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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Software Forum
Author SRM and dual booting

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on October 19 2007 10:57
I have a Personal Workstation 433au set up with two drives so I can boot either OpenVMS 8.3 or Debian Linux on it. Since the machine currently has no graphics adapter card, this requires another computer with terminal emulation software attached to the serial port of the Alpha with a null modem cable. That works but is a bit clumsy. I'd like to make the process easier if possible, but haven't found any advice on doing so.

Device dka0 contains OpenVMS, while dka1 contains Debian. It seems that I should be able to 'set os_type unix' or 'set os_type openvms' and then boot the appropriate device (the flags are zero for both) but this doesn't quite work. If Linux has been running and shutdown, returning to the >>> prompt, merely setting the os_type and rebooting to OpenVMS fails. It locks up somewhere after the OS banner is displayed, without giving a diagnostic message. It is apparently necessary to turn the power off after shutting down Debian, and then turn it back on to boot OpenVMS. The same problem doesn't occur when OpenVMS is shut down and Debian is booted after it. That works as expected.

Is there some way to tell SRM to reinitialize as from power-on, without actually cycling the power? I'm guessing that when Linux exits it leaves some register or variable with an inappropriate value...

(The firmware/SRM version in this case is 7.1.)

Posts: 30
Joined: 13.02.07
Posted on October 19 2007 12:14
well, not sure about Linux, but with booting VMS or Tru64, you need to pass different flags to bootstrap, usually "-fl 0,0" for VMS and "-fl a" for Tru64 (without that, it inits to single mode, which you have to log out from to continue). From the looks of it though, it seems that Linux kernel could mess up some internal machine state that prevents any other system from booting, normally the CPU is reinitialized from bootstrap. Try "init".
21221452 m_roguski@yahoo.com m_roguski http://rambo.id.uw.edu.pl

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Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on October 19 2007 14:56
Linux uses the boot flags to select from a menu of configuration choices, with 0 normally being the default for the particular installation and sometimes the only choice that has been installed. So yes, 0 is a valid choice for Linux. The 'a' used with Tru64 causes an error with the Linux boot loader, forcing it to stop and present a menu of the available configurations. (Which is something I've taken advantage of before, but it's not a normal thing to do.)

I just tried 'init' and that does the trick. It's a brute force solution, but unless I can figure out exactly what the problem is, at least it's a solution. Thanks.
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