Older blog entries for spot (starting at number 96)


Man. What a difference a month makes. In the course of a month, 20 bugs went to 10, then to 5, and now to 3.

One of the bugs is erratic (the installer freezes right as it tries to format, but it doesn't always do it). The other two (parted can't make a sun fs label) and (network cards don't autodetect in stage 1) are able to be worked around. All the graphics and help text has been redone, although, I'm sure the help text is... interesting in a few places. X configuration in the installer WORKS on my u10, which is shocking. And to top that off, text mode works too. I caught another bug in the 0.3 tree that I'm fixing now, and Jeremy suspects the erratic hard locks are kernel (VM) related, but it looks really really good. We're starting to talk about iso creation/testing good.

Good stuff. I just hope we can have it ready for LinuxWorld in 2 weeks.

To be clear, all of this is for sparc64. Sparc32 comes next.

And in slightly Aurora related news:

Congratulations go out to Ingo T. Storm, who is the proud father of a healthy baby boy. Don't stress over that HOWTO, we might not need it after all. ;)


If it wasn't for "work", I'd have lots of time to dedicate to Aurora stuff. ;)

I gave a very impromptu presentation on the origins of Aurora SPARC Linux, and the motivations that lead to its creation. I suspect strongly that I bored the audience to tears, but hey.

The good news? Two days ago, I did the first successful local "install" of Aurora, onto my U10. The installer didn't have silo in the base group in the comps file, so when it tried to run its silo magic to initialize the bootloader, anaconda tracebacked, but I was able to switch to the shell and install/run silo manually, and the system came up clean. Albeit, this is with the "base" set of packages only, and I haven't started to test X configuration through anaconda, but this is a huge huge step. Jeremy said he fixed the silo issues that we uncovered, so if I have time today, I'll try another install with the most current version of the auroraconda tree.

Mind you, this is still a ways off from "isos", so don't rush me with emails asking for that.

I've also been somewhat idly poking the 0.3 kernel with experimental optimizations, like the 0(1) scheduler port, rml's lowlatency patch port, and the super_page patch. I'm not sure I'll keep any of these things in the mainline Aurora kernel, but I might make a custom kernel available for people who are longing for such things.

Thanks to the people who emailed me about the font ugliness on "Limbo".

To answer the most common question sent to me that was unrelated to my question, the theme that I'm using is called "Default". I'm sure it has another name, but i suspect it was done by Red Hat specifically for the beta/next release.

The fix ended up being as simple as installing the 75 & 100 dpi font packages. Apparently, they're not installed by default. :/ Thanks go out to Seth Vidal for being the one who caught it.


Built glibc 2.2.90 from Limbo on a whim today, worked without incident. Wild stuff.

Starting to think about Linuxworld. I'm going to try to get a lunchbox working (maybe an LX?) and a pizzabox. If anyone has a specific sparc they'd like to see, let me know. And yeah, we'd all like to see an E10K, but the fastest box I have access to is an Ultra 10 (and I don't think that RH wants me shipping it to San Fran). Hmm, I've got an U1, a U2 (smp), a SS20, a couple of SS5s, and a mildly flaky SS2. I don't think I'll ship the SS2, it would probably die in route. Maybe the U2, just to see the many penguins on startup. ;)


Build 0.3 is out the door, finally. When I get a chance to catch my breath, I'm sure I'll find bugs or packages that didn't get built.


I installed the new Red Hat Public Beta, Limbo last night, and I like parts of it, but the fonts in Gnome2 are horrid. Where I can configure the fonts, I can fix things, but in other places, where I can't, its either wholly unusable, or incredibly bloated looking.

Take a look at this: Screenshot

Notice how xchat's text window font is fairly decent, but the giant bloated font appears in all of the menus, and throughout Gaim. Gaim appears to have far more serious font issues, since I can't see any text sent to me.

If anyone knows how to resolve this specific ugliness (and no, I'm not really interested in "use KDE" or "don't use $WM, use $WM"), please drop me an email: tcallawa@redhat.com

Also, if you need a pass to LinuxWorld in San Fran, email me. I have about 400.

30 Jun 2002 (updated 30 Jun 2002 at 15:33 UTC) »


We're close. I promise. I'm pushing as hard as i can to get these last errata packages to build. Stupid mozilla.

And now, for your viewing amusement:

Rule #1 of online behavior: When drunk, don't get online.
Rule #2 of online behavior: If you choose to ignore rule #1, don't get on IRC or any other chat medium.
Rule #3 of online behavior: If you ignore both rule #1 & #2, be prepared to be publicly heckled.

log starts @ ~04:59:33

<ottorongo> WHAT'S UP
<tarzeau> do you have a sparc?
<ottorongo> yes
<ottorongo> I have a few
<ottorongo> but honestly I'm not here to talk about sparc
<ottorongo> I am gears
<ottorongo> of fame from lilofree.net
<ottorongo> not sure why the fame
<ottorongo> but I am drunk
<ottorongo> and I just wanted tos ay
<ottorongo> say
<ottorongo> fuck lilo
<ottorongo> fuck that fucker
<ottorongo> right in the ass
<ottorongo> what a fucker eh?
<ottorongo> don't you agree?
<ottorongo> come on I'll talk about sparc if you agree
--> sonic (sonic@psycho.slavetothe.net) has joined #sparc
<ottorongo> come on
<ottorongo> c'monnnn!!!
<tarzeau> lilo is kaput, that's all
<tarzeau> someone should fix it
<ottorongo> awesome
<tarzeau> we use silo here
<ottorongo> so anyway I have 2 sparc 5's and a sparc 20
<tarzeau> capitalist!
<ottorongo> ah
<ottorongo> I use netbsd
<ottorongo> on sparc
<ottorongo> anyway
<ottorongo> I like how linux has that uhhjh
<tarzeau> i use debian gnu/linux (sid) on my sparc classic
<ottorongo> framebuffer penguin
<ottorongo> later
<sonic> i heard lilo was the leader of the "candyman" child pedophile porno ring
<-- ottorongo (gears@linuxos.org) has left #sparc
<-- sonic (sonic@psycho.slavetothe.net) has left #sparc

log ends

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, lilofree.net. Take a bow.

Lord knows, we could all do without the wallops, but at least opn's admins are mostly sober.


Build 0.3 isn't happening today. I'll try to work on it some more tonight, but I really want to get a gcc3 package in there, even though Jakub is going to build a much better one in July. I also still have some errata packages to build.

Please have patience with me. :)


Damn. gcc3 takes forever to build & test on an Ultra 10. ;)

Looks like the Build 0.3 release won't be until tomorrow at the earliest. All apologies to people waiting with baited breath.


I saw the installer go into the X based GUI for the first time today. It was beautiful. Still got bugs, but hey, that was pretty.

Either the RAM on fry (my AXi at work) or its CPU is going bad. I booted it with diag-switch? true, and the ram claims to pass, in addition to the cpu, but I was getting compile time errors that I don't get on the Ultra 10. Specifically, on glibc and gcc, with it stopping on "Internal bus errors" in a different place each time. Good thing I've got a spare AXi at home. I'm going to swap out the CPU and see if it becomes happier. Building things on the U10 takes too long, even with a gb of ram. In case you were wondering, thats whats delaying Build 0.3 now. I'm going to kick off a gcc3.1 build attempt to see if it builds on the U10. I hope it does.

Laptops back. Means I can actually do work from home again. In theory.


Auroraconda gets to stage 2! There are still some quirks in stage 1, but man, it was pretty to see it roll into Stage 2 today. Mind you, it didn't get too far, but in the words of Jeremy Katz, "Stage 2 is a lot easier to fix".

Doing a lot of work on the rescuecd code. I know know a lot more about mkisofs on sparc and silo now. For the time being, I'm going to be content to have it boot into a bash shell with all the utilities and kernel modules present.

Kernel is pretty much frozen at 0.96. I know as soon as I say this, it will need fixing in some other area.

Dave Miller confirmed my assumptions about the SunFire 280R, the UltraSPARC III+ CPUs aren't supported by Linux yet.

The loss of my laptop is limiting the amount of work I can do from home. And when I say limiting, I mean, I'm not doing ANY work from home. I already can't wait for its return from Dell. Of course, Tadpole could offer to send me a SPARCbook to fill the void. Yeah. Thats not gonna happen.

Today was rough. Velociraptor, my Dell Inspiron 4000, refused to boot beyond its BIOS today. I called Dell to have it RMAd, to be informed that TODAY was the last day on my warranty. They decided that I was still covered today, but that to be safe, I really should purchase an extended warranty, which i did, for a little over $200. That was a quite unexpected expense. :/


I bought two Sparcstation LXs over the weekend, and yesterday I managed to coax a very minimal install of Red Hat Linux 6.2 onto the first one... and today, when I booted it, I discovered that its ethernet port is dead. Hopefully the other one will have a working ethernet port.

My manager convinced Red Hat to purchase (on loan) a Sunfire 280R, for some sort of traveling demo. He's letting me play with it for a week or so, before he needs to blank it and install Slowlaris. Red Hat Linux 6.2 doesn't boot on it, and auroraconda isn't quite ready yet, so I'm probably going to install SuSE and manually bootstrap Aurora over top of it.

SPARCs currently on my alternate desk at work:

(1) Ultra 2 SMP (1) Ultra 10 (2) Sparcstation LX (1) Sparcstation 2 (1) AXi

That SunFire makes more noise than an s/390.

Poked at the rescue cd code, I'm thinking that would be a nifty LinuxWorld giveaway. It will probably need the further auroraconda fixes as well. Anaconda needs to be reminded that, no, sparc doesn't want to use pcmcia. :) If tadpole sends me a SPARCbook, i'll reconsider.

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