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blu3bird
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:43 pm    Post subject: moving from x86 to sparc -> questions Reply with quote

Cheers,

4 days ago a had a weird dream and now i want to get a sparc :D

so far i've only experience with x86 so here are some questions:

- does gentoo/sparc support smp?
- does opera work on sparc?
- how about fluxbox/xfce?
- i think i read something about x86 compability, is there anythink like it?
- i took a look around at ebay and fouch many sparcs with scsi discs. whould it be possible to add an pci ide controller to access ide devices(as storage)?

currently i have 2 x86 systems running gentoo with distcc(intel & amd)
- does crosscompiling beetween sparc and x86 work?

what about cflags?
I'm confused because gentoo-wiki says -fomit-frame-pointer is ok but gentoo-docs say it is not good to use fomt-frame-pointer. what are you using?

and last but not least
- what sparc is best as a start? ultra 2 workstation?

what i know allready:
- i need a special sun monitor for that 13w3 port
- i need a special sun keyboard and a special sun mouse
- ultrasparc is 64bit :)

thx
bluebird
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gust4voz
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
- does gentoo/sparc support smp?

Yes on most sun4u models.

Quote:
- does opera work on sparc?

Yeah.

Quote:
- how about fluxbox/xfce?

Also yes.

Quote:
- i think i read something about x86 compability, is there anythink like it?

Not as good as you'd like, you're stuck with bochs and other software-emulation programs, it's VERY slow.

Quote:
- i took a look around at ebay and fouch many sparcs with scsi discs. whould it be possible to add an pci ide controller to access ide devices(as storage)?

In most cases yeah, but you won't be able to boot off those devices. We don't know precisely which chipsets do the best job, some may not even work because the drivers aren't well coded though.

Other things to mention: Java is completely broken so don't count on it. No flash plugin either.
I use CFLAGS="-mcpu=ultrasparc -mtune=ultrasparc -mvis -Wa,-Av8plusa -O2 -pipe" - but that's ONLY recommended for the new toolchain (2006.0 profiles, gcc-3.4.5+). -fomit-frame-pointer is really a bad idea on sparc, gentoo-wiki.com is wrong but we can't fix anything there if they don't since it's not gentoo-related really (not official). Don't use -O3 either - you won't get any benefit out of it and it may actually break some stuff.
What machine is best depends on how much $$ you want to spend and what you want out of it. Ultra 2 is very nice, but it's SBUS - thus you won't be able to use regular IDE disks in it. You could look at a ultra 60 for a PCI-based one with the capacity for two processors, otherwise there's the ultra 80 for a quad but it's quite expensive usually and i'd go for a blade 1000 for that price that has nicer UltraSPARC-III processors (up to two) and FC-AL disks.
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gust4voz
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also worth mentioning you can use a usb keyboard/mouse with them if you've got USB ports in your machine.
Unless it's a factory option they won't be recognized by OBP (akin to BIOS) but they'll work fine on linux.
http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/base/sparc/hwlist.xml has a listing of tested non-sun hardware on sparc machines.
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Blood Fluke
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:02 am    Post subject: Re: moving from x86 to sparc -> questions Reply with quote

blu3bird wrote:

what i know allready:
- i need a special sun monitor for that 13w3 port
- i need a special sun keyboard and a special sun mouse
- ultrasparc is 64bit


Actually, you can buy adapters that will let you plug in just about any rebranded Sony monitor. Most Sony monitors (and the various vendors who rebranded them -- IBM, Gateway, Sun) support Sync-on-Green signalling, they just don't have a 13w3 plug. So for those monitors, all you need is a really cheap adapter that just changes the shape of the plug.

If you buy an Ultra 5 or Ultra 10, extremely cheap systems, they use standard PC mice and keyboards. (The downside to the U5/U10 is that it's dog slow unless you buy a SCSI card. On the bright side, the SCSI cards are usually about the same price as a type 5 keyboard :P)
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gust4voz
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Careful there, U5/10 systems DON'T use standard PC mice/keyboards.
You probably mean blade 100/150 machines...
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chance2105
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a reference on monitors, I'm using a U60 with a Dell flat CRT.

Monitors that "work" using the converters are pretty common.
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Blood Fluke
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gust4voz wrote:
Careful there, U5/10 systems DON'T use standard PC mice/keyboards.
You probably mean blade 100/150 machines...

Doh.

You're right. I was thinking of the Ultra AXe systems. They look pretty much like an Ultra 5 to the OS, but they use PC peripherals and fit in an ATX case. They're still dirt cheap on ebay. :)


Edit:
Heh, there's a new-in-box AXe on Ebay for $50.
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Eidi
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the Blade 100/150, it looks like they both have standard VGA ports for monitors. Can anyone confirm or deny whether standard monitors without adapter work on the Blade 100/150? Thanks.
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gust4voz
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, onboard on U5, U10, Blade 100 and Blade 150 are standard VGA, they're actually ATI Rage.
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