From: Roland Egger (
Date: 08/05/04

  • Next message: Roland Egger: "Problems installing Debian Linux 3.0r2 on a sun ultra5 (ultrassparc II)"
    Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 00:35:53 +0200

    I had a problem installing linux on a ultra5 with solaris 2.7 and solaris 2.8
    on it. I had created the 5th partiton for linux and the 6th for the linux
    swap partiton (=> hda5 / for linux with ext2 and hda6 for swap).
    Everything went ok until the task to make the system bootable.

    There were 3 possibilities:
    1. Make the system bootable
    2. Boot floppy
    3. Alternate1

    Because the first possibility would overwrite my bootblock for
    Solaris I tried to make a boot floppy for linux but
    without success. I've read somewhere that could
    be a problem with some ultrasparc machines like ultra5/10.
    I thought alternate1 wouldn't change the boot behaviour but I was wrong.
    The Debian linux installation has overwritten my boot block for solaris.
    I wasn't asked if I wanted to install SILO there and I don't know
    a reason for installing it on an other partition than my linux partition
    (/dev/hda5) but it has happened somehow ...
    The funny thing was that with alternate1 I can't start solaris and
    I can't start linux. There wasn't a possibility for me not to corrupt
    my boot block with SILO from Debian, that should and need not be.
    The easiest thing would be to add a possibility which calls
    silo -t
    or silo -r /mnt -t
    or something like that.

    It was really nasty to repair the thing.
    Just using dd from a rescue disk and deleting the first sector like:

    # make a backup of the boot sector
    dd if=/dev/hda1 of=boot_512.sonne bs=512 count=1
    # clean the boot sector
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda1 bs=512 count=1

    doesn't work. The first sector just contain the disk lable and partition
    information. The boot block on sparc machines are the next 15 sectors
    or something like that.

    The only possibility for me was to start the solaris installation cd.
    During the installation process Openwin is started and there I got a shell
    to run
    installboot /usr/platform/`uname -i`/lib/fs/ufs/bootblk /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0

    With silo -t I had managed it to be able to get SILO just to my
    linux partition and boot it with
    boot disk:e

    I've read that there should be soon a new GNU Debian version and
    it would be great if there's an easy possiblity to install
    with -t option.
    OpenBoot is really an easy and nice possibility to boot several
    operating systems, so just booting into SILO isn't nice in every
    case especially if solaris or bsd is used, too.
    GNU Debian is a really nice linux but it would be even nicer if
    the installation process of silo or maybe grub let the user the
    possibility to still use OpenBoot for the other operating systems.

    I hope the description of my problems can help other people to
    solve them without having much trouble installing linux parallel
    to sparc solaris.
    Maybe there's a better solution in the new soon coming Debian
    Linux and maybe there are other better solution of installing
    Debian on sparc but I try a short abstract:
    At the boot loader installation just select
    Make system bootable
    => the boot block of solaris can be overwritten
    but this isn't problematic if you have the solaris
    installation CDs.
    After completing the linux installation run
    silo -t
    Then boot the solaris CDs and run e.g.
    installboot /usr/platform/`uname -i`/lib/fs/ufs/bootblk /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0
    for installing the solaris boo block on the first partition on an ide
    Now you can boot Solaris and linux again without configure silo.conf
    Kind regards


     which had problems installing linux
    on there sparc machine parallel to solaris
    I hope this description of my problems may help other people during
    there linux i

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