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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 1.5 2005/07/14 08:18:46 fox2mike 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 <version>1.3</version>
22 <date>2005-07-14</date>
23
24 <chapter>
25 <title>Documentation Notes</title>
26 <section>
27 <body>
28
29 <p>
30 These are some notes to elaborate on acronyms and terms used in this document.
31 </p>
32
33 <p>
34 When mentioning <c>SPARC</c> and <c>SPARC64</c>, this refers to the type of
35 <c>sun4x</c> system. SPARC represents the 32 bit systems using the
36 <c>sun4c</c>, <c>sun4d</c> and <c>sun4m</c> architectures (i.e. SPARCstations).
37 SPARC64 represents the <c>sun4u</c> architecture seen in the UltraSPARC series
38 of systems (Ultras, Blades, SunFires, etc).
39 </p>
40
41 <p>
42 Acronyms: <c>OBP</c> = OpenBoot PROM, <c>SS</c> = SPARCstation.
43 </p>
44
45 </body>
46 </section>
47 </chapter>
48
49 <chapter>
50 <title>Installation</title>
51 <section>
52 <title>How do I install/use my SPARC over a serial console?</title>
53 <body>
54
55 <p>
56 First, make sure you do not have a keyboard and monitor plugged in. OBP will
57 use the monitor for output by default if either are plugged in. You will need a
58 null modem cable or a regular serial cable with a null modem adapter to be able
59 to view output.
60 </p>
61
62 <p>
63 Standard serial port settings:
64 </p>
65
66 <ul>
67 <li>9600 baud</li>
68 <li>8 data bits</li>
69 <li>None for parity</li>
70 <li>1 stop bits</li>
71 </ul>
72
73 <p>
74 Below is a list of commonly used programs for viewing a serial console. Check
75 to see if your serial console application has the ability to send a break, as
76 it can be very useful on a SPARC. The break signal on a serial console is the
77 equivalent to issuing the Stop+A command on the keyboard.
78 </p>
79
80 <table>
81 <tr>
82 <th>Linux</th>
83 <th>Windows</th>
84 </tr>
85 <tr>
86 <ti>Minicom</ti>
87 <ti>Hyperterm</ti>
88 </tr>
89 <tr>
90 <ti>Kermit</ti>
91 <ti>TeraTerm Pro</ti>
92 </tr>
93 <tr>
94 <ti>Console</ti>
95 <ti></ti>
96 </tr>
97 <tr>
98 <ti>Seyon</ti>
99 <ti></ti>
100 </tr>
101 </table>
102
103 </body>
104 </section>
105 <section>
106 <title>How do I network boot my SPARC system for installation?</title>
107 <body>
108
109 <p>
110 Currently, Gentoo has experimental network boot/tftpboot images available on a
111 local Gentoo mirror in experimental/sparc/tftpboot. Get the appropriate image
112 for your SPARC computer and then proceed to the Netboot HOWTO for further
113 instructions.
114 </p>
115
116 </body>
117 </section>
118 <section>
119 <title>I have a CRT/LCD monitor attached to my SPARC that selects a resolution
120 my monitor can't handle when the kernel boots. How do I get a visible and/or
121 non-distorted display on my monitor?</title>
122 <body>
123
124 <p>
125 This problem is a result of the framebuffer support the Linux kernel loads at
126 boot time, and the modelines available on SPARC systems. Here we will assume
127 your monitor and video card will agree on a resolution of 1024 by 768 at a
128 refresh rate of 60 Hz. In OBP, you can set the resolution by adjusting the
129 setting for <c>output-device</c>. To view the current setting, use the
130 command:
131 </p>
132
133 <pre caption="View current settings">
134 ok <i>printenv output-device</i>
135
136 <comment>&lt;output-device&gt; &lt;screen&gt; &lt;screen&gt;</comment>
137 </pre>
138
139 <p>
140 Now, to set this so it will start the display using the above mentioned
141 resolution, we will use the <c>setenv</c> command as follows:
142 </p>
143
144 <pre caption="Setting display">
145 ok <i>setenv output-device screen:r1024x768x60</i>
146
147 output-device = screen:r1024x768x60
148 </pre>
149
150 <p>
151 In order for this to take effect, you will need to reset the machine:
152 </p>
153
154 <pre caption="Resetting the machine">
155 ok <i>reset</i>
156 </pre>
157
158 <p>
159 Additionally, for users using the onboard video card based on the ATI Mach64
160 chipset (Ultra 5/10 and Blade 100/150), you will want to append the following
161 to your kernel boot options:
162 </p>
163
164 <pre caption="Appending a kernel boot option">
165 video=atyfb:1024x768@60
166 </pre>
167
168 <p>
169 If you are booting from SILO, you can append the above string onto the end of a
170 given boot image. The following example would be if you were booting from the
171 LiveCD.
172 </p>
173
174 <pre caption="Booting a Gentoo LiveCD">
175 boot: <i>gentoo video=atyfb:1024x768@60</i>
176 </pre>
177
178 <p>
179 If you were booting from the network, you would append the string onto the end
180 of the boot net command in OBP as illustrated below:
181 </p>
182
183 <pre caption="Booting from the net">
184 ok <i>boot net video=atyfb:1024x768@60</i>
185 </pre>
186
187 </body>
188 </section>
189 <section>
190 <title>I'm new to SPARC and am not sure what kernel options to use,
191 HELP!</title>
192 <body>
193
194 <p>
195 Most of the time, the default kernel options will be acceptable for hardware
196 support. You will need to make sure that <c>devfs</c> and <c>virtual memory
197 filesystem support</c> is enabled in the kernel as instructed in the <uri
198 link="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/">Installation Handbook</uri>.
199 </p>
200
201 <p>
202 Additionally, Gentoo/SPARC developer Ciaran McCreesh maintains a collection of
203 kernel configuration files for various SPARC systems at
204 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~ciaranm/configs/kernel/</uri>. Feel free to submit
205 kernel configuration files for any SPARC systems and/or kernel versions not
206 currently avaiable to <mail
207 link="ciaranm@gentoo.org">ciaranm@gentoo.org</mail>.
208 </p>
209
210 </body>
211 </section>
212 <section>
213 <title>How do I dual boot Gentoo Linux/SPARC with Solaris?</title>
214 <body>
215
216 <p>
217 Dual booting Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris can be done one of two ways. The
218 two ways are: having both Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris on the same drive, or
219 having them on separate drives. Below are example SILO configurations for each
220 scenario. In the example configs, the following things are assumed:
221 </p>
222
223 <p>
224 Single Drive Setup:
225 </p>
226
227 <ul>
228 <li>Boot drive is SCSI ID 0</li>
229 <li>Gentoo boots from partition 1</li>
230 <li>Solaris boots from partition 5</li>
231 </ul>
232
233 <p>
234 Separate Drive Setup:
235 </p>
236
237 <ul>
238 <li>Second drive is SCSI ID 1</li>
239 <li>Gentoo is on SCSI ID 0</li>
240 <li>Solaris is on SCSI ID 1</li>
241 <li>boot-device in OBP is SCSI ID 0</li>
242 </ul>
243
244
245 <pre caption="Sample silo.conf for a single drive installation">
246 <comment># Generic config options</comment>
247 partition = 1
248 timeout = 50
249
250 <comment># Gentoo Linux/SPARC options</comment>
251 image = /boot/vmlinux
252 label = linux
253 root=/dev/sda4
254
255 <comment># Solaris options</comment>
256 other=5
257 label = Solaris
258 </pre>
259
260 <pre caption="Sample silo.conf for separate disk installation">
261 <comment># Generic config options</comment>
262 parition = 1
263 timeout = 50
264
265 <comment># Gentoo Linux/SPARC options</comment>
266 image = /boot/vmlinux
267 label = linux
268 root=/dev/sda4
269
270 <comment># Solaris options</comment>
271 other = /sbus/espdma/esp/sd@1,0;1
272 label = solaris
273 </pre>
274
275 </body>
276 </section>
277 <section>
278 <title>I just booted my SPARCstation after installing Gentoo but it won't boot.
279 Why isn't it booting?</title>
280 <body>
281
282 <p>
283 One possibility has to do with the way the that the SCSI IDs are assigned.
284 Gentoo/SPARC developer Keith Wesolowski provides us with the following:
285 </p>
286
287 <p>
288 Linux, normally, orders devices by SCSI ID. The lowest-numbered disk is
289 <c>sda</c>, the next-lowest is <c>sdb</c>, and so on. Note that <c>devfs</c>
290 allows you to specify devices by SCSI ID, so that adding a new device doesn't
291 cause your existing devices to be renamed, unless of course you use the
292 compatibility names. There are additional ways to solve this.
293 </p>
294
295 <p>
296 The OBP in most or all sun4c and sun4m systems aliases "disk" to the device
297 with SCSI ID 3, and "disk0" through "disk3" to the device with = the
298 corresponding SCSI ID, if it happens to be a disk rather than a tape, CDROM,
299 etc.
300 </p>
301
302 <p>
303 In the desktop systems of this era that support two SCA disks (the Aurora
304 chassis systems), the lower slot is assigned SCSI ID 3, and the upper slot is
305 assigned SCSI ID 1.
306 </p>
307
308 <p>
309 If you like, you can change the PROM alias "disk" to match that of "disk1" so
310 that the <c>boot disk</c> command causes the system to boot from the same
311 device Linux calls <c>sda</c>. This feels more consistent and normal,
312 especially for users with a PC background. Alternatively, you can simply place
313 the filesystem containing <path>/boot</path> (which could be the root
314 filesystem or a separate boot filesystem) on device ID 3 (Linux <c>sdb</c>) and
315 boot from it, using a root filesystem on either <c>sda</c> or <c>sdb</c>, or in
316 fact any other disk attached to the system.
317 </p>
318
319 </body>
320 </section>
321 </chapter>
322
323 <chapter>
324 <title>Hardware</title>
325 <section>
326 <title>Will Gentoo run on my SPARC?</title>
327 <body>
328
329 <p>
330 It depends on the type of SPARC, but chances are yes. One exception seems to be
331 the SPARC based laptops from Tadpole, particularly the newer models. If you
332 have a working Tadpole on Gentoo/SPARC, please contact us and let us know the
333 details on the model and anything special needed to get it to work.
334 </p>
335
336 <p>
337 Gentoo/SPARC Developer Todd Sunderlin keeps a partial list of the status of
338 SPARC64 systems under Gentoo at
339 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~todd/sparc64.html</uri>. Email him with any
340 additions or possible changes to <mail
341 link="todd@gentoo.org">todd@gentoo.org</mail>.
342 </p>
343
344 <p>
345 To add details on your model SPARC64 to the list, email <mail
346 link="todd@gentoo.org">todd@gentoo.org</mail> with the pertinent information.
347 In general, support for the SPARC64 systems is good enough to allow some users
348 to run it successfully in production environments.
349 </p>
350
351 <p>
352 32-bit SPARC systems vary. Systems with the sun4m architecture have been
353 reported to work fine (SS4-SS20) including SMP configurations with the later
354 2.4 series kernels. sun4m systems using HyperSPARC or Ross processors in a SMP
355 configuration will have a lot of kernel related trouble. Additionally the
356 author hasn't heard of any user reports in regards to the JavaStations so its
357 status is unknown. sun4d based systems currently do not work in the 2.4 kernel
358 series, and sun4c has been unstable as well.
359 </p>
360
361 <p>
362 Often, the problems encountered in trying to run Gentoo on a 32-bit SPARC
363 system stem from the kernel. Rob Radez (not related to Gentoo) maintains a
364 webpage <uri>http://osinvestor.com/sparc/</uri> with the status of SPARC system
365 support for various versions of the Linux kernel. This can help indicate how
366 usable your SPARC system would be under SPARC/Linux.
367 </p>
368
369 </body>
370 </section>
371 <section>
372 <title>What additional hardware is supported under Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
373 <body>
374
375 <p>
376 For a list of additionally supported Sun hardware, consult the following list
377 from the UltraLinux homepage -
378 <uri>http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_2.</uri>
379 </p>
380
381 <p>
382 A partial list of Sun devices which do NOT currently have support under
383 Gentoo/SPARC or SPARC/Linux in general are:
384 </p>
385
386 <ul>
387 <li>SunPCI cards</li>
388 <li>SBUS or PCI PCMCIA controllers</li>
389 <li>Smart card readers on some Sun Blade workstations</li>
390 <li>Floppy drive on some Sun Blade workstations</li>
391 </ul>
392
393 <p>
394 Also, Gentoo/SPARC developer Sven Blumenstein keeps a list of PC hardware that
395 has been tested with the PCI based SPARC64 systems at
396 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~bazik/hw.php</uri>. Feel free to add your results
397 at testing PC or non-Sun hardware to the list by emailing <mail
398 link="bazik@gentoo.org">bazik@gentoo.org</mail> with the information on the
399 hardware as displayed in the existing hardware list.
400 </p>
401
402 </body>
403 </section>
404 <section>
405 <title>So you keep talking about sun4c/sun4d/sun4m/sun4u. How do I
406 know which one I have?</title>
407 <body>
408
409 <p>
410 The UltraLinux FAQ has the answer at
411 <uri>http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_1</uri>.
412 </p>
413
414 </body>
415 </section>
416 </chapter>
417
418 <chapter>
419 <title>Applications</title>
420 <section>
421 <title>
422 How do I get XFree86 to find a usable modeline on my Ultra 5/10 or Blade
423 100/150?
424 </title>
425 <body>
426
427 <p>
428 The ATI Framebuffer normally expects a PC's BIOS to set the Reference Clock
429 speed for the video card. However, on non-x86 architectures, this doesn't
430 happen. So what needs to be done is to set the Reference Clock speed in the
431 XF86Config file.
432 </p>
433
434 <p>
435 In the "Device" section of your XF86Config file, you will want to add a line
436 similar to the following:
437 </p>
438
439 <pre caption="Add to XF86Config">
440 Option "reference_clock" "28.636 MHz"
441 </pre>
442
443 <p>
444 The following URLs contain more information on how to set the reference clock:
445 <uri>http://www.xfree86.org/~dawes/4.3.0/ati5.html#26</uri>. If you have issues
446 you might want to try without a similar setting first.
447 </p>
448
449 </body>
450 </section>
451 <section>
452 <title>How come package foo is masked on Sparc?</title>
453 <body>
454
455 <p>
456 Chances are this is due to the fact that none of the Gentoo/SPARC developers
457 have gotten around to testing this yet, and/or the package is currently marked
458 with the <c>~sparc</c> keyword (meaning it's in a testing phase).
459 </p>
460
461 <p>
462 If you still want to install the package, you can follow the instructions from
463 the at <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?t=33534">Portage
464 Masked Package FAQ</uri>.
465 </p>
466
467 <note>
468 The FAQ mentions the sparc64 keyword, which is invalid.
469 </note>
470
471 </body>
472 </section>
473 <section>
474 <title>How can I help get package foo marked stable?</title>
475 <body>
476
477 <p>
478 If you want to help ensure a package gets marked stable in a timely fashion,
479 particularly if it's an application with a small userbase (i.e.
480 net-im/bitlbee), install the package and test to make sure it works. If it
481 appears to be working well, feel free to file a bug at
482 <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri> and assign it to the Gentoo/SPARC team.
483 </p>
484
485 </body>
486 </section>
487 <section>
488 <title>I tried to emerge a package, but emerge failed complaining that a
489 dependency is masked. How can I fix this?</title>
490 <body>
491
492 <p>
493 This is a bug. Please file a bug report at <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri>
494 for the Gentoo/SPARC team indicating what package you tried to emerge, the
495 error message emerge gave you, and the output of <c>emerge --info</c>.
496 </p>
497
498 </body>
499 </section>
500 </chapter>
501
502 <chapter>
503 <title>Miscellaneous</title>
504 <section>
505 <title>I'm interested in becoming more involved with Gentoo/SPARC. How do I go about
506 doing that?</title>
507 <body>
508
509 <p>
510 The best way is to join the <c>#gentoo-sparc</c> IRC channel on Freenode IRC
511 network <c>irc.freenode.net</c>. This is where all of the developers hang out
512 and talk SPARC (amongst other things). Short of email, this is the best way to
513 get our attention, and blame seemant! :)
514 </p>
515
516 <p>
517 Also, many users and developers make use of the <uri
518 link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC forum</uri>.
519 This is a good place to ask questions and see what problems have come up
520 before, as well as talk shop about Gentoo/SPARC.
521 </p>
522
523 <p>
524 Additionally, you can view the bugs for Gentoo/SPARC via the <uri
525 link="http://bugs.gentoo.org">Gentoo Bugzilla</uri>. The bugs will be assigned
526 or CC'd to sparc@gentoo.org.
527 </p>
528
529 </body>
530 </section>
531 <section>
532 <title>Are there any currently known bugs/issues with software packages on
533 Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
534 <body>
535
536 <p>
537 A list of problematic packages can be found at
538 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~weeve/problems.html</uri>
539 </p>
540
541 </body>
542 </section>
543 </chapter>
544
545 <chapter>
546 <title>Additional Resources</title>
547 <section>
548 <body>
549
550 <p>
551 Here is some info on the Gentoo/SPARC project itself:
552 </p>
553
554 <ul>
555 <li><uri link="http://sparc.gentoo.org">Gentoo/SPARC Project Page</uri></li>
556 <li>#gentoo-sparc - Official IRC channel on irc.freenode.net</li>
557 <li>
558 <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC
559 Forum</uri>
560 </li>
561 <li><mail>sparc@gentoo.org</mail> - Gentoo/SPARC team email address
562 </li>
563 </ul>
564
565 <p>
566 Here are links to additional information about SPARC/Linux or SPARCs in general:
567 </p>
568
569 <ul>
570 <li>
571 <uri link="http://www.ultralinux.org">UltraLinux Homepage</uri> - Homepage
572 of the SPARC/Linux port
573 </li>
574 <li>
575 <uri link="http://sunsolve.sun.com">Sunsolve</uri> - Great resource for Sun
576 hardware documentation
577 </li>
578 <li>
579 <uri>http://docs.sun.com</uri> - Additional hardware and software
580 information for SPARC systems, including instructions for flashing OBP
581 </li>
582 <li>
583 <uri link="http://www.obsolyte.com">Obsolyte</uri> - Information on older
584 SPARC systems and links to a lot of other great SPARC related sites.
585 </li>
586 <li>
587 <uri
588 link="http://040.digital-bless.com/texts/Unofficial_Sun_Blade_100_FAQ.htm">Unofficial
589 Sun Blade 100 FAQ</uri> - Answers a lot of hardware related questions on
590 the Blade 100
591 </li>
592 <li>
593 <uri link="http://docs.sun.com/db/coll/216.2">OBP Reference Guide</uri> -
594 Sun's guide to the OpenBoot PROM.
595 </li>
596 </ul>
597
598 </body>
599 </section>
600 </chapter>
601 </guide>

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