My experiences with loading Linux onto an Indy here in New Delhi.
But before I start, the obligatory salutations and expressions of
gratitude to the Linux team, and the lighting of incense sticks and
repetition of arcane mantras before Linus' photo... <2 minute wait>
No really, thanks a lot to all of you! I got the hardhat-sgi-5.1
distribution onto my O2 (which was an experience in itself, but let's
leave that tale for another day...) and untarred it there. After
setting up bootp, I was ready to start on the target Indy.
Unfortunately none of the kernels (the default in the hardhat distro
and the others which I downloaded from linus.linux.sgi.com) went
beyond loading through bootp -- load kernel, hang. Wondering if it
was an XZ graphics problem (yes, the Indy was XZ), I tried it on an
8-bit machine, and Voila! it booted perfectly.
Issue 1: Doesn't Linux work with XZ graphics?
Now it refused to mount the NFS disk. After much headbanging I
realised that the Ethernet hadn't been configured for some reason, and
setup dhcp_bootp instead of bootp onto the O2 (IRIX 6.3). A bit more
fiddling, and I managed to NFS-mount the root partition.
Issue 2: Perhaps the HOWTO should mention that simple bootp will not
work, DHCP is required.
For some reason DHCP/BOOTP wasn't sending the right root directory
name, so I had to create a directory /tftpboot/ip.address.ofmy.system
linked to the actual mipseb directory and NFS export that.
Finally, the setup. I tried to take the lazy way out and just checked
``Install all packages'' in the RedHat package selection dialogue.
Unfortunately, this twice crashed with a segv on me. Finally I let it
install the default packages, which went through quite OK. Installed
the remaining packages manually later.
So... Installation is quite simple if you know what you're doing (or
can make inspired guesses). I still miss X -- when is that out? And
if anyone wants any packages compiled/ported, let me know. Xemacs
would be first on my list, unless someone's already done that.
Thanks for the effort to all of you. And now that I have it up and
running, maybe I can contribute some userland stuff to the SGI/Linux
effort. As long as the system doesn't get sold :-)