Linux on Intel "Big Sur"

From: Alexei Gerasimov <>
Date: 2007-12-10 04:59:15

I happen to posses an old "Big Sur" machine manufactured by Intel, based
around two Itanium (Merced) CPU's and a 460GX chipset. The machine is
labeled as an "enginnering sample" (label:, and looks identical to the
HP i2000 workstation (picture:

I have faced a problem of getting an operating system for it. Namely,
Linux. I have tried installing both Debian 3.0r6 Woody and Debian 4.0r1
Etch, however, the CD kernel doesn't succeed to boot. Somewhere after
probing for USB and SCSI devices, the video signal is lost (monitor
switches into a stand-by mode), and nothing else happens. Since I'm
using some old Matrox graphics card, I thought it could be a problem
with framebuffer, but disabling the framebuffer didn't help.

On the Debian website, it's stated that there could be problems due to
old BIOS/firmware versions. Here's what I've got:

BIOS: W460GXBS2.86E.0117C.P09.200108091154
SMBIOS: 2.3.1

PAL (A/B): 6623/6625
SAL (A/B): 101/101
Boot Block: 30

There are BIOS and firmware updates for i2000 available on the HP
website, but I'm not sure if they are compatible with my machine, and am
afraid of damaging either BIOS or firmware at updating attempt.

Do you reckon it is safe to update? What else would you suggest me to do
about my machine to succeed with Linux installation? And is it possible
to run HP-UX 11i (probably v1.5/1.6/2.0) on it?

Thanks in advance,
Alexei Gerasimov.
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Received on Mon Dec 10 02:37:03 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 2007-12-10 02:37:25 EST