MIPS Installation

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Warning: MIPS support is discontinued as of 2015. We still provide an archived snapshot, read here for more information.

There is no installable medium for mips64el yet. You can install the basic system by following the instructions below using another system installed on the machine, or (with small changes) a system of another architecture with the target disk connected.

Note: Some updates to the system make the installation more complex, please report a bug in such case so it's known that a new base image is needed and link to the bug report on this page.

1 Getting the base system

Download the latest base install. This tar archive contains all of the base packages, and it's practically the same as a newly installed Parabola. (It is made using librebasebuilder from libretools.)

Extract it on a different partition from your current system: see Chrooting the system section below.

Note: If you don't have a current system or installing with your current system in place would be difficult (for example, no big partitions are available), see MIPS Installation/Booting from USB stick.

2 Partitions

Our Yeeloongs didn't have unpartitioned space. What we did is, using gparted, turn off the swap partition and resize it to have more space to install the new system. After this, with the same program, we formatted this partition in ext3 file system.

Note: Throughout this document, we call our root partition "sda7" or "(wd0,6)" and our swap partition "sda3" - if this is different on your system you'll need to make mental substitutions for the correct values on your system.

3 Extract the base tarball

Run the following commands as root:

mkdir /media/parabola
mount /dev/sda7 /media/parabola
tar xfvj parabola-mips64el-*.tar.bz2 -C /media/parabola
Note: What we are doing is creating a folder in /media with the name of "parabola", mount our new partition (would in this case, the sda7 partition) in /media/parabola and extract the package "base" in that folder with the tar command.

If you are installing from a non-mips64el machine (or want to configure it later), skip to the Mounting partitions at boot section and edit /media/parabola/etc/fstab instead of /etc/fstab.

4 Chrooting the system

Run the following commands as root to chroot into the system:

mount -t proc none /media/parabola/proc
mount --rbind /dev /media/parabola/dev
mount --rbind /sys /media/parabola/sys
chroot /media/parabola /bin/bash

You'll enter into a new shell.

5 Installing basic packages

Make sure you can access the Internet from the precursor operating system from which you are doing the Parabola install.

The base image only includes the minimal packages needed to boot and get to a command line, and then configure a wired network interface using the "ip" command. You'll probably want to install more packages at this point so you can have a basic GUI desktop environment, web browser, and wifi after your first parabola boot.

You'll first need to edit /etc/resolv.conf so your chroot system can resolve Parabola's package servers. For example:

cat > /etc/resolv.conf << EOF
# dns.telecomix.org - Telecomix Censorship-proof DNS

Now install the additional packages:

pacman -Suy xorg-server xf86-input-evdev xf86-video-siliconmotion \
xf86-video-fbdev gdm xfce4 network-manager-applet \
gnome-power-manager links lynx iceweasel-libre rfkill \
ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation net-tools gedit

This should be enough to get other relatively basic things, such as sound and printing, set up after you boot into Parabola.

6 Configuring basic packages

To make gdm use xfce4 session by default, you can:

mv /usr/share/xsessions/gnome.desktop /root/

Edit /etc/rc.conf DAEMONS line to read:

DAEMONS=(hwclock metalog dbus networkmanager netfs crond gdm)

7 Set the configuration editor

The base install has vi, nano, ed and zile (a small Emacs-like editor) installed by default, in our example we are using the nano editor, but if you need another editor than any of the default editors, you can install other editors from repos. If you need another editor, run the following command to install, e.g. Emacs:

pacman -Sy emacs 

Or install emacs-nox to avoid X dependencies:

pacman -Sy emacs-nox

8 Mounting partitions at boot

Configure the /etc/fstab file to mount the partitions at boot:

nano /etc/fstab

/dev/sda7     /     ext3     defaults    0    0
/dev/sda3     swap  swap     defaults    0    0

9 Exiting the chroot

umount /media/parabola/dev/shm
umount /media/parabola/dev/pts
umount /media/parabola/dev
umount /media/parabola/sys
umount /media/parabola/proc
umount /media/parabola/

10 Add the new system to PMON

To boot Parabola directly from PMON, edit PMON's file boot.cfg:

nano /boot/boot.cfg
Note: On some systems this file is instead located at /boot.cfg -- in general, you should edit the boot.cfg on the first partition of your boot device, eg /dev/sda1 -- you can use the "mount" command to see where that is mounted in your file system.

Then add the following as the first entry in it:

File: /boot/boot.cfg
title  Parabola GNU/Linux-libre
kernel (wd0,6)/boot/vmlinuz-linux-libre
args root=/dev/sda7 console=tty no_auto_cmd resume=/dev/sda3 libata.force=80c rootdelay=8

With (wd0,6) corresponding to /dev/sda7.

If you don't need it, you can uninstall mkinitcpio and remove the /boot/initramfs-linux-libre.img and /boot/initramfs-linux-libre-fallback.img to save disk space and kernel update time.

11 Booting

Reboot and select Parabola on the menu!

12 Post Install

You'll want to set a root password. Switch to a virtual terminal by pressing ctrl-alt-f1 and then login as root (no password) and type passwd. You can press ctrl-alt-f7 to move back to the graphical login session.

After booting for the first time it is recommended you upgrade the system:

pacman -Syu

If you plan on running wireless from this point forward, you may want to enable the rfkill daemon. Having this start before net-profiles or networkmanager allows wifi to start on boot without having to press the wireless button on the keyboard (Fn + F5).

nano /etc/rc.conf

Then add rfkill before net-profiles or networkmanager in DAEMONS=()

The next time you reboot you should have working wireless.

Warning: Some programs will break if your locale is not set correctly. Edit on terminal as root /etc/locale.gen appropriately with your favourite editor and run the locale-gen command. Then edit /etc/rc.conf to match
Note: The first time you click on the web browser icon in xfce4 you will be prompted to select a web browser. You should enter "/usr/bin/iceweasel" in the dialog box.

13 Getting Help

If you need help, you can find it on the #parabola IRC channel or the mailing list.