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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old SPARCs
by Big Gums on Wed 21st Jan 2004 23:20 UTC

Old SPARCs run just about any modern OS (which supports the hw, that is) just fine. Sure, compiling on a SS5 or SS20 is a pain and rather tedious, but for daily work all one needs is a run through the Solaris kernel parameters list for tweaking the system. Aside from the constant whine from the old-ass SCSI drives, my SS5, 3 SS20s and U1 have consistently worked like champs for me.

The biggest problem with the U5 was the wack IDE chipset. Other than that, they still make great desktops. I ran Debian on one for ~3yrs as my daily desktop and never had reason to complain (ok, lack of Shockwave/Flash support; there's one gripe).

Oh, and maybe things have improved over the last year since I've last touched it, but Linux on sparc32 is masochistic; blow your money and (more importantly) time on a dominatrix instead.