Linux m68k

I've installed RedHat Linux 5.0 on my Amiga 3000. I will in the near future write some notes on how I did this. Until then, try reading this mail sent to the Amigos mailing list by Jes Sørensen. That was all I needed to make it work.

I am very pleased to announce the first release of the first beta of

      The officially unsupported RedHat-5.0/m68k distribution!

First of all, this distribution is not officially supported by Red Hat
Software, so please DON'T send m68k specific questions, problem
reports etc. to the guys at Red Hat.

A mailing list has kindly been provided by Red Hat and I encourage
everybody who are interested in this distribution to subscribe to this
list. This is not `on topic' for the kernel list and I request that
people do post all questions related to RedHat/m68k to this list from
now on.

To subscribe to the list, send mail to
and send your postings to


This first beta of the officially unsupported RedHat-5.0 distribution
for the m68k, will only work on the Amiga, as I am unable to do a set
of installation disks for that Atari (for obvious reasons). It _might_
work on systems with only 4MB fast memory but I have not tested that

This installation comes with just about everything found in the
official RedHat-5.0 release. It is 100% glibc based and does not
provide any support for previous library versions (ie. libc4 and

It includes XFree, sendmail, Emacs, gcc, LaTeX, GIMP, all the great
Red Hat configuration programs and most other things you can think
of. The commercial packages are not included for obvious reasons.

The following applications are known to have problems:

 glint (I suspect this to be a bug in tcltk combined with glibc/m68k)
 control-panel (the icons are not displayed)

The following applications are not included because they are not
relevant or have not been ported to the m68k yet:

 ElectricFence (does not work without Andreas' recent kernel patch)
 lilo (I haven't had time to look at AmigaLilo yet)

And a few more I can't remember right now.


The installation has been tested on my Amiga 3000, using the following
installation methods:

  NFS (not tested for a while, but should still work)
  Local disk (EXT2 and AFFS)
  CDROM (fake hard drive partition as a CD - it should work for real)

To install this you need the following files:

  supp.img (only needed for FTP and local disk install)

These files can be found at in the
/pub/os/linux/680x0/redhat/images direcory.

You also need a copy of or net-access to the
/pub/os/linux/680x0/redhat/RedHat directory and all its content.
Please note that you must have everything including the `RedHat'
directory itself.

If you want to install off a local hard drive or via FTP you need to
put the `supp.img' onto a standard Amiga 880KB floppy disk. This can
be done using the `FLAT-handler' which can be found on Aminet, please
read the accompanying readme file for details on how to use it.

You should be able to use the `afdisk' program to partition your
disks, however I recommend that you partition it under AmigaDOS using
HDToolBox or similar. For the installer to recognise the partitions it
is necessary to use the following dos-types to identify them:

  0x4C4E5800 - for Linux native partitions (ie. ext2).
  0x53575000 - for swap space.

Now boot the initial ramdisk with the supplied kernel using a command
line similar to this one:

  amiboot-5.6 -r initrd.img root=/dev/ram video=>some-mode<

The video= parameter is optional and should only be specified if you
don't want to use the default video mode. The kernel includes the
drivers for the standard Amiga graphics, the Cybervision3D and the
Cybervision64, however I am not certain whether the CV64 driver is
working. Please see elsewhere what options to specify to the video

The kernel should now boot and you should be able to install the
system following the directions given by the installer.

The system is prepared for using an initial ramdisk to load a SCSI
driver similar to what is done by RedHat/x86, however I have not yet
looked at AmigaLilo and this will not work automatically (yet). Thus
the first time after installation you need to boot the system using a
pre-compiled kernel, build the initrd using mkinitrd (if necessary,
ie. if you use SCSI) and copy the kernel and the initrd to
AmigaDOS. You should then be able to boot using this method.

Future work:

The installation is definitely not finished yet, however you should be
able to install a fairly well functioning system. However a few things
don't really work yet and I would therefore appreciate it if someone
is interested to work in the following areas:

  Atari boot floppies
  Fix control-panel
  Find out why glint fails
  Support for the new smarter partitioning tool
  Documentation and installation guides (we need this badly)

And probably a few other things.

I do not have a lot of time to keep developing this and it is
therefore necessary that the users help each other solving problems
and tracking down bugs.


I would like to thank the Red Hat team for creating such an excellent
and portable distribution, without which this would not be
possible. In particular I would like to thank Erik Troan for answering
stupid questions and helping me with ideas when I got stuck.

I would also like to thank the rest of the Linux/m68k developers and
the people working on the Debian/m68k distribution. I hope the Debian
distribution will succeed so people can choose the type of
distribution they like the most.

Happy installing,

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