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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:50 pm 
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My fellow hackers:

I have been experimenting with producing "the forgotten distribution": IRIX 5.3 with XFS for all Indigo2 IMPACT. Why? As a challenge, certainly, but also for people who want to have the fastest desktop machine that can run ECOFF binaries (sadly the MGRAS uses IGLOO so there's a performance hit for IRIS GL programs, but it can run them). It's reached the point where I need some more testers.

I'm not sure exactly how to go about this, as legally you'd need a license for IRIX 5.3 or better in order to run the software. I know that Indigo2s with 200MHz or better processors would have the necessary license, so one possibility would be to send in your serial number and model number from the Indigo2. Any other ideas?

Eventually the goal is to have a single bootable CD that would install IRIX 5.3XFS on any 5.3 supported platform, including IP6 (the problem is space in the miniroot...I suspect that's why SGI doesn't have such a beast and the original 5.3XFS didn't support IP6/10). Currently the only supported configuration is IP22 (not sure about Indy R5000 - might work, might not).

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Last edited by SAQ on Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:32 am 
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SAQ wrote:
Eventually the goal is to have a single bootable CD that would install IRIX 5.3XFS on any 5.3 supported platform, including IP6 (the problem is space in the miniroot...I suspect that's why SGI doesn't have such a beast and the original 5.3XFS didn't support IP6/10).

There is a fundamental problem with XFS on R2000/R3000 based systems: these CPUs lack an atomic compare-and-swap instruction. The early MP systems (IP5/IP7/...) implement a set of semaphore memory locations on the CPU board to overcome this, but I don't think the IP4 / IP6 have anything like that.

SGI also discouraged XFS on R3000 because it is simply too slow. It might be bearable or even useful on e.g. a quad 40MHz Power Series, but I wouldn't bother with a single R2000 @ 16MHz. XFS v1 (IRIX 5.3) also had several nasty bugs and data corruption issues. And (insult to injury) if you install the XFS patches, the on-disk format changes which means your installation disk can't read it anymore and you need to use the miniroot which came with the patch instead ...

Messy.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:04 am 
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SAQ wrote:
It's reached the point where I need some more testers.


I'd be happy to give it a go on any/all of my older systems: 4D/240, Indigo R4k, Indy R4k, Indy R5k, Indigo2 R4k, Indigo2 R8k -- need any of these tested?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:26 pm 
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jan-jaap wrote:
SAQ wrote:
Eventually the goal is to have a single bootable CD that would install IRIX 5.3XFS on any 5.3 supported platform, including IP6 (the problem is space in the miniroot...I suspect that's why SGI doesn't have such a beast and the original 5.3XFS didn't support IP6/10).

There is a fundamental problem with XFS on R2000/R3000 based systems: these CPUs lack an atomic compare-and-swap instruction. The early MP systems (IP5/IP7/...) implement a set of semaphore memory locations on the CPU board to overcome this, but I don't think the IP4 / IP6 have anything like that.

SGI also discouraged XFS on R3000 because it is simply too slow. It might be bearable or even useful on e.g. a quad 40MHz Power Series, but I wouldn't bother with a single R2000 @ 16MHz. XFS v1 (IRIX 5.3) also had several nasty bugs and data corruption issues. And (insult to injury) if you install the XFS patches, the on-disk format changes which means your installation disk can't read it anymore and you need to use the miniroot which came with the patch instead ...

Messy.


OK - I'll give the IP6 a miss. Since all the files were on the disk I assumed that it was a size issue (from the looks of it it seems that SGI originally thought about supporting InfiniteReality on IRIX 5.3, as there are some files in there with MACH instructions for Kona.). The 5.3/IMPACT disk is quite the hack when you get into it - not a "pretty" dist of IRIX. I guess SGI was hoping no one would look :P .

Fixing the miniroot to work with the updated XFS is planned for the second beta - that particular bug was definitely noted during testing (I had to remake the fs for each test install).

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:30 pm 
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zuluchas wrote:
SAQ wrote:
It's reached the point where I need some more testers.


I'd be happy to give it a go on any/all of my older systems: 4D/240, Indigo R4k, Indy R4k, Indy R5k, Indigo2 R4k, Indigo2 R8k -- need any of these tested?


R8k won't run 5.3 without major hacking that would require source.

Indy R5k would be useful. /240 would be good for a final verify but install isn't supported on that architecture yet.

The real need right now is people with R4400/2MB SC + IMPACT systems to try it out with various software from the 4.0.5 and 5.3 era - most of my application software is 6.x.

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:48 pm 
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I'd be more than happy to test on my Indigo2, although it only has 1MB of cache and Extreme graphics.

EDIT: Nevermind - I just now saw that you only want IMPACT machines.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:42 am 
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It's supposed to install on any IP22 machine (except possibly Indy R5k - haven't tested that yet).

I have a 2MBSC machine, so that's been tested once, but it's High IMPACT, so functionality on a Solid machine (no texturing in hw) hasn't been demonstrated.

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:02 pm 
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I'm going to put in support for the patched XFS filesystem into the miniroot before I start letting people try it. Should be a rapid fix, then I'll get stuff ready for IP22 and IP24 testers.

Still looking for Solid IMPACT testers, or someone with a Solid IMPACT board for me to use to test. Dual-head testers would be good, too.

_________________
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:41 am 
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Status update: fixed a couple of bugs and re-configured the miniroot so that the later, fixed version of XFS is used from the get-go. I think it's ready to go out, the only current known bugs are

(1) only works with "install all". Part of the install process depends on a couple of patches to bring the installed OS up to a later patchlevel, and I haven't been able to have gendist/inst recognize a combination of "patch" and "default" in the spec file. Since failure to install the patches would render the system unbootable a conflict has been introduced that prevents the IRIX kernel from successfully building unless the patches are installed.

(2) just noticed last night that the System Manager doesn't recognize IMPACT graphics yet. Fix is in the works.

(3) Netboot only. I'm not building a CD until it's ready to go.

(4) should support more architectures, but not tested yet. Ideally works on all R4k machines, POWER series and perhaps IP12. R5k untested but might work because of the way I built the kernel.

If you're interested in testing this drop me a line. You'll need another SGI or DINA to do a netinstall. Especially interested in testing on the following machines, but all supported configs would be a help: Indigo2 IMPACT (especially Solid IMPACT, or if someone has a spare card they could send me...), Indy R5k, Indigo2 non-IMPACT. Because of legal restrictions you have to already have a machine that's licensed for IRIX 5.3 or better. If someone out there has a configured server and could host this that would be nice as well, as I don't have any machines that are currently trusted for public/semipublic access.

_________________
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:56 pm 
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I just bought a Solid IMPACT board for my Indigo2 - that way I can do some testing. Think I'll need a new power supply though?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:11 am 
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bigD wrote:
I just bought a Solid IMPACT board for my Indigo2 - that way I can do some testing. Think I'll need a new power supply though?


Check to see if your PSU has a large flat umbilical plugging into the GIO riser. If it does (all mine are blue, but it could conceivably be a different color) then the machine has an IMPACT PSU and GIO riser and is IMPACT ready - drop in and reinstall.

I'm working on getting a server up.

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:15 pm 
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AAAACK! I got my Solid IMPACT card, but it doesn't work. One of the chips on the back of the card is damaged, with many of the pins pulled from the side. :(

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Took some time off for an anniversary trip with my wife, things are back on schedule.

Trying for tomorrow, probably FTP access and it will need a password. If you haven't PM'd yet please send a PM with your computer specs and a quick note stating that your machine has a license for IRIX 5.3 or better.

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:18 pm 
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It's online, and I think I've sent the info to everyone who asked. If I haven't (or if you want to try it) send me your info and I'll get back to you.

Next up: the inst scripts, making a CD of it, and an Indigo hardware hack (not sure what order...)

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:40 pm 
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Just to recap in case someone else wants to test it.

This is IRIX 5.3 woith XFS and works (supposedly) across the entire SGI R4k desktop range and possibly on the other machines as well (untested). It includes the XFS patches to fix the 5.3-XFS problems and supports all graphics supported by 5.3 as well as IMPACT (Solid IMPACT not tested yet but should work), as well as all processors supported by 5.3-XFS including 2MB SC modules (does not work on IP6/10, Professional IRIS and may or may not work on IP12). Indy R5k support is unknown.

It currently requires netbooting and "install all" (rather than relying on a default install).

_________________
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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