[Solved] Device hint at installation  [SOLVED]

Questions about the installation of FreeBSD

[Solved] Device hint at installation

Postby askfor » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:37 am

I am in real trouble here. I can't install OS because kernel panics every time. From my FreeBSD experience I know exactly which hint I need to enter in order to boot the kernel. However, unlike FreeBSD, there is no boot loader, only GRUB. Is there anything I can do to start the installation ?
Last edited by askfor on Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[Solved] Device hint at installation


Re: Device hint at installation

Postby ASX » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:02 pm

you can pass options to grub, i.e. see this thread: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=466
which parameter do you need to pass exactly ?
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby askfor » Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:30 pm

Thanks. I see, I need to prefix them with KFreeBSD. I tried to add it with 'edit'.

The hint is "hint.agp.0.disabled=1". This a 10+ years old laptop with Intel i915 based graphics, which refuses to die. Probably shouldn't be bothering you with such ancient HW.

It still panics with VESA failsafe boot, if you were going to ask that.

If I boot, I will mark this as solved ?
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby ASX » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:40 pm

askfor wrote:If I boot, I will mark this as solved ?

Hopefully will boot, let us know however. And yes please!
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby askfor » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:21 pm

No dice.

The kernel booted. I have pressed 'e', added 'set kFreeBSD.hint.agp.0.disabled=1' and booted with Ctrl-X. F10 does not seem to work. Kernel booted and, I believe, it was about to start XFCE (there was a message which said that), then the same panic screen appeared. As if it somehow 'forgot' the hint, or as if it re-read the hints from somewhere else.
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby ASX » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:39 pm

askfor wrote:No dice.

The kernel booted. I have pressed 'e', added 'set kFreeBSD.hint.agp.0.disabled=1' and booted with Ctrl-X. F10 does not seem to work. Kernel booted and, I believe, it was about to start XFCE (there was a message which said that), then the same panic screen appeared. As if it somehow 'forgot' the hint, or as if it re-read the hints from somewhere else.


Can you tell a bit more about the original problem ? Is that related to your video card ?
That setting worked for you in FreeBSD using FreeBSD loader ?
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby askfor » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:00 pm

Again, the hint is: hint.agp.0.disabled=1. It gets an old integrated Intel video card working on FreeBSD. Notebook is ancient Thinkpad R50e, or something, I don't even remember the exact model very well. Linux is using i915 driver on it, and the same is mentioned in output from FreeBSD kernel when it panicked.

Here is the deal. I got FreeBSD 11.0 up and running couple of days ago. It had the same problem, which I solved by entering mentioned hint at boot loader prompt. As soon as OS got installed I have added it to device.hints file. I was able to run X with IceWM window manager. I got wifi working, as well. However, there were problems with some binary packages, Firefox among them. This machine is to weak to build Firefox from ports. I know it is an old machine and I shouldn't be bothering people with it. It is more kind of hobby to me.

So I thought I might try some other BSD, and I took GhostBSD. I've noticed it is 10.3 based, not 11.0, but being a desktop OS, I figured Firefox, office and some other things might be expected to run out of the box.

Your advice worked and I managed to boot the kernel. Then, as far as I understand, live CD was about to start. I've read the message saying something about starting XFCE (yes, I have downloaded XFCE edition, rather than Mate). Then I got kernel panic again, with exactly the same output as one I've got when I tried to boot without hint mentioned above.

Failsafe VESA boot results in the same kernel panic. I am grateful for your time, but this looks pretty much hopeless to me. Perhaps I might try to load or unload some agp related kernel modules. Here is what Slackware Linux says about it (on the same machine):

~:# lsmod | grep agp
intel_agp 9481 0
intel_gtt 11458 3 i915,intel_agp
agpgart 26524 3 drm,intel_agp,intel_gtt
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby ASX » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:27 pm

askfor wrote:Here is the deal. I got FreeBSD 11.0 up and running couple of days ago. It had the same problem, which I solved by entering mentioned hint at boot loader prompt. As soon as OS got installed I have added it to device.hints file. I was able to run X with IceWM window manager. I got wifi working, as well. However, there were problems with some binary packages, Firefox among them. This machine is to weak to build Firefox from ports. I know it is an old machine and I shouldn't be bothering people with it. It is more kind of hobby to me.

For your info, you don't need to build firefox from ports, you can simply use:
Code: Select all
pkg install firefox

to install firefox from FreeBSD repo, same for nearly every other software you will need.

So I thought I might try some other BSD, and I took GhostBSD. I've noticed it is 10.3 based, not 11.0, but being a desktop OS, I figured Firefox, office and some other things might be expected to run out of the box.

Yes, we try to make things simpler, some setting is also pre-installed.

Your advice worked and I managed to boot the kernel. Then, as far as I understand, live CD was about to start. I've read the message saying something about starting XFCE (yes, I have downloaded XFCE edition, rather than Mate). Then I got kernel panic again, with exactly the same output as one I've got when I tried to boot without hint mentioned above.

This part sound strange to me ... you got the same kernel panic, but apparently at a different time. Most likely the panic happen when X is started and the kernel is switching from text console to graphics console.

Failsafe VESA boot results in the same kernel panic. I am grateful for your time, but this looks pretty much hopeless to me. Perhaps I might try to load or unload some agp related kernel modules. Here is what Slackware Linux says about it (on the same machine):

~:# lsmod | grep agp
intel_agp 9481 0
intel_gtt 11458 3 i915,intel_agp
agpgart 26524 3 drm,intel_agp,intel_gtt

The i915 is also used on FreeBSD/GhostBSD, and I have at least one system using it, but it is a more recent system.

Another option for you to try, is to boot in single user, that way X is not started and you should be able to gather more info, i.e. manually loading i915:
Code: Select all
kldload i915

list modules, similar to lsmod:
Code: Select all
kldstat

obtaining info, similar to linux lspci:
Code: Select all
pciconf -lv


As long as you are inclined to solve the issue, we will get there! ;)
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby askfor » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:57 am

I tried pkg install first, but Firefox core dumped on me. And kept doing it. You know, I used FreeBSD 6.something for about a year. Had to abandon it after I bought new Samsung Mono Laser Printer (ML 2010). I couldn't get it running no matter what. It was back in 2007. I was running FreeBSD on very same machine then and it worked like a charm., Also on the desktop computer I had then. Now I have new desktop,but it is more for business and less for experimenting.

I loved FreeBSD. I like real UNIX. I am choosing Motif GUI theme whenever and wherever is available :-)

You are right, kernel panicked when XFCE was supposed to come up. And there was about 15 lines trace of some kind and i915 was mentioned.

If I understood correctly, single user mod does not start live CD either. So I am going to get shell, right ? I am going to try it.
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Re: Device hint at installation

Postby askfor » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:08 am

Yeah, emergency shell. Looks fine at firs glance:

# kldload i915
drm0: <Intel i852GM/i855GM GMCH> on vgapci0
info: [drm] AGP at 0xe80000000 128MB
info: [drm] Initialized i915 1.6.0 20080730

#kldstat lists,among others:
i915.ko
drm.ko

# pciconf -lv lists, among others:
hdr=0x00
vendor='Intel Corporation'
device='82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device'
class = display

Executing startx WITHOUT loading i915 leads to the same familiar panic
Executing startx AFTER loading i915 begins starting X, perhaps even completes it, but screen remains dark.
Ctrl+Alt+Backspace does not drop me back to console. However, Ctrl+Alt+Del reboots the system. I'd say
that X is actually started, but screen remains black. I am getting mouse pointer and big block cursor at some point, before it becomes all black. It might be something related to single user mod, I don't know. I wonder if i915 gets loaded in multi user mode.
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