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VIA C3 processors and Mandriva

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In case anyone wonders why he/she cannot install Mandriva on a system using the VIA C3 processor, the answer is that the C3 processor architecture does only work with i386, i486 and i586 compiled kernels. Mandriva ships since 2008.1 spring an i686 compiled kernel on the install-media which will not work with the processor. The system will install, but it will not boot as it is unable to decompress the kernel. Quick solution to this problem: Use Mandriva 2008.0 and stick to it (or install another distro that does support the C3 processor, like Debian, Slackware, Suse and Fedora).

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Is it just C3, or also the C3-2? In other words, will Mandriva 2008.1 work on my M10000N, with on-board VIA C3-2 Nehemiah? ("salon" in signature)

 

Yves.

 

[EDIT:] I may have my answer:

http://kernelfr.traduc.org/ftp/2.6.15/a_tr...86/Kconfig.cpu:

config MVIAC3_2

bool "VIA C3-2 (Nehemiah)"

help

Select this for a VIA C3 "Nehemiah". Selecting this enables usage

of SSE and tells gcc to treat the CPU as a 686.

Note, this kernel will not boot on older (pre model 9) C3s.

I hope this means 2008.1 will work…

Edited by theYinYeti

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That shouldn't be the case, the installer's supposed to work on i586.
Well, it simply doesn't work on the old C3 processors. Trust me. All previous Mandriva versions work okay, but sadly not 2008.1. I have worked a whole week on getting 2008.1 to run on a rather old laptop and a desktop system that are both powered by the C3 processor. I even went back to a minimal 2008.0 and did an upgrade later using the ftp-mirrors. Same result on both machines: System hangs when trying to decompress the kernel.

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Did you file a bug?
Not yet, I was still looking for a solution to the problem, but after searching the web for hours without finding an "easy fix" for this and hacking the C3 boxes again and again, I will file a bug.

 

I guess that it is not i586 related in general but exclusively to the C3 processor (which is not as popular as AMD or Intel.).

 

 

 

PS: Bug was already filed by someone else

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I'm looking forward to an update on this. I have a number of Epia boards with C3 processors and would love to install 2008.1.

 

As a side note, I have installed 2008.1 on an Alix 3c3 embedded PC that has a Geode LX800 (500MHz) which is supposed to be i586 and it worked. So it must be specific to the C3 and not because it is < i686.

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Guest mdetrano
...I even went back to a minimal 2008.0 and did an upgrade later using the ftp-mirrors. Same result on both machines: System hangs when trying to decompress the kernel.

 

I never did an install from scratch to this processor, but I was able to get a mini-itx box using the VIA C3 to work with a newer kernel by installing kernel-desktop586-latest from the mirrors (I had to run the system on older kernels from earlier Mandriva's up to that point). I now have a 2009.0 system running with 2.6.27.5-desktop586-2mnb.

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I'm looking forward to an update on this. I have a number of Epia boards with C3 processors and would love to install 2008.1.

 

As a side note, I have installed 2008.1 on an Alix 3c3 embedded PC that has a Geode LX800 (500MHz) which is supposed to be i586 and it worked. So it must be specific to the C3 and not because it is < i686.

 

I believe the problem is because the first generation C3 (Samuel 2) identifies itself as cpu 'family: 6' while it's not really, as it doesn't support the CMOV instruction, while other 586 class processors like the Geode identify themselves correctly as 'cpu family: 5'.

There is probably in the installer something that checks for the cpu family and therefore installs 686 packages on the C3, which then don't work if they contain CMOV instructions, while this wouldn't happen with the Geode or an Intel 586.

 

I also have a C3 Samuel 2 Mini-PC which is still running Redhat 7.3 (heavily modified by updating many packages from source tarballs), as I gave up on any newer Redhat or Centos because of this (never tried Mandriva on it as I was looking for a long term support distro).

Edited by tux99

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so the fix would require having a way to identify the specific cpu's where this occurs, and override the detected type?

Edited by tyme

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I would think so, yes, I believe the reason this hasn't been done yet, is because there aren't many users with first generation C3 systems around (anymore). It wasn't exactly a popular cpu to begin with, but I still like my C3 based mini-PC as it's perfect as a small home ADSL gateway/router/homeserver (it's similar to this one but with the old C3 cpu: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=11484 ).

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I have tried all MDV's back to 2007.0 on my VIA/EPIA C3 (one of the PC-1 MB/cpu comboes sold with the gOS dev kit)

 

and have not found ANY version since or any derivative (MCNL,PDL,PCLOS) that will work

 

However for SOME reason almost ANY version of UBU will work right out of the box.

 

J

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Ubuntu's default kernel, and I believe all packages, are compiled to i386, which is why Ubuntu doesn't have this problem. Only distributions with a kernel compiled to i686 are candidates for exhibiting this issue.

Edited by tyme

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