Installing Debian 3.1 Sarge on SUN Cobalt Raq 3 / Raq4
The following are my "additional" notes on installing Debian Sarge on a SUN Cobalt Raq3, based on the following instructions:
This is not a complete instruction, just notes on changes from the how-to above! Some of the needed files are available on the bottom of this page.

Preparing Source-Server

Install packages:
apt-get install debootstrap nfs-user-server

Use sarge from debian archives:
debootstrap --arch i386 sarge /nfsroot-x86

The DHCP-Server configuration (/etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf) in my environment was as follows:
subnet netmask {
    option domain-name-servers;
    option domain-name "";
    option routers;
    default-lease-time 600;
    max-lease-time 7200;
host cobalt {
    hardware ethernet 00:00:00:00:00:00;
    option routers;
    option root-path "/nfsroot-x86";
    option host-name "cobalt";

Note: I had to use my "source server" as default gw. Later, after logging into the cobalt, use the following command to set the default gateway right:
route add default gw
(See below how to get the MAC address from the cobalt)

If the DHCP server was setup with a wrong interface, check the file:
And edit the interface on which the DHCP server listens (normally eth0)


To get the MAC address from the cobalt, power it up and setup a console on the serial port. You should see something like:
Intel 82559ER Found at port 0xfd80, MAC: 00:00:00:00:00:00
Intel 82559ER Found at port 0xfd40, MAC: 00:00:00:00:00:00

Displaying your MAC addresses of your cobalt's ethernet ports.

Add the MAC to the source server's /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf file under the cobalt-section.
During bootup, hit the spacebar to go to the rom menu (not the boot monitor -- 'q' out of it if you get there). At the prompt, typ "bfn". This should hopefully get the system completely booted up with a login prompt. Don't forget that if you haven't gotten the cobalt's hardware address & set it up in dhcpd.conf, then you'll have to tail the syslog to get it. Log in as root.

To set the correct default gateway:
route add default gw

Partitioning using cfdisk
Check instructions on this page:
Check partitions: fdisk -l
Initialize filesystem (ext2) and set swap partition:
mkswap /dev/hda2
mke2fs /dev/hda1

Additional information [article=218]here[/article].
(The first partition MUST be ext2 and MUST contain the kernel)

Mount the hdd to /mnt after partitioning, e.g.:
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt

Put the base installation on the device:
debootstrap --arch i386 sarge /mnt
If the above link is outdated, try archives:
debootstrap --arch i386 sarge /mnt

Copy files to the mount after installing base system:
cp /etc/inittab /mnt/etc/
cp /etc/securetty /mnt/etc/
cp /etc/apt/sources.list /mnt/etc/apt/
cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/etc/

The /mnt/etc/network/interfaces:
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

The /mnt/etc/fstab:
/dev/hda1    /    ext2  defaults,errors=remount-ro   0    1
/dev/hda2    none  swap  sw               0    0
proc      /proc  proc  defaults            0    0
tmpfs      /dev/shm    tmpfs  defaults        0    0

The /mnt/etc/hosts    localhost   cobalt.local

chroot /mnt
apt-get update

Now, you are ready to compile/install Kernel.

Install Kernel 2.4.x on Cobalt machine

Additional information on this page:

Copy all files to /mnt/usr/src
cd /usr/src
tar zxvf linux-2.4.32.tar.gz
ln -s linux-2.4.32 linux
apt-get install patch libncurses5-dev kernel-package gcc make links
patch -p 0 < cobalt-2.4.32.patch
cp conf_cobalt-Raq34_2432 linux/.config
cd linux
make menuconfig
make-kpkg clean
make-kpkg --revision=cobalt.1 kernel_image

This will take a while, go get a coffe or some food :)
make-kpkg modules_image

Installation of the Kernel:
cd /usr/src
dpkg -i kernel-image-2.4.32_cobalt.1_i386.deb
cd /boot
ln -sf

Install Kernel 2.6.x on Cobalt machine

Attention: The below steps didnt work for me! I received some errors and had no time to look into it any closer... maybe you can fix this.
cd /usr/src
wget ''
wget ''
wget ''
tar -xzf linux-2.6.32.tar.gz
ln -s linux-2.6.32 linux
apt-get install patch libncurses5-dev kernel-package gcc make links
patch -p 0 < linux-cobalt-2.6.32-2009120301.jeffw.patch
cp gen_iii-minimal.config linux/.config
cd linux
make menuconfig
make-kpkg clean

Remove line:
# define MACH ATARI
in linux-2.6.32/drivers/char/nvram.c

make-kpkg --revision=cobalt.1 kernel_image
make-kpkg modules_image
dpkg -i kernel-image-2.6.32_cobalt.1_i386.deb
cd /boot
ln -sf


Display (LCD front panel)

To make the display work:

apt-get install rpm
cd /
rpm2cpio /panel-utils-4.0-7.i386.rpm | cpio -ivd
cd /etc/init.d/

Write something to display:
/sbin/lcd-write "Line 1" "line 2"

Play around with the "WEB" LED (on/off):
/sbin/led-write 1
/sbin/led-write 2

Example to write IP on front-panel:
/sbin/lcd-write "Server Test" `ifconfig eth0 | grep "inet addr" | cut -f 2 -d":" | cut -f 1 -d" "`
admin / Dec 09, 2009
linux- Cobalt Kernel Config file for RaQ3/RaQ4 from
linux- Cobalt Kernel Patch for Kernel from
gen_v-minimal.config: Cobalt Kernel 2.6.32 Config file for RaQ550
gen_iii-minimal.config: Cobalt Kernel 2.6.32 Config file for RaQ3/RaQ4
linux-cobalt-2.6.32-2009120301.jeffw.patch: Cobalt Kernel Patch for Kernel 2.6.32 from
conf_cobalt-raq34_2432: Cobalt Kernel 2.4.32 Config file for RaQ3/RaQ4
conf_cobalt-raq550_2432: Cobalt Kernel 2.4.32 Config file for RaQ550
cobalt-2.4.32.patch: Cobalt Kernel Patch for Kernel 2.4.32
2004 - 2019 /