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Re: can't boot a Debian on QEMU-mips virtual machine, could be initrd or root device problems


Reco wrote:
> $ qemu-system-mips -m 2048 -nographic
> -cdrom /tmp/debian-7.4.0-mips-netinst.iso -boot d
> qemu-system-mips: Could not load MIPS bios 'mips_bios.bin', and no -kernel
> argument was specified

Oops. I did not expect it to die so early.

> Also, that 'iso' is no way a conventional ISO9660 or UDF image:
> $ file -sL /tmp/debian-7.4.0-mips-netinst.iso
> /tmp/debian-7.4.0-mips-netinst.iso: SGI disk label (volume header)

Oh, it is. But it is also a bit more than that.
It's only that the programmers of "file" did not account for that
combination as much as they did with x86 isohybrids:

  $ file debian-9.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso
  debian-9.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso: DOS/MBR boot sector ISO 9660 CD-ROM
  filesystem data 'Debian 9.3.0 amd64 n' (bootable); partition 2 : ID=0xef,
  start-CHS (0x3ff,254,63), end-CHS (0x3ff,254,63), startsector 3760,
  832 sectors

With the mips ISO, we have to combine file's report with info like this

  $ isoinfo -i debian-7.4.0-mips-netinst.iso -d
  CD-ROM is in ISO 9660 format
  System id: 
  Volume id: Debian 7.4.0 mips 1
  Volume set id: 
  Publisher id: 
  Data preparer id: XORRISO-1.2.6 2013.01.08.103001, LIBISOBURN-1.2.6, LIBISOFS-1.2.6, LIBBURN-1.2.6
  Application id: 
  Copyright File id: 
  Abstract File id: 
  Bibliographic File id: 
  Volume set size is: 1
  Volume set sequence number is: 1
  Logical block size is: 2048
  Volume size is: 105591
  Joliet with UCS level 3 found
  Rock Ridge signatures version 1 found

xorriso can tell about the MIPS Volume Header which it created on demand
of debian-cd:

  $ xorriso -report_about warning -indev debian-7.4.0-mips-netinst.iso \
            -report_system_area plain 
  System area options: 0x00000004
  System area summary: MIPS-Big-Endian
  ISO image size/512 : 422364
  MIPS-BE volume dir :   N      Name       Block       Bytes
  MIPS-BE boot entry :   1  r4k-ip22       63436    10876928
  MIPS-BE boot path  :   1  /install/r4k-ip22-boot.img

But i guess it will be hard to determine which machines react on this.
My cheat sheet for boot sectors says

                               MIPS Volume Header
                       for MIPS Big Endian, e.g. SGI Indigo2

     by Steve McIntyre <steve@xxxxxxxxxx>
     which refers to
        genisovh by Florian Lohoff <flo@xxxxxxxxxx>
                and Thiemo Seufer <seufer@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
        who seem to have learned parameter settings from IRIX CD media
        There are traces in the web which relate this to specs by
                 MIPS Computer Systems, Inc. , 1985
                 Silicon Graphics Computer Systems, Inc. , 2000
     Mail conversations with Natalia Portillo.

Have a nice day :)