Worked out some issues with the install of Suse 8.1 on my DS20E. My boot
disk is a Barracuda ST39173W conncted to an Adaptec 2940UW. I'm using
this card because the DS20E's built-in U2W SCSI would only connect to the
ST39173W at 11.6MB/second, the 2940UW gets the full available 40MB/sec.
Basically, after my initial install, the kernel was panicking and halting
the boot process when the attempt to mount the /root filesystem failed. I
could still boot from the SuSE boot/rescue CD into the installed system.
I tried all manner of configuration to the SRM, aboot, etc. before finally
figuring out the cause of the issue.
Did some Googling and traced the diffy to missing SCSI/filesystem modules
in the default 2.4.19 kernel (as it was installed by Yast2).
Got 2.4.21 source, compiled with gcc, replaced the vmlinux file in my /boot
directory with the newly compiled kernel, presto - everything works now and
I can boot right from the SRM.
The only problem is, the new kernel is 10-15% slower. Disk access times
seem much improved, but the system GUI really gets jittery when I run
multiple apps, like it would if a CPU-intensive process was running at a
nice of -12 or -14 in the background. This was not the case with the
stock kernel when I had to boot from the rescue CD into my installed distro.
I suspect I have compiled a kernel that is too generic. I haven't found
much contiguous info regarding Linux kernel optimization on Alpha. Is
this something I need to change with some compiler flags (and if so, what
are they) or do I simply edit a config file somewhere to reflect my
machine's architecture (264DP) before compiling?
Thanks for any help you can provide, I'm at the 'knows enough to be
dangerous and finds the rest using Google' stage with Linux <lol>.
Compaq AlphaServer DS20E
1GB RAM (4x256MB)
Single EV6 500MHz/4MB Cache
SuSE 8.1, available from
Brian S. Zurbach