Saturday, April 23, 2011

OpenBIOS strikes back

Mark did it! OpenBIOS svn.r1035 with two patches (escc and lance) can boot a sun4m Solaris. As soon as the patches are reviewed and committed I'll have to update the how-to. Booting Solaris is going to be much simpler. Congratulations the OpenBIOS Team!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Seen a usable #

Well sort of:

Loading: /platform/sun4u/ufsboot
Size: 330820+55556+67364 Bytes
SunOS Release 5.7 Version Generic_106541-08 [UNIX(R) System V Release 4.0]
Copyright (c) 1983-1999, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Ethernet address = 52:54:0:12:34:56
Using default device instance data
# uname -X
System = SunOS
Node =
Release = 5.7
KernelID = Generic_106541-08
Machine = sun4u
BusType = <unknown>
Serial = <unknown>
Users = <unknown>
OEM# = 0
Origin# = 1
NumCPU = 1
# ls
a           dev         kernel      opt         proto        tmp
bin         devices     lib        platform    reconfigure  usr
cdrom       etc         mnt         proc        sbin         var

So, the Solaris 2.6 and 7 kernels are functional in a minimal mode (the 2.5.1 and 8+ hang on device detection). The single user mode is not there yet though:

... internal: malloc failed
FATAL ERROR: / file system type "" is unknown
             Exiting to shell.

Nice is that Solaris engineers did a really good job making the OS robust. The message above comes from a branch in a script which has a following comment:

            # "this never happens" :-)

Expect the unexpected, well done!

Now, the bad news: MilaX 0.3.2, and probably other OpenSolaris distributions are eager to play with the E-Cache, which qemu doesn't emulate. If I find the way to tell MilaX that there is no cache, it probably would get it up to the command line too. The old Solaris versions had a '-n' boot parameter to switch the cache off, but MilaX says this boot parameter is invalid.

Gonna take a break now. (Happy Easter, everyone!) The next stop is a working single user mode. Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I've seen the # but it doesn't count

It turned out that last weekend I didn't specify the contest conditions good enough.

Now I have to tell that I've seen the boot prompt under qemu-system-sparc64, but being fair, it doesn't count yet, because
a) only Solaris 2.5.1 - 7 get it up to there. The goal for 64 bit machine is certainly OpenSolaris (or maybe "just" Solaris 10? What do you think?).
b) the system hangs right after printing the prompt.

The next goal is therefore a usable # prompt, not just the hanging one. :-) But stay tuned, I'm getting closer...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Whose house?

I occurred to me that I'm sort of competing with Mark Cave-Ayland. While Mark makes a really good job to get a proprietary OS (Solaris 8) working with an Open Source firmware (OpenBIOS) under a 32 bit SPARC qemu machine, I'm trying to get a Open Source OS (OpenSolaris) working with a proprietary firmware (OBP) under a 64 bit SPARC qemu machine. Right now we are at about the same place - he is right after the disk detection, I'm a bit behind.

Who's gonna see the '#' first, what are your bets? What task do you think is easier?

But speaking seriously, if Mark makes it first I'll buy him a beer.