <li>Gentoo boots from partition 1</li>
223 <li>Solaris boots from partition 5</li>
224 </ul>
225
226 <p>
227 Separate 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 <section>
271 <title>I just booted my SPARCstation after installing Gentoo but it won't boot.
272 Why isn't it booting?</title>
273 <body>
274
275 <p>
276 One possibility has to do with the way the that the SCSI IDs are assigned.
277 Gentoo/SPARC developer Keith Wesolowski provides us with the following:
278 </p>
279
280 <p>
281 Linux, normally, orders devices by SCSI ID. The lowest-numbered disk is
282 <c>sda</c>, the next-lowest is <c>sdb</c>, and so on. Note that <c>devfs</c>
283 allows you to specify devices by SCSI ID, so that adding a new device doesn't
284 cause your existing devices to be renamed, unless of course you use the
285 compatibility names. There are additional ways to solve this.
286 </p>
287
288 <p>
289 The OBP in most or all sun4c and sun4m systems aliases "disk" to the device
290 with SCSI ID 3, and "disk0" through "disk3" to the device with = the
291 corresponding SCSI ID, if it happens to be a disk rather than a tape, CDROM,
292 etc.
293 </p>
294
295 <p>
296 In the desktop systems of this era that support two SCA disks (the Aurora
297 chassis systems), the lower slot is assigned SCSI ID 3, and the upper slot is
298 assigned SCSI ID 1.
299 </p>
300
301 <p>
302 If you like, you can change the PROM alias "disk" to match that of "disk1" so
303 that the <c>boot disk</c> command causes the system to boot from the same
304 device Linux calls <c>sda</c>. This feels more consistent and normal,
305 especially for users with a PC background. Alternatively, you can simply place
306 the filesystem containing <path>/boot</path> (which could be the root
307 filesystem or a separate boot filesystem) on device ID 3 (Linux <c>sdb</c>) and
308 boot from it, using a root filesystem on either <c>sda</c> or <c>sdb</c>, or in
309 fact any other disk attached to the system.
310 </p>
311
312 </body>
313 </section>
314 </chapter>
315
316 <chapter>
317 <title>Hardware</title>
318 <section>
319 <title>Will Gentoo run on my SPARC?</title>
320 <body>
321
322 <p>
323 It depends on the type of SPARC, but chances are yes. One exception seems to be
324 the SPARC based laptops from Tadpole, particularly the newer models. If you
325 have a working Tadpole on Gentoo/SPARC, please contact us and let us know the
326 details on the model and anything special needed to get it to work.
327 </p>
328
329 <p>
330 In general, support for the SPARC64 systems is good enough to allow some users
331 to run it successfully in production environments.
332 </p>
333
334 <p>
335 32-bit SPARC systems vary. Systems with the sun4m architecture have been
336 reported to work fine (SS4-SS20) including SMP configurations with the later
337 2.4 series kernels. sun4m systems using HyperSPARC or Ross processors in a SMP
338 configuration will have a lot of kernel related trouble. Additionally the
339 author hasn't heard of any user reports in regards to the JavaStations so its
340 status is unknown. sun4d based systems currently do not work in the 2.4 kernel
341 series, and sun4c has been unstable as well.
342 </p>
343
344 <p>
345 Often, the problems encountered in trying to run Gentoo on a 32-bit SPARC
346 system stem from the kernel. Rob Radez (not related to Gentoo) maintains a
347 webpage <uri>http://osinvestor.com/sparc/</uri> with the status of SPARC system
348 support for various versions of the Linux kernel. This can help indicate how
349 usable your SPARC system would be under SPARC/Linux.
350 </p>
351
352 </body>
353 </section>
354 <section>
355 <title>What additional hardware is supported under Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
356 <body>
357
358 <p>
359 For a list of additionally supported Sun hardware, consult the following list
360 from the UltraLinux homepage -
361 <uri>http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_2.</uri>
362 </p>
363
364 <p>
365 A partial list of Sun devices which do NOT currently have support under
366 Gentoo/SPARC or SPARC/Linux in general are:
367 </p>
368
369 <ul>
370 <li>SunPCI cards</li>
371 <li>SBUS or PCI PCMCIA controllers</li>
372 <li>Smart card readers on some Sun Blade workstations</li>
373 <li>Floppy drive on some Sun Blade workstations</li>
374 </ul>
375
376 <p>
377 Also, Gentoo/SPARC developer Sven Blumenstein keeps a list of PC hardware that
378 has been tested with the PCI based SPARC64 systems at
379 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~bazik/hw.php</uri>. Feel free to add your results
380 at testing PC or non-Sun hardware to the list by emailing <mail
381 link="bazik@gentoo.org">bazik@gentoo.org</mail> with the information on the
382 hardware as displayed in the existing hardware list.
383 </p>
384
385 </body>
386 </section>
387 <section>
388 <title>So you keep talking about sun4c/sun4d/sun4m/sun4u. How do I
389 know which one I have?</title>
390 <body>
391
392 <p>
393 The UltraLinux FAQ has the answer at
394 <uri>http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_1</uri>.
395 </p>
396
397 </body>
398 </section>
399 </chapter>
400
401 <chapter>
402 <title>Applications</title>
403 <section>
404 <title>
405 How do I get XFree86 to find a usable modeline on my Ultra 5/10 or Blade
406 100/150?
407 </title>
408 <body>
409
410 <p>
411 The ATI Framebuffer normally expects a PC's BIOS to set the Reference Clock
412 speed for the video card. However, on non-x86 architectures, this doesn't
413 happen. So what needs to be done is to set the Reference Clock speed in the
414 XF86Config file.
415 </p>
416
417 <p>
418 In the "Device" section of your XF86Config file, you will want to add a line
419 similar to the following:
420 </p>
421
422 <pre caption="Add to XF86Config">
423 Option "reference_clock" "28.636 MHz"
424 </pre>
425
426 <p>
427 The following URLs contain more information on how to set the reference clock:
428 <uri>http://www.xfree86.org/~dawes/4.3.0/ati5.html#26</uri>. If you have issues
429 you might want to try without a similar setting first.
430 </p>
431
432 </body>
433 </section>
434 <section>
435 <title>How come package foo is masked on Sparc?</title>
436 <body>
437
438 <p>
439 Chances are this is due to the fact that none of the Gentoo/SPARC developers
440 have gotten around to testing this yet, and/or the package is currently marked
441 with the <c>~sparc</c> keyword (meaning it's in a testing phase).
442 </p>
443
444 <p>
445 If you still want to install the package, you can follow the instructions from
446 the at <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?t=33534">Portage
447 Masked Package FAQ</uri>.
448 </p>
449
450 <note>
451 The FAQ mentions the sparc64 keyword, which is invalid.
452 </note>
453
454 </body>
455 </section>
456 <section>
457 <title>How can I help get package foo marked stable?</title>
458 <body>
459
460 <p>
461 If you want to help ensure a package gets marked stable in a timely fashion,
462 particularly if it's an application with a small userbase (i.e.
463 net-im/bitlbee), install the package and test to make sure it works. If it
464 appears to be working well, feel free to file a bug at
465 <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri> and assign it to the Gentoo/SPARC team.
466 </p>
467
468 </body>
469 </section>
470 <section>
471 <title>I tried to emerge a package, but emerge failed complaining that a
472 dependency is masked. How can I fix this?</title>
473 <body>
474
475 <p>
476 This is a bug. Please file a bug report at <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri>
477 for the Gentoo/SPARC team indicating what package you tried to emerge, the
478 error message emerge gave you, and the output of <c>emerge --info</c>.
479 </p>
480
481 </body>
482 </section>
483 </chapter>
484
485 <chapter>
486 <title>Miscellaneous</title>
487 <section>
488 <title>I'm interested in becoming more involved with Gentoo/SPARC. How do I go about
489 doing that?</title>
490 <body>
491
492 <p>
493 The best way is to join the <c>#gentoo-sparc</c> IRC channel on Freenode IRC
494 network <c>irc.freenode.net</c>. This is where all of the developers hang out
495 and talk SPARC (amongst other things). Short of email, this is the best way to
496 get our attention, and blame seemant! :)
497 </p>
498
499 <p>
500 Also, many users and developers make use of the <uri
501 link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC forum</uri>.
502 This is a good place to ask questions and see what problems have come up
503 before, as well as talk shop about Gentoo/SPARC.
504 </p>
505
506 <p>
507 Additionally, you can view the bugs for Gentoo/SPARC via the <uri
508 link="http://bugs.gentoo.org">Gentoo Bugzilla</uri>. The bugs will be assigned
509 or CC'd to sparc@gentoo.org.
510 </p>
511
512 </body>
513 </section>
514 <section>
515 <title>Are there any currently known bugs/issues with software packages on
516 Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
517 <body>
518
519 <p>
520 A list of problematic packages can be found at
521 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~weeve/problems.html</uri>
522 </p>
523
524 </body>
525 </section>
526 </chapter>
527
528 <chapter>
529 <title>Additional Resources</title>
530 <section>
531 <body>
532
533 <p>
534 Here is some info on the Gentoo/SPARC project itself:
535 </p>
536
537 <ul>
538 <li><uri link="http://sparc.gentoo.org">Gentoo/SPARC Project Page</uri></li>
539 <li>#gentoo-sparc - Official IRC channel on irc.freenode.net</li>
540 <li>
541 <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC
542 Forum</uri>
543 </li>
544 <li><mail>sparc@gentoo.org</mail> - Gentoo/SPARC team email address
545 </li>
546 </ul>
547
548 <p>
549 Here are links to additional information about SPARC/Linux or SPARCs in general:
550 </p>
551
552 <ul>
553 <li>
554 <uri link="http://www.ultralinux.org">UltraLinux Homepage</uri> - Homepage
555 of the SPARC/Linux port
556 </li>
557 <li>
558 <uri link="http://sunsolve.sun.com">Sunsolve</uri> - Great resource for Sun
559 hardware documentation
560 </li>
561 <li>
562 <uri>http://docs.sun.com</uri> - Additional hardware and software
563 information for SPARC systems, including instructions for flashing OBP
564 </li>
565 <li>
566 <uri link="http://www.obsolyte.com">Obsolyte</uri> - Information on older
567 SPARC systems and links to a lot of other great SPARC related sites.
568 </li>
569 <li>
570 <uri
571 link="http://040.digital-bless.com/texts/Unofficial_Sun_Blade_100_FAQ.htm">Unofficial
572 Sun Blade 100 FAQ</uri> - Answers a lot of hardware related questions on
573 the Blade 100
574 </li>
575 <li>
576 <uri link="http://docs.sun.com/db/coll/216.2">OBP Reference Guide</uri> -
577 Sun's guide to the OpenBoot PROM.
578 </li>
579 </ul>
580
581 </body>
582 </section>
583 </chapter>
584 </guide>

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