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8. Booting Your JavaStation

Once you've selected or built your boot files to use, and configured your boot server to serve them, it is time to boot your JavaStation with Linux!

8.1. What to See When Booting Linux

There are multiple stages to the JavaStation boot cycle. What you see on screen can give you clues as to whether things are going well or not. Therefore, it is vital you become familiar with these boot stages, so you can troubleshoot problems rapidly.

8.1.1. Stage 1: White Screen

When you first boot, your JavaStation will start up with a white background screen and black-text PROM banner on top. You will also see a black "exclamation mark in triangle" warning logo. This means the system doesn't yet know who it is, and begins sending RARP/BOOTP requests.

If you do not get this white screen, there is something wrong with your JavaStation. Check all connections, particularly your keyboard, monitor and mouse cords. If the JavaStation does not detect a keyboard or mouse, it thinks it is being booted into a serial console, and will not use the monitor (or keyboard/mouse). In exceptional cases, you may need to reset a jumper if the unit has been set to always boot into the serial console.

When contact is made with the DHCP server, the logo goes away and changes to the Java coffee cup logo. The screen is still white background. The logo should be solid, and not blinking. This step lasts a second or two, as the unit should already be contacting the TFTP server and downloading the boot image.

If your coffee logo is blinking, it means there is a problem getting your IP address, usually due to a DHCP leasing problem. Check your DHCP server's logs to see that your JavaStation's mac address is being sent a proper IP address.

If your JavaStation doesn't even get a blinking coffee cup, check both your DHCP and RARP server settings. Also, if running the ISC DHCP server, you may be having a problem with 1514-byte packets and need the patch from the ZLS website.

8.1.3. Stage 3: A Window to PROLL

After the coffee cup logo is solid a few seconds, a white-text on black background window opens. This is the PROLL window. It'll show status of the TFTP download in progress, and when finished will give stats on the size of the file downloaded. The size should match your completed file. When finished, the screen should read 'Booting Linux'. Although, this goes so fast you may not see it.

If you don't see the PROLL window open, confirm your TFTP settings are correct. Also, verify you are pointing to a version of PROLL specific to your JavaStation model. In other words, PROLL for Krups is different from PROLL for Mr. Coffee, and so on.

If, at the bottom of the PROLL window, the system prints the phrase 'obio_range' and hangs for minutes without end, the boot is halted, and you are likely running an old version of PROLL. Verify your PROLL version is the most recent and try again.

8.1.4. Stage 4: Kernel Boot

After PROLL finishes its work, the whole screen should go black. You should see a picture of the Linux logo, Tux the penguin, in the upper left hand of the screen. At this point, messages relating your kernel should be spilling down before you. The color of the text is either white or grey depending on your monitor.

If the screen didn't flip, and you do not see Tux, chances are you are using a kernel compiled with framebuffer support for a different JavaStation model than you are using.

After the message, 'decompressing kernel' appears and the kernel begins spitting out its boot messages, any mistakes from this point are due either to: the filesystem you are using, the filesystem mounting, or missing kernel drivers which should have been compiled in; in other words, your own fault.