Linux on Memec Virtex II Pro V4P7 Rev. 3

Jon Masters jonmasters at
Wed Oct 6 01:15:33 EST 2004

[ Will followup only to linuxppc-embedded ]

On Tue, 5 Oct 2004 13:26:15 +0200, Luca Giuliani <l.giuliani at> wrote:

> I'm a newbie of Linux on embedded devices and I tried longly to make
> Linux work on the embedded PPC405 on the Memec Virtex II Prov V4P7 board

I have one of these boards which we base our platform upon.

> WITHOUT P160 module.

I use an SMC91111 on a custom ISA bodge - no P160 here but we do also
use xuart et al. (Why would you want to buy the Xilinx Ethernet MAC or
use the P160 anyway - who needs a second serial port :P).

> I'm using the patched 2.4.22 patched by, freely available on
> their FTP site.

You need a few extra patches such as the one to use even TLBs only
that I and others ended up implementing on the engineering v2ps. I'll
stick up my mods at some point (product not shipping at this moment so
this'll be done at some point before then).

> The boot process always freezes after the "Uncompressing Linux...done"

There's a bunch of problems with that board. You end up disabling the
ME reporting on those boards by bodging the MSR as you mentioned.
That's a bastard to figure out.

> The only way to make the kernel INITIATE the boot process was to modify
> the MSR mask (/include/asm-ppc/processor.h) as to disable the Machine
> Check, but this is not a good idea!

It's necessary elsewhere too so I wouldn't get too worked up about
that. The Monta guys don't get this problem on their shiney ML300s but
then if I wanted to expense 6K to Xilinx for a touchscreen board I
might buy one too :-).

> The first thing that came to my mind was that there was an error in the
> hardware design, but it was auto-generated with the "Base platform
> builder" wizard included in EDK 6.2 and then customized only to meet the
> requirements of the Mind kernel.

The EDK stuff sucks horribly - avoid the autogenerated platforms
beyond the necessary. Certainly don't use the xparms file from EDK in
your design, that supports the notion Xilinx have of shoving a HAL in
to the kernel.

> Has someone succeeded in booting Linux on this device WITHOUT P160
> expansion card?

Yes. Spam me.

> If so I kindly ask you to answer me privately, at least to know how you
> built the hardware design, which kernel did you use and which are the
> vital parameters to be set in the kernel.

A custom 2.4.23 based purely on the stock kernel from I
use a few Mind patches, some stuff from the Monta tree and a bunch of
hacks I did myself. It boots using my own firmware which is in the
hardware image on the SystemACE and runs with a root RAMdisk off the
sysace (but you need to use my nointr sysace patch for this board).

I can help you with generalities but for various commerical reasons
there's a limit to how much I can talk about here or in private mail
concerning our specific design.



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