LinuxPPC on PowerCenter Pro 210

LinuxPPC on PowerCenter Pro 210

Post by Chris Wals » Fri, 05 Jun 1998 04:00:00



I'm having problems installing LinuxPPC on my PowerCenter Pro 210.

As per instructions, I made a boot floppy containing installer.coff (and
I reformatted the floppy first). I set up my boot variables, using kbd
and screen as input-device and output-device respectively. I then
rebooted from the floppy. My monitor's green light comes on for a few
seconds, then goes off. There's some disk activity on the floppy for
about 30 seconds, then - nada! Black screen, no disk activity.

I looked in the FAQmatic, and there's an entry suggesting a couple of
variants for the output-device name (one of which is supposed to have
originated from a PowerCenter user). I try both of these, but still no
joy (in fact, with one of them I don't even get the activity on the
floppy).

I sit back and think for a bit. It occurs to me that I have a Techworks
3dfx card installed, and my monitor connects to it through a
pass-through cable connected to the card. Is it possible that this is
screwing up OF? So I disconnect the monitor from the 3dfx card and hook
it up as normal. I then retry all the above permutations - still zip!

I'm about ready to turn the LinuxPPC CD into performance art by dipping
it into a vat of Linus Torvald's urine! My PRAM has been zapped more
often than the Millenium Falcon. If anyone out there has successfully
installed on a PowerCenter Pro 210, can they post their boot variable
settings here? Could there be some other problem than the boot
variables?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Chris

 
 
 

LinuxPPC on PowerCenter Pro 210

Post by Steve Pel » Fri, 05 Jun 1998 04:00:00




Quote:>I sit back and think for a bit. It occurs to me that I have a Techworks
>3dfx card installed, and my monitor connects to it through a
>pass-through cable connected to the card. Is it possible that this is
>screwing up OF? So I disconnect the monitor from the 3dfx card and hook
>it up as normal. I then retry all the above permutations - still zip!

Well, it probably isn't screwing up OF, but it won't be seen as the
output screen unless you specify it. If it does have OF initialization
routines in it, you can try using it by setting the screen variable to
point to it, by looking around in the device tree (once you get into OF
somehow or another).

Quote:>installed on a PowerCenter Pro 210, can they post their boot variable
>settings here? Could there be some other problem than the boot
>variables?

First off, try just getting into OF without trying to boot off of anything;
turn off auto-boot, and set input-device to kbd. Also, make sure you don't
have a modem turned on connected to the serial port.

For output device, with the monitor connected to the built-in video, use:

/bandit/ATY,mach64_3D_pc

actually, I use "screen", and put in the nvramrc slot:

devalias screen /bandit/ATY,mach64_3D_pcc

I assume that's the device you've been specifying.

If you still can't get it to work right, connect up a serial port to
another computer or a dumb terminal at 38400 (I think), and set input
and output to ttya (which is the default), then try to boot into OF.

The PowerCenterPro has an annoying feature: the version of OF always
resets itself to default whenever it boots to MacOS. Otherwise, you
could just set it to kbd/screen and go to OF anytime by booting with
Cmd-Option-O-F (which works fine on my APS machine, for example). The
PCP defaults to using the modem serial port as the console.

The other problem with the PCP is that "screen" doesn't automatically get
set to anything useful. You should just be able to set output device to
screen and have it work (it should look for the first appropriate device
it can find, if there is no screen alias defined). At least kbd works!

 
 
 

1. Installing 4.1 on PowerCenter Pro 210

I've been running MkLinux for quite some time, most recently Pre-DR3. I've
even run it with a LinuxPPC kernel 2.1.130 using BootX 1.0.1. When
LinuxDisks hosed my filesystem I decided to just buy the LinuxPPC 4.1 CD
and start over.

Well, I have the CD but can't figure out how to install it from scratch,
i.e. without reinstalling MkLinux then installing LinuxPPC on top of that.
Let me summarize the ways I've tried:

1. From the CD. This fails during boot with a "sequencer ram parity
error". No problem, I know how to fix that...

2. From HD. I copied the entire CD to a spare 810 MB external HD formatted
as a single HFS partition (not HFS+), then replaced the distribution
kernel with the 2.1.130 kernel that's known good for my machine. This
boots OK, but fails in the installer at the "locate files for
installation" step. Read what INSTALL.html has to say about the directory
location and am fairly confident I'm specifying it correctly (besides, I
tried many variations just in case). The error message is something along
the lines of "mount: illegal argument".

3. Run installer from HD, install files from CD. The installer apparently
sees the CD, because it spins up, but also fails during the "locate files"
step. Tried both my CD and my CD-R drive; neither one works, and it
apparently doesn't even see the CD-R drive. The error message is
different, something along the lines of "invalid header".

4. From floppy. In desperation I downloaded installer.coff and Boot
Variables and tried to install from floppy. The installer boots OK, but it
seems to number my SCSI devices differently that the installer on CD, and
it fails during the "format swap space" step (hangs indefinitely).

In addition, for the first three techniques, I've noticed that when asked
what partition I want to use for swap, that if I leave "check for bad
blocks" checked, the installer crashes with a signal 11. So I've been
unchecking that, and progressing to the other errore mentioned above.

I couldn't find anything of use on the FAQ-O-Matic or linuxppc.org web site.

System info: PowerCenter Pro 210 with 96 MB RAM running MacOS 8.5.1 with
VM off. Main MacOS disk is 9.1 GB fast wide SCSI on Adaptec 2940UW (yes,
2940, I got one of the early ones...). The target disk (Seagate ST52160N),
CD (Teac CD-516S), and spare external HD (Quantum TRB850S) are all on the
motherboard SCSI.

I'd like to buy a clue, please....

--
John Seal

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