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linmag7
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:33 am    Post subject: a gentoo-based linux on sun sparc32 sun4m Reply with quote

by following the gentoo bootstrapping-guide, clfs and some other guides, I've put together a gentoo-based system for sparc32 (tested on microsparc, supersparc and hypersparc). I'm running it on my sparcstations 5/10/20.

let me know if anyone wants to take it for a test-drive on your old sun-box...

I have it available as a "stage3" tar.bz2 file based on a current gentoo system (as of 2011-11-27) but with different kernel/gcc/binutils/libc
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NotQuiteSane
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how well does it (not) work? There's a SS5 waiting for me, but i've been hesitant to go fetch it as the best choice looked to be *BSD. not that BSD is bad, I'm just used to Linux.

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destroyedlolo
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used my SS5 and SS20 for years under NetBSD and serving brunch of Apache2/PHP websites : I used 1.1 to 3.1.

  • 1.1 was very stable but include files not fully standard making any compilation difficult so I upgraded
  • 2.1 ran out of memory lot of time due to it's ^$#&@&*# garbage collector (I duno who had this brilliant idea, but GC is more problematic than other thing, and not only for an OS :x )
  • under 3.1, Apache wasn't stable due to bad threading support (even with apache compiled without threading).


I give up when their respective system's drives died. I'm still part of NetBSD distribution list, and it seem the situation improved but still not fully stable under Sparc.

I would certainly give Gentoo a try on those machine when I'll have some time free ...
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linmag7
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:38 am    Post subject: linux on sparc32 Reply with quote

I haven't done any extensive testing on stability but as far as I can tell is it seems stable.

I'm running a sparcstation 4 with kernel 3.1.5 its been running for maybe two weeks, compiling kernels and stuff. No problems so far.
I'm also running a 2.6.31.9 kernel in SMP on a ss10 with dual sm71 supersparc-II. This seems to work too. As far as stability I've tested to build perl/kernels and some other stuff using "make -j4" for a few days straight and no problems so far. Using more recent kernels in SMP seems to cause stability problems.

/Magnus
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linmag7
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: bootable install CD Reply with quote

I've put together a bootable install CD making it easy to install linux on sparc32 systems if you have access to a cdrom drive
its available via ftp. PM me if you want to grab it.
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chouimat
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you give the other guides you used?
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linmag7
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject: guides Reply with quote

I've used the cross-linux-from-scratch guide for SPARCV8, it's still "under development" but most things work, requires some trial and error though. Also the Gentoo bootstrapping guide is very helpful for getting portage/emerge up and running. Most of the gentoo-sparc-install-guide for sparc64 applies for sparc32 as well. Building a custom kernel and initramfs images requires some hardware knowledge on old suns and the lived-howto gives you some stuff on how to build a custom initramfs image. I found some other stuff on the internet that also was helpful. Main problems with old sun hardware and silo is a kernel size limit of about 2.6mb (at least on my sun boxes). An initramfs image is required, everything you need to boot will not fit in a kernel below 2.6mb.
.
Gentoo has a good guide for building a lived, livecd-HOTWO, I used it to make the install CD. There are some sparc specifics for making the iso bootable that
I've picked up from various mailing list archives and some "trial and error" (mostly on which parameters to give to mkisofs)

also, people on IRC (#gentoo-sparc) have been most helpful!
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Toady
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its good to hear that there are still 32bit sparc's out there.

My first taste of Gentoo was in 2004, using a pair of sparcstation 20's. One with a single 75MHz cpu and one with a pair of 50MHz CPU's. Those were the days indeed. I built those from the available stage3 of the time, upgraded GCC and rebuilt the whole systems, they worked well, cartainly quicker under Gentoo than Solaris. I did briefly use NetBSD on mine too - but for many reasons moved to Gentoo.

I still have an Ultra 10 here somwhere - not even powered it on in a long time - dont know if the battery has died or not - probably should have by now!
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linmag7
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: old sun hardware Reply with quote

yeah, old sun hardware still got some spark (no pun intended). With a modern linux they can even make themselves useful as a small home-server, also they don't hog so much power so they are kind to the electric bill compared to for example my blade-2000.

the most recent kernels seems to have some some problems with SMP though... would be really nice the get that fixed but it might be alot easier said than done...
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cb88
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have a copy of linmag7's isos and stage 3's or even more up to date ones...
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NotQuiteSane
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cb88 wrote:
Does anyone have a copy of linmag7's isos and stage 3's or even more up to date ones...


linmag7 might.

NQS
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As I see it -- An irregular blog, Improved with new location

To delete French language packs from system use 'sudo rm -fr /'
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cb88
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just PMed him... I forgot to earlier thought I had though oh well.
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