Old Suse 10.1 smp upgrade for use of more than 4GB

Hi all. I am not a Linux pro, so I have an issue here that I am not sure if it is possible to resolve.

We use a Media Server here that still runs an old Suse 10.1 version (Linux version 2.6.16.21-0.25-smp (geeko@buildhost) (gcc version 4.1.0 (SUSE Linux)) #1 SMP Tue Sep 19 07:26:15 UTC 2006 )

I hoped it will support my RAM upgrade but I already thought it wont. It doesnt recognize more than 4Gigs.
Unfortunately I cannot simply install a new 64bit version. It runs some older software that I didnt install and dont really know what exactly they installed here. So I am new to it and still need time to figure out how the system runs here.
I would like to know if I can upgrade or change something on this older Distro to support more than 4Gigs, in fact I have installed 24GB coz it runs a database.
Is it possible to install a pae kernel without reinstalling the whole system?
What options do I have?

Blast from the past, haven’t seen 10.1 in a while - shame it isn’t 10.0, that thing was great.

From the bottom of my memory the old smp 32-bit kernel only had support for 4GB but the -pae kernel had support for up to 64GB, come to think of it the kernel might have been called bigsmp at the time.

However you must understand the limitations of a 32-bit OS, just adding memory won’t magically make software use more of it or be able to address more than 4GB per process.

So if you want the system to be able to use more than 4GB (minus GPU so usually around 3.25-3.5GB) you’ll need to install the bigsmp / pae kernel. Naturally all the repositories for 10.1 are long dead and if you are a completely new and fresh with Linux, you might have to learn a bit on the way.

Before you start anything; do you have a complete image/clone of the system with full backups taken first?

Yeah of course I am going to backup the system first before doing anything critical to it.

I imagened that the old sources are dead already. But maybe I can find them somewhere :wink:

Would be a shame if I couldnt upgrade the Ram.

And yeah I know that the actual app is probably limited too. But still hoping it will use more Ram than now. At least it supports multi CPU, so I hope for the best.

It was indeed named bigsmp - not pae on 10.1 so you’ll want to install kernel-bigsmp.

Luckily I’m such a nice guy that I did it for you, here are some mirrors you can use to replace the oss, non-oss and update:

oss / oss inst-source:


ftp://ftp.uni-paderborn.de/pub/linux/opensuse/distribution/SL-10.1/inst-source/

non-oss / non-oss inst-source:


ftp://ftp.uni-paderborn.de/pub/linux/opensuse/distribution/SL-10.1/non-oss-inst-source/

update repository:


ftp://ftp.uni-paderborn.de/pub/linux/opensuse/update/10.1/

If you run into issues, let me know. I do this kind of stuff all the time - that’s why I have full mirrors of all SUSE versions since 7.3 locally. :3

Man you are an angel!!!

Btw… I hate to ask you for more help but I do not exactly know how to upgrade the kernel. What commands I have to use and so on. Well I can figure it out. But if you know it out of the head I would be really greatful.

First, make sure you have a COMPLETE backup and I do mean a complete image of the system since from what I gathered, this is an important production machine (sorry for saying this several times but if you aren’t very experienced with Linux, recovery can be painful).

Then download the bigsmp kernel to the machine, you could do this by using wget for example:

wget ftp://ftp.uni-paderborn.de/pub/linux/opensuse/update/10.1/rpm/i586/kernel-bigsmp-2.6.16.21-0.25.i586.rpm

Then, as root in the directory where the file is, issue:


rpm -Uvh kernel-bigsmp-2.6.16.21-0.25.i586.rpm

If it complains about dependencies and stuff - post them here and wrap the messages in code tags ( # in the editor )

If all goes well and there are no dependency errors, reboot and cross your fingers :smiley:

Ok thanks, I will prepare the Backup. And yes I know what you mean :wink:
I will Backup the whole system bit by bit :wink:

After that I try to upgrade the kernel. Will be back and contact you. I hope the upgrade runs fine, but as we all know. Life isnt that easy unfortunately :wink:

Thanks a lot!

On 2015-01-27 12:46, Miuku wrote:

> However you must understand the limitations of a 32-bit OS, just adding
> memory won’t magically make software use more of it or be able to
> address more than 4GB per process.

Rather, each process can use about 3 GB, about one is reserved for the
kernel and the paging or whatever is the name process. Blocks of 3 GB
are switched around, so that a different process may have another 3 GB
bock, and so on.

The exact and correct description is in the wikipedia, don’t trust mine :slight_smile:

But the idea is that likely that database won’t be able to use those
shiny 24 GiB, as it is one process.

>
> So if you want the system to be able to use more than 4GB (minus GPU so
> usually around 3.25-3.5GB) you’ll need to install the bigsmp / pae
> kernel
. Naturally all the repositories for 10.1 are long dead and if
> you are a completely new and fresh with Linux, you might have to learn
> a bit on the way.

On
http://ftp5.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/discontinued/distribution/
I see 10.2, but not 10.1. The first problem is locating a site that has
10.1. I think I was told of one, but I can’t remember the name…

Yes, found it.

ftp://ftp.hosteurope.de/mirror/ftp.suse.com/pub/suse/discontinued/i386/

Oh. Has 10.0, but not 10.1.

Well, then investigate here:
http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Mirrors#EOL_mirrors

> Before you start anything; do you have a complete image/clone of the
> system with full backups taken first?

That’s an absolute must have, yes.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

On 2015-01-27 13:16, Miuku wrote:

> Then download the bigsmp kernel to the machine, you could do this by
> using wget for example:

Why not try yast? :-?

Well, I imagine it would want to update other things, using rpm is less
invasive.

But it would be just a question of pointing the repositories to the
discontinued mirror sites.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

This is exactly the reason why. I’m afraid that they might not have updated all possible who-knows-whats in the system, including possibly the database server software.

The less gears we have to replace, the less likely is that the entire thing comes down :wink:

About the Database. It uses a database but it is not exactly a database only system :wink:

It is a special video media archive system called ProxSys.
And it is absolutely multi-cpu compatible. It encodes movie files for example on one core and does other stuff on the other.
So I dont even expect it to use the whole 24GB but if it runs with more than it is using now, I will be happy. The guys who sold that system here really fooled the people.
The system was expensive but they installed some ridiculous 2GB of Ram :quiet: (even for around 2006-2007 2GB of Ram for an IBM x3650 System was a joke)

Ahh and the app called COMO VideoServer was updated some around the mid of 2009. Maybe the software itself has a better RAM usage support than the old Linux kernel.
I wonder they didnt update the kernel back then as well.

Many companies that do these things don’t actually know what specific kernel versions can do on every distribution available or perhaps they just looked at the amount of memory and said “Ok, they have 2GB - let’s not do anything”.

SuSE at the time had a very interesting naming convention. Nowadays all i586 kernels are pae enabled, back then you had to install a specific one (in this case bigsmp which is just the multi-cpu kernel compiled with the PAE extension).

On 2015-01-27 13:46, VS D Media wrote:
>
> About the Database. It uses a database but it is not exactly a database
> only system :wink:
>
> It is a special video media archive system called ProxSys.

Dunno about it. But maybe it is well known by professionals in that field.

> And it is absolutely multi-cpu compatible. It encodes movie files for
> example on one core and does other stuff on the other.

Well, that’s not surprising at all :slight_smile:

> So I dont even expect it to use the whole 24GB but if it runs with more
> than it is using now, I will be happy. The guys who sold that system
> here really fooled the people.
> The system was expensive but they installed some ridiculous 2GB of Ram
> :quiet: (even for around 2006-2007 2GB of Ram for an IBM x3650 System
> was a joke)

Yes, you are expected to find out you need more and then buy the
“certified enhancement” at a hefty price. Like RAM for some printers and
routers.

It is also curious that it be 32 bit, because it seems to me that
massive data movement is a requirement for what you describe it does.
But maybe in 2006 those 64 bit machines were not available/cheap, or the
software was not ported.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

On 2015-01-27 13:36, Miuku wrote:
>
> robin_listas;2691546 Wrote:
>> Why not try yast? :-?
>>
>> Well, I imagine it would want to update other things, using rpm is less
>> invasive.
> This is exactly the reason why. I’m afraid that they might not have
> updated all possible who-knows-whats in the system, including possibly
> the database server software.
>
> The less gears we have to replace, the less likely is that the entire
> thing comes down :wink:

Understood :slight_smile:

And a kernel of the same release, which you already specified. Good :slight_smile:


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

On 2015-01-27 13:56, Miuku wrote:
>
> VS_D_Media;2691551 Wrote:
>> I wonder they didnt update the kernel back then as well.
> Many companies that do these things don’t actually know what specific
> kernel versions can do on every distribution available or perhaps they
> just looked at the amount of memory and said “Ok, they have 2GB - let’s
> not do anything”.

The theory at the time, IIRC, was that a non pae kernel on less than 4
GiB was faster than the pae kernel.

But, then we also wanted to enable that execute bit check that comes
with the PAE extensions on the CPU, so the default kernel was switched
to PAE instead.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

What a hassle to backup this system here :wink:

Btw…

The bootloader GRUB is version 0.97 and it tells me (619K lower / 3144493K upper memory)

probably stupid to ask. But do I need to change something inside GRUB as well?

The kernel .rpm will take care of changing grub.

It has pre-and-post install scripts to manage any necessary changes.

Edit:
I would have just imaged the entire system during the night using tools like Acronis, CloneZilla or other programs that allow me to 1:1 image it to a backup system and restore it with the minimum of fuzz should something explode :slight_smile:

Well thats what I am doing, using Acronis. At first the system didnt recognize my SD card with Acronis on it then backing up on external drive takes ages. I think the USB connection on that server is some freaking 1.1 USB or something :wink:

Well… I will manage that. But it can take some days before I try to upgrade.

Thanks a lot mate! We dont have lots of money but if I get to manage that I will have to ask my boss to send you some money on paypal :smiley: hehehehe :wink:

Thanks for the offer but I do this for free. If you guys want to spend money, send some to your local charity :slight_smile:

It’s possible that some of the ports are USB2 and some 1.1. Might be worth a shot to check them out. You can do so by running lsusb -t from a terminal. That should print out the various speeds of the USB ports available to the system, if none of them are 480Mbps - well, then you’re SoL :slight_smile:

On 2015-01-27 16:16, VS D Media wrote:
>
> What a hassle to backup this system here :wink:

If the USB is version 1, maybe you can use ethernet.
An USB-2 card should be cheap, I did that on my old computer. The
problem would be locating one nowdays… USB-3 would be easier to find,
if they work on your hardware.

> Btw…
>
> The bootloader GRUB is version 0.97 and it tells me (619K lower /
> 3144493K upper memory)
>
> probably stupid to ask. But do I need to change something inside GRUB as
> well?

No, I think you can ignore that message.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)