Author Topic: Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware  (Read 3387 times)

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« on: July 03, 2005, 05:45:44 pm »
I've been reading a lot of interesting things in this forum and I was about to start a small project to test Pluto Home for small environment, when I stumbled on a post that (it seems to me) says  that probably your Core/Media Director cannot be run on VIA EPIA based pc.

To my understanding it is a kernel issue, that currently is only for i686 architecture.

Would you please give me clarification and/or advice on this?

In case VIA EPIA hardware is not actually supported at the moment, can you tell whether you have plans to add such support in the near future?

TIA
Marco

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2005, 11:30:09 pm »
Hi,

I'd also like to have support for EPIAs. It works quite good as mythtv frontend, so I guess it coud be diskless MD as well.....

Regards,

Rob.

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2005, 11:58:42 am »
Currently, the kernel that gets installed on diskless machines matches the one on the Core and config files are generated accordingly. The only way for you to boot a 386 kernel on a diskless now is to install a i386 kernel on the Core too. Currently it's not possible to run kernels for different architectures simultaneously.

You can install the 386 kernel on the Core with this command: "apt-get install kernel-image-2.6.10-1-386". Don't attempt this on the diskless machines because it will lock up (something about the kernel installation process and NFS) - this is cancellable as far as I remember, but you get a "broken" package.

After you install the 386 kernel on the Core, you need to copy the package with this command: "cp /var/cache/apt/archives/kernel-image-2.6.10-1-386_2.6.10-4_i386.deb /usr/pluto/deb-cache/dists/sarge/main/binary-i386/". The package needs to be in /usr/pluto/deb-cache/dists/sarge/main/binary-i386/ for it to be installable by the automated script.

Now you should reboot your core using the 386 kernel and the diskless machines should get a 386 boot kernel automatically.

Note that you'll have to rebuild whatever modules you built for the 686 kernel. Pluto also has some custom built modules for ivtv, cx88 blackbird, lirc that will need to be rebuilt by hand and put in the right places if you require them. You have the kernel source in package "kernel-source-2.6.10" if you need to build the modules.

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2005, 01:43:25 pm »
Thanks for your reply.

Your explanation implies that one should have a i686 box where core has been installed with i686 kernel, and afterwards it may be possible to change kernel to i386.

My starting point is different, because I'm thinking to make a fresh installation of the core directly on a VIA C3 box, so I'm afraid that I will never reach the point to have such box up and running and ready to get kernel replaced with a i386 one.

My test project strongly relies on the use of VIA architecture, and before purchasing specific test hardware I would like to know whether such project has any chance to get to the end with some result. :D

For this reason I would like to have some ideas on this from you. As you know the system much better than me you can certainly tell me whether this is worth a try or if it's better leave it by now.

Thanks again for you support

Regars
Marco

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2005, 12:00:55 pm »
Hi,

I'd just like to give my wish for inclusion of Epia support in Pluto. I have a couple of interesting boxes at home right now (I use them for IP PBXes), but they could be nice and cheap MD for Pluto.....

newbielink:http://www.icp-epia.co.uk/datasheet_pac.html [nonactive]

If I remember right, that could be bought for around 350 Euros with (sp8000E motheboard that has mpeg2 and mpeg4 acceleration)....

Maybe those epias could become cheap MD for masses....

Regards,

Rob.

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2005, 04:54:54 pm »
Well, Tinia

I'm glad to see that we share common thoughts.

As you are introducing this topic, let me say that besides what your are saying (that I totally agree) I may add that Epia hardware may act as small, reliable and affordable Core unit for all those situations where a top level server is not applicable or simply oversized.
Using a dual Xeon with 10 Terabyte RAID5 disks system in a loft or in a standard apartment  sounds to me like to go fishing onboard of a cruiser ... :D

This also introduces the very next question, that actually I think you already asked with a different perspective (when you said you want to install a core in your car).

What about a house network/system with more than a core?
In other words why not thinking about scalable or stackable core system, that allow to increase home automation services by adding one or more cores to existing one?   :idea:

Is it something that may have a future, or may it be the case to buy myself an extra air conditioner to cool me down a bit? :lol:

Looking forward to have your impression

Bye
Marco

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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2005, 07:05:41 pm »
I presume that the MD's are booting using NFS as opposed to using a RAM disk. I've done network booting of EPIA systems from i686 kernel systems in the past. I had been planning on using an EPIA-M system as an MD and am a little surprised by this. I'll be looking into making this work. Radu - can you site any references to the problem?

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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005, 03:48:31 pm »
Quote from: "wschuller"
I presume that the MD's are booting using NFS as opposed to using a RAM disk. I've done network booting of EPIA systems from i686 kernel systems in the past. I had been planning on using an EPIA-M system as an MD and am a little surprised by this. I'll be looking into making this work. Radu - can you site any references to the problem?


Hi,

thanks for info. I also think that there is a better way to do this. Some time ago I used minimyth (mythfrontend distro for epias) and it worked like a charm - it reads customized kernel and everything from pxe server ....

If I can help with testing just let me know, I have 3 systems at home waiting to become Pluto's MD (me6000, m9000, sp8000e)....


Regards,

Rob.

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2005, 10:56:37 am »
I assumed that the EPIA + C3 doesn't know i686 from what I read. I don't have any experience with this kind of hardware nor have one of these to fiddle with around here so any feedback on this issue will be appreciated.

This is the first time I hear that i686 kernel booted just fine on EPIA, as opposed to what people say that it didn't.

Rob (Tinia), if you can boot those three systems as diskless MDs and give me feedback, it could prove useful in my search. Thanks.

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Pluto support for VIA EPIA based hardware
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2005, 11:13:21 am »
Quote from: "radu.c"
I assumed that the EPIA + C3 doesn't know i686 from what I read. I don't have any experience with this kind of hardware nor have one of these to fiddle with around here so any feedback on this issue will be appreciated.

This is the first time I hear that i686 kernel booted just fine on EPIA, as opposed to what people say that it didn't.

Rob (Tinia), if you can boot those three systems as diskless MDs and give me feedback, it could prove useful in my search. Thanks.


Hi,

well I'm not quite sure if I was clear enough. Minimyth uses custom build kernel, what I meant was that custom kernel can be used beside kernel on PXE server machine.....

I'll get in contact with Radu offline and we'll see....

Regards,

Rob.

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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2005, 02:29:23 pm »
Hi,

I've tried sp8000e epia board and everything installed ok, Orbiter is running. Only xv acceleration is not yet working.....

I'd kindly ask other Epia users if they can contribute their experiences with using it as diskless pluto MD.... Also please state your mobo and problems with it ....

Regards,

Rob.

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i686 kernel and EPIA
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2005, 12:06:32 pm »
LS,

it all depends on the EPIA platform in use. They have different CPU's: Samuel 2, Ezra, Ezra T C3 processors which are affected by a so called CMOV bug. The Nehemiah and Antaur processors are not affected.
Basically, the affected CPU's correctly identify themselves as i686, but do not implement the cmpxchg8b opcode (which is optional). The GNU compiler people  assumed all i686 CPU's implement this opcode, which is incorrect. So some Linux kernels (depends on the distribution) are compiled with this opcode which makes the system reboot. Solutions should be to compile for i586, or select the correct CPU in the kernel configuration.

source of information:
newbielink:http://epialinux.org/files/epia_howto/ar01s13.html#pentium_compatible [nonactive]

gtx,
Ids