Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


  Search this Thread
Old 08-11-2003, 01:42 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
SMP linux on ancient (PII duallie) hardware

I am really keen to build a shiny new dual opteron with terabyte RAID-5 storage for home use. Before forking out the cash, I thought that I would splurge $200 on ebay and build up an SMP laboratory first to get some experience on high-end kit.

So, I picked up some old dual PII motherboards from ebay, and I thought it might be time to build them up and have a play.

First test board is a Soyo 5TH, with a pair of 166MHz Pentia (Pentii ??) loaded.

It has 4 EDO slots - so I fully populated it with some spare EDO to get a whopping 48MB RAM !!

Loaded RedHat 9.0 - setup as server with a few simple extras turned on (mysql , ssh, rexec, etc). Took ages to load - so I just left it running in the spare room for a while. After the football, it appeared to be complete, boots up and runs fine.

Problems / Questions :
- On boot, Bios detects a pair of Pentia at the correct frequency.

- Linux does not appear to be running in SMP mode

- Top shows stats for 1 CPU only, but there are is an extra line of details on the MEM line - dont have it in front of me so I cannot recall what the details are. Could it be that a server install of RH provides a more detailed top than a workstation version ???

- /proc/cpuinfo only dumps info for 1 CPU

- That I need a special SMP kernel with RedHat 9 ? I thought that late model 2.4 kernels had SMP by default .. have RedHat performed some trickery here ?

- That I need to use ECC EDO Ram - if linux finds non ECC RAM it disables the 2nd CPU ?? True or False - Im just guessing here

- That 48 MB RAM is way too pathetic for Linux to go into SMP mode. There is a minimum quantity of RAM needed to go into SMP mode. True or False - just guessing again.

Cant test any more hypothesis for a while until new supplies reach the lab - I have some big 32MB EDO's coming in, and also some ECC EDOs on their way.

To test the RedHat-kernel-is-bad hypothesis, I need to free up some disk space or transfer a kernel over the LAN. (not enough room for gcc or kernel source on this machine).

Cannot try out the Dual PII-90 until I get more supplies - I put it together and when I went to connect the IDE cables .. guess what .. no IDE connectors WTF ? This board has originally had an EISA SCSI card - wow ! I have a PCI SCSI card arriving soon, and I have a draw full of ancient 50pin SCSI drives, so it will live eventually.

I also have a $25 Monster HP netserver LHPro with dual PentiumPro 200's and a populated SCSI array - way cool machine that is larger and noisier than my car. Cannot proceed here yet until I snag me some 3.3V ECC SDRAM's - the netserver requires ECC chips or wont post. I thought that maybe this ECC memory thing was a general requirement for any SMP machine .. True or False ?

Looking forward to any answers - it is not an easy one to google for
Old 08-12-2003, 10:57 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Northern California (NorCal)
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04 and DSL/Puppy etc
Posts: 342

Rep: Reputation: 30
Try loading up Mandrake 9.1 and use the Enterprise choice on boot.
But to check if your hardware is looking OK, look at the first 20/30 lines of output on your 'dmesg' command at the prompt, or
'dmesg | more' if it flashes by too fast, use the 'spacebar' to advance to next page. Yes, you must be using a 'SMP Enabled' kernal, but since I don't know diddly about RH, I don't know how to tell you how to do that. But, Mandrake does it automagically on the install.
Hope this helps.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Linux for Ancient NEC ready 120lt Zuggy Linux - Laptop and Netbook 4 04-14-2009 04:41 AM
Ancient Linux resources dinolinux General 4 06-25-2005 09:45 AM
Installing Linux Enterprise on PII and below yogeshsr11 Linux - Enterprise 2 06-16-2005 11:14 AM
Can Linux turn my ancient PC into a networked NTFS drive? NginUS Linux - Newbie 4 03-26-2005 05:28 AM
Linux on an ancient 386 notebook? Floppy distribution? gundelgauk Linux - Distributions 5 01-14-2004 02:23 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:07 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration