[rescue] best OS for SPARCserver 10

Mike Nicewonger twmaster at twmaster.com
Fri Sep 12 00:37:25 CDT 2003

> >As has been pointed out either NetBSD or OpenBSD would be the best
> >system choice for your nice vintage SS10. [0] If you have more than one
> >then your best choice is NetBSD, or to remove one CPU to use OpenBSD. I
> >would avoid Solaris on that machine. [1]
> 128M would be short on RAM for Solaris... but with more RAM and a couple
> of decent processors, Solaris isn't all that bad on a Sun-4m for most of
> what he wants to do.... sure NetBSD and OpenBSD are going to be faster
> due to their smaller footprints, etc....

Under the parameters given *either* of the 'BSD's are still my preference
and with the resources listed will *spank* Solaris. Besides I clearly said
Solaris is a good operating system, just not what I would recommend for this

> I have an SS20 I still use from time to time with two SM71s running
> Solaris 8.  It has SX video, and I even have Mozilla running on it
> (will be switching to Mozilla Firebird on it for the improved memory
> footprint).  It is acceptable for most of the tasks I use it for.

That is indeed a pleasant machine. And as you pointed out in a maxed out
configuration is not painful to use Solaris on. However I still contend that
same maxed out box would positively scream with something lighter like the
> >
> >You should be fine with 128 MB of memory. You may however run into
> >problems if you try to use an Apple CD-ROM. The Sun CD-ROM FAQ is your
> >friend.
> >
> >If you boot from Floppy you should be OK.
> ick... floppy... yuk !
> OpenBSD Sparc CDs are bootable (if you bother to buy the CD).  Not
> sure about NetBSD... I've only played with that on a Sun-3/80....
> painfully.

Nothing wrong with floppy installs. *especially* if you do not have a
bootable CD-ROM. Hence my pointing the lad at the CD-ROM FAQ. If you do not
have a drive that is 512 byte block settable the install *will* vomit all
over the place.

> >
> >[0] Possibly the very finest of all the 4m machines IMHO.
> hmmm... built really well such that I like it's overall construction
> a bit better than SS20, but the SS20 has the SX video (sure, the
> SS10SX exists... but they are hard to find), has 50MHZ MBUS and takes
> SCA scsi drives (although still only powering them off a narrow bus...
> but it is much easier to find large SCA scsi drives than 50 pin scsi
> drives).

The video is not an issue here it seems since he mentioned server duities.

As for ease of finding an SS-10SX, it's a snap. All I have to do is go
downstairs and pet mine. :)

Frankly since I use my 4m machines as servers I am not terribly worried
about any of the above points. The M-bus speed is suffient, I don't need big
internal disk for an OS load and any file server duties can be handled by
suffiently studly external diskage.

Several things I find better about the 10 over the 20 are the better case
design. More robust power supply, better (albeit not by much) cooling. As
well as no oddball sled to mess with finding for the hard disk. I will agree
however that today SCA disks are easier to find than 50 pin drives.

> >
> >[1] Not saying Solaris in it's current form is bad. Just is too much
> >overhead for the good ole' SS10
> Depends on what your going to do with it... for most of the server
> tasks he mentioned, it would be fine... although I'd recommend at least
> a dual SM61 or faster, or if going uniprocessor, an SM71 (better yet an
> SM81 or HS150).

But you see he would not have to get *anything* else to run, and run very
well, either of the 'BSD's.

> Put a couple of HS150, HS142, HS166, or faster processors in one of this,
> they run very nicely.  Dual SM81s are nice too.

Question for ya Curt. Are you in any way related to Greg Woods? :)

Mike N

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