64-bit Debian GNU/Linux on Sun Fire V20z

William Stein

I was able to install 64-bit Debian GNU/Linux on my Sun Fire V20z dual Opteron 248 server (with 8GB RAM), despite Sun only officially supporting SUSE and RedHat for this machine. These are my notes on how I did it.
  1. Read Debian AMD64 Howto
  2. Downloaded ISO images of Debian installer for AMD64, then burned a boot CD using K3B.
  3. Installed Debian Sarge base system onto /dev/sda1, which I made a 12GB ReiserFS file system.
  4. Tried to reboot, but GRUB fails with the message "Error 28: selected item cannot fit into memory".
  5. Downloaded, burned, and booted the Debian From Scratch CD. Selected the non-64-bit 2.6.7 kernel for boot.
  6. After booting into Debian from scratch, created this lilo.conf file. Then mounted /dev/sda1 at /mnt and typed lilo -r /mnt to install lilo on it.
  7. Rebooted, and this time it worked.
  8. When configuring the base system, I edited the sources list by hand and included the line
    deb http://debian-amd64.alioth.debian.org/pure64 sid main
    deb-src http://debian-amd64.alioth.debian.org/pure64 sid main
    deb http://debian-amd64.alioth.debian.org/pure64 unstable main
    deb-src http://debian-amd64.alioth.debian.org/pure64 unstable main