10 August 2009

Beta testing CentOS 4.8 with an AMD K6-II

Painful does not begin to describe how laborious it seems, after using more modern kit.

It appears that the AMD K6-II instruction set is a superset of that used on the i586 series. Some folks seem to be still running such, and we have a number of resolved bugs in the tracker, detailing various ways to get the units running

Based upon exhortation and advice in the CentOS QA mailing list and some IRC banter, I was induced to drag one of these poor exhausted clunkers out of my boneyard, and do some testing on it

These installation instructions SHOULD work on i586 as well, but I no longer have an examplar to confirm with:

  1. Download and install using 4.5 i386 ISO from vault.centos.org and start it up the following options

    Boot it with: i586 text nomce

  2. Manually install openssh-server, enable, and set up with iptables, so you can hop on the unit from a remote box to work on it
  3. Add to /etc/yum.conf

  4. Perform a general run updates against the intervening changes prior to 4.8 -- (seemingly 4.7 and intervening updates when I perform this testing) -- lots there, but get it close to current.

    Install 6 Package(s)
    Update 150 Package(s)
    Remove 0 Package(s)

    ... took forever as I only have 128k ram for this old beast --- 308 transaction steps
  5. Do an interim reboot
  6. Point at my local mirror of the CentOS 4.8 release test candidate and let it rip --

    first pass only:

    without the later pending updates:

    Install 1 Package(s)
    Update 83 Package(s)
    Remove 0 Package(s)
    Total download size: 117 M
  7. Do a second interim reboot

    Mysteriously, I got an 'unclean shutdown' FSCK required message as to /boot here ... no idea why
  8. Run yum again, for a second pass with the updates

    Install 0 Package(s)
    Update 9 Package(s)
    Remove 0 Package(s)
    Total download size: 9.8 M

  9. Do a final interim reboot
  10. I completed by my test suite without incident

I am advised similar steps may work from later than a CentOS 4.5 ISO, and that i586 should work as well. As I lack the hardware to test this, your mileage may vary

Poor old boxes. Let them rest. Save power. I need a shower. Yuck