[rescue] Sparc OS Install over serial

Patrick Finnegan pat at computer-refuge.org
Wed Jan 7 10:27:09 CST 2004

On Wednesday 07 January 2004 08:56, Joshua Boyd wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 07, 2004 at 06:01:37AM -0800, Lionel Peterson wrote:
> > --- "Mark T. Valites" <valites at geneseo.edu> wrote:
> > > I'm looking for a way to bootstrap and install any modern OS
> > > (preferably some flavor of linux) to a SS or Ultra class sparc,
> > > but only use the serial port - no floppy, cd, network, or hard
> > > disk to bootstrap from.
> >
> > WOW - why on earth do you need to do this?
> >
> > I don't think this is possible...

Nothing is impossible.  If you want proof of this, look at what people 
have done in the past with computers...  There is an issue of "is it 
worth the time", however.

> I think it is possible, if one is enough of a forth wizard.
> It might mean pasting a page or two of forth code into the OK prompt
> to write a program to disk that can suck down a kernel and everything
> else from the serial port.

Hell, it shouldn't even be that hard.  All you *really* need to do is 
make something that'll load a memory image over the serial port, and 
use any generic Sparc Linux netboot image... they're a kernel plus a 
ramdisk image.  Just load that into memory.  In fact, if you're clever 
enough, you could put enough stuff into the ramdisk image to start up a 
SLIP or PPP connection over the serial port, and install over that.  
Or, if you feel like debian for instance, write a forth program that'll 
"dd" enough crap onto a disk to get the necessary parts of the debian 
install image there (look at a installer mini-iso).

I'm tempted to get this to work myself now. Where's that Ultra 1...

Purdue University ITAP/RCS
Information Technology at Purdue
Research Computing and Storage

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