What to run on Sparc64?

I have a Sparc64 machine, a Sun Ultra 10 which I installed Gentoo on but it’s just a little too much aggro to look after. Who wants to set a machine to recompile everything overnight and hand-merge the new config files once a week when a Debian dist-upgrade takes a fraction of the time. Frankly I prefer ease of use over speed of use first of all, I can strip a system down if I need to. Anyway, I digress.

I’d like to run Debian on it but I’m waiting for Sarge and also to hear if Sparc64 will get axed after Sarge. It’s also a good opportunity to look at FreeBSD and OpenBSD. I’d like to look at OpenBSD first of the two, just to see more of the Unix world and I looked at FreeBSD briefly once before, but OpenBSD doesn’t seem to support my PCI Sun Happy Meal 10/100Mb ethernet card and I can’t find any CD isos. Yes, it’s lazy, I can’t be arsed putting another card in there and trying to work out how to boot the installer from floppies or a network. I just want to plug in and go. I might be hideously wrong of course, more research involved there I think.

Debian it is then, probably, unless you think I’ve missed another free, non-obscure minority Linux or Unix for Sparc64. I Suppose I could look at Open Solaris or even Solaris Express

One thought on “What to run on Sparc64?

  1. FYI.. OpenBSD runs sweet on Sparc64! It supports your PCI happy meal card no problem. Try http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/man.cgi?query=hme&sektion=4&arch=sparc64
    I run it on my Ultra5 w/2 HME’s (onboard & PCI). Let me know if you get FreeBSD going on it. I had frame buffer (video) problems installing it and after much hassle gave up for the breezey OpenBSD install.
    Checkout PF (Packet Filter) & you’ll know the answer to your question on what to run. It is sweet! Look into it – you’ll like it!

    BTW – I love Ubuntu, used it for a while but didn’t like waiting for 6 months for the next release. I switched to Gentoo & am addicted to emerge –sync… Everything you want to try is out there and it works ! I didn’t want to spend all that time on the Sparc though (like you), so I found OpenBSD. It’s so clean. I wish it had a more viable desktop solution though – it’s really a server OS. Good Luck!

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