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SunOS install over serial console

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Michael Welle, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    I want to install SunOS 4.1.3 on an older machine using the serial
    console. After some time the output becomes garbled (see the screen
    dump). As a terminal program I use ser2net and telnet or minicom. Any
    Boot: sd(0,30,1)

    Waiting for disk to spin up...

    Please start it, if necessary, -OR- press any key to quit.

    root on sd<b fstype 4.2
    Boot: vmunix
    Size: 843776+162784+71352 bytes
    SunOS Release 4.1.3 (MUNIX) #3: Mon Jul 27 16:44:38 PDT 1992
    Copyright (c) 1983-1992, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    cpu = Sun 4/100 Series
    mem = 32768K (0x2000000)
    avail mem = 31801344
    sw0 at obio 0xa000000 pri 2
    st0 at sw0 slave 32
    st1 at sw0 slave 40
    sr0 at sw0 slave 48
    sd0 at sw0 slave 0
    sd1 at sw0 slave 1
    sd2 at sw0 slave 8
    sd3 at sw0 slave 9
    sd4 at sw0 slave 16
    sd6 at sw0 slave 24
    zs0 at obio 0xf1000000 pri 3
    zs1 at obio 0xf0000000 pri 3
    ie0 at obio 0xf6000000 pri 3
    Initialize ram disk from device ( st%d[a-h] sr%d[a-h] sd%d[a-h] ):
    Initialize ram disk from device ( st%d[a-h] sr%d[a-h] sd%d[a-h] ):
    Couldn't mount root from 4.2, error 6
    srclose: sr_open_flag corrupted
    rd: rd_offset of "sr0b" is 473216
    rd: reading 256, 8192 byte blocks: ............................................e
    srclose: sr_open_flag corrupted
    WARNING: TOD clock not initialized -- CHECK AND RESET THE DATE!
    root on rd0a fstype 4.2
    swap on ns0b fstype spec size 28424K
    dump on ns0b fstype spec size 28400K
    .èát wo.lä ùo. liëe to äo?.
    ± - iîótáll S.î.S íiîi-root.
    ² - exit to óiîçle .

    Michael Welle, Mar 21, 2006
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  2. Hi,

    arrgg, I thought I had forced ser2net to 7 bit... Sorry for the

    Michael Welle, Mar 21, 2006
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  3. (start with SunOS 4.1.4)

    One hint would be to change over to 7-bit serial communications
    (instead of 8-n-1, choose 7-n-1). Sometimes the SunOS console decided
    to flip on the 8th bit.

    But this doen't quite look right for that behavior though..

    Run some memory tests from OBP. I don't remember how to on
    that ancient version of OBP.
    Doug McIntyre, Mar 21, 2006
  4. Michael Welle

    Greg Andrews Guest

    It looks exactly like 7-e-1 output. SunOS 4.x was based on
    BSD 4.1/4.2, which used 7-e-1 as the default serial port settings.
    As soon as the installed kernel takes control and loads the serial
    driver (or runs getty, I don't remember which anymore), the default
    7-e-1 settings are applied to the port.

    Greg Andrews, Mar 21, 2006
  5. Michael Welle

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]
    [ ... ]
    Hmm ... two thoughts:

    1) You may not have enough RAM to allow the system to properly boot.
    Can you add more RAM? As it says, it is booting to a RAM disk,
    and it is having problems mounting the root filesystem. I just
    recently did the same thing (with a SS-20, and SunOs 4.1.3) and
    that one had 66,375,680 bytes of physical RAM, or a bit over
    twice what you have. I remember hitting a RAM threshold below
    which the boot was not possible many years ago.

    2) Is it possible that the EEPROM settings for the serial port
    disagree with those on the program through which you are
    accessing things?

    The settings on my system are:


    and I'm talking to that with a Ultra-2 through tip with "-9600"
    and /dev/ttya being the only two parameters which I feed to tip.

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Mar 22, 2006
  6. Hi,

    no. 32M is the maximum for this machine.

    It seems to me, that only the speed can be changed in the prom

    I use ser2net and telnet to connect to the machine. ser2net allows to
    configure a serial port and associate this configuration with a tcp
    port. You can telnet to the specific port and as a consequence select
    the approbiate configuration. Nifty thing ;).

    Michael Welle, Mar 22, 2006
  7. Michael Welle

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    What machine is it again? Most, from the SS1 up can handle 64M
    of RAM, eight 4Mx9 SIMMs.

    I think that even the IPC could go up to 48 MB with the right
    From the eeprom command on a SS-10


    So -- speed, number of data bits, parity, and number of stop
    bits, all with a single command.

    From "printenv" at the OpenBoot PROM level on a SS-20 (the only
    one which I'm willing to take down to that level to check:

    Parameter Name Value Default Value

    ttyb-mode 9600,8,n,1,- 9600,8,n,1,-
    ttya-mode 9600,8,n,1,- 9600,8,n,1,-

    So -- the same can be changed from that level as well.

    However, as someone else suggested, I believe that the OS
    changes the settings when it takes over from the OpenBoot PROM, so what
    works at the PROM level may not at the OS level. Looking at the
    messages, I believe that the baud rate is the same, but it may be
    changing to 9600,7,n,1 or something similar.

    It may even be turning on parity, and your ser2net is set to
    expect fixed even parity. You might try changing the parameters using
    your ser2net mentioned below to see if you can change it to a setting
    which works with the booted system. Ideally, setting it to ignore
    parity would be the best bet.
    I've just downloaded the source. It does indeed look

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Mar 23, 2006
  8. Hi,

    it is a 4/110. For a photo of the inside of the machine (and parts of
    my clumsy fingers ;-) have a look at http://www.c0t0d0s0.de/sun4/.

    The 4/110 has no OBP. So no printenv and friends are
    available. Changing the primary terminal from ttya to the framebuffer
    for example looks like this:

    telnet> send brk

    Abort at PC 0xF80070A0.
    EEPROM 01F: 10? 12
    EEPROM 020: 00? .
    The handbook only tells you how to change the speed.

    Exact. That solves the problem.

    Michael Welle, Mar 23, 2006
  9. Michael Welle

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]
    O.K. Sure enough, the max that it can take is 1Mx9 SIMMs, so
    you are indeed limited to 32 MB -- at least on the CPU board. Of
    course, if you had more VME slots, you could add several large boards
    full of RAM, but the 110 doesn't have those spare slots.
    O.K. You just changed the "primary terminal" from serial port A
    to the Color Frame Buffer.

    address 0x58 (Serial port A default baud rate)
    00 = 9600 baud
    12 = uses EEPROM/NVRAM defined baud rate

    and address 0x59 (and 0x5a) to change the
    serial port baud rate, where 12 followed by c0 is defined as 4800 baud,
    and 25 followed by 80 is defined as 9600 baud.

    Address 0x5b sets:

    00 = asserts DTR and DSR signals
    12 = does not assert DTR and RTS signals

    Address 0x60 is the serial port B default baud rate
    0x61-0x62 set the default rate as above
    0x63 DTS/RTS as above
    All the above is from an old issue of the Sun FEH (Field
    Engineer's Handbook), and the pages from which I got those lines are
    dated 11/15/92.

    DoN. Nichols, Mar 26, 2006
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