IRIX install on ZuluSCSI

Jamieson

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Jul 7, 2022
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I've got a Indy and a ZuluSCSI card and I'm about to start on an IRIX install.
Seems like most folks are either installing from a SCSI CDROM drive or installing over the network.
I'm planning on loading the install disc images directly on the ZuluSCSI card, which claims to emulate a SCSI CDROM directly, then installing from there.
Has anyone tried this?
 

Elf

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Feb 4, 2019
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I have not tried it that way specifically but have done similar things with Sun machines and the SCSI2SD (v6). I expect it would work at least to boot the installer? However you may have trouble swapping discs unless there is some sort of way to poke it to do that. I know that RASCSI has some sort of web UI to allow you to swap discs.
 
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trixster1979

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Sep 18, 2020
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It should work fine. I used a zuluscsi to mount the install cd to start a miniroot, so there’s no reason irix shouldn’t install fine from an sd card with all the images mounted.
 
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Jamieson

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I've heard that a typical IRIX install process requires ejecting and inserting multiple CDs. Looks like with ZuluSCSI I can assign multiple ISO files to a single SCSI ID, and then with each "eject" command it will cycle through the various ISO files to simulate CDs being inserted. I've not tried this yet, but sounds like a great feature!
 
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Elf

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Indeed; the only thing is you will need to insert and re-insert them in an order that isn't necessarily very straightforward. For example, booting off the Install Tools CD, then adding the contents of each CD to inst starting with the first Foundations CD, and one of the CDs to add afterwards will be the same one that had the Install Tools (the boot CD), then later you will need to insert the CDs again in some order determined by inst to actually install the packages.
 
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Jamieson

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According to the log file on the SD card ZuluSCSI seems to be OK with the two IRIX 6.2 CD iso files and the blank hard drive image I've loaded. My Indy however is not finding any CD-ROM drives. hinv reports 7 SCSI disks SCSI(0)disk(1) through SCSI(0)disk(7) which is odd since I have only 3 image files on the SD card. Any tricks or hints to try here?
 
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Jamieson

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Backing off the ZuluSCSI performance settings (disable SCSI-2, disable synchronous 10MB, etc.) makes it start working and makes the SCSI error messages go away. I don't have an external SCSI terminator on my Indy, that could also be part of the problem. I have one on order.
 
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Elf

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If one device appears multiple times on the SCSI bus it typically seems to be a termination issue, at least in my experience. I think the Indy SCSI bus should work okay without a terminator on the external port though?
 
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Jamieson

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It was also my impression that Indy doesn't need a terminator on the external port. The ZuluSCSI is the only thing on the bus and it has termination enabled. I'm still trying out various settings in the ini file. There is SCSI mode 1 or 2, sync or async, 5MBps or 10MBps rates. Also a "SelectionDelay" variable that seems to have an impact on the Indy's SCSI controller.

I found some premade mame images with IRIX 5.3 and 6.5 and after converting them from CHD to raw format, these boot on the ZuluSCSI in my Indy.
 
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delucks

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Sep 29, 2021
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I have also used a ZuluSCSI rev1.1 to install a Challenge S. The ZuluSCSI is the only item on my SCSI chain (connected via the upper drive's connector) and it doesn't need an external terminator. I'm using SCSI2 mode with async transfer (MaxSyncSpeed = 0), either 5MBps or 10MBps synchronous mode results in a disk error doing any operations on the CDs or virtual hard drive.

I've had success using raw CD images by configuring the virtual optical drive with the IMG0 field pointing to the efs file. I can't figure out a software eject mechanism from the Installer prompt (no eject command is available from the shell either), so the feature of using multiple images in the optical drive isn't usable until the system is installed. To work around that, I configured each image with its own optical drive during the installation.
 
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Jinroh

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Jun 12, 2020
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Very cool to hear this usable on an Indy. How is performance with Zulu? it seems cheaper and more available than the SCSI2SD v6, but dunno if I should check this out or just a 15K SCSI drive.
 

delucks

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Sep 29, 2021
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How is performance with Zulu?
I did a quick test on the adapter with dd copying one sector at a time, which got about 2.8MB/s. If you have suggestions for other disk benchmarking methods I'll try them too. I'm curious to see comparable results for a spinning drive; neither of the ones that came with my Challenge are working.

Code:
[sgugshell delucks@challenge benchmarks]$ dd if=/dev/zero of=test0 bs=4k count=100000 && sync; rm test0
100000+0 records in
100000+0 records out
409600000 bytes (410 MB, 391 MiB) copied, 143.89 s, 2.8 MB/s
[sgugshell delucks@challenge benchmarks]$ dd if=/dev/zero of=test0 bs=4k count=100000 && sync; rm test0
100000+0 records in
100000+0 records out
409600000 bytes (410 MB, 391 MiB) copied, 145.094 s, 2.8 MB/s
[sgugshell delucks@challenge benchmarks]$ dd if=/dev/zero of=test0 bs=4k count=200000 && sync; rm test0
200000+0 records in
200000+0 records out
819200000 bytes (819 MB, 781 MiB) copied, 300.421 s, 2.7 MB/s
 
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Elf

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If you have suggestions for other disk benchmarking methods I'll try them too
Take a peek at this thread, it might give some ideas and allow side by side comparison to SCSI2SD :)
 

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