Hi Robin!

On 5/15/21 7:25 PM, Robin Cremer wrote:
>> 7. Report back to the list and include your hardware and partition setup
> A bit late to the party, as SILO already appears to be gone (including the 
> repos) and
> all install images use GRUB now, but I'm having trouble and wanted to report 
> this - and
> maybe get some ideas, in case this is the best address to do so:

You can still install SILO from snapshot.debian.org. However, I would recommend 
the latest version from source as there have been some bugfixes in the meantime.

> I'm in the process of migrating most of our SPARC servers running Solaris 10 
> & the old Debian
> with 32bit SPARC userland to the SPARC64 debport. Some servers running 
> Solaris 11 will follow.

Good to hear.

> Installing on two SunFire v215 went reasonably well
> /- (apart from recurring Kernel Panics with "Unable to handle kernel paging 
> request in mna handler",
> most often triggered on boot immediately after the systemd binfmt service 
> tries to start. This seems
> to have been mentioned in /2020/04/msg00020.html but never pinpointed and 
> fixed?) -/

What kernel version are you running. There have actually been some fixes in 
this regard, in particular
this fix:

> https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/arch/sparc?id=e5e8b80d352ec999d2bba3ea584f541c83f4ca3f

> but I can't seem to be able to configure GRUB on these servers as I did in 
> the past with SILO (a 2-disk
> mdraid with mirrored /boot, / and swap). I'm currently stuck with /boot on 
> only one disk and the rest of
> the system mirrored as I can't figure out how to install grub for a mirrored 
> /boot partition:

Please keep in mind that GRUB is installed using blocklists on these older 
machines which means it's not
aware of the filesystem being used. The bootloader will just remember the 
location of the data blocks
and the physical disk. So it has no means to deal with something sophisticated 
as a software RAID.

Not sure how it worked with SILO which didn't use anything else than blocklists 
either (which is why
the /boot partition couldn't be too large and the filesystem used couldn't be 
too fancy).

> 1) Installing to the mirror device always yields a Segmentation Fault. I was 
> unable to get any clue with
> my limited gdb experience as to why - (with loaded debug symbols etc.: 
> "Backtrace stopped: previous frame
> identical to this frame (corrupt stack?)"):
>> # grub-install --skip-fs-probe --force --debug /dev/md0
>> [...]
>> grub-install: info: setting the root device to 
>> `mduuid/1ae243c1e2445aef777f4d32b671f41c'.
>> grub-install: warning: File system `ext2' doesn't support embedding.
>> grub-install: warning: Embedding is not possible.  GRUB can only be 
>> installed in this setup by using blocklists.  However, blocklists are 
>> UNRELIABLE and their use is discouraged..
>> grub-install: info: will leave the core image on the filesystem.
>> Segmentation fault

As I said above, I don't expect this to work, really. That doesn't mean that 
grub-install should crash
here. I will try to reproduce the issue when I find some time. Ideally, 
grub-install should just abort
the installation in this case.

But we could also find out how SILO worked in this case.

> 2) Trying to install to the individual disk partitions or the raw disk itself:
>> grub-install: warning: File system `ext2' doesn't support embedding.
>> grub-install: error: embedding is not possible, but this is required for 
>> RAID and LVM install.
> [...]
>> grub-install: warning: Partition style `sun' doesn't support embedding.
>> grub-install: error: embedding is not possible, but this is required for 
>> RAID and LVM install.
> Neither different filesystems (ext2, xfs, ...) nor different mdraid metadata 
> formats made any difference.
> I can't test other disk labels, as the old OBP doesn't handle GPT AFAIR.
> Also, GRUB built from the most recent official sources from their git 
> segfaults as well.

Thanks for testing the git version, I was about to ask that.

> Any pointers how to achieve this setup? What can I test or does someone else 
> have a similar setup
> working? Am I doing something horribly wrong? I don't think mdraid-mirrored 
> bootdisks should be too
> uncommon on this hardware.

>From my statements above, I wouldn't expect GRUB with blocklists to work on a 
>software RAID, so I
think you probably have no choice but to use a single disk for booting. In any 
case, I think the
the GRUB-specific discussion should be moved to the GRUB mailing list as this 
really concerns the
low-level functionality of GRUB.

> Thanks and cheers to the community keeping SPARC alive :-)

Sure. Glad it's being useful.


 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - glaub...@debian.org
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - glaub...@physik.fu-berlin.de
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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