Modern Software on SPARC

delucks

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Sep 29, 2021
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For older SPARC processors, operating system choice is limited to Solaris and other operating systems from the time of manufacture. Newer sun4u/sun4v 64-bit chips are supported by NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Linux however. What OS are you running on your SPARC machines? Are they doing work continuously or powered up only for testing?

All my machines are 64-bit and I'm trying to run modern software on all of them. My Sun Blade 150 (UltraSPARC IIi+) runs Debian sid as a workstation for fixing bugs with Linux userland software. A Sun Fire T1000 (T1) is running OpenBSD 6.9 and mostly sees work as a LDOM test bed however I'm currently trying to get Debian working without the help of an optical drive. Finally my pair of Sun Enterprise T5440s (4x T2+ each) are in storage waiting on a dedicated circuit. They run OpenBSD to take advantage of the LDOM support with Solaris & Debian guests.

In trying these operating systems, OpenBSD is very stable but the LDOM support has been broken for the past few releases (since 6.3). It's also an unsupported platform for LLVM, which means programming language support is more limited. Debian on sparc64 is a supported LLVM target, but there's no support for configuring LDOMs and only the "unstable" distribution works. I haven't tried NetBSD. There are compromises for any operating system running on these machines, so what compromises did you make?
 

isoriano

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Nov 10, 2021
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Most of my Sun 4m run OPENSTEP 4.2/SPARC and Solaris 8 (separate disks). The 4U's on Solaris 10 U8 (LuBu Magic aka OpenStep Solaris) and "dual boot" with Debian 11 (sparc64). The problem with Linux/sparc64 (recent versions) only simple framebuffer support in X.

Cheers

Iggi
 
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nsode

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Nov 30, 2021
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I installed OpenBSD/SPARC64 6.8 on my Ultra 60 hoping to be able to use it somewhat as my daily driver (I'm a patient man). Had some trouble with the Elite3D driver, and of course there is a limited supply of software but all in all it's been pretty smooth.
 
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stormy

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Jun 23, 2019
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I installed OpenBSD/SPARC64 6.8 on my Ultra 60 hoping to be able to use it somewhat as my daily driver (I'm a patient man). Had some trouble with the Elite3D driver, and of course there is a limited supply of software but all in all it's been pretty smooth.
I'm going to be getting an Ultra 60 soon (my first Sun) I've did a lot of research and found the XVR-600 should be an amazing card for it. Since you are a Sun expert I am wondering if you know what the minimum OS for the XVR-600 would be, I assume Solaris 10? Would this be the OS you recommend for me to use at first.

Also the machine is coming with no keyboard/mouse so I have ordered a Sun PCI USB card, I am hoping this will allow me to use standard USB keyboards and mice?

Cheers
 

PeteT

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May 20, 2021
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Good choice - the XVR-600 is great. I've got one in my Blade 150. Decent 3d performance, DVI connection - what's not to like.

I had mine working in Solaris 9 as well as 10. I think I was running 9/05 HW and it just worked out the box.

Having used both, I'd go for 10 though. You get the more unique Solaris features like zones, ZFS (inc. root) and dtrace. Even have MAE running in a Solaris 9 branded zone - neat. If you care about these things 10u8 is the last version pre-Oracle branding....
 

stormy

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Jun 23, 2019
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Good choice - the XVR-600 is great. I've got one in my Blade 150. Decent 3d performance, DVI connection - what's not to like.

I had mine working in Solaris 9 as well as 10. I think I was running 9/05 HW and it just worked out the box.

Having used both, I'd go for 10 though. You get the more unique Solaris features like zones, ZFS (inc. root) and dtrace. Even have MAE running in a Solaris 9 branded zone - neat. If you care about these things 10u8 is the last version pre-Oracle branding....
Thanks Pete!
Apparently my machine will have 10 preinstalled on a small 8gb disk, so I will most likely swap that out with a large 300gb as soon as I get it. Where would you recommend I source the OS for installation. Also when I install the OS would it have drivers for the graphics, or do I install them separately, I am completely new to Sun :)

Cheers
 

nsode

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Nov 30, 2021
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Thanks Pete!
Apparently my machine will have 10 preinstalled on a small 8gb disk, so I will most likely swap that out with a large 300gb as soon as I get it. Where would you recommend I source the OS for installation. Also when I install the OS would it have drivers for the graphics, or do I install them separately, I am completely new to Sun :)

Cheers
Install media can be tricky to get, especially if you are looking for a specific version of Solaris 10.
My tip would be to keep the Solaris installation on the 8GB hdd and add your 300GB disc to the second SCSI bay until you find the media you are looking for.

IIRC the driver are included if you do a full install, you can choose which drivers to add in the install
 

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