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[A/UX] Drop-in clean A/UX install image for SCSI2SD


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The first major barrier to experimentation with A/UX is obtaining compatible hardware.

 

Once you have the hardware, the second has been the installation process, which is, frankly, burdensome and finicky.

 

@pb3623 and I have been working on creating a "clean" A/UX installation that can be dd'd to a SD card, for use with a SCSI2SD.

 

This image will boot to A/UX upgraded to 3.1.1. We have included a mirror of Jagubox, and another mirror with GNU/OSS binaries compiled as recently as 2010.

 

We have made some improvements, including installation of more modern GNU tools, and added them to the $PATH.

 

This installation also has a working OpenSSH sshd.

 

If anyone is interested in helping us with our first external test, please post here, or PM me.

 

When we're satisfied this image works for others as well as it has for us, we will make another post linking to the Github repo and the image.

 

Thanks!

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Awesome. We're grateful for any interest, to the extent that it gives us more test cases. We have a "product backlog" of sorts with to-do items but the 0.3a release can be considered minimally viable and certainly enough to put it through its paces (to see what breaks).

 

Tagging @maceffects since we had a separate conversation about this (and he actually received one of the first images)

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I might be able to help too, as part of the collection of disks I got from a apple developer I have a lot of different versions of A/UX.

I think I have version 1.0 (it doesn't have a version #), 1.0b2, 2.0b1, 2.0b2, 2.0b3, 2.0b4, 2.0 

I thought I had version 3 too, but can't find it, was really hoping for a version 4 beta in the box o'disks but no luck.

I have a Mac IIx that needs some TLC (battery/recap) that I can do installs with to a SCSI2SD drive for imaging.

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Just now, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Wow! That was fast, thanks for filling in the gaps for noobs like me.

 

I've been looking for an excuse to buy the V6 Fast SCSI 2 version SCSI2SD to run off the ATTO card in the pet IIfx. Given the pickiness of A/UX, what might be the prospects for compatibility?

As picky as A/UX is, I wouldn't. 

 

Or do, and let us know if it works!

 

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A/UX was developed for the IIfx, no? I'd think support for SCSI cards for fast disk arrays would have been part of that plan, I'll check the release date of my card against A/UX development before making the jump. I can always test with one of the UltraSCSI server drives on one of my adapters in the meantime if you do a CD installer version of your SD project.

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I see your point... my thought is that there is some base compatibility, just like the SCSI2SD doesn't require drivers, per se (once you set termination and some of the low-level options in the utility)? Just like display cards (like my way-overkill SuperMac Thunder/24) work at certain resolutions and anything based off the Apple SONIC-based card?

 

I don't have a Jackhammer or SEIV, and you don't have a SCSI2SD. Heh.

 

But you may be able to burn the .img to a bootable CD using 'hdiutil burn'

 

Then again, you really wanted to buy the SCSI2SD v6. I can tell; do you really need an excuse?   :)

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I'm thinking it would be good to set up a System 7.5.5 and A/UX dual boot image.

http://www.floodgap.com/retrotech/os/aux/

The author also had a link to the Apple KB article that lists which systems are or are not supported, backs up the grid posted earlier.

https://support.apple.com/kb/TA31173?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US

 

Now to find time to pull my IIx out of storage and get it going again.

 

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15 minutes ago, Realitystorm said:

I'm thinking it would be good to set up a System 7.5.5 and A/UX dual boot image.

We discussed dual-booting, and decided it made little sense to support both A/UX and another OS (or several), as the image is made to be written to an easily-swapped SD card.

 

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Now... @unxmaal thinks I'm defeating the purpose of even having A/UX installed but I do have 7.6.1 and 8.1 installed on separate partitions (as defined in scsi2sd-util). It's been handy for troubleshooting network or peripherals, and to me has a little value. But even then I agree that having these dual/triple-boot partitions complicates things from a configuration management perspective.

 

One thing you could do, for example, is to use larger than an 8 GB card and carve out an extra partition or two at the end of your 8 GB drive's "end sector" in scsi2sd-util (I wouldn't exceed 2 GB if you want to be able to mount these in A/UX). Then, using Lido, Silverlining, HD Setup SC, etc you would just format that free space as HFS once it's made available to the OS. But the beauty of this image is, you can easily back it up (either using 'dd' as the GitHub explains, or get an application like 'ApplePi-Baker' (essentially a 'dd' front-end for burning Raspberry Pi images) and restore if things go awry.

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3 minutes ago, pb3623 said:

Now... @unxmaal thinks I'm defeating the purpose of even having A/UX installed but I do have 7.6.1 and 8.1 installed on separate partitions (as defined in scsi2sd-util). It's been handy for troubleshooting network or peripherals, and to me has a little value. But even then I agree that having these dual/triple-boot partitions complicates things from a configuration management perspective.

 

One thing you could do, for example, is to use larger than an 8 GB card and carve out an extra partition or two at the end of your 8 GB drive's "end sector" in scsi2sd-util (I wouldn't exceed 2 GB if you want to be able to mount these in A/UX). Then, using Lido, Silverlining, HD Setup SC, etc you would just format that free space as HFS once it's made available to the OS. But the beauty of this image is, you can easily back it up (either using 'dd' as the GitHub explains, or get an application like 'ApplePi-Baker' (essentially a 'dd' front-end for burning Raspberry Pi images) and restore if things go awry.

I'm getting a bit confused, I thought the scsi2sd-util let you carve up an SD card in to separate "drives" and assign each "drive" to a separate SCSI ID.   I was thinking something simpler, an image file for a single drive containing the boot block and partition table, so that the single emulated drive contains multiple partitions, with images predone for some common SD card sizes.   I already have this for the images I host on my site for System 7.5.5 and System 6.0.8 http://www.savagetaylor.com/2018/05/28/setting-up-your-vintage-classic-68k-macintosh-creating-your-own-boot-able-disk-image/

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16 minutes ago, Realitystorm said:

I'm getting a bit confused, I thought the scsi2sd-util let you carve up an SD card in to separate "drives" and assign each "drive" to a separate SCSI ID.   I was thinking something simpler, an image file for a single drive containing the boot block and partition table, so that the single emulated drive contains multiple partitions, with images predone for some common SD card sizes.   I already have this for the images I host on my site for System 7.5.5 and System 6.0.8 http://www.savagetaylor.com/2018/05/28/setting-up-your-vintage-classic-68k-macintosh-creating-your-own-boot-able-disk-image/

If you have an idea of how to do that, please let me know. I was unable to get A/UX to see anything other than this 2 "drive" layout. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, unxmaal said:

If you have an idea of how to do that, please let me know. I was unable to get A/UX to see anything other than this 2 "drive" layout. 

 

 

The link I posted seemed to describe a walk through for how to set this up.   http://www.floodgap.com/retrotech/os/aux/.   Once I have my Mac IIx up and running I was going to try either a 4GB card, or a larger card set up as multiple drives, with SCSI 0 mapped to the first "drive".   Then partition the 4GB drive as they describe.  I'm going to have to track down LaCie Silverlining 5.8.3 to see if that works better than the patched HD SC that I currently use.

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Even if it's not visible from within A/UX, you should at least be able to restart into the System 7.0.1 MacPartition and change the Startup Disk from there (I agree that a drive larger than 2 GB or formatted with a 3rd-party tool w/ its own driver like FWB might not mount in A/UX). 

 

Now, if you want to boot into an HFS+ partition (7.5.5 and up), it probably won't show up under 7.0.1 either; in that case, hold Shift-Ctrl-Opt+<SCSI ID #> before boot chime to force it before an old OS cuts in line.

 

I had no problems with A/UX on my SE/30 seeing other Mac OS drives but my Q950 was blind to them. I did as above (booting twice - once onto MacPartition, and again after changing the startup disk).

 

EVEN IF if you were able to see the other drives in A/UX, I found its Startup Disk applet can't be trusted. I was much better off using "System Picker" to switch back and forth.

 

Whew! This is hard stuff... but once you get things working and tweaked the way you want, you shouldn't have to touch it (and SCSI2SD makes it so easy to make backups)

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2 minutes ago, Realitystorm said:

The link I posted seemed to describe a walk through for how to set this up.   http://www.floodgap.com/retrotech/os/aux/.   Once I have my Mac IIx up and running I was going to try either a 4GB card, or a larger card set up as multiple drives, with SCSI 0 mapped to the first "drive".   Then partition the 4GB drive as they describe.  I'm going to have to track down LaCie Silverlining 5.8.3 to see if that works better than the patched HD SC that I currently use.

 

This is pretty much how I had one of my cards:  the A/UX slices on ID 0, System 7.6.1 on ID 1, Mac OS 8.1 & 8.5 on ID 2 and a standalone "Apps" partition on ID 3. At some point I had an Emergency boot partition sharing Apps just in case the MacPartition got messed up (and it was a quick way to run DIsk First Aid on the entire estate). I can PM you that SCSI2SD config.XML tonight if you wanted to take a peek. 

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2 minutes ago, pb3623 said:

Whew! This is hard stuff

Agreed. 

I spent most of August fighting what turned out to be a bad 'dd' image. It seems that Quadra 950s are extremely picky about partition layouts and boot ordering. In some cases I've simply not been able to boot an image, no matter what. 

 

This was the other reason for avoiding multiple OSes or multiple SD card configs with this particular project: it's really difficult and discouraging to experience a failure with a cycle time of hours, repeatedly. With the existing project, we have a minimum viable deploy that nearly always works, and that is simple enough to troubleshoot.

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6 minutes ago, unxmaal said:

Agreed. 

I spent most of August fighting what turned out to be a bad 'dd' image. It seems that Quadra 950s are extremely picky about partition layouts and boot ordering. In some cases I've simply not been able to boot an image, no matter what. 

 

This was the other reason for avoiding multiple OSes or multiple SD card configs with this particular project: it's really difficult and discouraging to experience a failure with a cycle time of hours, repeatedly. With the existing project, we have a minimum viable deploy that nearly always works, and that is simple enough to troubleshoot.

Sounds like a plan, get it working with a standalone install, can play with multi-boot later.

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18 hours ago, pb3623 said:

Then again, you really wanted to buy the SCSI2SD v6. I can tell; do you really need an excuse?   :)

Affirmative, I already have too way many toys including a nice selection of working SCSI drives and a handful of the little UltraSCSI Savvios. $100 is a significant chunk of the limited toy budget. Not so bad as predicaments go. ;)

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Ugh, just found another hurdle, was doing some work on my own image files, and discovered something.... 4GB cards don't always hold the same number of bytes, not sure why.... I have two 4GB cards, one that is 4,024,434,688 bytes, and another that is only 3,965,186,048 bytes.  I've updated my blog entry to include the byte size of the images with a requirement that the reader check the byte size of their card before using the images.   I was getting an error writing my image and couldn't figure out why until I discovered the new card was slightly smaller than the card I created the image from.

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