Linux for SGI Visual Workstations
Linux 2.2.10 + Red Hat 6.0

Updated: July 19, 1999

Step 2: Installing Red Hat 6.0!

Step 2: Part 1

  1. get your Visual Workstation into the prom

    Power it on or hit reset and be ready to hit the ESC key when you see "Starting up the system".

  2. teach the prom about Floppy #1

    Bonk on the Startup Settings menu item.

    Using New create a Boot Selection. (It's best to NOT Clone an existing one for this item).

    Type "Linux RX" in the Load Identifier field.

    Type "arclx.exe" in the OSLoader field. (That's a small L between the c and the x... you know, L for Linus :-)

    Type "/la2210.vw" in the OSLoadFilename field. (Again, small L between the / and the a).

    Find "Floppy1" in the OSLoadPartition field.

    Skip the System Partition field.

    In the OSLoadOptions field type the following:

    	root=/dev/fd0 load_ramdisk=1

    Make this Boot Selection the Default.

    Hit Save&Exit.


    Put Floppy #1 into your floppy drive.

    Bonk on Start System.

    The floppy drive light should come on instantly and within a couple of seconds you'll see a white-framed blue-background screen with some messages about "ARC Linux loader" as well as the values of the variables you just set above.

    Then after a few more seconds your screen will clear and a little penguin image will appear in the upper left hand corner along with a whole lotta grotty kernel boot up text.

    [Bonk here if you seem to be waiting an inordinately looooong time for the floppy to boot.]

    The last message on the screen MAY be something about USB. But, somewhere a few lines up from the bottom of the screen will also be a message about inserting a floppy disk and hitting enter. WAIT!

    DO NOT touch the keyboard quite yet!

    Take Floppy #1 out of the floppy drive.

Step 2: Part 2

  1. Starting Red Hat install tool

    Put Floppy #2 into the floppy drive.

    NOW you may press the Enter key on the keyboard.

    This message...

    	RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0

    ...will appear on the screen and the floppy drive light should come on.

    After a few dozen seconds of floppy activity the display will clear to a blue background with the yellow text "Welcome to Red Hat Linux" in the upper left. The cursor should be blinking in the red "Ok" button inside the square grey "Red Hat Linux" box on the screen.

    You're now in the normal Red Hat Linux install program. Do what it says to proceed.

    Answer all of the nice questions and insert the Red Hat 6.0 CD into the CD-ROM drive when prompted. The questions are listed below complete with answers for anything particular to the Visual Workstation.

    1. Choose a language -- I've only tried English
    2. Keyboard type -- I've only tried US
    3. Installation Method

      Select "Local CDROM"

    4. Installation Path
    5. Installation Class

      Select "Custom".

    6. SCSI Configuration

      If you are NOT be installing to SCSI then this message really won't make sense. Just say NO.

      If you ARE installing to the Qlogic-based SCSI you will see a message about "qla1280" as your scsi controller. Say NO to "any other scsi controllers".

    7. Disk Setup

      Here is where YOU control (preserve or trash) the contents of your disk(s)!

      Ignore anything about LILO. (You CAN install LILO, but it won't be used for anything on the Visual Workstation).

      However you decide to organize your IDE disk(s) you must ensure that the following exist _somewhere_.

      • 1 FAT format boot partition

        Factory disks already have one full of stuff needed for That Other os. You can peacefully coexist with That Other OS!

        I personally make this partition 1 at the start of the disk and leave about 10MB of space.

        Also, this is NOT /boot. (There is already something else in the RH60 filesystem called /boot, but that is NOT this partition.) This partition does not need to be mounted while running Linux.

        (This partition is analagous to the IRIX volume header.)

        "mkfs -t msdos" formats a partition as FAT. This requires the "mkdosfs*.rpm".

      • 1 500MB-ish "Linux native" system/root partition

        I personally make this partition 2 right after the boot partition and I just put all systems s/w here. I try to keep it not so big to give fsck less work to do if the root file system needs checking.

        I put my personal files (home directory, etc) on an entirely separate partition.

      • 1 128MB-ish "Linux swap" partition

        128MB is a number I pulled out of thin air.

      However you organize things make sure you REMEMBER where these 3 paritions are -- you'll be configuring a Boot Selection later and you'll need to remember 2 of these 3 to get through that.

      Here's a quick guide to drive naming:

      		IDE bus 0 master	hda	multi(0)disk(0)
      		IDE bus 0 slave		hdb	multi(0)disk(1)
      		IDE bus 1 master	hdc	multi(0)disk(2)
      		IDE bus 1 slave		hdd	multi(0)disk(3)

      Factory systems seem to have the CD-ROM at hdc and the hard disk at hda.

    8. Current Disk Partitions

      Make sure '/' is the Mount Point for the appropriate partition.

    9. Active Swap Space
    10. Scanning...

      Install program spins the CD for a few moments...

    11. Partitions To Format
    12. Components to Install

      I personally try to select a _minimum_ of things and round out the complete install later once the system is up and running.

      BUT, it's probably a good idea to select X.

      You can pick your choice of desktop here as well: GNOME vs KDE. You can install both s/w packages and later decide which one to use (this decision is per-user account, not global to the system).

      Only after the freshly installed system comes up do I round out the complete set of RPMs (by hand).

    13. Install Status

      The nice progress bars tell you how long you have for a bathroom or coffee break. Should only be a few minutes. A most minimal install of 116 Packages (122M bytes) takes about 4 minutes.

    14. Probing Failed

      Red Hat install doesn't know about USB mice. No prob. Just hit "Ok".

    15. Configure Mouse

      Just say "No Mouse".

    16. Update X Configuration

      If you do NOT see this after "Configure Mouse" and are now faced with "Network Configuration" it's probably because you did not select X in "Components to Install". You can certainly install X later (or not install X at all), but doing it now in the install process is somewhat easier as it's presented as one big single choice ("X") vs 40-50 rpms of the 600+ on the Red Hat CD.

      Just say "No". Red Hat Install does not know about FBDev (the X server we will be installing).

    17. Network Configuration
    18. Configure Timezones
    19. Services
    20. Configure Printer
    21. Root Password
    22. Authentication Configuration
    23. Bootdisk


      We'll take care of Visual Workstation boot pecularities later.

    24. Lilo Installation


    25. Choose a Card

      "Unlisted Card" is at the bottom.

    26. Pick a Server

      I pick "Mono". (Later we'll be removing whatever this step forces you into).

    27. Monitor Setup

      Who the beans knows this much about their monitor?!? I _think_ we ship with Sony GDM's... the one on my desk says "GDM 17E21" so I picked "Sony "GDM-17SE2T(NEW)"

    28. Screen Configuration

      "Don't Probe"

    29. Video Memory

      Ah... my how we make assumptions about how computers are designed!

      Pick any number you want just to get through this selection.

      (The Visual Workstation has NO video memory and yes, this is a feature!)

    30. Clockchip Configuration

      "No Clockchip Setting"

    31. Probe for Clocks


    32. Starting X


    33. Done


      Hit "Ok".

      The screen will clear and your Visual Workstation will burp and completely fail to start the system. (Remember how we made the Default Boot Selection that "Linux RX"?)

      We rectify this situation in the post installation procedure.