[rescue] howto make multiple main boards work on a Sun Sparc 670/MP

Robert Novak rescue at sunhelp.org
Fri Jun 15 11:18:35 CDT 2001

On Fri, 15 Jun 2001, Dave McGuire wrote:

> On June 15, Rob wrote:
> > Also, ideas for an os?  Last I heard, linux didn't work on these
> things, but > I've never gotten a clear answer why?  > I guess my
> other choices > are netbsd/openbsd and sunos/solaris.
>   Eh?  No way.  Unless they've *broken* support for the 4/600, Linux
> sure does run on them.  

I ran Redhat (4.2 maybe?) years ago and it wasn't stable on my dual-SM100
4/600 with a multiprocessor kernel, but it ran fine in uniprocessor mode.
However, I have run more recent distributions successfully on SMP SPARCs.
I'd guess current SuSE or Debian would be sweet. Maybe I should power up
one of my 600 boards with the SM61s I was trying (and failing) to sell,
put in the 4MB simms (trying and failing too), and see how it does with
Debian 2.2r3.

>   But...for serious performance and much greater stability, I'd put
> NetBSD on them.

One problem, and this might be outdated (please correct me if this is
inaccurate). From http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/sparc/hardware.html

	Devices often asked about, but not yet supported include:

	* additional processors (multi-processor systems will boot, but
	  only one will be functional)

Unfortunately, OpenBSD is the same way, if not worse. From
http://www.openbsd.org/sparc.html#hardware :

	* Multiple Processors/Modules in sun4m systems
	OpenBSD will not currently boot on some machines with multiple
	processors. You must remove the extra CPUs.

FreeBSD's SPARC port is apparently unchanged since 10/98. So if you want
to use multiple processors on any SPARC, seems a Linux or a Solaris is
likely to be your best bet, from what I can find.

Did anybody have any luck finding newer bootproms for the 600MP boards?
Looks like Sunstore took them down (part #555-1200)  and Memoryx doesn't
list them. I haven't even looked at mine lately (one's in a 330 chassis
hidden behind an Alphaserver 600, the other is in a closet behind a cat
cage (discussions on cats to pets at sunhelp please! :) ).

Oh, and if anyone wants a SPARCserver 330 chassis, and is willing to pick
it up in the north San Jose region of California, contact me offlist. It's
free to the first taker. Just the case/PS, no boards or anything. Might
even let the other one go so I can put my 600s in my 6-slot deskside
chassis instead, just ask if you're interested (and have a strong back).


Robert Novak, Indyramp Consulting * rnovak at indyramp.com * indyramp.com/~rnovak
        "And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
           Maybe this year will be better than the last...." -- counting crows

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