Deb Richardson

The Puffin Group

Thomas Marteau


Revision History
Revision 0.9 January 15, 2002 Revised by: tm
This version brings you some useful advices for compiling your own kernel on hppa systems.
Revision 0.8 October 17, 2001 Revised by: tm
This version takes care of the change of name of the official FTP and CVS sites and modify the license.
Revision 0.7 October 13, 2001 Revised by: tm
This version adds some updates due to the progress of PA/Linux.
Revision 0.6 draft September 26, 2001 Revised by: tm
This version contains some minor changes and complete the "obtaining bootp/tftpd" section.
Revision 0.5 draft August 3, 2001 Revised by: tm
This version is a large update from Debbie's work
Revision 0.3 draft November 24, 1999 Revised by: dlr
The initial and published version of this HOWTO.

This document outlines the procedures for getting the current PA-RISC/Linux development kernel to boot on your PA-RISC system. It also explains the functions of PALO, the kernel loader for PA/Linux. Also, you will find many informations about how to compile a kernel from the source available at Please notice that this HOWTO is a newer version than Deb Richardson's and includes more accurate informations due to the progress of the port. Nevertheless, I must say that this version keeps some texts of the oldest one and I reveal some hidden works of Deb.

If you are looking for some informations related to HP hardware but not directly to PA-RISC, please read Bruno Cornec's HP-HOWTO.

For more information about the PA-RISC/Linux porting project, please see This site deals with kernel development and improvment. For userspace troubles, please refer to Debian's port pages.

Table of Contents
1. Copyright and Licensing
2. Supported Hardware
3. Preparing to boot
3.1. Consoles
3.2. Preparing to boot from the network
4. Building your own PA-RISC/Linux kernel
4.1. GCC compiler
4.2. Kernel configuration
4.3. Kernel installation
5. Booting your PA-RISC/Linux system via PALO, the kernel loader
5.1. What is PALO?
5.2. What does PALO?
5.3. How to make a lifimage with RAMDISK ?
5.4. How to make a lifimage with NFSROOT ?
5.5. How to make bootable a partition ?
5.6. How to use PALO at the boot ?
6. What you need to know about BOOT_ADMIN
6.1. The main commands
6.2. The configuration commands
6.3. The information commands
6.4. The service commands
7. HOWTO contributors