ABOOT problem: Is the LiveCD the right method to install on Alpha

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ABOOT problem: Is the LiveCD the right method to install on Alpha

Romuald Lobet
Dear Gentoo/Alpha geeks

Currently I am willing to bring an API CS20D AlphaServer, fitted with two EV68AL, back to life. I can access this very compact but very loud machine through a serial console, and ultimately get a remote display with VNC on my iMac hopefuly in a very near future.

One last trick to solve: ABOOT starts the kernel, and the initrd goes up to the selection of the keymap. Then, it says:
Code:
!! The root block device is unspecified or not detected.
   Please specify a device to boot, or "shell" for a shell...
boot() ::

Why do I get there? 

Because of the simplistic hardware configuration, there is no possibility to connect a display, and it is hard to plug the box over the internet. Previously, I did start the installation from the usual minimal iso image, however the process described in the documents, using standard emerge commands was too lengthy and leave the machine in an unknown state because the compilation stopps in the middle of nowhere. So, I choose to start from the LiveCD available for download on the official website http://distfiles.gentoo.org/experimental/alpha/livecd/.

Obviously, the way Gentoo works with packages allows us to do so, after all the simple "emerge --update --deep world" can do the trick to bring the live system back to the current stand. Since the current stand is moving quite fast these days, and because the settings of the compiler suite and compilable source can be a painful process that can leave this noisy and power hungry server alive for days. I think this can be a good method to cope to underlying problems of the very fluidic and fast changing Gentoo distribution.

Doing so, I could finaly step over the Chapter One of Gentoo Handbook, and start with real things which are unfortunately only briefly discribed in the handbooks available on internet. But obviously, there is something not clear in the documentation, or at least the information is not well sorted, how Gentoo is Booting on AlphaServers.

There is no other example of aboot.conf than the one delivered with the distribution itself, so I took it and simply copied into etc/aboot.conf of the target system. This brought the Gentoo box to a semi-finished product: After a short cp /mnt/livecd sda1 I was pretty much ready with the basic programs. The following aboot.conf summarize all trials

0:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/sda1 init=/linuxrc  dokeymap console=ttyS0
1:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/sda2 init=/linuxrc  dokeymap console=ttyS0
3:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc  dokeymap looptype=squashfs
loop=/image.squashfs
4:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc  dokeymap looptype=squashfs
loop=/image.squashfs console=ttyS0
(*) of course all files mentionned here were copied into their proper locations


I had a look in the MAN Pages of aboot.conf, abootconf and aboot, but the explanation is rather simplistic. I also read the threads regarding problem configuring the bootloader and Gentoo aboot issues on alpha ev56, but I don't think we are in these cases. Thinking I just lack one parameter in my aboot.conf, it would be very interesting if someone would extend the explanation in the man pages, to include an explanation about the last parameter "cdroot" and also the meaning of "looptype" "zisofs". Perhaps I need to flash the kernel is the first sectors of the harddrive, like it is done with fd0 boot disks, using the brute-force DD command! What else will I miss, the configuration of EMERGE perhaps ?

Gentoo Forums :: View Forum - Gentoo on Alternative Architectures
Is the LiveCD the right method to installon Alpha: 0: 14: ali_baba_in_alpha_caves Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:00 pm: ali_baba_in_alpha_caves Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:00 pm
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum-f-32.html

Kindest regards,

Romuald
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Re: ABOOT problem: Is the LiveCD the right method to install on Alpha

Raúl Porcel
Hi Romuald,

I just replied you on the forums.

On 02/26/2011 12:30 PM, Romuald Lobet wrote:

> Dear Gentoo/Alpha geeks
>
> Currently I am willing to bring an API CS20D AlphaServer, fitted with
> two EV68AL, back to life. I can access this very compact but very loud
> machine through a serial console, and ultimately get a remote display
> with VNC on my iMac hopefuly in a very near future.
>
> One last trick to solve: ABOOT starts the kernel, and the initrd goes up
> to the selection of the keymap. Then, it says:
> Code:
> !! The root block device is unspecified or not detected.
>    Please specify a device to boot, or "shell" for a shell...
> boot() ::
>
> Why do I get there?
>
> Because of the simplistic hardware configuration, there is no
> possibility to connect a display, and it is hard to plug the box over
> the internet. Previously, I did start the installation from the usual
> minimal iso image, however the process described in the documents, using
> standard emerge commands was too lengthy and leave the machine in an
> unknown state because the compilation stopps in the middle of nowhere.
> So, I choose to start from the LiveCD available for download on the
> official website http://distfiles.gentoo.org/experimental/alpha/livecd/.
>
> Obviously, the way Gentoo works with packages allows us to do so, after
> all the simple "emerge --update --deep world" can do the trick to bring
> the live system back to the current stand. Since the current stand is
> moving quite fast these days, and because the settings of the compiler
> suite and compilable source can be a painful process that can leave this
> noisy and power hungry server alive for days. I think this can be a good
> method to cope to underlying problems of the very fluidic and fast
> changing Gentoo distribution.
>
> Doing so, I could finaly step over the Chapter One of Gentoo Handbook,
> and start with real things which are unfortunately only briefly
> discribed in the handbooks available on internet. But obviously, there
> is something not clear in the documentation, or at least the information
> is not well sorted, how Gentoo is Booting on AlphaServers.
>
> There is no other example of aboot.conf than the one delivered with the
> distribution itself, so I took it and simply copied into etc/aboot.conf
> of the target system. This brought the Gentoo box to a semi-finished
> product: After a short cp /mnt/livecd sda1 I was pretty much ready with
> the basic programs. The following aboot.conf summarize all trials
>
> 0:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/sda1 init=/linuxrc
>  dokeymap console=ttyS0
> 1:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/sda2 init=/linuxrc
>  dokeymap console=ttyS0
> 3:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc
>  dokeymap looptype=squashfs
> loop=/image.squashfs
> 4:/boot/gentoo initrd=/boot/gentoo.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc
>  dokeymap looptype=squashfs
> loop=/image.squashfs console=ttyS0
> (*) of course all files mentionned here were copied into their proper
> locations
>
>
> I had a look in the MAN Pages of aboot.conf, abootconf and aboot, but
> the explanation is rather simplistic. I also read the threads regarding
> problem configuring the bootloader and Gentoo aboot issues on alpha
> ev56, but I don't think we are in these cases. Thinking I just lack one
> parameter in my aboot.conf, it would be very interesting if someone
> would extend the explanation in the man pages, to include an explanation
> about the last parameter "cdroot" and also the meaning of "looptype"
> "zisofs". Perhaps I need to flash the kernel is the first sectors of the
> harddrive, like it is done with fd0 boot disks, using the brute-force DD
> command! What else will I miss, the configuration of EMERGE perhaps ?
>
> Gentoo Forums :: View Forum - Gentoo on Alternative Architectures
> <http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum-f-32.html>
> Is the LiveCD the right method to installon Alpha: 0: 14:
> ali_baba_in_alpha_caves Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:00 pm:
> ali_baba_in_alpha_caves Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:00 pm
> http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum-f-32.html
>
> Kindest regards,
>
> Romuald


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KDE4 on Alpha

Ian Las
In reply to this post by Romuald Lobet
Dear Gentoo/Alpha geeks

tried to build KDE4 on my Alpha.

Updated the system first to the current version but it was still not posssible to solve

all required dependencies. In the end I could satisfy all dependencies for KDEbase but

got problems with QT.

Has anybody successfully build KDE4 - which version of KDE4 and QT does work on

Alpha ?

Kindest regards,

Ian
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Re: KDE4 on Alpha

Matt Turner-5
On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 2:41 AM, Ian Las <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Dear Gentoo/Alpha geeks
>
> tried to build KDE4 on my Alpha.
>
> Updated the system first to the current version but it was still not posssible to solve
>
> all required dependencies. In the end I could satisfy all dependencies for KDEbase but
>
> got problems with QT.
>
> Has anybody successfully build KDE4 - which version of KDE4 and QT does work on
>
> Alpha ?
>
> Kindest regards,
>
> Ian

Hi Ian!

Unfortunately, we don't have any plans to support KDE on Gentoo/Alpha.
It's a huge amount of software, and we simply don't have the man-power
to test it, much less fixing tons of bugs like unaligned accesses.

If you'd like to try it, you can use portage's --autounmask flag to
help install KDE. I perhaps could help with an occasional bug in Qt,
but beyond that, it's too much work.

Thanks, and sorry,

Matt

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Re: KDE4 on Alpha

Ian Las
Hi Matt,

thanks for the bad info - I actually like Koffice and this is the main reason why I am interested in KDE.
So I will give another try but as I have not much experience working with software it is complicated for me.

Thanks,

Ian


--- Matt Turner <[hidden email]> schrieb am Do, 30.6.2011:

> Von: Matt Turner <[hidden email]>
> Betreff: Re: [gentoo-alpha] KDE4 on Alpha
> An: [hidden email]
> Datum: Donnerstag, 30. Juni, 2011 05:07 Uhr
> On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 2:41 AM, Ian
> Las <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Dear Gentoo/Alpha geeks
> >
> > tried to build KDE4 on my Alpha.
> >
> > Updated the system first to the current version but it
> was still not posssible to solve
> >
> > all required dependencies. In the end I could satisfy
> all dependencies for KDEbase but
> >
> > got problems with QT.
> >
> > Has anybody successfully build KDE4 - which version of
> KDE4 and QT does work on
> >
> > Alpha ?
> >
> > Kindest regards,
> >
> > Ian
>
> Hi Ian!
>
> Unfortunately, we don't have any plans to support KDE on
> Gentoo/Alpha.
> It's a huge amount of software, and we simply don't have
> the man-power
> to test it, much less fixing tons of bugs like unaligned
> accesses.
>
> If you'd like to try it, you can use portage's --autounmask
> flag to
> help install KDE. I perhaps could help with an occasional
> bug in Qt,
> but beyond that, it's too much work.
>
> Thanks, and sorry,
>
> Matt
>
>