version for the i80386 ISA bus systems will also run on i80486 and Pentium
ISA, PCI and VLbus systems. It uses the standard partition table format
which is common among these types of machines. This allows one to have
partitions containing other operating systems (such as LINUX). If partitions
for other operating systems are desired, install these before installing
Amoeba. Remember to leave an empty partition of at least 300 MB to hold
Amoeba.800 MB or more is recommended for a system with many users or if X
windows and the application packages are to be installed. Once this is done
the following describes how to install Amoeba.
The binary distribution for Amoeba on the 386 consists of five floppy disks containing the binaries for a tiny Amoeba system (RAMDISK and a STARCH archive), and a large collection of starch files containing the remaining software packages and additional Amoeba basic stuff. Starch is Amoeba's native archiver program similar tar, but unterstanding Amoeba's native Filesystem (for example links; Amoeba only supports hard links).
The floppy disk labeled COLDSTART contains a number of bootable kernels, among others the installation kernel. The floppy disks labeled RAMDISKIMAGE contain a ramdisk image that will be used by the installation kernel. The remaining floppies, labeled AMOEBA, hold a gzip compressed starch(U) image containing all the system binaries to be installed.
To use these floppy disks the following hardware is required
The remaining huge part of software packages (more basic stuff, a extensive variety of compilers, XWindows, and many application programs) shipped with the FireballDistribution must be installed either through a minimal ftplike TCPIPConnection from a remote UNIX machine (UFTP), or from a local or remote DOS filesystem. The installation archives can be directly transferred during installation from a CDROM, several medieas like ZIP or from any path on your UNIX machine in the first case, in the second case the archives must be copied to the DOS filesystem. During the installation, no running DOS system is needed !!! Amoeba reads directly from the DOS partition. In the case of a remote machine supplying the DOS partition, only an Amoeba kernel must be started on this machine. See below for details.
In the instructions below the bold font will be used for what you have to type at the computer, and the standard font for what the computer types back at you. A => marks the beginning of each step.
Before starting with the installation
procedures write down the Ethernet address of your
computer. This address is used later on in the installation phase. If the address cannot be
obtained easily, boot a workstation kernel WORK from the KERNELS floppy and write down the
Ethernet address which is printed as part of the standard banner. How to bootstrap a workstation
kernel is explained below.
Choose a name for the new Amoeba host. Host names should be chosen
with care.The host name
must be a single word containing no spaces or tabs.Ideally, it should consist only of letters and
digits.Other characters may be interpreted by the shell when typing the host name.
Copy all floppy images with
KERNELS-INSTALL.image dd if=AMOEBA*.image of=/dev/fd0 RAMDISK*.image
or similar to 31/2" floppy disks.
Power on the machine and boot from
the floppy labeled COLDSTART. The following message will
FSD-Amoeba 2002A Standalone Boot Program => .... => .... => .... => .... Default kernel: COLD boot:
The KERNELS-INSTALL floppy contains a number of Amoeba kernels.To get an overview type a single question mark (`?').This will display a list of available kernels, the values between the parenthesis denote the offset and the size (in blocks) of the kernel.
boot: ? Bootable kernel(s): COLD (1:499) WORK (500:900)
To start any kernel, just type its name followed by return (sometimes known also as enter). An exception to this mechanism is the default kernel which is booted if no name is given (just a return), or when there has been no keyboard activity for approximately thirty seconds. You can pass several command line options to the kernel. Some examples:
WORK mem:128 kbl:1 mem:### The machine is equipped with ## MB RAM (needed if >64 MB) kbl:1 US keyboard mapping (default is german!!)
Read the kernel option manual page
for more details. Additional, the bootloader will try to read the
kernelconf file from the kernel
boot partition (if any) and build the kernel command line options from this
file. You can change the settings from the kernelconf file. Only enable the
kernel option editor with editconf. Before booting, you will asked for the new settings. Hit
<enter> to keep the default
As mentioned above first check out your
network card and start the WORK (workstation) kernel.
Look for the ethernet address of your network card; you will need it later. The ethernet address is of
##:##:##:##:##:## e.g., 0:0:c0:0:12:34
To setup an Amoeba system, reset the
machine and boot the kernel named COLD.This is the
default kernel so simply press return. Booting this kernel causes the system to display some
descriptive messages (version, creator, creation data, some device driver information).
After a few moments a request for a floppy will appear. Remove
the COLDSTART floppy,
the RAMDISKIMAGE0 floppy and press return. When it prompts for the next floppy remove
the RAMDISKIMAGE0 floppy, insert the RAMDISKIMAGE1 floppy and press return.
Once the two floppy disks have been loaded, the coldstart kernel will start the necessary servers for the installation.While this is going on, various messages that look like errors might be displayed.Do not worry about other messages. They are either initialization information or from servers that do not understand a system that is only partially running.">
Eventually, after some minutes, a shell prompt will appear:
... Welcome to FSD-Amoeba ... #
Remove the RAMDISKIMAGE1 floppy at this point.
Verify that everything works by listing the contents of the machine
directory.This will provide a list
of all devices that are available during the installation phase.
#dir l /super/hosts/coldstart pdisk:00 @ 1289736 KB pdisk:01 @ 2439 KB ldisk@dos:01 @ 1882828 KB floppy:00 @ 1440 KB proc process/segment server ps %1234 random random number server tod TOD server tty:00 + (terminal) vdisk:80 @ 2288 KB vdisk:81 @ 99 KB vdisk:82 @ 49 KB
The entry marked pdisk:00 is the name of the hard disk
attached to your machine, pdisk:01
(the last one) is the ramdisk! The ldisk* entries showing foreign OS partitions. The dos partition can be used for the installation procedure.
Now start the menu driven setup
At this point the disk must be partitioned and labeled. As already mentioned, the Amoeba version for the AT/386 uses the standard partition table format which is common among these types of machines.
The partitioning procedure is divided into two steps. The first step consists of creating a partition table entry for Amoeba. Choose the first menu item. The partition should be large enough to hold an Amoeba system (at least 300 MB), and should be made active.Partitions are created using fdisk[A]. The new fdisk supports disks with more than 1024 Cylinders and more than 4 GB disk space.">
Choose setup menu item 1 and fdisk will be executed.
(See the fdisk[A] manual pages for details on how to partition the disk.)
Note: if you have a hard disk with more
than 63 sectors/track, or more than 63 heads, or more
than 2048 cylinders it is important to place the bootable kernel vdisk within the first 2048 cylinders
of the disk.This is necessary since the BIOS can only boot systems from the first 2048 cylinders.
Having partitioned the disk, the second step is to subpartition the Amoeba partition. For bootstrap purposes the following four virtual disks are required.They should each consist of one subpartition.
This is used for booting from disk and
should have room to contain one or more kernels. In almost
This is for the administration
of the directory server. A 1 MB partition will hold over 30000
If any disk space is left after that, put it in vdisk:05.">
Having planned the sizes for the partitions, call the disklabel program. Choose the second
item from the setup menu. This is an interactive program and is described in disklabel(A).
NB. When labeling it is important to realize that the (last)
disk pdisk:01 is
not a physical disk and
should not be selected for labeling! When creating the Amoeba subpartitioning the `a' partition
corresponds to vdisk:01, `b' to vdisk:02, etc.
After the disk is labeled reset the machine and boot the
coldstart kernel from floppy
this, insert the Amoeba kernels floppy in the floppy drive and press the keys <CRTL> <ALT>
<DEL> simultaneously.The process of loading the ramdisk images must be repeated now.
When the machine is up and running verify that the virtual disks were indeed created, by listing the kernel directory again with dir(U). Start setup again:
Now the time has come to tell the
setup script the machine name (NOT THE IPNAME!) and the ethernet
address of your network card . Amoeba identify all
machines with their unique ethernet addresses. Choose the setup menu item
If it is not correct, set the time and date in the time of day server using the rising menu input line:
yyyymmddhhmm[.ss] where yyyy is the year, mm the month, etc.
else hit enter. It is important that you choose the name for the machine carefully. In general, Amoeba systems comprise many hosts so use common sense when selecting host names. In particular make sure that the name is one word, since it will be entered in the directory /super/hosts. Note that if there is more than one Ethernet interface then give the address of the connection to the Amoeba network.">
In the next step you must create the Amoeba Filesystem. Choose the setup menu item 4. The recommended block size of the new filesystem is 4096 Bytes/Block (only for small filesystems 1024 Bytes could be a good choice). To get acess to the new filesystem, a secondary fileserver (called Bullet Server) must be started. Additional, a secondary Directory and NameServer (called SOAP Server) must be started. In contrast to the bullet server, the soap server will be started by the boot server. After the soap server is started, a basic directory system will be created (new soapgraph).">
Now the setup script is able to install a minimal Amoeba system on your hard disk loaded from a floppy series. After some descriptive messages of programs and services that are started by the installation script, Amoeba's archiver program starch(U) will ask you to insert the floppy disks labeled AMOEBA. It will be necessary to change floppies after a few minutes. They are numbered in the order in which they should be inserted, beginning with zero.">
The rest of the extensive Fireball Distribution (a lot of more packages) will be installed either over a minimal ftp like IP connection called UFTP method, or from a local or remote DOS filesystem, called ADOS mthod.
You need to start on the remote UNIX machine, where your installation archives (gnu zipped starch archives)are stored, a tiny file transfer util called filed. Either you start the precompiled Linux version or you compile it simply:
cc o filed fileserver.c
No super user rights are necessary. You can use a mounted installation CDROM, several ZIP disks, or copy all archives to your filesystem. But you must preserve the directory structure, that means:
basic/*.starchgz develop/*.starchgz src/*.tgz ....
Different (but complete)
directories can be copied to different disks. Later, you have the choice
between different installation media.
The pkgtool util ,part of sysinstall , Amoeba's main system
administration tool, will automatically transfer all needed file data (with
the fileread util).
Warning: filed can access
all files on your local filesystem (read and write operations, too)! Further,
no security features exist. Be carefull with this tool. It's only intended
for installation and backup.
First copy all directories from the installation distribution to your DOS filesystem, either using FreeDOS or a UNIX machine with access to a VFAT (!!!) DOS filesystem.
The next step in configuration is to setup the IP Server for the comming installation step. You must tell the setup script the following parameters:
DOS machine settings, like the FSD-Amoeba path on your DOS filesystem, where you have copied the installation packages, the device name (C for the first DOS partition in your system,D for the second,...) and the DOS host (probably the local host name your are currently using).
To get acess to the UNIX machine, the Amoeba System needs an IPServer. Because the IPServers currently resides within the kernel, you must reboot the machine with a new Amoeba kernel. The setup program will do all necessary steps. But you can (and should) give the kernel some kernel options:
kbl:1 US keyboard mapping kbl:2 German keyboard mapping (default, not really needed) bms:### Fileserver Cache size in kB (8000 is a good choice but depends on available memory) mem:### Size of RAM memory of your machine (needed if > 64MB)
Now you can reboot the machine.">
The Boot server will ask you for a short time (5 sec) to perform a coldstart: you must hit the <ENTER> key. A faster startup is the result, and, very important, the Boot server ignore process capability states saved on the disk. Very important!
After 1 or 2 minutes, the new booted Amoeba System is ready and you can login again as user System. No password is required. Answer the terminal question with enter (the default ansi terminal). After the IP server was configured in the case od the UFTP installation method, Amoeba's main administartion util sysinstall will be started. Choose the first menu item "Install". You will asked for the directory where the installation archives on the UNIX machine (UFTP) or on your DOS filesystem (ADOS) are located:
For example: /cdrom ls /cdrom shows /cdrom/BASICS /cdrom/APPL ....
You can choose wether your package
archives are located entirely on one medium (CDROM, Filesystem) or splitted
on several medias (ZIP).
Install now at least the BASIC packages. The rest is strongly recommended (DEVELOP, X11, APPL, SRC...). You need about 300MB diskspace and about 1/21 hour time for the complete installation.
If you got error messages during the extraction of the archives, make sure you have started the filed program on your UNIX machine or reedit the IP Adress of the UNIX machine (sysinstall menu item "Fileserver") in the case of the UFTP method. For the ADOS method check the path again. Remember again (for both methods): the directory structure of the installation distribution must be preserved!
After all desired packages are installked, you must proceed with several administration steps.
You must install new Amoeba kernels on your hard disk.
Choose the menu item "Kernel". You
need a kernel with at least a bullet file server and terminal console support. Additional the IP server
is recommended and for a X session on your boot machine you need a IOP Server in the kernel.
Choose the SMBULB.IP.IOP kernel. All kernels will be installed on the first Amoeba sub partition
vdisk:01. Additional, a kernel configuration file can be created with several kernel options of your
choice. For example the bullet filecache memory size or the no reboot option (after a kernel crash)
should be considered to configure.
After this step, setup the configuration file for the Boot server (menu item "Boot"). The boot
server controls all main system servers :
All servers needed are preselected and several options are suggested
with default settings. Read
the boot server manual page and the manual pages for the various system servers, like the RUN
Additional, new users accounts can be created with the sysinstall menu item "User". Optional,
you can edit/change the IP domain of your network and add nameservers with menu item "Net".
The installation is finished. You can boot your Amoeba system from the hard disk. To do this remove any floppy in the floppy drive and press <CRTL><ALT><DEL> simultaneously. The standalone bootloader program on hard disk will work exactly like the bootloader program on the KERNELS floppy.
Note: The Master Boot record (MBR) kept untouched during installation. The bootloader was installed in the beginning of your physical Amoeba partition. If yor use already another boot loader in your MBR, either overwrite the MBR with the deafult (DOS) MBR (you need to boot DOS from floppy and execute fdisk /mbr), or you must modify the boot configuartion of your boot loader. Amoeba's Standalone Bootprogram is able to boot other operating system. To do this, install
isa.dosboot (dosboot) isa.bsd386boot (bsd386boot) isa.linuxboot (linuxboot)
in your kernel partition, too.
If you are in trouble with the already installed system and you
can't boot the system, you can start
the COLDSTART kernel again and load the RAMDISK system. But now start the
script. It's able to "bind" your
main filesystem on this machine to the path
Additional, the PATH environment is extended to the hard disk filesystem.">
The login name System has the super capability giving access to the entire directory graph so it is important to protect this login against misuse. Once logged in, set the password for the login name System using the command chpw(U).">
You can post install additional packages or do system administration with the
Shutdown the System either with the <CTRL><ALT><DEL> keyboard sequence on the boot host machine or send a STD_EXIT request to the boot server of your Amoeba system:
In the former case, the kernel from
the boot machine will send the boot server a STD_EXIT request. The boot
server itselfes will send all marked boot services a STD_EXIT request, too.
Most system servers will use the STD_EXIT request for their own proper
shutdown, for example the soap server will sync his bullet
The Boot server supplies a new
The coldstart mode (don't confuse with the installation coldstart system). The Boot server always asks on startup for the coldstart mode. If you hit the <ENTER> key within a time limit, the Boot server assumes there are no already running servers in your system, that means, you are currently starting the Boot machine. The boot server will not search for servers in the universe, therefore the startup is much more faster. All desired system services are started from scratch.
Shutdown the System either with the <CTRL><ALT><DEL> keyboard sequence on the boot host machine or send a STD_EXIT request to the boot server of your Amoeba system:
Maintained and created by
|Dr. Stefan Bosse|