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Re: DECstation kernel problems

Subject: Re: DECstation kernel problems
From: Harald Koerfgen <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 18:22:15 +0200 (MEST)
In-reply-to: <>
Organization: none
Reply-to: "Harald Koerfgen" <>
Hello all,

On 14-Jun-98 Paul M. Antoine wrote:
> Hi folks,
> It seems I spoke too soon when I said:
>> It appears that my problem was a muddled make (I had been trying to
>> use Ralf's compiler before switching to the one available on the
>> DECstation page) and a 'make clean' fixed things for me.  My
>> DECstation kernel now boots as previously advertised by Harald!
> ...except that it gets as far as:
>   [snip]
>   TURBOchannel rev. 1 at 12.5Mhz (no parity)
>   2 slots, size 64MB
>   Got dbe at 800dc1b4.
>   Got dbe at 800dc210.
>   Got dbe at 800dc1b4.
>   Got dbe at 800dc210.
>   Starting kswapd v 1.5
>   Ramdisk driver initialized : 16 ramdisks of 4096K size
>   RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0
>   EXT2-fs warning: checktime reached, running e2fsck is recommended
>   VFS: Mounted root (ext2 filesystem).
> ...then nothing!  I don't get any of the messages about freeing memory,
> or being unable to open initial console, or any of the page fault
> output.  Any ideas Harald?

Yup, you have to tell the kernel which device to use as the root device. This 
is not
automagicaly compiled in when crossompiling kernel. Fortunately passing command 
parameters to kernel works :-). Something like "boot 3/tftp root=/dev/ram" 
might do
the trick.
> Regards,
> Paul
>> So, Harald, what's on your priority list to work on next?  Can you
>> suggest ways in which yourself, Michael and I can work in parallel on
>> the most important tasks?  I'd love to have the DECstation booting a
>> minimal set of tools off the ramdisk as soon as we can, and then
>> there's self-hosting to look forward to!

Well, I guess what's needed most are console device drivers. Unfortunately I do 
only one of those fancy, and totally undocumented, 3-D cards. Looks like I will 
to use a serial console :-(. Anyway, what I'd like to do is:

o Fixing bugs (I already have some minor fixes in the pipeline).

o Writing an userland ll/sc emulation (this would give us 100% binary 
with other MIPS machines, including, but not limited to, glibc).

o Streamlining and improving the TURBOchannel Option Module detection.

o Writing a serial device driver for kmins, maxines and 3max+ (This may
take a while, as I'm totally unexperienced in writing device drivers).

o And, of course, keeping sync with the main Linux/MIPS source tree.

Obviously I am not able to develop device drivers for hardware I do not have 
to. This includes DS2100, DS3100, DS5100, DS5000/xx and DS5000/200. Looks like 
is still a lot of work do :-).

>> Regards,
>> Paul

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