Experiencing Linux on SPARC: LDOM@Gentoo revisited

The first (small) success!

Last time I worked on this I was left with close to nothing: neither debian nor the gentoo install CDs could boot (precisely: they did boot but couldn't mount the install image) Same problem on a native SPARC Niagara2 system (T5240). Only an old UltraSPARC-T1box was able to get further than booting a then useless CD, I could track it down to a squashfs mount issue and opened bug 279472 against gentoo install. After it has been resolved (it was caused by an incompatibility between squahfs and the kernel...) install-sparc64-minimal-20090817.iso does and the install works passed booting of the CD:

root@batoka-labor,linux-boot>ldm start gentoo
LDom gentoo started
root@batoka-labor,linux-boot>telnet 0 5000
Trying 0.0.0.0...
Connected to 0.
Escape character is '\^]'.

Connecting to console "gentoo" in group "gentoo" ....
Press ~? for control options ..


T5440, No Keyboard
Copyright 2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
OpenBoot 4.30.0, 4096 MB memory available, Serial #83541553.
Ethernet address 0:14:4f:fa:be:31, Host ID: 84fabe31.



{0} ok
{0} ok boot cdrom
Boot device: /virtual-devices@100/channel-devices@200/disk@1  File and args:
SILO Version 1.4.14
\\

----------------------------------------------------
Welcome to the Gentoo/Linux SPARC64 weekly InstallCD
----------------------------------------------------

boot: gentoo cdroot=/dev/vdiskb1
Allocated 64 Megs of memory at 0x40000000 for kernel
Loaded kernel version 2.6.28
Loading initial ramdisk (1847651 bytes at 0x6800000 phys, 0x40C00000 virt)...
\\

...a lot of Linux kernel humble-mumble omitted....

>> Activating mdev
>> Making tmpfs for /newroot
>> Looking for the cdrom
>> Attempting to mount media:- /dev/vdiskb1
>> Media found on /dev/vdiskb1
>> Determining root device...
>> Determining looptype ...
>> Mounting squashfs filesystem
>> Copying read-write image contents to tmpfs
>> No cdupdate.sh script found, skipping...
>> Booting (initramfs)..
INIT: version 2.86 booting

Gentoo Linux; http://www.gentoo.org/
 Copyright 1999-2007 Gentoo Foundation; Distributed under the GPLv2

 \* Mounting proc at /proc ...                                             [ ok ] \* Mounting sysfs at /sys ...                                             [ ok ] \* Mounting /dev ...                                                      [ ok ] \* Starting udevd ...                                                     [ ok ] \* Populating /dev with existing devices through uevents ...              [ ok ] \* Waiting for uevents to be processed ...                                [ !! ] \* Mounting devpts at /dev/pts ...                                        [ ok ] \* Mounting local filesystems ...                                         [ ok ] \* Mounting USB device filesystem (usbfs) ...                             [ ok ] \* Activating (possible) swap ...                                         [ ok ] \* Setting system clock using the hardware clock [UTC] ...                [ ok ] \* Configuring kernel parameters ...                                      [ ok ] \* Updating environment ...                                               [ ok ] \* Cleaning /var/lock, /var/run ...                                       [ ok ] \* Updating inittab ...                                                   [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Setting hostname to livecd ...                                         [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Starting lo
 \*   Bringing up lo
 \*     127.0.0.1/8
                                                                          [ ok ] \*   Adding routes
 \*     127.0.0.0/8 ...                                                    [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Initializing random number generator ...                               [ ok ]INIT: Entering runlevel: 3
 \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Starting syslog-ng ...                                                 [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Hardware detection started ...
 \* Detected 8 active T2 (Niagara2) CPU(s) of 8 total
                                                                          [ ok ] \* Unpacking firmware ...tar: ./ql2400_fw.bin.4.02.02-MID: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342652.02588504 s in the future
tar: ./ql2100_fw.bin.1.19.38-TP: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342652.020644702 s in the future
tar: ./ql2400_fw.bin.4.00.26-IP: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342652.002011365 s in the future
tar: ./whiteheat_loader.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349057.001625306 s in the future
tar: ./edgeport/boot2.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349057.001033736 s in the future
tar: ./edgeport/boot.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349057.000764341 s in the future
tar: ./edgeport/down2.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.999340397 s in the future
tar: ./edgeport/down3.bin: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.998421595 s in the future
tar: ./edgeport/down.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.997250881 s in the future
tar: ./edgeport: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.997046251 s in the future
tar: ./ql2400_fw.bin.4.00.27-IP: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.978127465 s in the future
tar: ./ql2400_fw.bin.4.00.22-IP: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.619182933 s in the future
tar: ./emi26/loader.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.618648762 s in the future
tar: ./emi26/firmware.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.61824269 s in the future
tar: ./emi26/bitstream.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.608059889 s in the future
tar: ./emi26: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.607868344 s in the future
tar: ./ql2322_fw.bin.3.03.18: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.596939813 s in the future
tar: ./ql2322_fw.bin.3.03.20-IPX: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.585373532 s in the future
tar: ./keyspan_pda/xircom_pgs.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.585084344 s in the future
tar: ./keyspan_pda/keyspan_pda.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.584870918 s in the future
tar: ./keyspan_pda: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.584716098 s in the future
tar: ./whiteheat.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.582405129 s in the future
tar: ./ql6312_fw.bin.3.03.18: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:15 is 294342652.572845455 s in the future
tar: ./ql2100_fw.bin.1.17.38: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.566923053 s in the future
tar: ./emi62/loader.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.566665534 s in the future
tar: ./emi62/spdif.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.564197985 s in the future
tar: ./emi62/midi.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.561709436 s in the future
tar: ./emi62/bitstream.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.551455273 s in the future
tar: ./emi62: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.551267465 s in the future
tar: ./ql2400_fw.bin.4.00.16: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.206974394 s in the future
tar: ./ql2400_fw.bin.4.00.18-IP: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.189752357 s in the future
tar: ./sun/cassini.bin: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.189298893 s in the future
tar: ./sun: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.189123841 s in the future
tar: ./ti_5052.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.187469867 s in the future
tar: ./ql2300_fw.bin.3.03.20-IPX: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.176112833 s in the future
tar: ./ql2300_fw.bin.3.03.18: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.166202945 s in the future
tar: ./ql2500_fw.bin.4.02.02-MID: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342651.146737233 s in the future
tar: ./ti_3410.fw: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349056.145086666 s in the future
tar: ./ql2200_fw.bin.2.02.08-TP: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342650.990960402 s in the future
tar: ./kaweth/new_code_fix.bin: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349055.990153646 s in the future
tar: ./kaweth/trigger_code.bin: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349055.989936921 s in the future
tar: ./kaweth/trigger_code_fix.bin: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349055.989728222 s in the future
tar: ./kaweth/new_code.bin: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349055.989515785 s in the future
tar: ./kaweth: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349055.989361296 s in the future
tar: ./ql2500_fw.bin.4.02.02: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342650.974604057 s in the future
tar: ./ql2400_fw.bin.4.00.23-IP: time stamp 2009-08-17 16:32:14 is 294342650.958950448 s in the future
tar: .: time stamp 2009-08-17 18:18:59 is 294349055.958335788 s in the future
                                                 [ ok ]
l\* Not Loading APM Bios support ...
 \* Not Loading ACPI support ...
 \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Network device eth0 detected, DHCP broadcasting for IP ...
 \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Starting portmap ...                                                   [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* ERROR:  cannot start nfsmount as rpc.statd could not start
 \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
 \* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Auto-scrambling root password for security ...                         [ ok ] \* One of the files in /etc/{conf.d,init.d} or /etc/rc.conf
 \* has a modification time in the future!
F\* Caching service dependencies ...                                       [ ok ] \* Starting local ...                                                     [ ok ]
Welcome to the Gentoo Linux Minimal Installation CD!

The root password on this system has been auto-scrambled for security.

If any ethernet adapters were detected at boot, they should be auto-configured
if DHCP is available on your network.  Type "net-setup eth0" to specify eth0 IP
address settings by hand.

Check /etc/kernels/kernel-config-\* for kernel configuration(s).
The latest version of the Handbook is always available from the Gentoo web
site by typing "links http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook.xml".

To start an ssh server on this system, type "/etc/init.d/sshd start".  If you
need to log in remotely as root, type "passwd root" to reset root's password
to a known value.

Please report any bugs you find to http://bugs.gentoo.org. Be sure to include
detailed information about how to reproduce the bug you are reporting.
Thank you for using Gentoo Linux!

livecd ~ #

Ladies and Gentlemen: Gentoo install environment is up and running.

Next I'll follow the gentoo docs to the letter and install to the local (virtual) disk.

Comments:

I tried this once before, with a couple of my fellow student sysadmins...sunvdc support didn't work so well, I think, as weird things kept happening when unpacking tarballs, such as when I emerged the kernel. More specifically, it started spitting out I/O errors, and the disk image we were using experienced file corruption. Best of luck to you...I'd love to see someone get this to work.

Posted by Chris Reffett on August 25, 2009 at 08:50 AM CEST #

I was working with Chris Reffett, who posted above, on exactly this. We found it \*relatively\* (key word) easy to get a livecd-like environment running; the hard part was the actual install in the chroot. We consistently got IO errors, presumably due to sunvdc glitchiness. I think Ubuntu actually made a working patch for it that isn't in the main kernel source...I would recommend that you look into that.

Posted by Steven Godofsky on September 05, 2009 at 07:55 PM CEST #

Well, my main obstacle now is that fdisk insists on 4GB disk size, i.e. no matter what I do or say: the vdisk is 4GB.

Next I'll try to fake something ;-)

Posted by Martin Müller on October 02, 2009 at 07:23 AM CEST #

We've been trying to revisit this, without much luck. Tip on overcoming the issue with 4GB max partition: We installed Gentoo on a separate SPARC box, then created a large block file and installed Gentoo on that, then booted the LDOM to that block file, bypassing the install within the LDOM entirely. Admittedly, that's partly because we couldn't convince the LDOM to boot to the LiveCD (it complained that it couldn't find the CDROM once we were past SILO).

Posted by Chris Reffett on October 24, 2009 at 01:50 PM CEST #

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About

Before Sun was acquired by Oracle I was about 12 yrs in pre-sales covering SPARC and Solaris. Today I work in a field role in Oracle Microelectronics and focus on SPARC performance, including working and presenting at customer sites all over EMEA

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