Category Archives: Uncategorized

Raise the Itanic! (part 2)

Previously …

I finally got my HP Integrity RX2620 (dual core Itanium II) working, after a lot of messing around in the EFI shell. It is now running Debian-ia64 Wheezy. The thing is so noisy that you can’t stay in the room with it for very long, and I discovered that if you pull out the fans then it overheats and shuts down after a few minutes.

Here is lstopo output:

itanic-lstopo

and /proc/cpuinfo:

processor  : 0
vendor     : GenuineIntel
arch       : IA-64
family     : 31
model      : 2
model name : Madison up to 9M cache
revision   : 2
archrev    : 0
features   : branchlong
cpu number : 0
cpu regs   : 4
cpu MHz    : 1600.035
itc MHz    : 1600.035576
BogoMIPS   : 2390.01
siblings   : 1
physical id: 0

processor  : 1
vendor     : GenuineIntel
arch       : IA-64
family     : 31
model      : 2
model name : Madison up to 9M cache
revision   : 2
archrev    : 0
features   : branchlong
cpu number : 0
cpu regs   : 4
cpu MHz    : 1600.035
itc MHz    : 1600.035576
BogoMIPS   : 2390.01
siblings   : 1
physical id: 1

Also: Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!11!!1

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libguestfs works on MIPS Creator (mipsel)

[Previous post about the MIPS Creator CI20]

Slowly, of course.

I had to compile supermin & qemu from upstream and download (but not install) a qemu-compatible Debian kernel. Then setting the following environment variables allows make quickcheck to pass:

$ cat localenv
export SUPERMIN=/home/rjones/d/supermin-mipsel/src/supermin
export LIBGUESTFS_HV=/home/rjones/d/qemu-mipsel/mipsel-softmmu/qemu-system-mipsel
export SUPERMIN_KERNEL=/home/rjones/d/libguestfs-mipsel/kernel/boot/vmlinux-3.16.0-0.bpo.4-4kc-malta
export SUPERMIN_KERNEL_VERSION=3.16.0-0.bpo.4-4kc-malta
export SUPERMIN_MODULES=/home/rjones/d/libguestfs-mipsel/kernel/lib/modules/3.16.0-0.bpo.4-4kc-malta/

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MIPS Creator (32 bit dual core MIPS)

As I mentioned in passing yesterday I have a MIPS Creator CI20. It’s a tiny single board dual core 32 bit MIPS computer. The cost was £55 including tax and delivery.

20150429_150253

It comes with Debian mipsel pre-installed, so all I had to do was boot it the first time with an HDMI monitor and keyboard, configure the WLAN, disable the autologin, reboot and done: I have a tiny MIPS server.

One tip: The hardware clock was way off, so installing NTP at the earliest opportunity is a good idea.

The hardware isn’t going to win any prizes for speed, but it’s quite adequate for development. /proc/cpuinfo is attached at the end.

Also I think Imagination have done a good job seeding the community, setting up a mailing list, IRC, and very extensive wiki pages.

Update: Also, no native OCaml compiler … boo :-(


$ cat /proc/cpuinfo 
system type		: CI20
processor		: 0
cpu model		: Ingenic Xburst V4.15  FPU V0.0
BogoMIPS		: 1196.85
wait instruction	: yes
microsecond timers	: no
tlb_entries		: 32
extra interrupt vector	: yes
hardware watchpoint	: yes, count: 1, address/irw mask: [0x0fff]
microMIPS		: no
ASEs implemented	: mxu
shadow register sets	: 1
kscratch registers	: 0
core			: 0
VCED exceptions		: not available
VCEI exceptions		: not available
Hardware		: CI20
Serial			: 6f1b2731 1181a003 f9080000 8861aa4f

processor		: 1
cpu model		: Ingenic Xburst V4.15  FPU V0.0
BogoMIPS		: 1196.85
wait instruction	: yes
microsecond timers	: no
tlb_entries		: 32
extra interrupt vector	: yes
hardware watchpoint	: yes, count: 1, address/irw mask: [0x0fff]
microMIPS		: no
ASEs implemented	: mxu
shadow register sets	: 1
kscratch registers	: 0
core			: 0
VCED exceptions		: not available
VCEI exceptions		: not available
Hardware		: CI20
Serial			: 6f1b2731 1181a003 f9080000 8861aa4f

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Not very serious quest to run Linux on every architecture

Just looking at the Debian Ports page, how many of these architectures do I own?

Arch Notes
Alpha Good, working Alpha hardware is getting hard to obtain these days.
amd64 (x86-64) Obviously …
ARM (32 bit) I don’t really care about anything less than ARM version 7 these days, although I do have a Sheevaplug which I think is v5 or v6. My “go-to” 32 bit ARM board is the Cubietruck.
ARM (64 bit) I don’t own, but have under my desk at work, the Applied Micro X-gene (picture), and a lovely piece of kit it is too.
HP-PA I would love to get my hands on some HP-PA RISC hardware, but it’s even harder to get hold of than Alpha. Edit: If you really want HP PA then the HP C8000 workstation is available on eBay for $300 or so.
i386 I own a Lenovo X60s laptop, which is one of the few 32 bit Intel processors with (very slow) hardware virtualization
ia64 HP Itanium RX2620
M68K As I started out my professional career writing 68k assembler, I’d love to buy an MVME crate, but incredibly they go for upwards of $1000 on ebay, even 20 years after they stopped being made.
MIPS ✓/✗ I just bought the MIPS Creator CI20. I don’t own any Big Endian MIPS hardware, nor any 64 bit MIPS hardware.
OpenRISC I have this burned into an FPGA, but in storage.
PPC (32 bit) I recently sent a couple of old 32 bit Mac G4s to recycling.
PPC/POWER (64 bit) ✓/✗ I own a Mac G5 running Linux (picture). However I don’t own, and as far as I know cannot get my hands on any of the more interesting POWER7 or POWER8 hardware, although I have remote access to it through Red Hat.
s390/s390x Similar to ppc64, no possible way to own it, but I am able to remote access it through Red Hat.
SPARC (32 bit) Currently sitting in storage, but it’s there and it used to run Linux, albeit with only 128 MB of RAM
SPARC (64 bit) Is it possible to buy 64 bit SPARC hardware for a reasonable price?

Looks like I’m about half way there!

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virt-builder Debian 8 (Jessie) image

Debian 8 was released a couple of days ago, and you can now install it through virt-builder.

Use --notes to read the release notes:

$ virt-builder debian-8 --notes

To build an image:

$ virt-builder debian-8 \
    --firstboot-command "dpkg-reconfigure openssh-server"

To boot it under libvirt:

$ virt-install --import \
  --name debian-8 --ram 2048 \
  --disk path=debian-8.img,format=raw --os-variant=debianwheezy

(At some point --os-variant=debianjessie will work, but virt-install doesn’t support it yet)

Update: This is how I ended up running Debian 8:

$ virt-builder debian-8 \
    --size=30G \
    --root-password PASSWORD \
    --edit '/etc/apt/sources.list: s/wheezy/jessie/g' \
    --run-command '
      apt-get -y install debian-keyring debian-archive-keyring
      apt-key update
    ' \
    --install emacs,nfs-common,sudo \
    --edit '/etc/ssh/sshd_config:
              s/^#PermitEmptyPasswords no/PermitEmptyPasswords yes/' \
    --firstboot FIRSTBOOT.sh
    --run-command 'update-rc.d virt-sysprep-firstboot defaults' \
    --run-command 'killall dbus-daemon cgmanager ||:'

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New in virt-v2v

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Video: virt-v2v integration with RHEV-M

This video shows using the GUI to import a virtual machine from VMware to RHEV-M. It performs the conversion using virt-v2v, which is responsible for installing virtio drivers, fixing the bootloader, and so forth.

Thanks Arik Hadas. Now I just have to fix the epic RHEL 7.2 bug list — 57 bugs at last count :-(

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