Suse on DP264: install boot fails

Suse on DP264: install boot fails

Post by Greg Newb » Tue, 26 Dec 2000 08:58:10

I'm unable to boot to the installation process (YaST) with
SuSE 7.0 on an Alpha DP 264 system, booting via SRM.  The
boot eventually fails with a kernel panic.

I've tried several permutations of trying to install
SuSE Linux 7.0 for Alpha, and am having trouble.  I will
contact SuSE support when they're open again, but thought
someone might have an answer.  Also, I'll post any resolution
I get here for future reference.

The system is a DP 264 (dual processor; SCSI based).  It's
listed as Supported by SuSE, RedHat, etc.  The system has
RH 6.2 installed; I'm looking to upgrade it to SuSE 7.0.  It
only boots Linux, directly via the SRM.

I've tried to boot from CDROM and floppy following page 20
of the installation guide.

For CD (dqa0 is the CD):

P00>>> boot dqa0 -fl 0

This runs /etc/vm_full.gz with boot=/dev/fd0 & initrd=/etc/initdisk.gz
(from /etc/aboot.conf on the CD).

This partially works: the kernel boots and recognizes the hardware.
Then, I get:
"VFS: Insert root floppy disk to be loaded into RAM disk and press ENTER"
I insert a floppy with install_xx or aboot_xx, and the system halts
(no SRM prompt...). I get a "Kernel panic: no init found".

There don't seem to be any other likely looking images to try on the CD.

I also tried with floppies, instead of the CD.  With floppy disks,
I boot to aboot_xx and then give it install_xx, per the instructions
on page 21, and eventually get to the same point: it prompts me for
a root floppy disk, that I don't have.

I also tried this, thinking that the CDROM should be bootable
without /dev/fd0 (floppy):
P00>>> boot dqa0 -fi /etc/vm_full.gz -fl "root=/dev/cdrom
initrd=/etc/initdisk.gz" , which fails to boot a kernel (aboot gets
called, & complains).

I AM able to boot with this, but it just boots the regular system
from my hard drive (this is option 6 in aboot.conf on the CD):
P00>>> b dqa0 -fi /etc/vm_full.gz -fl "root=/dev/sda2"

Finally, I noticed in aboot.conf that there's a special entry
for /etc/vm_dp264.gz (#2), which should boot with:
P00>>> b dqa0 -fl 2

but of course there's no such file on the CD, so this fails like
before and dumps me to the aboot prompt.

I checked in index.gz and there's no  vm_dp264.gz file anywhere, but
this gets me thinking maybe there's a special kernel for the DP 264

There is an errata that sounds similar in the SuSE support database
(, but it refers to an omission in the book
for AlphaBIOS booting -- it doesn't help with my situation, booting
via SRM.

Any help or ideas would be welcome!  Greg

PS: It seems reasonable that I *could* load in some sort of
backup floppy disk with a root partition etc.  But will this start
YaST?  I didn't think so, so didn't pursue this possibility.

// Gregory B. Newby, Assistant Professor in the School of Information
// and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

// V: 919-962-8064 F: 919-962-8071  W:


Suse on DP264: install boot fails

Post by Marble He » Fri, 29 Dec 2000 01:41:34

Quote:>For CD (dqa0 is the CD):

>P00>>> boot dqa0 -fl 0

Just to let you know, I've written this response three times, and I keep
erasing it and rewriting it, because I keep finding out new information.

Here's the conclusion of all this mess:

The SuSE 6.4 CD has the proper stuff, including the dp264 kernel.  The SuSE
7.0 CD doesn't have it.

In my opinion, the installer for 7.0 was severely downgraded, or
undermaintained.  It no longer auto-detects your console, updating your
inittab and aboot.conf files for you.  It simply assumes that you're on a
local graphics console, the stupid way stupid RH does.  It's very
disappointing to see the quality of SuSE 7.0 drop to the level of RH 7.0.

According to your situation, it seems to no longer work on dp264s.  Also
very disappointing.

6.4 should work for you.  Either way, if you want to use 7.0, you should be
able to take the kernel from 6.4 and use it.  Hopefully.


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