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Sun Microsystems Operating Systems BSD Hardware

FreeBSD 5.2.1 On SPARC64 87

JigSaw writes "FreeBSD has a solid reputation in terms of features and performance on x86, powering sites from Hotmail to Yahoo, yet it doesn't tend to be the first (or even second) OS that comes to mind with many people when thinking of Solaris alternatives for the SPARC platform. Tony Bourke tests FreeBSD 5.2.1 on his SPARC machine."
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FreeBSD 5.2.1 On SPARC64

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  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @06:45PM (#8730673) Homepage Journal
    Just wondering how FreeBSD can call it a full Tier1 support when they dont support older platforms and no video support?

    I'm currently running gentoo on my sunblade 100. Since both netbsd and FreeBSD doesnt support video, only serial connections. I had a hella of a time looking for another OS besides Solaris, and Gentoo was the most up2date one I found. SuSE/Redhat dropped support years ago.

    I had to drop SuSE, and switch to Gentoo for a newer kernel and true framebuffer support on my Sunblade. Also the binary packages for the Sparc 2004 is done, so you can install a sparc 5/20 without compiling. (I was told sparc-2004 was done last week on #gentoo-sparc on freenode irc network, but have not confirmed it.) Going to put Gentoo on my Sparc 20.

    Also, the article shows they tested the 2.4 linux kernel, would be nice to see how 2.6 on sparc performs. I havn't tried 2.6 yet, as its still development on sparc.
    • by harikiri ( 211017 ) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @09:30PM (#8732220)
      Just tried installing Gentoo 2004.0 for sparc64 onto a Netra T1 yesterday. Unfortunately, someone seems to have forgotten that some systems are designed without a keyboard/monitor, and is hanging on INIT respawning tty's too fast.

      I've also got a bunch of ISO's here at present for BSD (Net/Open/Free) on sparc64, so my next thought is to try out FreeBSD. This article therefore is a welcome and timely suprise. ;)
    • Just wondering how FreeBSD can call it a full Tier1 support when they dont support older platforms [...]?

      Admittedly the lack of SCSI on Ultra-1 and Ultra-2 boxes keeps it off older 64-bit systems for the most part.

      and no video support

      Are you up to date? The web page [] claims sunblade 100 fully supported.
    • Then get in touch with the developers! I run linux on my powerbook and while I don't have the know-how to patch the problems I run into I can submit them to the ppc dev mailing list.
    • I'm running 2.6.4 on a sun netra X1, gentoo. I've had some problems in the 2.6-pre versions with usb, and now again with 2.6.5. Otherwise everything is supported and runs noticeably faster than 2.4.x on the same hardware. Versions before 2.6.1 were unstable and seemed to crash weekly or so, but lately its been solid.
  • Woohoo for FreeBSD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by agent dero ( 680753 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @02:31AM (#8734245) Homepage
    I currently run FreeBSD on x86, i'd run it on sparc64 except they don't support Ultra2's (darnit.)

    Somebody mentioned the lack of video support, honestly, there is almost 0-market for a GUI on a FreeBSD/sparc64 machine. If someone wants to run FreeBSD on sparc64 hardware, it's most definitely for a server.

    Just be happy, FreeBSD 5.2.x is progressing along nicely, and we're getting closer and closer to -STABLE with it.

    One thing to remember when using FreeBSD, is that it's mainly a server OS; that can do userland too, but is primarily for servers.
    • is that it's mainly a server OS; that can do userland too
      What's this supposed to mean ;)
      • It means that FreeBSD is, and most likely always will be, a server OS before it's a desktop OS
        • by Strog ( 129969 )
          I don't know why people keep saying this. I've been using it on my desktop for a while now. All the latest and greatest apps in ports and it makes a really nice desktop. I use it on my servers too with a serial cable hooked up.
          • Perhaps, but setting it up as a desktop requires more overhead than some of the Linux distros out there. Certainly it can be done(I'm waiting to go home to my FBSD box myself), but it's harder for the average user to get to that point.
        • I've used nothing else on my desktops since, mmm, 1996? Not sure. Since anyhow.
  • Consider NetBSD too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sour Protein Supreme ( 762207 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @03:18AM (#8734517)
    I put NetBSD on most of my Sparc hardware. Because then I can run and build from the same exact source tree of packages as I use on my Intel boxes. And run a kernel built from exactly the same source.

    Which brings up a point: both NetBSD/Sparc and NetBSD/Sparc64 will run on an Ultra 1, which is a 64 bit machine. Why doesn't somebody install each NetBSD port on two seperate Ultra 1 machines. Then the benchmark comparision can be between the normal apps that build on both systems, running in parallel on two identical systems. Its exactly the same codebase except for the 32 or 64 bittedness.
  • Who cares (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    SPARC machines were designed to run Solaris. Solaris is a fine operating system. Solaris can be downloaded for free for SPARC machines. Why would any sane person use anything else on such a machine?
    • Re:Who cares (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe because the rest of your infastructure runs on something similar? Maybe because the ports system kicks ass? Software support for something that would require 'work' in order to get it running? Win3.1 is okay for some things too, but the question is, what do you do with it? If it doesn't meet your needs, then switching to a different OS might be the best option.
    • Re:Who cares (Score:5, Informative)

      by tokki ( 604363 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @07:32PM (#8742460)
      While Solaris can be downloaded for free, it cannot always be used for free. The Solaris Binary License has provisions that allow it for development use and educational use for free, but otherwise you've got to pay to play. No one seems to get that. Does Sun enforce those licenses? Not that I've ever heard, but it's still an issue of legality.

      If you've got some old hardware, and you want to run some license-inencombered operating system, then the alternative operating systems are a great bet.

      There a numerous other advantages as well, such as much more extended hardware support (Sun wants you to pay $400 for a FE card, where you can use a $10 off-the-shelf PCI card with FreeBSD, NetBSD, etc), access to the source code, perhaps a smaller footprint, access to security patches for applications that Sun might charge for (not all of Sun's patches are free).

      While people shouldn't just abandon Solaris, I love it too, there are plenty of cases where the alternatives make more sense than Solaris.
    • I agree. xBSD may be fine on silly old UltraSparcs, but when you get into the multiprocessor world Solaris is a tough game to beat. You can't beat Sun's support as well if you can afford it.

      I guess it's all about what you are most comfortable with and your budget/free time.
  • by dotz ( 683519 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @07:54AM (#8735314)
    As it seems, that 90% of the trolling today was sent as Anonymous Coward, perhaps disabling anonymous posting completly would make BSD section of slashdot a nice place to discuss again, just like it should be.

    Perhaps, without all these troll posts, Slashdot forum could become a good way to exchange information about BSD vs Linux, or just about BSD in general. As you can see, in the quality discussion, that happened here -- perhaps some Sparc64 FreeBSD users will switch to Gentoo if they want video; perhaps some people trying to install Gentoo on displayless Sparcs will try BSD.

    That was just 1 article and 3 comments, and it already helped a few people.

    Perhaps, BSD people, who post here stories, could get together and send a petition in some form to Rob Malda, as there is not much sense in seiding him individual e-mails. The situation is not too good.

    And, to the trolling crowd... well, in general, I really admire the way you're having fun - all that trolling folklore can be really much creative, and sometimes i ROTFLed watching your nonsense replies - all those penisbird ASCIIs, hidden links to goatse, "mod parent down, site is a goatse link" when the parent was 100% good URL - yea, that was trolling, but that was acceptable trolling, if you ask me (well, I like Monthy Python also, why shouldn't I like some of your posts). Anyway, you don't come up with anything fresh. All that "BSD is dying, you don't have to be Kreskin" - man, I've seen that many, many times. Why do you keep repeating this? It's not funny anymore, it's boring. Also, with some filtering it is very easy to cut it out. Another thing - perhaps if you'd spent some time on actually installing & using some of BSD systems a bit, you'd realize, that BSDs - as all operating systems - have their weak points. Perhaps moving the level of trolling frmo nonsense copy-paste to highly specialized flamewar could bring anything new to the table, because now you aren't creative anymore. And non-creative troll is a lame troll, if you ask me. So, I suggest, that you rather come up with something new, or copy-paste "BSD is dying" posts somewhere else - because continuing to do that doesn't impress me much, really.
    • As it seems, that 90% of the trolling today was sent as Anonymous Coward, perhaps disabling anonymous posting completly would make BSD section of slashdot a nice place to discuss again, just like it should be.

      Or make ACs get -1 (or worse) starting out on the posts in your prefs. Also if the AC trolls do decide to get users, just add them to your Foes list and make those start out with a lesser score.

      Occasionally being AC can be useful, especially if you want to post something *gasp* anonymously, or don

    • I'll vote for that.
      slashdot bsd forum often appear as a osdn sponsored forum for linux marketeers to cowardly trash another solution to a common problem than what sports their own personal agendas.

      On the other hand by giving in to the cowards will be like the us congressmen that encourage privacy intrusion in protection of plutocracy.

      <sarcasm>rename the forum to "forum for trashing bsd"</sarcasm> my karma used to be excellent, now I'm probably marked for life.
  • Running it here... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slasher999 ( 513533 ) on Thursday April 01, 2004 @11:13PM (#8743736)
    ...on my Ultra 5. I cringed thinking about loading Solaris on my Ultra 5 when I decided to use it as a syslog server. I looked around, and FreeBSD 5.2 was the latest and seemed to be the greatest for what I needed. Now I need an rsync server at a remote site and guess what I'm loading on the Ultra 10 allocated for that task? Yup, FreeBSD 5.2 - or maybe I'll splurge and download 5.2.1. Now if I could only install easily without using a serial connection.
  • by grahamlee ( 522375 ) <iamleeg@gmail . c om> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @05:38PM (#8763703) Homepage Journal

    ...because I only have Sun/Texas Instruments SPARC boxen, no Fujitsus around here I'm afraid.

    Oh, I see, they mean SPARCv9. Why couldn't they say so? Given the number of manufacturers who make SPARC [] processing units it's a bit of a shame that many Open Source projects only claim to support the one manufacturer's chips.

    BTW has anyone got any experiences of running this on TI UltraSPARC IV machines that they'd like to share?

  • Well bug reports anyhow.

    CVS log for src/sys/sparc64/sparc64/uio_machdep.c

    Revision 1.2 / (download) - annotate - [select for diffs], Sat Apr 3 09:16:26 2004 UTC (2 days, 4 hours ago) by alc
    Branch: MAIN
    CVS Tags: HEAD
    Changes since 1.1: +1 -1 lines
    Diff to previous 1.1 (colored)

    In some cases, sf_buf_alloc() should sleep with pri PCATCH; in others, it
    should not. Add a new parameter so that the caller can specify which is
    the case.

    Reported by: dillon
  • I'll go ahead and ask it here since it's mildly on-topic...

    Has anyone ever gotten anything to install on a Sun Blade 1500 other than Solaris 8?

    I have a brand new Blade1500 sitting next to me at work and it won't even run Solaris 9.

    It's a total piece of crap -- Debian won't boot and I couldn't get NetBSD up either.

    Sun really put out a piece of work when their own OS won't run on it...

    • Have you tried updating the PROM before trying Solaris 9?
    • I just finished an install of Linux on a 1000. Do check the OBP version, however, I read the same advice for a SILO error, and it turned out that I had compiled the serial driver as a module, not in the kernel..

      few notes - make the kernel as small as possible, 1.5M or so is too big,

      was able to boot strap the install from debian woody with 2.4.18, after trying various other offerings from gentoo and aurora, but

      note no cdrom or floppy was available, and nfsroot failed due to nfslockd on the linux lap

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