[rescue] Sparc OS Install over serial

Tom Ponsford tponsford at theriver.com
Tue Jan 6 19:38:56 CST 2004

Mike Hebel wrote:
> You port that and I'll replace Bill's missing beverage and cough up 
> another $5. ;-)

Alas, far too little time, however, I don't think it would be too hard if you 
didn't run into any endian or cross-compile issues.

VTserver.as it says,  acts as a virtual tape drive working through the serial 
port, Much like the ancient pdp TU-8* streaming tape drives. As such it would 
be painfully slow (depending upon a serial port speed) so the best thing would 
be to use a cut down unix version ported to an UltraSparc.  ie NetBSD or 
FreeBSD. It has to be tape image, but there are tools out there to do just that.

Actually VTsever is built on and works on the host machine, is opensource and 
ported to Linux and *bsd, its just on the x86 platform.

I used it to load a small unix to a pdp form my host bsd machine. No ethernet, 
floppy, tape drive, cdrom, or parallel port.

It works, it just slow but i'm pretty sure it will do the job.


Tom Ponsford


> Mike Hebel
> On Tuesday, January 6, 2004, at 07:06 PM, Tom Ponsford wrote:
>> Well It looks like its time to port VTserver over to a sparc platform :-)
>> http://www.shiresoft.com/pdp-11/software/vtserver.html
>> Cheers
>> Tom Ponsford
>> Mark T. Valites wrote:
>>> I'm looking for a way to bootstrap and install any modern OS (preferably
>>> some flavor of linux) to a SS or Ultra class sparc, but only use the
>>> serial port - no floppy, cd, network, or hard disk to bootstrap from. My
>>> console does _not_ need to be on the serial port. Googling has only 
>>> turned
>>> up ways of using the serial port as concole during install. I was hoping
>>> there's a way to pull this off from the prom - does anyone know if 
>>> this is
>>> possible?
>>> -Mark
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