[SunRescue] NetBSD 1.4 miniroot problem fixed

BSD Bob bsdbob at weedcon1.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Mon Dec 6 17:14:43 CST 1999

>    I'll take a few timeouts over total failure any day. :)
>    My hardware:
> 	501-1491-08 REV 50 4/2xx CPU (double-width back panel)
> 		ROM Rev 3.0, S/N 13685
> 	501-1254-01 REV 51 32M RAM
> 		Rejumpered as only 16M because of an error in the top
> 		two or three megs.
> 	501-1251-01 REV 51 32M RAM
> 		This one's OK. :)
> 	501-1217-11 Sun-3 SCSI
> 	501-1434-06 REV 50 cgnine
> 		Want to write a driver for this eventually.
> 	All in a six-slot VME chassis.

That sounds pretty much like my machine, although mine is terminal
driven (monitor long defunct....(:+{{.....).  I have a pair of
Sun0669's in an outboard shoebox for drives.

>    At this point, I'm seriously considering dropping back to a 3/4xx,
> especially since this 4/2xx is only about twice as fast as my old 3/60,
> which puts it in the same ballpark with the 3/4xx! One nice thing about
> a "dead" architecture like the Sun-3's is that you never have to worry
> about the port maintainers being distracted by newer machines and forgetting
> about support for the old ones. It took me a few days of beating my head,
> but I've become fairly proficient at installing NetBSD 1.4 sun3. It's
> bigger and slower than SunOS 4.1.1, but it *does* run, even on my little
> 4M 3/50's, which make adequate DNS servers!

Well, there is nothing that bad with a high end 3/xxx machine.  Sadly,
all I have in that line are a 3/110 and a 3/260.  They are more of
the plebian class machine.

I tried getting the latest Sun3 snaps up and they were a no go.
I am waiting for another one that was done a couple of days ago
to be posted to the NetBSD/arch tree.

I was thinking of dropping back to NetBSD-1.3.2 for my sun3's for
some testing.  I once had those up, and they worked reasonably well,
but also had some timeout problems on tape drivers.  The HD drivers
seemed to work OK with non-interposer-controller setups (non md21 and
non mt02).  I am beginning to wonder if the interposer controllers may
be part of the scsi timeout problem.

What particular NetBSD-1.4 are you using, and what problems did you
solve to get it up and running.  I usually boot my boxes from tape,
so am stuck with tapebooting, although I have been known to roll the
miniroot from swap on a sunos load.  I don't seem to do well with
netbooting the beasts.

What we need to do is find the last working NetBSD on the sun3 and
if it ever did work, on the sun4.  Then see about getting that stable.
I would be all for an older stable VME sun port with the right drivers
to make that work correctly, that would be common across sun3 and sun4
vme machines.

>    If OpenBSD doesn't do so well on my 4/2xx, I won't have any choice
> but to go to the 3/4xx. Someday when I have the money for a CPU and RAM
> for the 4/6xx motherboard I have sitting around, I might give SPARCdom a
> second shot, but right now it's on the teetery edge of being more
> trouble than it's worth.

The OpenBSD port seems to run mostly OK, aside from that one si_dma_start
scsi timeout thing.  It seems to be the closest to a really working port.

You are right, though, trying to get working sun4 builds running has been,
shall we say, less than optimal, at best.  It is becoming a tired old
story, yet some folks seem to report getting the things running ``OK''.
We must be running the wrong hardware.....(:+\\.....

One thing I need to find, for archival purposes is a working boot tape
set for the old sun4 line, on SunOS 4.1.1.  The ones I had are dead.
I did resurrect enough of a 4.1 tape set, to get a 4.1.3 build up using
bits from the cdrom overlaid on the 4.1 tape structure (which is rather
wierd to say the least).  That is my emergency recovery tape, when all
else fails.  Alas, it ain't Y2K, so is running with a date of 1971.
Hopefully, when I get home tonight, a good GCC build will be ready,
and maybe I can get to trying a port of the NetBSD 1.0 sparc build
which builds over SunOS.  That might be the closest way to get a
working simple port up.....(he says, keeping fingers well crossed...).

James.... is there a current copy of the FAQ somewhere in postscript
format?  That would be nice if there were.... just thinking out loud.
I thought you were, at one time, the FAQ maintainer?

Keep us posted on how your testing goes....  Mebbie, if we get it done
right, the second time around, it might make a fun system, else, ol'
SunOS will have to roll into the millenium and beyond.


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