An official explanation of How To Install a Disk written by Paul Bame
is available too!
Please mind to look at the PA/Linux Boot HOWTO for
Please bear in mind that most data here is pretty old (read: "out of date") and
is kept for historical/archive puposes.
This page aims at summarizing the main ways to get a bootable install on your hard disk.
The PA/Linux port going further, there are now many ways to get your favorite
box running Linux.
First Choice: ISO
The Debian ISO CD images are donwloadable from the official site, see
or from many Debian mirrors.
Once you got one of these, burn the cd. In order to burn something useful,
don't forget to check the md5 checksums, to make sure the file you downloaded
hasn't been corrupted.
If you're not cumfortable with the process of burning an ISO, especially if you
plan to do so from a MS Windows system, please take a look at the How to burn a PARISC-Linux boot CD.
With the cd, you will be able to boot and see the kernel operating (or at least
trying to operate ;-) your hardware.
Now, you want to get a full install on your hard disk. This is rather easy:
follow the on-screen instructions, and refer to the PA/Linux
Boot HOWTO for details.
At the end, reboot and eject the cd.
You should normally be able to play with your box.
Second Choice: Kernel+File System
Sometimes, the ISO are not enough up to date and they do not correspond to your HP box.
So, you'd prefer to build or get a precise kernel.
You need to get a recent file system, or create one with tools like
We built a little script called sys-install
to build a disk from scratch very quickly when everything
is ready from an i386 box. It is based on the sys-install of the ISOs.
It had been customized for building on a external scsi drive
connected to your PC. It needs the pathes of your kernel and your file system.
In addition to that, you must specify the console output
you want and the device that represents your hard disk drive.
The script verifies the input and prepare the disk for the file copy.
It updates the kernel and iplboot into "boot" directory.
It asks you about the future status of the disk and it also takes care whether you want
STI console or a serial terminal. It finishes by making your disk bootable.
This method is quite nice but you should be confident in the fact that
your kernel will boot because, if not, you'll have to plug the disk back and load another kernel in.
Third Choice: Duplicate disks
If you have some hp boxes that are of the same type, like a bunch 712s for example,
you can duplicate the disks from the first you had already installed.
Plug your hard disk on the box you want to install. Boot using this disk.
The second one should be detected at this stage, but probably not recognized
because not Linux formated.
Using fdisk, create the same partitions as the first disk.
If you need more details, go there.
Once you have partitioned your hard disk, mount it. To make it easy to understand,
we say that the mounting point is /mnt/tmp.
Then, to duplicate the first disk, you type this:
find / -xdev | grep -v "mnt/tmp" | cpio -pmudv /mnt/tmp
Now, everything is almost ready: your kernel will not boot yet though.
So, we'll use palo with the standard parameters except the location of
the device where palo must write. We use the following:
palo -b iplboot -c "3/vmlinux HOME=/ TERM=linux console=tty" -k /boot/vmlinux -I /dev/sdb
The -c parameter specifies the default kernel commandline.
The parameter that is really important is -I, as it tells palo to write onto
that device (here /dev/sdb, as we assume that /dev/sdb is the second
disk. Make sure to find out which device is your target disk.)
Be extra careful when you use palo.
Now it is finished. Halt your system and unplug the source disk.
Then, you should be able to boot via the internal hard disk.
Fourth Choice: Installation via network
See that section
of the PA/Linux Boot HOWTO.
Fifth Choice: Installation via boot-floopy
That will probably never exist, at least for the oldest boxes, since there is no
and will probably never be any floppy driver for them.