SPARC installation instructions full of errors

Bug #81037 reported by Caroline Ford
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
installation-guide (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix

Bug Description

Binary package hint: debian-installer-manual

Edgy SPARC server docs - these seem to have cut and paste from the i386 docs and from I don't know where. The main issue is that there are *THREE* architectures called SPARC. These instructions mix them up - lots of things refer to sun4m (SPARC) - we ship sun4u (SPARC64). We appear not to actually ship sun4v which Deban says is the Niagara chipset one..

These are rough notes working through the installation instructions. This does need fixing as it looks like we don't know what we are talking about.

2.4.2. Fake or “Virtual” Parity RAM

"If you want complete information on SPARC RAM issues, and what is the best RAM to buy, see the PC Hardware FAQ" - SPARCs are not PCs! There are specific guides to memory on Sun machines which varies from model to model.

2.1.2. CPU, Main Boards, and Video Support
"The most common identifiers for Sparc systems are sun4, sun4c, sun4m, sun4d and sun4u...The UltraSPARC class systems fall under the sun4u identifier, and are supported using the sun4u set of install images.". As far as I know we *only* have support for UltraSPARCs (sun4u), I'm guessing the rest has been copied and pasted from Debian. This needs rewording so that people with Sun4m machines don't both trying to install Ubuntu on them. (it is akin to installing an AMD64 image on an i386 - the older 32 bit chips are a different architecture..) doesn't apply to this architecture

2.1.3. Graphics Card
"Most AGP, PCI and PCIe video cards work under X.Org." - sun framebuffers are different from generic PC hardware. We need a list of *which* framebuffers we work with as per NetBSD and OpenBSD. This reads as though it's copied and pasted from i386. SBus, Creator (UPA bus) etc

2.1.4. Multiple Processors
We should provide an SMP kernel image.

3.3 reads like another copy 'n' paste from i386.
3.3.2 Hardware information can be gathered from:
"The BIOS setup screens of your computer. You can view these screens when you start your computer by pressing a combination of keys. Check your manual for the combination. Often, it is the Delete key." SPARCs don't have a BIOS! The OpenBoot PROM is a different animal entirely - although you can find out some info from it - eg probe-scsi. We probably want a list of useful PROM commands here.

Table 3.1
I suspect this is just copied over. "Hard Drives: Whether IDE or SCSI (most computers are IDE)." This probably isn't true for SPARCS - as there are only so many types of machine we can tell them what they have if they know the model number..

"Mouse: Type: serial, PS/2, or USB." - some actually plug into sun keyboards (it depends on the machine)

3.6.3. Hardware Issues to Watch Out For
"Many people have tried operating their 90 MHz CPU at 100 MHz, etc" - utterly random old i386 cruft SPARC TFTP Booting
"Some SPARC architectures add the subarchitecture names, such as “SUN4M” or “SUN4C”, to the filename"
Not relevant to this architecture

5.1.2. Booting from a CD-ROM
"You may have to use the actual device name for older OpenBoot versions that don't support this special command. Note that some problems have been reported on Sun4m (e.g., Sparc 10s and Sparc 20s) systems booting from CD-ROM." - wrong architecture

4.1. Official Ubuntu CD-ROMs
"The files you need for booting by another means are also on the CD; the Ubuntu network archive and CD folder organization are identical." - after spending some time looking I don't think any of the alternative boot files are on the cd.

Changed in installation-guide:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
elliot (elliot551) wrote :

mind buggling

Steve Langasek (vorlon)
Changed in installation-guide (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
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