Seeking advice on installing Linux

AmigaOne X1000 platform specific issues related to Linux only.
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AlexC
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Seeking advice on installing Linux

Post by AlexC »

Hi,

I'd like to install Linux on my X1000 to have a Linux-based environment for compiling code with gcc.

So far I have been able to boot off the A-Eon's Debian Wheezy USB flashdrive and also just load the 3.5.5 kernel from it and the root partition off of one of my HDDs.

Some of the questions I have are:

Is there a way to reference the root partition by its label or UUID?
What happens here is that sometimes the USB drive ends up as /dev/sda and sometimes as /dev/sde so randomly it fails to load root from /dev/sdd11. I tried to specify root=/dev/disks/-by-label/x1000-wheezy but from the list of partitions displayed before the kernel panic it would seem that neither the label nor the UUID is available to the kernel. I thought that perhaps it's because my HDDs all use Amgia RDBs instead of MBRs but GParted does show the label and UUID.

What is required to use the 4.00 kernel?
I downloaded the archive and took the vmlinux-4.00 file and placed it in usbdisk0:boot/ and can start loading it but it always gets stuck soon after setting up the hardware, with some word like "quiesce" and sits there until a reset.

What is the most recommended Linux distribution?
My primary goal is to compile 'C' source code and my secondary goal is to peek into the SB600 registers. Other than for GParted I don't really need a UI, Midnight Commander usually covers my needs as I'm used to access my linux servers via SSH only.

How should I go about installing another Linux distribution?
I don't have a CD/DVD drive in there, my X1000 has 4 drives on SATA:
Port0) 8GB ACARD ANS-9000 RAM drive with OS4 boot partition (RDB not recognized by GParted)
Port2) 256GB SSD with backup OS4 boot partition and other OS4 partitions.
Port1) 256GB SSD. Mirror copy of the first one.
Port3) 500GB HDD. Backup of drives 0 and 1, and sdd11 a 40GB EXT2 partition with copy of Wheezy from the USB flashdrive.

On all the LAMP servers I've setup I've always stuck a CD or DVD in the box and started the installation procedure from there and had no problem booting afterwards with the defaults from Grub. But since I don't have an optical drive handy, can I simply download some ISO or tgz archive from Wheezy and copy everything to a new EXT2 partition?

Is it correct that only the first partition of drives 0 and 2 are visible to CFE? The "show devices" command lists IDE0.0 and IDE0.1 so my best guess is that I would have to put the kernel in one of the OS4 boot partitions if I don't want to load it from USB or CF0:

To make sure I don't leave anything out that may affect booting Linux, the rest of my X1000 setup is as follows:
- 2GB RAM on a single stick
- PCIe RadeonHD R9 270 DVI connected to 1600x1200 LCD
- PCI RadeonHD 5450 VGA connected to 1024x768 LCD
- PCI RTL8139 Ethernet
- USB Wireless mouse/keyboard
- Serial #0 connected to A1-XE

Thanks in advance for any answer :-)
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nbache
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Re: Seeking advice on installing Linux

Post by nbache »

When you write "OS4 boot partition", do you mean the small partition containing just the amigaboot.of file? If so, then I don't understand why you would "waste" one of your SATA ports just for that. Isn't it just as fast to have it in a small boot partition at the start of your SSD? Then you could use the first SATA port for a DVD drive instead, which should make things much easier, both with Linux and with OS4.

Also, you might consider using the Compact Flash slot for a card holding your Linux kernel(s). There's even a driver to let you see/write it under AmigaOS now.

Just a few thoughts. I'm not really up to date on the recent offerings of distros and kernels for X1000, so the rest is for others to answer.

Best regards,

Niels
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AlexC
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Re: Seeking advice on installing Linux

Post by AlexC »

Hi Niels,

By OS4 boot partition I meant SYS:

I did install a CF card to resolve the issue of the changing drive letter.
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xeno74
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Re: Seeking advice on installing Linux

Post by xeno74 »

Hi Alex,
AlexC wrote: What is required to use the 4.00 kernel?
I downloaded the archive and took the vmlinux-4.00 file and placed it in usbdisk0:boot/ and can start loading it but it always gets stuck soon after setting up the hardware, with some word like "quiesce" and sits there until a reset.
Did you try it with your CF card?
AlexC wrote: What is the most recommended Linux distribution?
My primary goal is to compile 'C' source code and my secondary goal is to peek into the SB600 registers. Other than for GParted I don't really need a UI, Midnight Commander usually covers my needs as I'm used to access my linux servers via SSH only.
This is a really good reason to install and test the new Ubuntu Server 15.04 PowerPC. :-) The Ubuntu Server doesn't have a UI. ;-)
AlexC wrote:I don't have a CD/DVD drive in there
Fortunately you don't need a CD/DVD drive to install a Linux distribution.
ubuntu-server-logo.png
ubuntu-server-logo.png (9.87 KiB) Viewed 6870 times
Here are the installations instructions for the Ubuntu Server 15.04 (based on A-EON Linux manual Version 2.5.1.4):

Installation instructions cover installing Ubuntu Server 15.04 from a “netboot over the internet” installation from a single install image.
  1. Download the Ubuntu 15.04 ramdisk image (initrd.gz) from:

    initrd-15.04-modified.gz

    Note: initrd-15.04-modified.gz currently works for installation only with the latest kernel *release* *candidate* of version 3.19 since it has been modified before the final 3.19 kernel has been released. I suggest to download the initrd-15.04-modified.gz with a right click on the link and then with the menu point "Save target as" or something like this.
  2. Download the latest kernel *release* *candidate* of version 3.19: vmlinux-3.19.0-rc7-KVM-PR-AMIGA_one_X1000.tar.bz2
  3. Copy them to a USB stick. If you have any trouble with your USB stick then you can copy them to a CF card instead. ;-)
  4. Turn on the AmigaONE X1000 and press F to boot to enter CFE prompt. Insert the USB stick.
  5. You can boot the installer using the commands below

    Code: Select all

    CFE> ramdisk –z –addr=0x24000000 –fatfs usbdisk0:initrd-15.04-modified.gz
    CFE> setenv bootargs "root=/dev/ramdisk"
    CFE> boot -elf -noints -fatfs usbdisk0:vmlinux-3.19
    
  6. Select Language
  7. Select Your Location
  8. Detect Keyboard Layout. Select No and Pick from the list
  9. Configure Network
  10. Enter Hostname
  11. Select the Ubuntu Archive Mirror Country - [it is configured for the UK]
  12. Leave the HTTP Proxy parameter blank and press return – [there will now be a long delay]
  13. When prompted that no kernel modules were found select Yes to continue without loading them.
  14. The installer components will be retrieved from the Ubuntu mirror [this will take a long time]
  15. Enter your Full Name
  16. Enter your username for your account
  17. Enter your password and confirm
  18. Select No to Encrypt your home directory
  19. Confirm your time zone
  20. When prompted for module dm-mod leave the parameter blank and select continue
  21. Click Continue at the warning of “Software RAID not available”
  22. Click Continue at the warning of “Logical Volume Manager not available”
  23. You can now partition your disk.
    You must exercise caution when modifying your partition tables!
  24. The base system will now be retrieved from the mirror site and installed
  25. Select “Install security updates automatically”
  26. At the software selection screen you will be asked to select which *buntu flavour(s) you would like to install. You can install as many as you like. To install the Ubuntu Server arrow to the “Basic Ubuntu Server” option and press the space bar to mark the option. I recommend to install the OpenSSH Server, too. Now press return to continue.
    Ubuntu_Mate_install_Sam_PowerPC.jpg
  27. The additional packages required to install the Ubuntu Server will be retrieved and
    installed. - [this will take some time to complete depending on the speed of your internet connection]
  28. At “Continue without boot loader” take note of your root partition.
  29. Select Yes to set confirm the system clock is set as UTC.
  30. Select Continue to finish the installation and reboot!
    Booting Ubuntu Server 15.04
    Press F to boot to enter CFE prompt. Remove if necessary and re-insert the USB stick containing
    the vmlinux-3.19 kernel.
    Enter the following commands replacing the root partition (sdb9) with the ID of the partition where
    you installed the Ubuntu Server

    Code: Select all

    CFE> setenv bootargs "root=/dev/sdb9"
    CFE> boot -elf -noints -fatfs usbdisk0:vmlinux-3.19
    
    You will see the following warning during boot:
    “Init: Failed to create pty – disabling logging for job”
    Note: This warning message will be repeated many times and is a bug on Ubuntu systems that do
    not use an initramfs during boot. However it is nothing to worry about as the problem will 'correct
    itself' later in the boot process.
  31. Later, you could copy the Linux kernel 4.0 to the CF card and configure a CFE menu entry.

    Code: Select all

    CFE> setenv -p MENU_2_LABEL "Ubuntu Server 15.04 with kernel 4.0"
    CFE> setenv -p MENU_2_COMMAND 'set pmu -astate=A4 ; setenv bootargs "root=/dev/sdb9 quiet ro splash" ; boot -elf -noints -fatfs cf0:vmlinux-4.00' 
    
If you find any mistakes in the installation instructions please let me know. Please tell us your experiences with the Ubuntu Server 15.04 PowerPC. Have a lot of fun with the Ubuntu Server 15.04.

Cheers,

Christian
http://www.amigalinux.org
http://www.supertuxkart-amiga.de

Running Linux on AmigaONEs can require some tinkering.
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mechanic
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Re: Seeking advice on installing Linux

Post by mechanic »

Don't forget about the PATA port.

Perhaps you can connect a HD and an older CD to that just to get the install done and disconnect the CD drive. I have run Linux off of the PATA.

It is also possible to use a PCIe X1 slot SATA adapter card to run linux as long as the kernel is on your CF card or someplace CFE can get to it.

Personally I reccomend Mint 11 since it is much lighter weight and will do what your seeking.

Do you have the ability to burn a CD or DVD?

P.S.

Right now I have Mint 11 installed on a CF card in a PATA adapter I bought from AmigaKit.

It's a 8GB card and even with a bunch of extras installed, including SuperTuxKart, I still have 1.2GB free space.

It shows up as /dev/sdc. It works.
A-Eon A1X1000 ATI HD6850, Creative SB1570 PCIe, RTL8139 net PCI.
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AlexC
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Re: Seeking advice on installing Linux

Post by AlexC »

xeno74 wrote:Did you try it with your CF card?
Yes I tried from the usb and CF, in boot cases it turns the screen black and gets stuck. Since it appears to choke when trying to switch the display to some other mode, iIt may have something to do with having two gfx cards, I don't know.

Thank you for the detailed installation explaination, I'll try that this weekend :-)
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