[rescue] is anyone running Linux on a rescued UltraSparc?

Chris Hedemark chris at yonderway.com
Fri Apr 11 12:47:48 CDT 2003

On Friday, April 11, 2003, at 11:00 AM, Paul Phillips wrote:

> Does everyone run Solaris on their UltraSparc boxes?

Sometimes.  I had been running mostly Solaris & OpenBSD but now I'm 
leaning towards Linux.

> Or is anybody running Linux?  If so, what distribution?

For workstation use, I like Aurora SPARC Linux which is pretty much Red 
Hat 7.3 for SPARC.

For servers I prefer Debian.  Especially if the servers are collocated 
somewhere that I don't have convenient access to.

> I am not trying to start any wars here, and certainly don't want to 
> prompt a linux vs solaris discussion.  I'm just curious (mainly to 
> find out if there is a linux for ultrasparc distribution that is 
> good...)

Debian is pretty good on sparc.  Aurora is 100% focused on sparc and 
comes out of the box with more up-to-date packages than Debian (though 
with Debian, once you have your apt-get stuff figured out it is very 
easy to remedy that).  Most of the problems I've had have not been 
Linux related but boneheaded GNU stuff that is written for x86 and 
never tested anywhere else.  Aurora comes with a rich array of packages 
already built and running on sparc so you don't have to wrassle with 
goofy packages that won't compile sanely on non-x86.

Why my interest in switching from OpenBSD to Linux?  Updates.  OpenBSD 
does not have a convenient way of distributing security updates.  You 
need to download source, patch, compile, install... you get the 
picture?  With Debian it is a simple "apt-get update && apt-get 
upgrade" (I like a little more control than that but it can be that 
simple if you want it to be).  With Aurora you can use up2date and 
rhn_check for security patches (distributed in binary form).  There is 
also the problem of authentication.  Linux has the sanest 
implementation of PAM and nsswitch out of anyone.  Solaris claims to 
support it but it will bust your balls trying to set up simple LDAP 
authentication and pulling your automount maps from LDAP.  OpenBSD 
doesn't even support it.  Linux not only supports it, they make it easy 
to set up.

Guess I better put my asbestos suit on now that I've said something 
pro-Linux here.

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