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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 1.6 2005/07/14 09:49:17 swift 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>1.4</version>
22 <date>2005-10-28</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 </body>
202 </section>
203 <section>
204 <title>How do I dual boot Gentoo Linux/SPARC with Solaris?</title>
205 <body>
206
207 <p>
208 Dual booting Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris can be done one of two ways. The
209 two ways are: having both Gentoo Linux/SPARC and Solaris on the same drive, or
210 having them on separate drives. Below are example SILO configurations for each
211 scenario. In the example configs, the following things are assumed:
212 </p>
213
214 <p>
215 Single Drive Setup:
216 </p>
217
218 <ul>
219 <li>Boot drive is SCSI ID 0</li>
220 <li>Gentoo boots from partition 1</li>
221 <li>Solaris boots from partition 5</li>
222 </ul>
223
224 <p>
225 Separate Drive Setup:
226 </p>
227
228 <ul>
229 <li>Second drive is SCSI ID 1</li>
230 <li>Gentoo is on SCSI ID 0</li>
231 <li>Solaris is on SCSI ID 1</li>
232 <li>boot-device in OBP is SCSI ID 0</li>
233 </ul>
234
235
236 <pre caption="Sample silo.conf for a single drive installation">
237 <comment># Generic config options</comment>
238 partition = 1
239 timeout = 50
240
241 <comment># Gentoo Linux/SPARC options</comment>
242 image = /boot/vmlinux
243 label = linux
244 root=/dev/sda4
245
246 <comment># Solaris options</comment>
247 other=5
248 label = Solaris
249 </pre>
250
251 <pre caption="Sample silo.conf for separate disk installation">
252 <comment># Generic config options</comment>
253 parition = 1
254 timeout = 50
255
256 <comment># Gentoo Linux/SPARC options</comment>
257 image = /boot/vmlinux
258 label = linux
259 root=/dev/sda4
260
261 <comment># Solaris options</comment>
262 other = /sbus/espdma/esp/sd@1,0;1
263 label = solaris
264 </pre>
265
266 </body>
267 </section>
268 <section>
269 <title>I just booted my SPARCstation after installing Gentoo but it won't boot.
270 Why isn't it booting?</title>
271 <body>
272
273 <p>
274 One possibility has to do with the way the that the SCSI IDs are assigned.
275 Gentoo/SPARC developer Keith Wesolowski provides us with the following:
276 </p>
277
278 <p>
279 Linux, normally, orders devices by SCSI ID. The lowest-numbered disk is
280 <c>sda</c>, the next-lowest is <c>sdb</c>, and so on. Note that <c>devfs</c>
281 allows you to specify devices by SCSI ID, so that adding a new device doesn't
282 cause your existing devices to be renamed, unless of course you use the
283 compatibility names. There are additional ways to solve this.
284 </p>
285
286 <p>
287 The OBP in most or all sun4c and sun4m systems aliases "disk" to the device
288 with SCSI ID 3, and "disk0" through "disk3" to the device with = the
289 corresponding SCSI ID, if it happens to be a disk rather than a tape, CDROM,
290 etc.
291 </p>
292
293 <p>
294 In the desktop systems of this era that support two SCA disks (the Aurora
295 chassis systems), the lower slot is assigned SCSI ID 3, and the upper slot is
296 assigned SCSI ID 1.
297 </p>
298
299 <p>
300 If you like, you can change the PROM alias "disk" to match that of "disk1" so
301 that the <c>boot disk</c> command causes the system to boot from the same
302 device Linux calls <c>sda</c>. This feels more consistent and normal,
303 especially for users with a PC background. Alternatively, you can simply place
304 the filesystem containing <path>/boot</path> (which could be the root
305 filesystem or a separate boot filesystem) on device ID 3 (Linux <c>sdb</c>) and
306 boot from it, using a root filesystem on either <c>sda</c> or <c>sdb</c>, or in
307 fact any other disk attached to the system.
308 </p>
309
310 </body>
311 </section>
312 </chapter>
313
314 <chapter>
315 <title>Hardware</title>
316 <section>
317 <title>Will Gentoo run on my SPARC?</title>
318 <body>
319
320 <p>
321 It depends on the type of SPARC, but chances are yes. One exception seems to be
322 the SPARC based laptops from Tadpole, particularly the newer models. If you
323 have a working Tadpole on Gentoo/SPARC, please contact us and let us know the
324 details on the model and anything special needed to get it to work.
325 </p>
326
327 <p>
328 Gentoo/SPARC Developer Todd Sunderlin keeps a partial list of the status of
329 SPARC64 systems under Gentoo at
330 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~todd/sparc64.html</uri>. Email him with any
331 additions or possible changes to <mail
332 link="todd@gentoo.org">todd@gentoo.org</mail>.
333 </p>
334
335 <p>
336 To add details on your model SPARC64 to the list, email <mail
337 link="todd@gentoo.org">todd@gentoo.org</mail> with the pertinent information.
338 In general, support for the SPARC64 systems is good enough to allow some users
339 to run it successfully in production environments.
340 </p>
341
342 <p>
343 32-bit SPARC systems vary. Systems with the sun4m architecture have been
344 reported to work fine (SS4-SS20) including SMP configurations with the later
345 2.4 series kernels. sun4m systems using HyperSPARC or Ross processors in a SMP
346 configuration will have a lot of kernel related trouble. Additionally the
347 author hasn't heard of any user reports in regards to the JavaStations so its
348 status is unknown. sun4d based systems currently do not work in the 2.4 kernel
349 series, and sun4c has been unstable as well.
350 </p>
351
352 <p>
353 Often, the problems encountered in trying to run Gentoo on a 32-bit SPARC
354 system stem from the kernel. Rob Radez (not related to Gentoo) maintains a
355 webpage <uri>http://osinvestor.com/sparc/</uri> with the status of SPARC system
356 support for various versions of the Linux kernel. This can help indicate how
357 usable your SPARC system would be under SPARC/Linux.
358 </p>
359
360 </body>
361 </section>
362 <section>
363 <title>What additional hardware is supported under Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
364 <body>
365
366 <p>
367 For a list of additionally supported Sun hardware, consult the following list
368 from the UltraLinux homepage -
369 <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 that
386 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
388 at testing PC or non-Sun hardware to the list by emailing <mail
389 link="bazik@gentoo.org">bazik@gentoo.org</mail> with the information on the
390 hardware as displayed in the existing hardware list.
391 </p>
392
393 </body>
394 </section>
395 <section>
396 <title>So you keep talking about sun4c/sun4d/sun4m/sun4u. How do I
397 know which one I have?</title>
398 <body>
399
400 <p>
401 The UltraLinux FAQ has the answer at
402 <uri>http://www.ultralinux.org/faq.html#q_2_1</uri>.
403 </p>
404
405 </body>
406 </section>
407 </chapter>
408
409 <chapter>
410 <title>Applications</title>
411 <section>
412 <title>
413 How do I get XFree86 to find a usable modeline on my Ultra 5/10 or Blade
414 100/150?
415 </title>
416 <body>
417
418 <p>
419 The ATI Framebuffer normally expects a PC's BIOS to set the Reference Clock
420 speed for the video card. However, on non-x86 architectures, this doesn't
421 happen. So what needs to be done is to set the Reference Clock speed in the
422 XF86Config file.
423 </p>
424
425 <p>
426 In the "Device" section of your XF86Config file, you will want to add a line
427 similar to the following:
428 </p>
429
430 <pre caption="Add to XF86Config">
431 Option "reference_clock" "28.636 MHz"
432 </pre>
433
434 <p>
435 The following URLs contain more information on how to set the reference clock:
436 <uri>http://www.xfree86.org/~dawes/4.3.0/ati5.html#26</uri>. If you have issues
437 you might want to try without a similar setting first.
438 </p>
439
440 </body>
441 </section>
442 <section>
443 <title>How come package foo is masked on Sparc?</title>
444 <body>
445
446 <p>
447 Chances are this is due to the fact that none of the Gentoo/SPARC developers
448 have gotten around to testing this yet, and/or the package is currently marked
449 with the <c>~sparc</c> keyword (meaning it's in a testing phase).
450 </p>
451
452 <p>
453 If you still want to install the package, you can follow the instructions from
454 the at <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?t=33534">Portage
455 Masked Package FAQ</uri>.
456 </p>
457
458 <note>
459 The FAQ mentions the sparc64 keyword, which is invalid.
460 </note>
461
462 </body>
463 </section>
464 <section>
465 <title>How can I help get package foo marked stable?</title>
466 <body>
467
468 <p>
469 If you want to help ensure a package gets marked stable in a timely fashion,
470 particularly if it's an application with a small userbase (i.e.
471 net-im/bitlbee), install the package and test to make sure it works. If it
472 appears to be working well, feel free to file a bug at
473 <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri> and assign it to the Gentoo/SPARC team.
474 </p>
475
476 </body>
477 </section>
478 <section>
479 <title>I tried to emerge a package, but emerge failed complaining that a
480 dependency is masked. How can I fix this?</title>
481 <body>
482
483 <p>
484 This is a bug. Please file a bug report at <uri>http://bugs.gentoo.org</uri>
485 for the Gentoo/SPARC team indicating what package you tried to emerge, the
486 error message emerge gave you, and the output of <c>emerge --info</c>.
487 </p>
488
489 </body>
490 </section>
491 </chapter>
492
493 <chapter>
494 <title>Miscellaneous</title>
495 <section>
496 <title>I'm interested in becoming more involved with Gentoo/SPARC. How do I go about
497 doing that?</title>
498 <body>
499
500 <p>
501 The best way is to join the <c>#gentoo-sparc</c> IRC channel on Freenode IRC
502 network <c>irc.freenode.net</c>. This is where all of the developers hang out
503 and talk SPARC (amongst other things). Short of email, this is the best way to
504 get our attention, and blame seemant! :)
505 </p>
506
507 <p>
508 Also, many users and developers make use of the <uri
509 link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC forum</uri>.
510 This is a good place to ask questions and see what problems have come up
511 before, as well as talk shop about Gentoo/SPARC.
512 </p>
513
514 <p>
515 Additionally, you can view the bugs for Gentoo/SPARC via the <uri
516 link="http://bugs.gentoo.org">Gentoo Bugzilla</uri>. The bugs will be assigned
517 or CC'd to sparc@gentoo.org.
518 </p>
519
520 </body>
521 </section>
522 <section>
523 <title>Are there any currently known bugs/issues with software packages on
524 Gentoo/SPARC?</title>
525 <body>
526
527 <p>
528 A list of problematic packages can be found at
529 <uri>http://dev.gentoo.org/~weeve/problems.html</uri>
530 </p>
531
532 </body>
533 </section>
534 </chapter>
535
536 <chapter>
537 <title>Additional Resources</title>
538 <section>
539 <body>
540
541 <p>
542 Here is some info on the Gentoo/SPARC project itself:
543 </p>
544
545 <ul>
546 <li><uri link="http://sparc.gentoo.org">Gentoo/SPARC Project Page</uri></li>
547 <li>#gentoo-sparc - Official IRC channel on irc.freenode.net</li>
548 <li>
549 <uri link="http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum.php?f=27">Gentoo/SPARC
550 Forum</uri>
551 </li>
552 <li><mail>sparc@gentoo.org</mail> - Gentoo/SPARC team email address
553 </li>
554 </ul>
555
556 <p>
557 Here are links to additional information about SPARC/Linux or SPARCs in general:
558 </p>
559
560 <ul>
561 <li>
562 <uri link="http://www.ultralinux.org">UltraLinux Homepage</uri> - Homepage
563 of the SPARC/Linux port
564 </li>
565 <li>
566 <uri link="http://sunsolve.sun.com">Sunsolve</uri> - Great resource for Sun
567 hardware documentation
568 </li>
569 <li>
570 <uri>http://docs.sun.com</uri> - Additional hardware and software
571 information for SPARC systems, including instructions for flashing OBP
572 </li>
573 <li>
574 <uri link="http://www.obsolyte.com">Obsolyte</uri> - Information on older
575 SPARC systems and links to a lot of other great SPARC related sites.
576 </li>
577 <li>
578 <uri
579 link="http://040.digital-bless.com/texts/Unofficial_Sun_Blade_100_FAQ.htm">Unofficial
580 Sun Blade 100 FAQ</uri> - Answers a lot of hardware related questions on
581 the Blade 100
582 </li>
583 <li>
584 <uri link="http://docs.sun.com/db/coll/216.2">OBP Reference Guide</uri> -
585 Sun's guide to the OpenBoot PROM.
586 </li>
587 </ul>
588
589 </body>
590 </section>
591 </chapter>
592 </guide>

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