Linux on a THiiN Line SiteStak
The THiiN Line SiteStak was manufactured by Data General which was bought by EMC^2.
I don't know when the production was stopped but the latest news I found are from the year 1998.
The SiteStak was designed to be a easy of use web server running WindowsNT. The SiteStak came in two configurations, the TW-150: PPro 166MHz/64MB RAM/1x2GB HD/10,100 NIC and the TW-500: PPro 200MHz/128MB RAM/2x2GB HD/10,100 NIC
By the way, I was told that TW stands for Tom West the founder of the business unit that build the SideStak.
For more information check my THiiN Line mirror page a mirror from the original pages (I mirrored it from a other mirror ... was hard to find)
See my SiteStak modification page ... we did some hardware modifications...
Short hardware description (things not in the specs).
TW-500 (I only have this one):
SCSI: Adaptec AIC-7880P SCSI interface with two SCA connectors
NIC: DEC 21143-TC chip (10/100 Mbps) RJ45 connector
SERIAL PORTS: 2 serial ports over one chip (S9730AH - PC16552DV) both with RJ45 connector (see connector diagram)
RAM: two DIMM sockets (each with a 64 MB EDO ECC module)
Linux 2.4.18 kernel boot output (nice hardware infos)
This is the tricky part which did cost me a lot of time.
It looks like the SiteStak only boots from a WindowsNT or a PRIMARY DOS Partition?! So basically you need a small DOS partition (and a DOS MBR) to boot
the system and from there you boot Linux with loadlin
Things you need:
a PC with a SCSI controller
a SCA to SCSI wide/narrow Adapter (depends on your SCSI system)
[recommended] a null modem cable with an RJ45 connector on one side (see connector diagram)
a set of MS-DOS boot disks (I used MS-DOS 6.22) should also work with Windoze
If you have a running system (with WindowsNT) make a hard drive image before doing anything described here! Because you will lose everything!
short description of the single steps:
- configure your install system in that way that the SCA disk (from the SiteStak) is disk #1
- boot the system using a MS-DOS/Windoze boot media (floppy / cd-rom)
- wipe the disk
- create a new primary DOS partition and install MS-DOS to it
- now reboot the system with your favorite Linux distribution install media (floppy / cd-rom / what ever)
- INSTALL Linux
- build a new kernel
- make the system bootable using loadlin.exe
- test boot the system
- put the disk back into the SiteStak
detailed description (with tips):
- actually you don't need a complete MS-DOS install just do "sys c:", "fdisk /mbr" and "edit autoexec.bat and config.sys"
- when configuring the new kernel make sure to add support for the AIC-7xxx SCSI chip and the DEC NIC chip also activate console on serial port
- check my kernel config Linux 2.4.18. I also build in the drivers for my SCSI controller and the LAN card in my install system
(other wise you can't boot the Linux installation on your install system!)
- put loadlin.exe and the kernel image on the DOS partition (I have everything in c:\linux) now add loadlin to the END of autoexec.bat
to the loadlin parameter list, to get the console output on the first serial port
comment out all the virtual consoles
put in a console on the first serial port, example: T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS0 9600 vt100
this will enable you to login via a terminal program (if your network doesn't work, etc...)
v0.4 (c) Collin R. Mulliner 12.08.2003
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