Wednesday, March 21, 2007

G770i: SCSI hard disk might be dead.

Great. Just great. I suspect the 1st SCSI hard disk of my G770i has died. Try rebooting but there's "Device Not Ready" error on the SCSI POST. Will look onto this later because I have to go fer a site visit now. Later Then

Monday, March 19, 2007

FreeOSZoo Project, all the "animals" in one place to see and play with.

This post is not *BSD specific. I just found this site through Wikipedia. Ever wanted to try out an OS without downloading / installing hundreds of Mb of files? You can, in the zoo. No I'm not joking. The place you can do that is Yeah it's OS Zoo. Going to the main page of the site, I can't stop smiling seeing many of the known OSes logo and mascot displayed. You name it, Beastie (BSD mascot), Puffy (OpenBSD logo/mascot), Tux (Linux), Darwin (Apple MacOS) and more. Just like a zoo. From the main page:

"FreeOsZoo provides ready-to-run images of QEMU virtual computers, pre-installed with a Free Operating System and a set of popular free software."

Nice. You can also use the Free Live OS Zoo (FLOZ), running or testing an operating system without the need to install the said QEMU. The requirement is:

1024x768 screen resolution (Bah that leaves me out of the list.... Ah well..)
DSL or faster connection
Web browser with Java Plugin or JDK appletviewer

Ok enough from me. Go ahead and try those things out if you're interested. Who knows, you'll find the OS you've been looking fer in there. Later.

p/s: Yeah the topic is kinda cheesy, I've ran out of ideas.. :P

G770i: SMP kernel up and running.

Kernel rebuilding has been going well. Mind you I *kinda* sure my SMP is working, but I'm searching fer ways to verify it. Maybe some sort of program or script or something. I'm posting the output of /usr/sbin/mptable here fer my reference. Despite what's written in, the only changes I have to make fer my custom kernel configuration file is:

# Enables Symmetrical Multi Processing
options SMP

I guess because the former website reflects more on FreeBSD 5x series, 6x configuration fer SMP has been simplified. Anyway, I'll try and find more useful website to aid my SMP testing. So more on that later. I'm also posting the SMP-enabled kernel configuration file here. Named SMP-G770IKERNEL (obviously I follow the handbook as close as I can, easier fer newbie like meself.). Later.

Update: I've also uploaded a new /var/run/dmesg.boot and you can download it on the [G770i Files] named 6.2-R - /var/run/dmesg.boot (SMP). Comparing the old dmesg.boot (obviously name 6.2-R - /var/run/dmesg.boot (old)..) and the new one, it shows that SMP is alive and kicking with the new custom kernel configuration. Hah!. Now to test up the SMP, doing some program installation or something.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

G770i: Need to build SMP-enabled 6.2-R kernel (not enabled by default) & ready to samba.

Ok. After lurking the net fer something about setting up a FreeBSD file server, I read about something else. About my new custom kernel. I just know that SMP is not enabled by default in the 6.2-R installation or GENERIC kernel configuration file. So my custom kernel, which was modified from GENERIC didn't enabled SMP fer my G770i. A SMP-enabled (Symmetrical Multi Processing) kernel will allow my G770i (which have 2x 266Mhz intel PII processor) to use both of the processor installed. By reading, I just know that there's a SMP-enabled GENERIC (named SMP-GENERIC) kernel configuration file in src/sys/i386/conf/. A few other good reads: (A year 2000 post, might not be correct now but a good read.)

Google fer more if you're interested. I'll build a new kernel with SMP enabled in a while and I'll post the config file after that.

About getting to NAS. I know there's a simple solution, named FreeNAS. Sure I heard it's great fer turning your computer into a NAS server. But I'm not going that way. I want this G770i to be my workstation too. To do something, surf the net etc. Yes it'll be more to NAS but not total. But then I might just be dumb ;).

So after looking around a bit, I'll settle fer Samba. I know it'll make my head ache somehow. :). A few good links fer Samba related stuff: (aka the FreeBSD Handbook.) (reflecting FreeBSD 4.9, might still be useful.)

Do visit is you're interested in knowing about FreeNAS. Later.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

G770i: Display problem solved, config files uploaded.

Now I'm writing this blog using my 6.2-R. :D. Also, the problem with display has been solved. Seems like I can't use 24 bit color & do 1024x768 resolution here. Found out the correct refresh rate of this monitor (Samsung SyncMaster 450b). So in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, I put:

Section "Monitor"
    HorizSync 30.0 - 55.0
    VertRefresh 50.0 - 120.0
    Modeline "800x600" 56.30 800 832 896 1024 600 601 604 623 +hsync +vsync
    Option "DPMS"

How to get the corrent modeline? Here's a good howto regarding configuring your monitor fer Xorg. Using xvidtune help alot too. Remember to su before using xvidtune. As mine can only use 800x600 resolution, the settings here might not be suitable fer you guys. Maybe you can use 1024x768 or even higher.

I've uploaded the G770IKERNEL (my kernel configuration file), rc.conf and xorg.conf. You can download it from the left panel of this blog. Ah. Y! Messenger is installed ;). Had to install linux-ymessenger instead of ymessenger because the latter have some sort of problem, can't get the file anywhere. Later.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

G770i: kernel rebuilt, xorg.conf still need tweaking.

Kernel rebuilding is done. Found out that commenting (putting '#' in front) / deleting the:

device ural

in the # USB support section of my G770IKERNEL (my kernel configuration file) file makes the error disappear. I guess I deleted a line/device which are required by that device. Now the server is running a new kernel, and without any glitches whatsoever. So all are ok. The console are now in 800x600 VESA mode. Nice. As the options VESA and options SC_PIXEL_MODE is included in the kernel, I just need to add:

allscreens_flags="-g 100x37 VESA_800x600"

in /etc/rc.conf and the next boot will be a pleasure to the eyes.

I've installed mc, Midnight Commander, a Norton Commander clone. Useful file manager if you like FreeBSDing in the console. I have configured the there are a few ways to configure it.

In the console, type:

vampire# xorgcfg

and a fully graphical configurator will appear. You can also use:

vampire# xorgcfg -textmode

fer a ncurse mode of the configurator. Or you can manually change the needed parameters in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. I'm currently having no luck in configuring the monitor's refresh rate. Drats. Tried a few different refresh rate and still the screen isn't filling up the whole monitor in X. Didn't go extreme yet because I'm kinda scared the CRT will burn. Seriously. Somehow I feel that configuring LCDs is easier. Will update on this later. fluxbox is in too. How I missed looking at it. Still looks great. Until I'm finished with tweaking the monitor's refresh rate, my fluxbox will be bare minimum.

I should've written this blog here using my server, but because links and Blogger can't play nicely together, had to wait till I'm done installing firefox which I'm doing right now. Boot splash screen will be the next thing I'm thinking of doing. zsh shell might comes afterward.

I wonder when can I get to the NAS thingy... Later.

G770i: Kernel rebuilding in progress.

I'm currently rebuilding the kernel. The copy of GENERIC config file, now named G770IKERNEL was changed way too much I guess. The only addition I put was:

options VESA

But there has been many devices I've deleted from the config file. My 1st try on rebuilding came with an error and I'm trying fer the 2nd time, while I'm searching fer some sort of answer. If the error persist, I have no choice than to re-copy the GENERIC again and reevaluate the things I should / shouldn't delete.

I've installed screen & links, 2 of my favorite programs. I'll post the server's G770IKERNEL kernel configuration file in my homepage when I have a free time. Seems like the 6.2-R's GENERIC have less options than before. Hmmm. Later.

G770i: FreeBSD 6.2-R installed, now fer post-installations.

One thing to remember, next time I'm installing FreeBSD using ftp, make sure not to get greedy and picking lots of distributions.

Why? Because I've started installing 6.2-R a few minutes after my previous post and the installation was done this morning around 2. This is my 1st time doing a floppy - ftp installation so it's not all bad. Now I have a new experience.

The installation went fine. Can't find any Compat options now, I guess one of the new features of 6x. The options to configure X has also been removed from sysinstall. As always, I've chosen linux compatibility. X windows ( is installed too but still unconfigured.

Ah. I fergot to tell about the purpose of this installation. This G770i will be primarily a NAS (Network Attached Storage) server. And it will be my main FreeBSD machine. So expect this server to change more like a workstation pc. Hardware upgrades I'm considering is:

1. PCI vga card, preferably a Matrox because the drivers fer FreeBSD is a lot.
2. PCI SCSI Raid card, thinking about a 3-channel Mylex card. Still Eyeing fer bargains.
3. Bigger SCSI hard disks, probably starting with 3 disks with Raid 5 then eventually filling the modules up. As this will be a NAS server, storage is a priority.
4. Filling the RAM to 512Mb.

Installation is done and 6.2-R booted without a glitch. No panic whatsoever. I'd post the hardware probe result but the server is still basically not configured in any way. So now I'm getting to the configurations, starting with building a new kernel. Later.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

G770i: Downloading distributions, time fer a break. :D

Ahhhh.... Now the server is downloading the distributions I've previously selected. I'm using the main FreeBSD ftp site. The built-in ethernet card is AOK. Yeah I know I was supposed to use my own ftp server I've set up yesterday but then, we're connected to the net through broadband. Can't resist the feeling. Heh.

I'll post the walkthrough in my homepage when i'm done with the installation and 6.2 is installed and running. Later.

G770i: floppies ok and running sysinstall.

Miraculously, the floppies is ok now. Tried using all the *.flp images a few times and it's really ok. I even downloaded a 5.5-RELEASE images but now no need fer that, the 6.2-R is good to go.

The Boot floppy, Kernel floppy 1, 2 & 3 is all cool and I can boot the kernel now. A new problem appears. Seems like there's a panic after hardware probing. On the boot menu, I tried 1. Boot FreeBSD (default), 2. Boot FreeBSD with ACPI and both failed with a panic. The Safe mode option is ok though. So now I'm in slice to partition the hard disks. I will be using the same slice as my previous installation, you can find it at my homepage under the [FreeBSD & Me] > [FreeBSD 5.2.1 Installation] page.

The disk layout fer this server is a bit different. The layout I'm using now is:

disk 1
/ 128M
swap 130M
/tmp 256M
/usr (rest of the space)

disk 2
swap 130M
/var 256M
/disk2 (rest of the space)

Fer the distribution, using my own guide as a, uhm, guide; I've chosen:

- base
- rescue
- sys
- all

I noticed that 6.2-R have a different distribution now. Wow. Now fer the real deal. The installation. More info later.

G770i: 6.2-R trial installation, the 2nd encounter.

I bought a box of shiny brand new diskettes. Time to retry the installation process. Currently, there's a bit of a problem. It's the elf32_loadimage error. And it seems that that problem is quite common, even coming from 6.0-R installation. The boot.flp is ok, but the time I put the kern1.flp, the error appears after it reads the floppy. I tried using fdimage from 2 different pc, using the kern1.flp from the ISO I have and a newly downloaded one but the problem is still there. Tried using different diskettes too. The error is like this:

[earlier message skipped]
FreeBSD/i386 bootstrap loader, Revision 1.1
(, Fri Jan 12 06:40:38 UTC 2007)
Loading boot/defaults/loader.conf
/kernel text=0x51a2e4 \
Inset disk labelled "Kernel floppy 1" and press any key...
zf_read: fill error

readin failed

elf32_loadimage: read failed
Unable to load a kernel!

[irrelevant message skipped]
can't load '/kernel'

Currently I'm reformatting a diskette before using fdimage, to see if the pre-formation of the new diskette is somehow making all this. Tried this and still the same problem persist. Looks like I need to google more on this. Will keep you updated as soon as I found something interesting. Later.

G770i: FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE trial installation started.

Ok. My buddy just sent me another PII 266Mhz processor, the 2 missing hot-swap module, 2 9.1Gb Maxtor SCSI hard disk and 2 pieces of 256Mb ECC Server RAM module. Tried booting the server and it's all ok. Looks like the missing hot-swap module was the culprit. So now the G770i is a dual-processor server. Tried the new RAM my buddy gave me but seems like it has a problem. From the document I have, I assume the current BIOS can only manage to have a maximum of 128Mb RAM per DIMM. But then both of the new RAMs might be kaput so I might be wrong. Will update on that later.

So my trial installation is already under progress. Not without any hiccup though. My FreeBSD CD is at my foster brother's house and I forgot to bring it back yesterday. So no installation from CD fer me today. Tried another alternative, installation from floppies but I only manage to get 2 darn floppy after hours of searching in this whole place. Bah! And only a single floppy is working. No CD, and just a single floppy. Yeah sure. What should I do?

I have a solution, in theory as per yet. I have a 6.2-RELEASE ISO (CD image) here in this current pc I'm using. So I use DAEMON tool, a cd emulator to load the ISO file and after a brief searching through google, I found Cerberus FTP Server which is free fer personal use. My solution? Make this current pc I'm writing this blog with as an FTP server to serve the FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE ISO through the LAN. Yeah, use the floppy to load the boot.flp, kern1.flp, kern2.flp & kern3.flp images into the G770i server and continue the installation using the FTP method. Brilliant huh? :D. Yeah well it's not proven yet.

I'll try to write a simple walkthrough later fer my homepage so keep on checking if you're interested. Gotta go back to the installation, I sense the only working floppy I have left is dying. ARGHH! Later.

Breaking News: The last floppy died horribly just now. Leaving yet another mess to remember. As we pay a last respect to the anonymous floppy, the memories will always remain with us. Urghhh I need another darn floppy...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Fujitsu teamSERVER G770i, my next FreeBSD machine :D

Now I have a new testbed. A friend gave me a server and that will be a new machine fer my FreeBSD need. It's an old server, said to still be in good working condition and by the look of it, it is. It's a Fujitsu teamSERVER G770i. The hard part is finding information about the server. Until now, I managed to get just a document about the server. And here's what I know about that server.

Brand: Fujitsu teamSERVER G770i.
Processor: 1x Intel PII 266Mhz / 512Kb L2, dual-processor capable, intel 440Fx chipset.
RAM: not sure but was told it's 128Mb ECC EDO installed.
Disks: 2x 4Gb Ultra-Wide SCSI, 8x hot-swapped hard-disk bay /w 6 hot-swap module installed (I'm waiting fer the other 2 modules), IDE CD-ROM, Floppy drive, HP SureStore Dat24 backup tape drive.
I/Os: 5x PCI, 2x ISA, 1Mb ATI 264VT on-board vga, Adaptec 7880 dual-channel Ultra-Wide SCSI, Intel PRO 100B compatible 10/100 NIC.

Hmm. Let's see. That's just about it. I'm still searching fer the manual or userguide or something. But because this system is quite old, it's a heck of a pain to find any useful information about it. There's more to know about this machine.

Currently I can't boot the server, probably because the 2 empty hot-swap bay. So no testing as per yet. Good news is my friend will hand me another 2 9.1Gb Ultra-Wide SCSI disk, the 2 missing hot-swap bay and another processor. Hah! Wondering why the heck would anyone give me anything? I'm not sure meself.

So until I can get enough information about the system, I guess we'll have to wait fer the installation. Later.

p/s: If somehow you have any sort of informations or download regarding this specific machine, do leave me a comment or something. It'll be great.