New life for old iron – Gnome on my Octane September 30, 2006Posted by Florian in Source, World.
IRIX is dead, right? Well… even if it isn’t most of the software for it is quite old-fashioned or just outdated. Time to try Linux on it again :-)
I installed Debian to my SGI Octane about one and a half year ago already, but it was not that useful because at this time the kernel port was at a quite early stage.
With the patches from the port website and the Linux-MIPS kernel releases i was able to build a 2.6.14 kernel. The patches seem to be against a slightly older kernel tree so that i had to fix some minor issues manually. The kernel works without any trouble, except of the fact that udev from Debian Sid does not like it because it is too old.
The XImpactSR driver from the port website needed a little bit of love to build with the new X11R7.1 headers and autotools. I made a small package that sould build out of the box with latest xorg-dev (1:7.1.0-1) from Debian unstable. It is available here: http://www.linuxtogo.org/~florian/files/xf86-video-impact-4000.tar.bz2
Many thanks to Stanislaw Skowronek who did a really great job porting Linux to this device. Gnome works pretty well and faster than expected… even without for the really nice 3D features of the machine it is quite impressive how Open Source makes a useful (but loud) workstation from this heavy old piece of hardware.