UltraSparc 10 woes

One of my goals this weekend was to get Linux installed on one of my Ultra 10s, for use as a dedicated web server since I’ve been having a number of problems with the x86 this site is currently hosted on. After running into a problem (the installer would hang at “Booting Linux”) with an Ubuntu Dapper Drake install CD and running into the same problem trying to net-boot the machine, I decided to just go with vanilla Debian.

I grabbed a Sarge net-install CD, dropped it in and found myself confronting the following error:

Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 00:00
Press L1-A to return to the boot prom

Having found out that other people had solved this problem by putting the disks into another machine and deleting pre-existing Solaris installs, I vowed to find another way (any of you who have taken apart a U10 will understand).

I rebooted, deciding to try with a 2.4 kernel, hoping that would solve my problem. Entering linux 24 at the install prompt, I was soon greeted with the Debian Installer in all of it’s (un)glory. As much as I wanted to use Ubuntu, oh well… I’ve still got apt at least.

Over the course of this week, I’ll attempt to get everything set up to transfer my web server to the U10. Hopefully the load doesn’t eat the machine alive.

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