- What binaries will PA-RISC Linux support?
We currently only support 32-bit ELF executables. Initial bringup
work was accomplished using HP-UX emulation, but that emulation
has not been maintained. Eventually, we hope to have support
for HP-UX 32-bit SOM executables working again, and add support
for 64-bit ELF executables, both Linux & HP-UX.
We're not promising to get all HP-UX binaries running on
Linux. In particular those which are multithreaded are unlikely to
ever be supported.
- Will parisc-linux work on my system?
Please see this explanation.
- Where can I get an Install CD?
Debian suggests several methods to
acquire Official Install CDs.
Pre-built 600+MB ISOs can be downloaded from:
Much smaller and less tested,
have newer kernels on them. Caveat Emptor.
- Why do I get "ENTRY_INIT failed" booting the Install CD?
The full error message from the IODC (firmware) looks like:
ENTRY_INIT failed, status = -3: Cannot complete call without error
There are three likely causes for the
and different machines may return different status numbers depending
on the reason type of IO device:
- non-bootable CD drive (broken or incompatible)
- The CD drive block size (usually a jumper on the back) is not
set to 512 byte blocks.
- The CD has bad blocks where boot data is expected (or is upside down in tray :^)
The How to Burn a Boot CD
covers many of the issues below.
The following steps should help the rule out common failures:
- Check the integrity of the CD image file used to burn the CD.
The output of
md5sum your_cd_img.iso should match
the value found in
md5sum.txt from the original site.
sea ipl from the PDC menu prompt to search
for bootable media (hard disk or CD). Interrupt "autoboot"
to get a PDC (aka Boot Console Handler) command prompt.
CD, disk, or tape drives with bootable media installed will
be listed in
sea is much faster
if one specifies the HW Path (eg
sea SCSI.3.0 ipl).
Listen for the CD to spin up (a clue the CD is not broken) as
sea tries to read the boot sectors off the CD drive.
If a CD drive then shows up in the list, next step is to verify
the CD does not have bad blocks in the vmlinuz or initrd data.
- Test the ability to boot by trying a HP-UX install disk
If that works, the Debian CD was not burned correctly or has
a defective boot sector(s).
sea doesn't work, then it's likely the CDROM drive
is either broken, misconfigured, or just incompatible.
Check CD-ROM drive data sheets to verify the drive is using 512byte
sectors and not 2k sectors.
The IODC (PARISC "BIOS") can only deal with 512 byte sectors. Some
older CD-ROMs only support 2k sectors and can not be used to boot.
- Verify the integrity of the Debian CD.
Reading the CD on another linux system using something like
dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/dev/null bs=2k".
If all blocks are readable and a Windows machine was used
to burn the CD,
then the CD likely wasn't burned in "raw" mode and the boot blocks
are mangled. Try burning the CD in "raw" mode.
If the CD was burned without padding option, the CD integrity
could also be checked with "
dd if=/dev/cdrom | md5sum"
and the result should match the value of the original iso image.
- How can I switch the console to serial without a keyboard/monitor?
For newer workstations (4-digit B/C/J class), PDC will revert to
using SERIAL_1 if a USB keyboard is not detected at boot up. For
some models of older workstations, you can either remove the
framebuffer card, or hold down TOC for ten seconds while booting
up. However, this does not work on all models.
- How do I compile the kernel?
Please follow the Recipe.
BTW, We've stopped using CVS for parisc-linux kernel work.
Kudos to Matthew Wilcox for writing a
PA-RISC GIT howto
that I [ggg] could understand. It contains directions on how
pull kernel sources, make diffs using git, and links to a few other
practical examples on using git.
- Can I use the latest kernel from Linus?
Yes. We merge between the PA-RISC Linux repository
and Linus' tree regularly.
PA-RISC GIT howto
to pull a source tree and then run:
git diff refs/tags/v2.6.28..HEAD
(substitute preferred tag for "v2.6.28") to get the current diff.
- How do I report a kernel problem to the PA-RISC Linux developers ?
Randolph Chung wrote a small HOWTO just for YOU!
Ok. It's not that small anymore. But not providing at least a few
of the details listed in the HOWTO will just lead to folks
(a) asking for the missing info and/or (b) folks ignoring you.
- How do I change the palo/linux kernel boot parameters?
Occasionally, one needs to change the
kernel boot parameters
to boot a system. Check the
and search the
parisc-linux mail archives
for parisc specific options. You can also refer to the
PALO section of our HOWTO.
Two ways to modify kernel boot parameters via palo:
- Interactive: During bootup press the escape-key to stop auto-boot.
On older machines enter "
BO scsi.X.0 IPL" and replace X
with the SCSI ID of your boot-disc. Appending
directs palo to interact with the user and offer a menu to change
the boot-parameters for this boot only.
On newer systems,
IPL isn't needed since the PDC
Interact with IPL (Y/N)?
Just enter Y
here and palo will let you change the parameters.
- Auto-boot: To change the palo/linux kernel parameters
/etc/palo.conf and change the
--commandline parameter. Most importantly
run palo once to store the new kernel parameters on the
boot disk. The new parameters will be effective for successive boots.
- How do I get my system to boot from the network?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....well, not really. Just a long
time ago Martin Petersen (with help from others) wrote this
PARISC NFS-Root-HOWTO for a fledgling parisc-linux port.
NFS-Root-Client-mini-HOWTO will probably serve you better. It's
also called the "diskless root" if you want to search for more info.
It's also worth mentioning the PA-RISC/Linux Boot HOWTO.
- Can parisc boot from RAID1?
Yes! "resident" boot expert Martin Petersen knew you would ask!
Martin wrote the
PA-RISC RAID1 Boot HOW-TO
to blaze a path for the weak and timid.
- How can I check if the PDC (firmware) revision is the latest?
Lots of boot and some performance problems can be attributed to
firmware "bugs". All machines print the PDC revision at boot up.
Or once at "Main Menu>" or "BOOT_ADMIN>" one can print the
PDC revision with "in fv" (c3000) or "in" (712) command.
Putting more intelligence in any software module will increase
the odds of having bugs. Since firmware updates (aka patches) are
freely available (below), the latest firmware is required when
reporting problems instead of attempting other workarounds.
The official "front door" for all patches
(Firmware, HPUX, MPE, OpenVMS, Tru64, Linux, ...)
is the IT Resource Center.
But if you know what you need, go directly to the
of firmware patches and then grab the correct firmware update
HP FFS Patch Server.
PDC Patch Catalog lists firmware revs for systems which have
upgradeable firmware. If it's not listed either you don't need a
patch (yet :^) or it's not upgradeable. Systems older than 712 or
715's (eg 735) are only upgradeable via chip replacement.
BEWARE: It's possible to kill a system by either upgrading
the wrong firmware or the upgrade doesn't finish properly for any reason.
Don't upgrade unless you have evidence of a PDC problem. Text files
on the HP patch depot describe what was fixed in each revision since
the machine model was released.
- The system boots up on the STI Console but no "login:" prompt appears, what do I do?
Check the contents of /etc/inittab and make sure the following lines exist and are uncommented.
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
Contributed by: Phillip Beal
2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6
- The system boots up but I get
Cannot access the Hardware Clock via any known method.
What do I do?
Create the special /dev/rtc device:
mknod /dev/rtc c 10 135
- Can I use ISA cards in the EISA slots?
Yes. In general it's possible to use use ISA cards in the EISA slots.
We already had some success with ISA NE2000 clones and some other cards, but
you need to tell the kernel via the
boot parameter which ISA IRQs should be available for ISA devices.
See the next FAQ entry for details.
Also note that busmastering ISA or EISA cards are not yet supported.
- My ISA card is recognized but the IRQ is wrong or not accepted. What can I do?
In order to get ISA IRQs working you'll need to tell the kernel which IRQs
should be set to edge triggered mode and thus be available for ISA devices.
Add the kernel boot parameter
to the palo command line and replace the numbers in this example with the ISA
IRQs you need for your cards.
- How do I configure my HIL-, PS/2- and USB-keyboard and mouse
for the console and X11?
All Linux kernels greater than version 2.4.18-pa45 - including all 2.6 Kernels -
use the standard Linux input layer to access HIL-, PS/2 and USB keyboards and mice:
To use your HIL-, PS/2- or USB-mouse with gpm modify your /etc/gpm.conf config file:
To use your HIL-, PS/2- or USB-mouse with X-Windows (X11), configure either your
/etc/X11/XF86Config-4 or /etc/X11/xorg.conf config file with following values:
Alternatively you might download
this XF86Config-4 file
and adjust the resolution and screen color depth
as described here
and store your new config file to the /etc/X11/ directory.
#Option "XkbLayout" "de"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
- How to enable my PS/2 mouse and keyboard with Linux Kernel 2.6 ?
In the 2.6 kernel series, we switched from a PA-RISC-only
PS/2 mouse/keyboard driver to the standard Linux kernel PS/2
mouse and keyboard drivers. Hence, in order to get your PS/2
mouse/keyboard, which is either directly connected to your system
or via a HIL&PS2-HUB, to work you'll have to enable
in addition to
You don't need these options for non-HIL PS/2 devices:
- Can I run a 64-bit kernel on my machine?
First ask yourself: Why do I need to run a 64-bit kernel?
Since parisc-linux does not yet support 64-bit userspace, there is
no advantage to be gained running a 64-bit kernel on a machine with less
than 3.5GB of memory. In fact, there are many disadvantages including
more potential bugs, bigger data structures, slightly less performance
on many common workloads.
Only PA-RISC 2.0 CPU can run a 64-bit kernel (aka `wide mode').
Check /proc/cpuinfo if you already have linux booted.
Or check firmware output at power up time. Systems running the CPU
clock speed slower than 160Mhz are PA 1.x and faster than 180Mhz are PA 2.0.
Systems between 160Mhz and 180Mhz are either PA 1.1 (PCX-L2, eg C160L) or
PA 2.0 (PCX-U, eg C160).
Platform firmware also determines the type of kernel which can be used:
- 64-bit Only : A500, L/N-class, rpXXXX, Superdome servers,
and all PA-8800 CPUs must run a 64-bit kernel.
- Dual Mode : B2000/C3000, similar J-class workstations and
PA 2.0 D/K/R-class system firmware can be called from either 32-bit
or 64-bit mode.
- 32-bit Only : Workstations up to and including the J2240/C360
and servers of D/R-class have 32-bit firmware.
For those who do want to test 64-bit kernels on PA 2.0 machines with 32-bit
firmware, recent 2.6 64-bit kernels will auto-detect the firmware type and
switch to the correct `mode' (wide or narrow). Older kernels need to be
built with the special configuration option `32-bit PDC' appropriately set.
Enabling this option will switch the 64-bit kernel to narrow mode
before calling 32-bit firmware.
- How do I send Magic SysRq over lanconsole ?
First you have to start a telnet session on your lanconsole, login to GSP, and type 'CO'
at the GSP prompt to get the system console.
(You might need to type '^Ecf' to gain write access on it).
Then you have to *escape* from the telnet session, by typing '^]' on a QWERTY keyboard
('^-AltGr-]' or '^$' on some AZERTY layouts).
You will get a 'telnet>' prompt. Type 'send break', hit enter to validate.
The next key you will hit will be sent as the SysRq, e.g. if you type 'h'
it will display the available SysRq keys.
You will have to start all over again from the escape sequence for each SysRq
you will need to send.
- On my system ksoftirqd uses 70-100 percent of the CPU time. What's wrong ?
This is currently a bug/feature related to the HIL drivers.
In the HIL drivers we poll the HIL ports with a few timers simultanously and those timers
seem to increase the ksoftirqd load a lot.
But although the load seems to be very high, the machine will be fully functional at maximum speed
and it seems to us as if this is only a cosmetical problem which is maybe caused by some bugs in the
load calculation functions in the Linux kernel.
Update: Guy Martin
posted a patch which solves this issue, but this patch is sadly not
acceptable for upstream inclusion.
- What are "unaligned access" kernel messages about?
Jan 8 23:52:33 hp kernel: emacs(17795): unaligned access to 0x001cdaf2 at ip=0x0008930b
The message usually means the program in question is buggy and is not
meeting address alignment requirements. The unaligned access is
trapped and emulated by the kernel, so normally the message itself is
Like most architectures, PA-RISC loads (and stores) to half-words, words,
doublewords have specific address alignment requirements. The address
accessed must be divisible by the number of bytes being stored.
E.G. word (32-bit) stores should access an address divisible by 4.
- What about XFree and FX graphic cards?
FX Graphic adapters are not (and will probably never be) supported as
framebuffer devices, and don't have specific XFree drivers.
That is to say these cards can only be used through STI Console.
Hence, you can't use XFree with any FX card.
- Why do I get corrupted graphics with my Vis-EG/Graffiti/A4450A card?
This may be because your card is running in double buffered mode.
To check this, type '
co' and then '
mo' at the
PDC menu prompt. If 'Double buffered' appears as part of the 'Class',
select another monitor type - for instructions on how to do this, type
- Can I use a non-HP PCI graphic cards with PA-RISC Linux?
Short Answer: Voodoo2/ATI Rage XL provide limited functionality.
Long Answer: See the
PA-RISC Graphics HOW-TO.