gentoo/octane – A modern GNU/Linux system for the SGI Octane Workstation

It took about 6 months of work, and it’s done: gentoo/octane 1.0 has been released.

Grab your copy here: gentoo-octane-v1.0-by-rephlex.tar.xz

It’s basically a complete tarball of the system. So:

  • attach scsi disk to any machine or netboot the octane using root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=a.b.c.d/path/to/filesystem (if you’re a tough guy)
  • prepare the octanes local disks
  • add tarball
  • set envvars (included)
  • profit

What works:

  • everything that would work in any random gentoo that is up-to-date as of April 2019 ūüėČ
  • Kernel 4.12 with audio, and all the funny devices inside the octane including impact graphics.

What doesn’t work yet:

  • xf86-video-impact xorg module ;/ – see /etc/motd for how to achieve running xorg. It’s ALMOST DONE!
  • Kernel newer than 4.12. The patches need to be tested and maybe adjusted, that’s it.


If you want to donate money, my paypal is ūüėČ

Awesome quickstart writeup by Alex Ernst:

root@SomeLinuxMachine:~# fdisk /dev/sdc

Command (m for help): p
Disk /dev/sdc: 136.8 GiB, 146815737856 bytes, 286749488 sectors
Disk model: BD1468A4C5
Geometry: 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 17849 cylinders
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: sgi

Device         Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type       Attrs
/dev/sdc1    2097153 278921217 276824065   132G  a SGI xfs     boot
/dev/sdc2  278921218 286744184   7822967   3.7G 82 Linux swap  swap
/dev/sdc9          0   2097152   2097153     1G  0 SGI volhdr
/dev/sdc11         0 286744184 286744185 136.7G  6 SGI volume

root@SomeLinuxMachine:~# mount /dev/sdc1 -t ext4 /mnt
root@SomeLinuxMachine:~# cd /mnt

root@SomeLinuxMachine:/mnt# ln -s boot/linux linux
root@SomeLinuxMachine:/mnt# ln -s boot/linux vmlinux

root@SomeLinuxMachine:/mnt# cat /mnt/boot/
linux {
 image system /linux;
 append "root=/dev/sdc1";
 append "rw";
 append "init=/sbin/init";
 append "console=/dev/ttyS0";

root@SomeLinuxMachine:/mnt# dvhtool -d /dev/sdc --unix-to-vh /mnt/usr/lib/arcload/sash64 sash64
root@SomeLinuxMachine:/mnt# dvhtool -d /dev/sdc --unix-to-vh /mnt/boot/linux linux
root@SomeLinuxMachine:/mnt# dvhtool -d /dev/sdc --unix-to-vh /mnt/boot/

root@SomeLinuxMachine:/mnt# dvhtool -d /dev/sdc --print-all
----- partitions -----
Part#  0, start 2097153, blks 276824065, type XFS
Part#  1, start 278921218, blks 7822967, type Linux Swap
Part#  8, start 0, blks 2097153, type Volume Header
Part# 10, start 0, blks 286744185, type Volume
----- bootinfo -----
Root partition: 0
Swap partition: 1
Bootfile: "/unix"
----- directory entries -----
Entry #0, name "sash64", start 4, bytes 141392
Entry #1, name "linux", start 281, bytes 11429200
Entry #2, name "", start 22604, bytes 130

root@SomeLinuxMachine:~# cd
root@SomeLinuxMachine:~# umount /mnt
root@SomeLinuxMachine:~# sync

Command Monitor.  Type "exit" to return to the menu.

>> setenv SystemPartition xio(0)pci(15)scsi(0)disk(3)rdisk(0)partition(8)
>> setenv OSLoadPartition xio(0)pci(15)scsi(0)disk(3)rdisk(0)partition(8)
>> setenv OSLoadFilename linux
>> setenv OSLoader sash64

>> boot
1216+51120+768+4256+592 entry: 0xa80000005fff0000
ARCLoad version 0.5 (c) 2004-5 Stanislaw Skowronek
Loading configuration for 'linux'...
GRUB Filesystem Error FILE_NOT_FOUND: 'ArcOpen failed'
Loading xio(0)pci(15)scsi(0)disk(3)rdisk(0)partition(8)/linux...
Reading 9488032 bytes... OK.
Entering kernel.

login as: root
Welcome to gentoo/octane 1.0!


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