Booting a system with qemu-system-sparc

This document is a report of my attemps to run and install some distributions under a sparc system using qemu-system-sparc.
The tests where made with the following configuration :

  • Kubuntu breezy with KDE 3.5.1

  • QEMU PC emulator version 0.8.0

  • /usr/share/proll/proll-qemu.elf from The version found in this archive works better than debian's default one.

  • A 2Gb raw disk image created with qemu-img, not really usefull here as you can't install anything...

I tried several distributions, but only two of them seemed to boot and do something. Here's the distributions I've attemped to run :

Among all of these, only two where actually doing something interresting. Suse 7.3, which crashes before being able to install, and Aurora linux 2.0 which fails to install as I wasn't able to find any working cdrom, nfs, http, ftp or hd drivers. The following will demonstrate the boot process of Aurora 2.0. Only the boot.iso file is needed to demonstrate, as the system fails to access to the cd files. But both boots the same way.

You first need to boot the system using qemu.

$ qemu-system-sparc -cdrom boot.iso -hda sparc.img -boot d

Here sparc.img is an empty 2Gb hard drive image. The system prompt with the Silo boot loader. Just press enter. After the system finishes loading kernel, you'll be asked your language. Any will work, so choose yours. Then you have to choose the installation method. This is where it fails. Whatever you're choosing, you'll not be able to go farther. One interesting thing needs to be quoted : If you choose CDROM (with the disc1 iso) and the second device driver proposed, Qemu crashes with a segmentation fault, indicating that it has been going a little farther than usual.

Here are some screenshots I've taken to show you how it behave :

Aurora booting :


Aurora installation method :


Aurora device driver :


I hope Mr Bellard or the Linux community will be able to make it work, as it's definitively a great step for interoperability. Thanks for your great work !