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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

Optima Super Vizon II 3600 Customised (Bartok)

Bartok is a custom built dual processor server with an inexpensive 20GB IDE hard disk (for Debian GNU/Linux install) and a 136GB SCSI RAID disk (made up of 4 disks).

Debian GNU/Linux 2.2r2 was originally installed (kernel-image-2.2.18pre21) from CD-ROM (4 December 2001). The SCSI RAID disk (Adaptec 2100s) was not supported by the installed kernel thus Debian was first installed on the IDE drive. A driver for the SCSI RAID was then obtained from Adaptec (dpt_i2o.o) and installed after Debian was upgraded to unstable and running with kernel-image-2.2.19. A compile of kernel-source-2.4.16 produced a dpt_i2o.o suitable for use with kernel-image-2.4.16-686-smp. On 26 March 2003 a standard kernel-image-2.4.20-686-smp was installed to provide up to date support for USB, adding a USB Printer. This was upgraded to kernel-image-2.4.25-1-686-smp on 23 March 2004. The SMP kernels supports the dual processors and 4GB high memory.

Originally there were occasional I/O errors with the dpt_i2o driver for the Adaptec. Others (e.g., Ian Millsom) reported that the driver in the earlier 2.4 kernels were buggy and indeed Ian had a 2.2.19pre17 kernel patched for the driver. However, running under kernel versions 2.4.16, 2.4.20, and 2.4.25 there have been no further problems. (The 2.4.16 kernel was compiled with options p3, high memory, and SMP and the later kernels were standard Debian kernels with SMP and HIMEM).

Original partitioning was 4GB for / and the rest for /home. After a couple of years of use the 4GB for / became inadequate and things like /usr/share started moving to other places!

A new install was performed (24 March 2004) with the beta3 Debian Installer booting from CD-ROM. A default boot froze very quickly just after:

  Setting 2 in the phys_id_present_map
  ...changing IO-APIC physical APIC ID to 2 ... ok. 
  ..TIMER: vector=0x31 pin1=2 pin2=0

Booting by entering linux noapic on the Boot: line succeeded. Automatic partition of the IDE disk was then accepted. When rebooting with Grub the boot command had to be edited to add noapic to the end of the kernel line.


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