A new SysRescue for i386

Discussions about what to change in future versions (except software request).
JoJo
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Joined: 22 Jan 2008, 09:04
Location: Napoli, Italy

A new SysRescue for i386

Postby JoJo » 31 Jan 2008, 00:28

I know that i386 support has been discontinued since version 0.2.19, but I'm asking anyway: is there a technical reason for this?

I really appreciate the hard work that's behind each release of SR CD, and I understand the burden of managing a LiveCD distribution, but couldn't it be possible to release an upgraded version for these very old systems?

I mean, just once in a while (e.g. only 0.x.0 releases) - there have been a lot of useful tools (as well as improved versions of the already present ones) added since 0.2.19, and a many of these would be surely helpful when trying to save these old systems.

After all, since SR CD is based on Gentoo, it should be just a matter of changing a few lines in /etc/make.conf - or not?

BTW version 0.2.19 sports a very nice splashscreen - why has it been removed from subsequent versions? This distro is full of substance, but a pinch of form wouldn't spoil it! ;)

admin
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Postby admin » 01 Feb 2008, 14:05

1) There are technical reasons to drop the i386 support. I did not switch to i686 just for optimizations, it would be stupid on such a livecd. Running parted 5% faster makes no sense. IT was just because the glibc package did not compile on i386 with the options I used when I upgraded the glibc package. I spend few days to test a lot of different options to sort it out with no luck. It was related to the NPTL stuff. Maybe there was a way to upgrade glibc on i386 but I did not find how. And I also think computer older than i686 (Pentium-Pro) have very very old now.

2) I also dropped the splashscreen at boot prompt, just because several BIOS (buggy BIOS ?) did not like it, and it was just not possible to boot. Several users (sepecially on laptops) reported that the boot loader (isolinux) did not work, and removing the image sorted it out. It's also possible to use SysRescCd from the serial console, and to do that is must be 100% text mode. So it would be stupid to prevent many users from using this livecd, just because of a nice image...

Simba7
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Location: Billings, MT, USA
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Postby Simba7 » 04 Feb 2008, 15:53

fdupoux wrote:1) There are technical reasons to drop the i386 support. I did not switch to i686 just for optimizations, it would be stupid on such a livecd. Running parted 5% faster makes no sense. IT was just because the glibc package did not compile on i386 with the options I used when I upgraded the glibc package. I spend few days to test a lot of different options to sort it out with no luck. It was related to the NPTL stuff. Maybe there was a way to upgrade glibc on i386 but I did not find how. And I also think computer older than i686 (Pentium-Pro) have very very old now.

I bumped into this with glibc-2.7 last month with my i586. It was an actual glitch in glibc which was fixed (well, in Gentoo) with glibc-2.7-r1. It compiles perfectly now.

I would be willing to compile an i586 disc and test it out.

admin
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Postby admin » 04 Feb 2008, 20:32

This is very good news. I will give it a try.

admin
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Postby admin » 07 Feb 2008, 21:57

Thanks a lot Simba7. It worked !!!

SystemRescueCd-0.4.4-beta9 supports i486, so it's not necessary to have an i686 processor anymore.

I posted an announce about it:
http://www.sysresccd.org/news/2008/02/0 ... ors-again/

minosi
Posts: 2
Joined: 21 Feb 2011, 12:17
Location: Slovakia

Re: A new SysRescue for i386

Postby minosi » 21 Feb 2011, 19:15

Hi Guys, it seems we are back to the future with this issue - SRCD 2.x (including betas) is again unusable on <i686 boxen.

This has 2 sides:

1) a System Rescue (whatever) really shall boot on any generally used box.
There are still MANY pre-i686 systems in the field and even more of the not-obsolete-by-definition thin clients(etc.) with VIA Samuel 2.
I don't know about the US, but here in the old countries of Middle Earth even MS-DOS POS/Accounting on P5 class stuff is not a rare find.

2) currently there is (or I as an SRCD user since 0.1.* am unable to find) no official information on SRCD system requirements. Back in the day, it was mentioned what a user needs to use (say 0.2.19 for i386) on the download page. Sadly, even that hidden-but-important info was lost in time.

I would suggest primarily fixing 2) to avoid leaving users in limbo.
("missing CMOV" hang does not really tell much to the uninitiated ...)

[trivia]
For 7 yrs of heavy SRCD use I have never felt the need to intervene in the forums. Why? Everything "just worked" as expected.
Keep up the good work so I make a second post in the next decade!

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2715
Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 09:44

Re: A new SysRescue for i386

Postby admin » 21 Feb 2011, 22:22

Ok, can you please try with sysresccd-2.1.0-beta003 (when released) and post feedback here ?
I have no such CPU to test it.

minosi
Posts: 2
Joined: 21 Feb 2011, 12:17
Location: Slovakia

Re: A new SysRescue for i386

Postby minosi » 22 Feb 2011, 10:48

Great! Both standard and alternative kernel from 2.1.0-beta003 boot nicely, including X.

You mentioned to have no box to test SRCD on these architectures. Did you consider using something like BOCHS for boot-ability verification?


On 2): I do not know your Docs policy, but it would be great to have a short section of "System Requirements" in the Docs explaining the various support levels (i386, i486, SPARC ...) recommending users what they shall/could use in which case.

Keep up the good work!

[edit]grammar/sematics


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