Project:Infrastructure/Developer Machines/hppa

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hppa Admin Notes

These are various notes mainly targeted at people administrating Gentoo dev machines, although most things are probably generally useful. These are not general "how do I administrate a Gentoo box" notes.


These are the current systems we have available. See machine specific notes at bottom for more details.

Machine Name IP DNS Hostnames Console Server Console Account
hake port 3
muta gentoo

Console Access


You connect to the serial console over ssh. If your account doesn't have access, talk to infra@ to get your keys on there.

ssh -p 3003 -l $USER

You can use this to:

  • Interact with the early firmware (e.g. to select recovery kernel)
  • Log in directly to recover
  • Send magic sysrq requests to try and recover the box (e.g. when ssh is dead)


For muta:

user $telnet


Enter CTRL-B (or ESC-() to escape from the 'CO' console back to the ILO/MP.
Not all machines have one of these.



> CM

==== MP Help: Command Menu List =============================================

BP  : Reset BMC Passwords               MS  : Modem Status
CA  : Configure asynch/serial ports     PC  : Remote Power Control
DATE: Display Date                      PG  : PaGing parameters setup
DC  : Default Configuration             PR  : Power Restore Policy Config.
DF  : Display FRU Information           PS  : Power management module Status
DI  : DIsconnect users                  RB  : Reset BMC
DNS : Configure DHCP and DNS            RS  : Reset System through RST signal
FW  : Upgrade MP firmware               SA  : Set MP Access
HE  : Display Help                      SNMP: Configure SNMP parameters
ID  : System Information                SO  : Security Options
IT  : Modify MP inactivity timeouts     SS  : System processors Status
LC  : Configure LAN, SSH and Web ports  SYSREV: Display System firmware Revs.
LDAP: Configure Directory parameters    TC  : Reset system via INIT
LM  : License Management                TE  : TEll- send a msg. to other users
LOC : Locator LED display               UC  : User Configuration
LS  : LAN Status                        WHO : Display connected MP users
MR  : Modem Reset                       XD  : Diagnostics and reset of MP

(HE for main help, enter command name, or Q to quit)

[muta-gentoo-ilo] MP:CM> RS

Execution of this command irrecoverably halts all system processing and
I/O activity and restarts the computer system.

Type Y to confirm your intention to restart the system: (Y/[N]) y
   -> SPU hardware was successfully issued a reset.

Common PDC Commands

If you reboot into the PDC (the early firmware), you have some options to recover manually:

  • Hit any key right after power on (it'll prompt you) to halt the process and interact with PDC directly.
  • Type BO ALT to boot the alternative media (usually a livecd).
  • Type boot to launch PALO (the bootloader), and then type Y when asked whether to interact with the IPL (Initial Program Loader).

Common PALO Commands

PALO will display the list of partitions first, and then show the current command line. Those partition numbers are used when constructing the path to the kernel. So 2/vmlinux means load the file vmlinux from the 2nd partition. When recovery kernels are enabled, then partition 0 is the recovery partition.

To boot a known good kernel, try changing the kernel path to the recovery kernel at 0/vmlinux32.

To boot a recovery shell, try changing the last command line option (usually TERM=vt102) to the rescue shell like init=/bin/bb.

Magic Sysrq

In order to use magic sysrq, you'll need to send a break command followed by the request. To send a break, you'll need to use the ssh escape sequence, and you'll have to remember to double escape the character (if you're not sshing directly to the console server).

Try typing Enter~bh (if connected directly) or Enter~~~bh (if sshing via another system).

If it worked, you should see the one line of help text like:

SysRq : HELP : loglevel(0-9) reboot(b) crash(c) terminate-all-tasks(e) memory-full-oom-kill(f) kill-all-tasks(i) thaw-filesystems(j) sak(k) show-memory-usage(m) nice-all-RT-tasks(n) poweroff(o) show-registers(p) show-all-timers(q) unraw(r) sync(s) show-task-states(t) unmount(u) show-blocked-tasks(w)

Kernel Management

hppa systems use the palo tool from the sys-boot/palo package to manage booting of kernels. Things to remember:

  • Make updates to /etc/palo.conf.
  • Run palo whenever palo.conf is changed or kernels referred to by the config file are updated (failure to do so will break booting).
  • The bootable linux kernel is created at vmlinux (e.g. under /usr/src/linux/).
  • The make install shortcut usually does not do the right thing under hppa.

Sample Config Files


--commandline=2/vmlinux root=/dev/sda3 panic=3


Machine-specific Notes


  • Contact:
  • IPv4:; netmask; gateway
  • IPv6: 2001:470:ea4a:1:230:6eff:fe2b:c8d4/64; gateway 2001:470:ea4a:1::1/64
  • System: C3600
  • Memory: 3G
  • CPU: PA8600 552MHz
  • Disks: 50GB


  • Contact:
  • IPv4: netmask TBD; gateway TBD
  • IPv6: TBD
  • System: RP3440
  • Memory: 8G
  • CPU: PA8800 1GHz
  • Disks: ~80GB