Cobalt FrontPanel Management Utility
Probably most of you will find this page (and this software of course) abolutely useless and nonsense.
This application is dedicated to few elect Sun Cobalt Raq Server owners.
The aim of the application is replacing the default system menu manager and create a new one that works with linux distros * See later
In this page you will also find useful informations that i collected on the internet that explains how to install a custom linux distribution on your Sun Cobalt (see Remarks).
Most of this works is based on another opensource project my best thanks to them :-)
Supported linux distributions:
The front panel menu works on all proper patched linux 2.4 kernels. Although there is a little note about the "Services" menu:
The services menu is based on the BSDlike initialization scripts... so if you're running on a linux distribution that uses SystemV init scripts
(like RedHat, and many many others) it will definitively NOT work.
Now, let me guess, you're probably asking "why did you base on BSDlike init scripts although most of linux distros use SystemV scripts?".
The answer is simple: Slackware uses BSDlike init scripts, and i love (and run, of course) Slackware linux on my Cobalt.
Any port to SystemV init will be appreciated.
Installing and running:
Nothing but good old make && make install
I suggest you to launch the application in the inittab (so it will be respawned upon accidental crashes and will always work). Just add this line to /etc/inittab:
For other instructions about how to configure and customize the application take a look at the README file inside
Remarks: How to replace default bundled Raq OS with your preferred linux distribution
Before I start just let me advice you that installing a custom linux distro on your Cobalt isn't a simple task. Just remember that Cobalt servers don't have any video adapter nor any keyboard plug. There's nothing but a network plug and a serial console... not a great ways but enough to mod it.
First of all i suggest you to replace the bundled rom firmware with this custom one
(yet another opensource project, of course). Remember that upgrading a firmware is really dangerous task, and you should never try it unless you know what you're doing. You will find all instructions and documentation on the provided link
Building patched kernel:
actually patches for the 2.4 kernel branch are available. These patches will provide device drivers to make Cobalt hardware work properly and will provide support for the front lcd panel and buttons. Patches are available here
(yes, still another opensource project)
Obviously you have to do all these steps on another machine.So i suggest you to detach the ide hard disk from the cobalt housing, connect to your pc and dump all the data onto an ext2/3 partition.
I'll not describe here the entire process (it would take really long time writing). You should be an experienced linux user and have some practical skills to do all the work without the help of an interactive installer. However if you are in trouble with any of these steps feel free to send me an e-mail (contacts in the "About me" section) and i'll try to help you doing it.
The application is released under the terms of the GNU GPL