Linked by Tony Bourke on Wed 21st Jan 2004 02:41 UTC
Oracle and SUN A few weeks ago, I stubbed my toe on my old Sun Ultra 5 as it sat there lifeless and unused in my apartment. Once my primary desktop, the envy of my geek friends, and a way to woo the ladies, its glory days have long since passed. As much as I would like to let it live out its days looking sexy and taking up space, I live on the island of Manhattan, where space is a premium. Since I can't charge it rent, I decided I'd better use it or lose it. But what to use it for? What operating system would I run on it? Solaris? What about Linux? FreeBSD? NetBSD? OpenBSD? They all run on the SPARC platform, so I thought why not do a quick review.
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My Ultra 5 (Smooth as silk!)
by Trollboy on Wed 21st Jan 2004 12:59 UTC

I run gentoo on my Ultra 5 (A 270 with 512MB ram).
I have replaced the HD with a 80GB Seagata Baracuda (7200rpm) and the CD with a Kenwood 72x. I love the machines consistent performance. It not fast but it handles loads much better the the x86 hardware, never had the machine sit around waiting for an interrupt or stall cause a write took longer then expected. Never had a panic or other problems. (It will probably die now since I wrote this...)

The first thing I did was get more memory for the box. I got 2x256 from MemoryX 8MX7032A) at 196USD+shipping (02/08/2003). With the original memory It was thrashing when I ran lynx!

I started with OpenBSD but the install was so bad. No support for the ATI video and no keyboard maps. I never tryed to install with a terminal console, that would probably have worked better.
The Gentoo install went smooth, stage 1 install took about three days. ;-) The install don't require much interaction so that not much of a problem.

Next thing I will try is getting a ieee1394 card running in it and get an external drive on it.

Sofar I have had no problems what so ever with any hardware (IDE or other). If it has a buggy IDE chipset it don't show it. I will try to get my hands on some more old sun boxes now that Gentoo puts back some spring in there steps. a 450 would be nice!