SunBlade 100 and Linux (again)

by Juliet Kemp

I have posted along these lines before.

This time the recalcitrant machine is a SunBlade 100. I had at some point in the past managed to get it as far as a Debian testing install, but then it wouldn't reboot (hung at various stages during the process). A correspondent who'd read the previous post suggested that I try appending ide=nodma to the boot line (so in my case: Linux ide=nodma at the SILO prompt). Worked like a charm. Splendid.

Unfortunately, I then messed up my /etc/silo.conf trying to add this to the boot line so it would Just Work rather than requiring manual intervention at boot. Messed it up so badly that it - once again - won't boot at all. (One of the morals of this story is: always run /sbin/silo after making changes to /etc/silo.conf - something which I had firmly in mind back in the days when I used LILO, but which has slipped out of awareness with the ascendence of GRUB.)

Even worse: reinstall won't work either. Both Ubuntu and Debian etch get as far as the "Booting Linux" line and then hang silently (in either install or rescue mode). I've tried the various fixes on the previous post, but no dice. Any further suggestions gratefully received! It is a lovely big paperweight, mind.

Notes from my last post: httrack was just the wiki backup I required, after I told it to ignore all pages including the word Special (i.e. all metadata / change record pages) as there were just too many of them and I don't need them for emergency purposes.
httrack -*Special*

does the job. Thanks to William for the comment!


JP Legat
2007-03-01 11:41:01
I was able to install Ubuntu 6.10 in a SunBlade 1500, but only through serial console and after completing the installation process it wasn´t able to boot (same thing, "Booting Linux...") yes, I did tried ide=nodma...

Resuming, I totally put aside the SunBlade and installed the Ubuntu 6.10 server in a Ultra 10. Now, that works like a charm ;-)

2007-03-02 04:54:35
I had very good luck installing Ubuntu to a SunBlade 100. No quirks, no pain. I was pleasantly surprised.
Juliet Kemp
2007-03-02 09:04:52
mt: see, I've tried Ubuntu & got the same "Booting Linux..." hang (it flashes briefly to black screen, but instead of kicking off the boot process, just goes back to the white SILO screen).

Which Ubuntu are you using?

2007-03-05 17:08:27
You need to run Ubuntu 6.06 LTS as 6.10 won't boot on my Sun Blade 100 either, but 6.06 worked fantastic as long as you used the ide=nodma during install CD boot as well as putting it in the Silo.conf and writing it to the boot sector. - I did have to install Solaris 10, wipe the disks and rebuild the Sun partition labels. Sun Blades require the special Sun partition to be the size of the entire disk. It doesn't actually take up space, but apparently, it's required for Solaris and Linux on the Sun Blades.

Avoid the Ubuntu GUI unless you have the highend video card for the Sun Blade 100. If you have the built-in ATI Rage one it's very slow. Running Ubuntu 6.06 LTS as a server with no GUI:

AFPd - Netatalk (Apple File Protocol) - Including Bonjour functionality

Were it not for Open Solaris & the upcoming ZFS, I would have stuck with Ubuntu, it made a great home server in my mixed operating system environment. It's really fast and extremely easy to get up and running quickly.

JP Legat
2007-03-06 09:04:07
Indeed I´ve installed Ubuntu 6.0.6 on the SunBlade 1500 I mentioned on the first post, no hassles at all.
Major Chai
2007-10-01 09:56:38
You need to append 'video=atyfb:off' to the boot prompt. This is documented on the Debian errata page.