Setting up ska as a buildd

Since the m68k buildd effort has a huge backlog currently, we're adding some additional buildd machines. A few days ago, Christian Steigies finished setting up his Falcon with CT60 board that he's got. Thing has a rather largish IDE disk, a 66Mhz 060, and 512MB of RAM, which makes it the best buildd that we've got currently—apart from the network connection, which is a serial line; the CT60 designer hasn't finished designing its ethernet network interface yet.

In addition, I've been working on setting up my MVME 167 (ska) and Mac Quadra 950 (jazz) as temporary buildd machines, too. Both are 33Mhz 040s with 64M of RAM. For diskspace, I wanted to use these 4G disks that I bought through ebay a while ago; And while these disks work, there's some issue with them in that they produce Kernel Oopses. The first disk I set up (on the mac) did this, and now the second one is doing the exact same thing with kernel 2.2 on ska for some strange reason. Since the mac doesn't support 2.4 or 2.6 (yet, for the latter), I couldn't try another kernel there; but now that I could try the disk in 2.4 on the VME box, I found what the problem is. From dmesg:

Attached scsi disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
Attached scsi disk sdb at scsi0, channel 0, id 1, lun 0
sda : unsupported sector size 520.
SCSI device sda: 0 520-byte hdwr sectors (0 MB)

520 byte blocks? WTF? Normal, decent, drives have blocks that are 512 bytes large. Why these strangely-sized block sizes? 520 is not even a power of two. It makes no sense.

Ryan came up with what seemed a reasonable explanation:

<neuro> drive out of a raid array?
<neuro> some of them do have odd sector sizes
<neuro> so you can't use them without the raid

That could be it. I wouldn't know; I bought them as they are through ebay, and after formatting them in MacOS' HD SC Setup, the other disk worked without problems; it's possible that it did a low-level format without telling me.

So, that's what I did. The sformat package allowed me to do the same thing. Only it requires far more input... hope I did everything right.

If everything works out okay, then ska will be building by the end of the weekend, at worst. It'll take a short while longer for jazz to follow suit, however, since I don't have a spare AAUI ATM, and so I can't connect it to the 'Net currently (but a solution for that one is in the makes, should only take a few days, weeks at worst).

I called them 'temporary buildds', because that's what they are. Not only is ska the only VME box any of us m68k porters has (which means I need to test vmelilo and the VME flavour of d-i on this box, which requires reboots every now and then); it also runs in my bedroom, and produces quite some heat and noise; I prefer not to let it run for days on end, if at all possible. And jazz, I plan to set up as experimental/etch-secure buildd once the unstable backlog has been cleared, to help out quickstep, my Centris 650 (25Mhz, 135M RAM) which is the only box currently doing that.