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8. Supported Hardware platforms

Check also the section on Supported CPUs for which processor types are supported, if you are using a platform for which multiple CPU options exist.

See below for the following categories of platforms

8.1 Actively supported development boards

The following list covers development boards for which there is active support for the port, and which are maintained continuously. Expect these ports to work reliably. Refer also the the section on commercial Linux ports - these companies may provide additional hardware support.

Algorithmics P-6032 and P-6064 (and P-4032, P-5064)

Algorithmics ( http://www.algor.co.uk/) make a series of single-board computers for MIPS prototyping, and maintain Linux kernels for all of them:

All the boards have common I/O plus Ethernet and disk interfaces onboard, with spare PCI slots for adding different controllers. They're highly configurable, so will run with either byte order. All are suitable targets for 64-bit kernels, but (so far) all the Linux work we've done has been using 32-bit code.

They're available, supported and documented with PDF manuals available online, like http://www.algor.co.uk/ftp/pub/doc/p6032-user.pdf for the P-6032.

Broadcom BCM91250A

An evaluation board for the SiByteTM BCM1250 dual processor SOC (system on chip) and is implemented in the standard ATX form factor. A high performance board. See http://www.broadcom.com/ for details.

MIPS Malta

The MIPS Technologies Malta board and all its CPU options are supported. See the Developers pages under www.mips.com.

8.2 Actively supported workstations

The following list covers machines for which there is active support for the port, and which are maintained continuously. Expect these ports to work reliably.

Cobalt Qube and Raq

The Cobalt Qube product series are low cost headless server systems based on a IDT R5230. Cobalt has developed its own Linux/MIPS variant to fit the special requirements of the Qube as well as possible. Cobalt kernels are available from Cobalt's ftp site http://www.cobaltnet.com.

DECstation series

The following DECstation models are actively supported:

These days, most of the work is done by Harald Koerfgen (hkoerfg@web.de) and others. On the Internet, DECstation-related information can be found at http://decstation.unix-ag.org/.

The DECstation family ranges from the DECstation 2100 with an R2000/R2010 chipset at 12 MHz, to the DECstation 5000/260 with a 60 MHz R4400SC. See the section on Legacy Platforms below for other DEC machines. Note: Other x86 and Alpha-based machines were also sold under the name DECstation.

Silicon Graphics Indy

The Indy is currently the best supported Silicon Graphics machine.

Silicon Graphics Origin 200 and 2000

Ralf Bächle (ralf@gnu.org) and a team of SGI employees are currently working on a port to the Origin 200. While still in it's early stages, it's running in uniprocessor and multiprocessor mode and has drivers for the built-in IOC3 Ethernet and SCSI hostadapters.

Sony Playstation and Playstation 2

The Sony Playstation 2 has a Japanese-only port which can be found at http://www.ps2linux.com.

The older Sony Playstation is based on an R3000 derivative and uses a set of graphics chips developed by Sony themselves. There is no support for this machine.

8.3 Unsupported / Legacy support only

The platforms listed here may once have been supported, but there may not have been active maintenance for them. Expect problems with these platforms, and consult the mailing list for information on them.

Acer PICA

The Acer PICA is derived from the Mips Magnum 4000 design. It has a R4400PC CPU running at 133MHz or optionally 150MHz plus a 512KB (optionally 2MB) second level cache; the Magnum's G364 gfx card was replaced with a S3 968 based one. The system is supported with the exception of the X server.

Baget/MIPS series

The Baget series includes several boxes which have R3000 processors: Baget 23, Baget 63, and Baget 83. Baget 23 and 63 have BT23-201 or BT23-202 motherboards with R3500A (which is basically a R3000A chip) at 25 MHz and R3081E at 50 MHz respectively. The BT23-201 board has VME bus and VIC068, VAC068 chips as system controllers. The BT23-202 board has PCI as internal bus and VME as internal. Support for BT23-201 board has been done by Gleb Raiko (rajko@mech.math.msu.su) and Vladimir Roganov (vroganov@msiu.ru) with a bit of help from Serguei Zimin (zimin@msiu.ru). Support for BT23-202 is under development along with Baget 23B which consists of 3 BT23-201 boards with shared VME bus.

Baget 83 is mentioned here for completeness only. It has only 2MB RAM and it's too small to run Linux. The Baget/MIPS code has been merged with the DECstation port. The source for both is available at http://decstation.unix-ag.org/.

DECstation

These DECstation models are orphaned because nobody is working on them, but support for them should be relatively easy to achieve.

The other members of the DECstation family, besides the x86 based ones, should be considered as VAXen with the CPU replaced by a MIPS CPU. There is absolutely no information available about these machines and support for them is unlikely to ever happen unless the VAXLinux port comes back to life. These are:

MIPS Magnum 4000 / Olivetti M700-10

These two machines are almost completely identical. Back during the ACE initiative, Olivetti licensed the Jazz design and marketed the machine with Windows NT as the OS. MIPS Computer Systems, Inc. bought the Jazz design and marketed it as the MIPS Magnum 4000 series of machines. Magnum 4000 systems were marketed with Windows NT and RISC/os as the operating systems.

The firmware on the machine depended on the operating system which was installed. Linux/MIPS supports only the little endian firmware on these two types of machines. Since the M700-10 was only marketed as an NT machine, all M700-10 machines have this firmware installed. The MIPS Magnum case is somewhat more complex. If your machine has been configured big endian for RISC/os, then you need to reload the little endian firmware. This firmware was originally included on a floppy with the delivery of every Magnum. If you don't have the floppy anymore you can download it via anonymous ftp from ftp://oss.sgi.com/pub/linux/mips/misc/magnum-4000.

It is possible to reconfigure the M700 for headless operation by setting the firmware environment variables ConsoleIn and ConsoleOut to multi()serial(0)term(). Also, try the command listdev which will show the available ARC devices.

In some cases, like where the G364 graphics card is missing but the console is still configured to use normal graphics, it will be necessary to set the configuration jumper JP2 on the board. After the next reset, the machine will reboot with the console on COM2.

MIPS Magnum 4000SC

The MIPS Magnum 4000SC is the same as a Magnum 4000 (see above) with the exception that it uses an R4000SC CPU.

NEC machines

The NEC uniprocessor machines are OEM Acer PICA systems, see that section for details. The SMP systems are different from that. The Linux/MIPS developers have no technical documentation as necessary to write an OS. As long as that does not change, this will pretty much stay a show- stopper, preventing a port to NEC's SMP systems.

Netpower 100

The Netpower 100 is apparently an Acer PICA in disguise. It should therefore be supported but this is untested. If there is a problem then it is probably the machine detection.

Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 is R4300-based game console with 4MB RAM. Its graphics chips were developed by Silicon Graphics for Nintendo. Right now this port has pipe dream status and will continue to be in that state until Nintendo decides to publish the necessary technical information. The question remains as to whether porting the Linux/MIPS code to this platform is a good idea.

Silicon Graphics Challenge S

This machine is very similar to the Indy, the differences are that it doesn't have a keyboard or graphics card, but has an additional SCSI WD33C95-based adapter. This WD33C95 hostadapter is currently not supported.

Silicon Graphics Indigo

This machine is only being mentioned here because people have occasionally confused it with Indys or the Indigo 2. The Indigo is a different R3000-based architecture however, and is yet unsupported.

Silicon Graphics Indigo2

This machine is the successor to the Indigo and is very similar to the Indy. It is now supported, but is lacking in several areas. You will have to use serial console. If you have an Indigo2 and still want to run Linux on it, contact either Florian Lohoff (flo@rfc822.org) or Klaus Naumann (spock@mgnet.de) .

Silicon Graphics Onyx 2

The Onyx 2 is basically an Origin 2000 with additional graphics hardware. As of now, writing Linux support for the graphics hardware has not yet been done. Aside from that, Linux should run just as well as on a normal, headless Origin 2000 configuration.

Silicon Graphics Power Series

This is a very old series of R3000 SMP systems. There is no hardware documentation for these machines, few of them even exist anymore, and the hardware is weird. In short, the chances that Linux will ever run on them are approximating zero. Not that we want to discourage any takers ...

SNI RM200C

In contrast to the RM200 (see below), this machine has EISA and PCI slots. The RM200 is supported with the exception of the availability of the onboard NCR53c810A SCSI controller.

SNI RM200

If your machine has both EISA and PCI slots, then it is an RM200C (please see above). Due to the slight architectural differences of the RM200 and the RM200C, this machine isn't currently supported in the official sources. Michael Engel (engel@numerik.math.uni-siegen.de) has managed to get his RM200 working partially, but the patches haven't yet been included in the official Linux/MIPS sources.

SNI RM300C

The RM300 is technically very similar to the RM200C. It should be supported by the current Linux kernel, but we haven't yet received any reports.

SNI RM400

The RM400 isn't supported.

SNI RW320

This machine is a OEM variant of the SGI Indigo and therefore also unsupported.

NEC VR41xx-based platforms

The Linux VR project is porting Linux to devices based on the NEC VR41xx microprocessors. Many of these devices were originally designed to run Windows CE. The project has produced working kernels with basic drivers for the Vadem Clio, Casio E-105, Everex Freestyle, and more. For more information please see http://linux-vr.org/.

Toshiba TMPR39xx/Philips PR31700 platforms

Similar to the VR41xx, devices with these processors were originally intended for running Windows CE. However, there are working kernels with basic drivers for Sharp Mobilon and the Compaq C-Series. Support for more devices is under construction. The code is part of the Linux VR project and as such more information can be found at http://linux-vr.org/.

8.4 Hardware we're never going to support

IBM RS6000

As the name says, these are IBM machines which are based on the RS6000 processor series, and, as such, they're not the subject of the Linux/MIPS project. People frequently confuse the IBM RS6000 with the MIPS R6000 architecture. However, the Linux/PPC project might support these machines. Checkout http://www.penguinppc.org/ for further information.

VaxStation

As the name already implies, this machine is a member of Digital Equipment's VAX family. It's mentioned here because people often confuse it with Digital's MIPS-based DECstation family due to the similar type numbers. These two families of architectures share little technical similarities. Unfortunately, the VaxStation, like the entire VAX family, is currently unsupported.

SGI VisPC

This is actually an x86-based system, therefore not covered by this FAQ. There is some limited Linux support available for the older Visual Workstations. The current series of Visual Workstations is an officially supported SGI product. Please see http://oss.sgi.com and http://www.sgi.com for more information.

Motorola 68k-based machines like the Iris 3000

These are very old machines, more than ten years old by now. As these machines are not based on MIPS processors, and therefore not supported by the Linux/MIPS project, this document is the wrong place to search for information.


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