Lesson of the day
I just had an "aha" moment that I felt like sharing with someone, and I figure that there are people in this community who would actually appreciate this:
I have a P100 system that I literally pulled out of my apartment complex's dumpster last fall, and I've finally found the spare time to try to get it set up as a Linux firewall. (Once it's working, I figure I'll sell it to a friend, since I honestly don't have use for yet another Linux box in my apartment.) Here's the tricky part: The floppy controller on the motherboard appears to be dead, and the BIOS on this motherboard doesn't support booting from a CD-ROM drive.
Fine, I say. I take the hard drive that I want to put into it, put that hard drive in a nearby dual-processor Pentium Pro system that I wasn't using for anything, and install RH 7.2. I then manually uninstall the i686 kernel RPMs and install the i586 kernel RPM, and I move the hard drive back into the target system.
It boots, but hangs right before starting init. I am left with the familiar message, "Freeing unused kernel memory: 216k freed". Now, I've had systems where the kernel couldn't find init before, which causes the kernel to say something like "Kernel panic: No 'init' found". However, this just hung silently. Hmmmm...
After double-checking to make sure that the hard drive still boots fine back back in the PPro, I resort to the tedium which is searching through Linux-help mailing lists. Eventually, I find the hint that wakes me up to the answer: I read a post where someone was having trouble recompiling glibc on an i686 system for an eventual i486 target. At this point I remember that Red Hat's glibc RPMs are also provided in architecture-specific flavors, and I hadn't replaced the i686 version of glibc back when I replaced the i686 version of the kernel.
So, if you have glibc compiled for Pentium Pro or better systems, and you try to boot on a Pentium, it hangs right after before starting init. And gee, it only took me a couple weeks to figure that out... ;-) Current Mood: frustrated but relieved