In this section, you will be given an overview of what is the OpenBoot, and you will be given the main commands you need to know in order to test your hardware and to install Linux.
If you are used to PC hardware, you are used to interact with its BIOS. SPARC computers have an Openboot, it may seem to be like your BIOS, but it is actually far more powerfull. The Openboot performs the following tasks:
In this section, we will juste use a small set of the OpenBoot's capabilities, in order to test hardware and to boot the system. First you have to enter in the OpenBoot, just hit the
a keys simultaneously. Then you should see a
ok prompt, if instead you see the
> prompt then type
n. Now you can proceed to the next section.
The OpenBoot, gives you a lot of commands to test and to gather information about your hardware.
.versionDisplays version and date of the startup PROM.
bannerYou will see the banner, that is displayed at power-on. It is useful to gather some data about CPUs.
pcia-probe-listTest PCI on computers that have a PCI bus.
module-infoThis will display the Buses clockspeed, and processors frequency and amount of cache.
probe-scsiThis will test all devices connected to the on board SCSI controler.
probe-scsi-allThis will test all devices connected to all the SCSI controlers.
show-devsThis displays all installed and probed devices.
show-sbusUse this, if you just want to display a list of installed and probed SBus devices.
test-allThis will test all devices in the system that have a self test program.
test floppyIf a floppy drive is installed, it will test it reminding you to have a formated floppy disk inside.
test-memoryIf the system
diag-switch?is set to
true, this will test the memory.
test netThis will test the network interfaces
watch-auiThis will test the AUI ethernet link. You will see '.' for good packets and 'X" for bad ones. Strike any key to abort.
watch-clockThis will test the real time clock chip, it will tick once a second. To stop this test strike any key.
watch-netThis will check the network connection ( both AUI and TP ). You will see '.' for good packets and 'X" for bad ones. Strike any key to abort.
watch-net-allThis will test all Ethernet interfaces. You will see '.' for good packets and 'X" for bad ones. Strike any key to abort. When you abort one, it will test the next one.
watch-tpeThis will check the TPE ethernet interface. You will see '.' for good packets and 'X" for bad ones. Strike any key to abort.
The OpenBoot allows you to boot from various devices, the command you are the more likely to enter are below.
bootBoot kernel from default device.
boot cdromBoot kernel from CDROM drive.
boot net-tpeBoot kernel from network urnel from CDROM drive, this is the command you are the more likely to type when installing Linux.
boot netBoot kernel from network using auto-selected interface.
boot net-auiBoot kernel from network using AUI interface.
boot net-tpeBoot kernel from network using TPE interface.
boot tapeBoot default file from tape.
eject-floppyEjects the floppy.
power-offPoweroff the computer.
For more informations on the OpenBoot you can read this FAQ at http://www.itworld.com/AppDev/616/UIR951001openboot/