art's abode

art.csoft.net

Installing Linux on an UltraSparc 10 via serial console

with 2 comments

Aye, the Ultra 10 (Model 440) finally came in yesterday.

Headless mode install definitely works–here’s how:

  1. Get your Linux media burnt. Ensure your bootloader settings support serial console I/O (I tried using a nightly ubuntu-server/sparc .iso).
  2. Get your serial console working with your Ultra 10. You will need a DB9 (com) port, which is commonly called ttyb. If your sparc didn’t come with one, you can order them online.
  3. You will need a null modem cable, and a terminal on the other end of the cable to capture I/O.
  4. Boot via serial console, OpenBoot will load, at the “ok” prompt, type “printenv”. Take careful note.
  5. Set any variables you need to, using “setenv” (i.e., to ensure your terminal settings are correct). Some useful ones: auto-boot?, boot, input-device, output-device, reset.
  6. You can also do this in blind-mode: headless using a keyboard plugged in locally to the sparc, hitting STOP-A once the keyboard LEDs stop blinking, and setting output-device and input-device, for example, to terminal, or screen/keyboard.
  7. Now that it’s all working, put in the Linux media, boot, and at the “ok” prompt type “boot cdrom”.
  8. Install your distro. All the stock hardware should be supported. Make note that SILO (LILO for Sparc) has specific requirements in terms of the disk (it must be installed within the first gigabyte).
  9. It failed during the ubuntu-server setup process. Continue it regardless and complete the installation process.
  10. Reboot the cdrom, and enter rescue mode. Mount the drive(s) that you just installed, and install the silo package (i.e., using apt-get for debian/ubuntu). It installed without incident for me here.

This information was tested on an Sun Ultra 10, 440-MHz UltraSPARC IIi, 2MB external cache, 1GB memory, 3D card, 2 x 9GB disk drives.

Written by art

January 25th, 2008 at 1:46 am

Posted in hardware,terminal,unix

2 Responses to 'Installing Linux on an UltraSparc 10 via serial console'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Installing Linux on an UltraSparc 10 via serial console'.

  1. nice write up, kinda interesting to see ubuntu on some sun hardware.

    clarkee

    27 Jan 08 at 23:33

  2. […] and keyboard for Sparc (alternatively, run from serial terminal—serial cable required for […]

Leave a Reply