POWER6 Linux and AIX

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astouffer
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Re: openSUSE much better

Unread postby astouffer » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:54 pm

Hey all, just a quick note. I have to retract my statement about Linux support now. I tried openSUSE and it installed without a hitch and gave me a working system (with an up to date kernel 4.10.1). Don't waste your time with Debian, its installer is buggy and you have to play games trying to get some 64 bit packages.

My only gripe now is the direction Linux is going. You can't use ifconfig anymore and now they don't include vital tools like nslookup or traceroute! So I bork my network config and can't even download the tools needed for troubleshooting. Oh and systemd is always the top resource on a completely idle system.

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ClassicHasClass
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Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:02 pm

But, but, systemd! It does your dishes now! You just have to use a binary dishwasher configuration file. It's much better except that now your dishwasher is pwned by an exploit in systemd's dishes subsystem and has decided to spray your wife with jet dry agent whenever she walks by it. Which is totally sexy except the chemical burns.
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Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:09 pm

Try NetBSD?
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astouffer
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Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Unread postby astouffer » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:16 am

Raion-Fox wrote:Try NetBSD?


I'll see if the powerpc port boots but it looks to be more focused on Mac and Mac clone hardware. I'd love to run *BSD.

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Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:22 am

FreeBSD is crapshoot on big endian power hardware
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:Octane: R12000 300MHz SI 896MB RAM yuuka
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Thinkpad W530 i7 3940XM 3GHz, 32GB, K1000M FreeBSD 11/Windows 7 rin
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johnnym
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Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Unread postby johnnym » Fri May 26, 2017 6:30 am

Sorry, a little late to the party, but I only recently got my hands on a POWER5+ based machine (yes I know, no POWER6 like in the thread title but most of the thread is about POWER5 anyhow :) ) and thought I could add some info for support in newer Debian releases:

  • Debian 8 (ppc userland with ppc64 kernel; tested with on disk installation and debootstrapped NFS root FS) and
  • Debian sid (9) (ppc64 userland and kernel; tested with debootstrapped NFS root FS)
...both work on my p5-520Q (9131-52A).

The disk installation of Debian 8 works similar to Shiunbird's guide on Youtube with the following changes:

Shiunbird wrote:
astouffer wrote:Just a quick note for anyone else with this hardware, Debian 7 ppc installs fine.


I run Debian on my Power5. It was a pain to get it booting however.
After months trying to sort things out, I found out that the installer was reading the wrong devalias from the OpenFirmware (or the OpenFirmware was sending it wrong to the installer). This at the time of configuring the boot loader. So what was happening instead was that I was installing to the disk with SCSI ID 5 (listed by the installer as my first SCSI disk), but the boot loader configurator would detect my first disk as being SCSI ID 8 and not configure itself correctly.

I only used a single disk in the machine during installation (just like astouffer) to avoid this issue.

Shiunbird wrote:Edit: another thing... I found out that the partitioning layout matters a lot. I had to create the prep partition, and have /boot separated as ext2. Then the rest could be ext4 or whatever.

I was digging out a lot and found at the time some document from IBM recommending to use ext2 for /boot.

As per your guide I first tried to create a partition for /boot with EXT2, but this always failed with strange hangs both in the installer and on the command line. I succeeded in creating an EXT2 formatted partition by using a Debian 7 installer CDROM. IIRC this could be used by the Debian 8 installer later on if you do not try to reformat it, but in the end I read somewhere on the web (sorry, I don't remember the URL) that yaboot should "now" support EXT4, too, so I reinstalled Debian 8 using only a single EXT4 formatted partition for both / and /root. And this also worked fine and is bootable.

Still important - but no change to Shiunbird's howto video - when creating an initrd use the targeted approach instead of generic, as yaboot seems to have a file size limit for the intrd it loads or it does not reserve enough memory for both kernel and initrd:

Code: Select all

Config file read, 4096 bytes
Welcome to yaboot version 1.3.16
Enter "help" to get some basic usage information
boot:
  Linux                      old
boot:
Please wait, loading kernel...
   Elf64 kernel loaded...
Loading ramdisk...
ext2: i/o error 2133571364 in read
ramdisk loaded at 01a00000, size: 5120 Kbytes
[...]
[    0.880975] List of all partitions:
[    0.880984] No filesystem could mount root, tried:
[    0.880997] Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)
[    0.881014] CPU: 0 PID: 1 Comm: swapper/0 Not tainted 3.16.0-4-powerpc64 #1 Debian 3.16.39-1+deb8u2
[    0.881027] Call Trace:
[...]
[    0.888495] ---[ end Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(0,0)

...and the driver for the disk controller is a module, so not compiled into the Linux kernel and hence unavailable for use if it cannot be loaded from an initrd.
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