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Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:12 am
by Y888099
Which is the best IBM Power6 machine for linux ?
I'd like to use gnat (Ada) and ghdl on it.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:58 pm
by astouffer
kev009 wrote:Ubuntu 16.04 worked as easy as x86 on my P6 p520, granted I am booting under VIOS which may make things easier. I am working to fix FreeBSD ppc64 right now for VIOS and eventually PAPR as a hobby project. I'm using some spare work hours to bring FreeBSD to P8 PowerNV as it may be commercially relevant with Xeon E5 stagnating on I/O and memory bandwidth.


Do you need an HMC to set up the hardware partitioning? Would you mind sharing how it was set up?

Y888099 wrote:Which is the best IBM Power6 machine for linux ?


IMHO don't bother with Linux. All the power6 distros are really outdated. The only affordable machines that show up are the 8203-E4A boxes.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:19 am
by kev009
You drop the VIOS DVD in and follow the menus. It's an embedded version of AIX 6.1 for the latest version, and the installer will seem familiar to anyone that's installed AIX. On smaller machines you can use an IVM for all the management, no need for an HMC. You will be able to run at least 2 more VMs as long as the machine has a VET code which you can check here http://www-912.ibm.com/pod/pod. I think pretty much every P6 machine will have VET licensed.

The 8203-E4A is a nice box, and they are/were going for great prices recently. I would highly recommend getting one to any OS enthusiast.. you can run VIOS and then AIX, i, Linux ppc32/64 big endian, and maybe hopefully soon FreeBSD. If you go digging maybe Lx86 too :)

Y888099 - for porting and play, anything you can get. 8203 or 8204 would be the "easiest" and don't need an HMC. Just keep in mind, POWER6 will only run big endian Linux and IBM is trying to push everyone to ppc64el starting with POWER8.

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/xeni ... owerpc.iso
https://archive.fedoraproject.org/pub/f ... ppc64/iso/
http://mirror.centos.org/altarch/7/isos/ppc64/

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:14 pm
by Y888099
astouffer wrote:don't bother with Linux. All the power6 distros are really outdated


isn't CHOST=PowerPC64-linux-gnu ? If so, Catalyst (of gentoo) is my friend.
With a decent linux kernel and a decent stage3, I can emerge a new stage4.
Unfortunately, I don't have a PowerPC64-gnatboot (bootstrap) for gnat.

Code: Select all


        amd64? ( $url/gnatboot-${BOOT_SLOT}-amd64.tar.bz2 )
        sparc? ( $url/gnatboot-${BOOT_SLOT}-sparc.tar.bz2 )
        x86?   ( $url/gnatboot-${BOOT_SLOT}-i686.tar.bz2 )"
        ppc?   ( $url/gnatboot-${BOOT_SLOT}-ppc.tar.bz2 )


I need gnat to compile ghdl.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:25 pm
by astouffer
kev009 wrote:You drop the VIOS DVD in and follow the menus. It's an embedded version of AIX 6.1 for the latest version, and the installer will seem familiar to anyone that's installed AIX. On smaller machines you can use an IVM for all the management, no need for an HMC. You will be able to run at least 2 more VMs as long as the machine has a VET code which you can check here http://www-912.ibm.com/pod/pod. I think pretty much every P6 machine will have VET licensed.

The 8203-E4A is a nice box, and they are/were going for great prices recently. I would highly recommend getting one to any OS enthusiast.. you can run VIOS and then AIX, i, Linux ppc32/64 big endian, and maybe hopefully soon FreeBSD. If you go digging maybe Lx86 too :)

Y888099 - for porting and play, anything you can get. 8203 or 8204 would be the "easiest" and don't need an HMC. Just keep in mind, POWER6 will only run big endian Linux and IBM is trying to push everyone to ppc64el starting with POWER8.

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/xeni ... owerpc.iso
https://archive.fedoraproject.org/pub/f ... ppc64/iso/
http://mirror.centos.org/altarch/7/isos/ppc64/


I found a copy of IVM 2.2.3.3 and set up a basic VM, 100Gb disk and 8Gb memory. Trying to boot CentOS gives me this error. Did you have to tweak any settings or configs?

Quick thing to add here. Looks like this is because the initrd image is too big for the system.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:33 pm
by astouffer
Just a quick note for anyone else with this hardware, Debian 7 ppc installs fine.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:05 am
by Shiunbird
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.

When I figured that out, all I had to do was to configure the boot loader manually. This is something that you may want to have a look. Mine would die at the very beginning of the boot process very similarly to yours.

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.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:39 pm
by astouffer
Shiunbird wrote:
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.

When I figured that out, all I had to do was to configure the boot loader manually. This is something that you may want to have a look. Mine would die at the very beginning of the boot process very similarly to yours.

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.


Hey I just watched your video yesterday. Thanks for detailing what you had to go through. These boxes were advertised as being able to run Linux but they sure don't easily. Debian installed fine in a virtual machine but is giving me tons of shit on bare metal.

Setting the boot drive and then looking at the variable shows this string

Code: Select all

/pci@800000020000200/pci1014,02BD@1/sas/disk@50000


However when greeted with the boot: prompt I enter

Code: Select all

/pci@800000020000200/pci1014,02BD@1/sas/disk@50000,/boot/vmlinux


It tells me it can't find /boot/vmlinux. Disregard my Youtube comment. Posting your yaboot.conf here would be better.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:41 am
by Shiunbird
astouffer wrote:Posting your yaboot.conf here would be better.


At the moment, I'm not running Linux on my Power5. One hard drive has AIX 7.1 and the other AIX 5.3.
A third hard drive has just arrived for me, but I didn't have the chance to pick it up at the post office. I'll install it over the weekend and share with you my yaboot.conf.

But if you are having a headache now, what I can suggest is:
1. Go to the OpenFirmware, check the devalias of your hard drives.
2. At the end of the installation, when the installer suggests you a place to install the boot loader, confirm it is the same one where you installed the OS.

Since I had only two hard drives, it was easy. At the end, it gave me suggestion to install yaboot to device 5,0 and I just changed it to 8,0. The path was the path of the devalias, not the full path of the device. Since OF or the installer mixed both, when I set the installer to install yaboot to the device 5,0, it installed it to the hard drive 8,0 and it worked.

Before I realized that, the following was happening to me:
1. Install everything to disk 8,0.
2. Tell installer to put yaboot on 8,0 but the installer ended up installing yaboot on the disk 5,0 (messing up my AIX boot by the way).
3. Machine restarts.
4. Yaboot loads from 5,0 and expects /boot to be on 5,0 but nothing was there, so it just stops.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:47 pm
by astouffer
Shiunbird, you were totally right about the installer being confused. I removed all the drives except for one and it installed cleanly, just like in the VM. Many thanks.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:26 am
by Shiunbird
Excellent! I'm happy it works. =)
You can enable the multiboot support in the SMS menu, and it should ask from which hard drive you want to boot every time you turn the machine on.

Ignore my PM about the yaboot file, I wrote it before reading your post here.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:13 pm
by Shiunbird
@astouffer: Are you getting my PMs? I think they are getting stuck in my outbox.

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:59 pm
by vishnu
Shiunbird wrote:@astouffer: Are you getting my PMs? I think they are getting stuck in my outbox.

That's a phpBB "feature," a PM stays in your outbox until the recipient reads it, the idea being that you can edit the message up to that point. And while it's still in your outbox you know the recipient hasn't read it yet. Not sure what happens if a recipient reads a message while the sender is actively editing it. Probably the whole message board implodes... :lol:

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:23 am
by Shiunbird
vishnu wrote:That's a phpBB "feature," a PM stays in your outbox until the recipient reads it, the idea being that you can edit the message up to that point. And while it's still in your outbox you know the recipient hasn't read it yet. Not sure what happens if a recipient reads a message while the sender is actively editing it. Probably the whole message board implodes... :lol:


But some messages go straight to sent...

Re: POWER6 Linux and AIX

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:48 pm
by vishnu
Shiunbird wrote:
vishnu wrote:That's a phpBB "feature," a PM stays in your outbox until the recipient reads it, the idea being that you can edit the message up to that point. And while it's still in your outbox you know the recipient hasn't read it yet. Not sure what happens if a recipient reads a message while the sender is actively editing it. Probably the whole message board implodes... :lol:


But some messages go straight to sent...

Presumably that's because the recipient was online when you sent it, and read it right away. I'm pretty sure there are no bugs in the private message code of the version of phpBB that we're using, but hey, I've been wrong before...