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gepooljr
January 2nd, 2016, 02:19 PM
Happy New Year!

I've recently bought a SPARCStation 10. It's in great condition and has a single SuperSparc I TMS390. I'm trying to decide what OS to run on it.

My goals are:

1. Keep it close to period as possible. That rules out NetBSD.
2. Keep it reasonably functional.
3. Be able to build packages as needed with GCC.

I've narrowed it to three options, but I'm open to suggestions.

1. Solaris 2.6
2. Solaris 2.5.1
4. SunOS 4.1.4

I'm new to Sparc systems, so any advise/suggestions are welcome.

Thanks to all in advance.

Geoff

Chuck(G)
January 2nd, 2016, 02:33 PM
1. Keep it close to period as possible. That rules out NetBSD.


I don't understand--are you saying that NetBSD is too old or too new?

gepooljr
January 2nd, 2016, 02:48 PM
I was looking to keep it as close to original software as possible. According to my research, the SPARCStation 10 came out new in 1992 as part of the sun-4m architecture series. The software range is SunOS 4.1.2 onwards and Solaris 2.1 to 9. I've had no direct experience with either of these products.

That being said, how good is NetBSD on an older SPARC? I've used it on older x86 boxes only - never had a SPARC anything in my collection.

commodorejohn
January 2nd, 2016, 03:54 PM
I used OpenBSD on a Sun Ultra with 1x133MHz UltraSPARC and 128MB RAM, and it was pretty responsive. XWindows was a little balky, but other than that I couldn't complain too much. And in my limited experience with NetBSD it's been faster still (at least when I tried it on my MicroVAX 3100/90,) so it really might not be a bad choice.

Chuck(G)
January 2nd, 2016, 04:01 PM
NetBSD's advantage is that it's not terribly different from 4.2BSD--if you were familiar with 4.2, you'd feel right at home with current NetBSD. And it runs on a pretty wide variety of platforms. I'd find it a very reasonable choice for mid 80s-early 90s hardware.

ClassicHasClass
January 2nd, 2016, 08:04 PM
Speaking as a Solbourne nut, SunOS 4.1 (since that's basically what OS/MP is) is balky to port things to. I'd pick a Solaris.

NeXT
January 2nd, 2016, 09:04 PM
Slap Solaris 2.6 on it and call it good.

Timo W.
January 3rd, 2016, 02:17 AM
Slap Solaris 2.6 on it and call it good.
Totally agree. Had the same choice with my SPARCstation 5 and tested almost all versions from SunOS 4.1.4 (very hard to install) to Solaris 7. Solaris 7 was too bloated, 2.5.1 too buggy. Solaris 2.6 seems to be the best, really.

g4ugm
January 3rd, 2016, 02:54 AM
A long time ago, when I was asked a similar question on the SPARC usenet lists I was told 2.5.9 was the best as it had improved disk handling. Personally I found any of these far to slow to do proper work with, and now the EEPROMs have died in my SS10 I havn't bothered to fix it. Even my Ultra-30 seems incredibly slow. I did use it to build the Hercules IBM mainframe emulator for Sparc some time ago, but it takes a such long time. (around 30-40 minutes) that its a labour of love, and sadly I no longer love it...

gepooljr
January 3rd, 2016, 09:43 AM
Thanks to everyone for their comments.

Once I get the SS-10 up and running, I'm going to use Solaris 2.6. I plan to document the process and maybe even make some youtube videos.

Geoff

m_thompson
January 3rd, 2016, 10:40 AM
It's in great condition and has a single SuperSparc I TMS390.

You should add a second processor and install as much memory as it will hold.

What is the part number on your processor module?
It starts with "501".

sparcipx
January 13th, 2016, 07:50 AM
You should add a second processor and install as much memory as it will hold.

Seconded.

When my SS10 was still alive, I had two 180MHz Ross MBUS modules and 512Mb RAM. Ran Solaris 7 fairly well, 8 was acceptable (in my personal, patient version of acceptability).

haightc
January 13th, 2016, 09:58 AM
I have recently resurrected a sparcstation 10 I got from goodwill. I don't think SunOS 4 was hard to install, installer seems pretty painless to me. For my I need to stick with SunOS 4 (Solaris 1.1.2) and the drivers for the GPIB I/Os where never release publically for Solaris 2+ and NI won't/can't sell them to me. You can install more than one OS on the sparcstation, haven't tried it yet but SILO looks pretty simple and very similar to LILO. It have been suggest that I might be able to get the GPIB drivers to work with NetBSD. If you want to use the hypersparc modules you'll need to upgrade your IDprom though. The hypersparc processors have a much smaller cache, so for my usage I am not sure the swap to hypersparc module would yield worthy gains. Also you'll need to use solaris 2+ or Net/Open BSD if you want large disk and multi processor support .

Trixter
January 13th, 2016, 02:38 PM
Having administered these two decades ago for a living, I'd say your best choice is 2.5.1. It has the extra hardware support but lacks the more bloated stuff.

kev009
January 13th, 2016, 08:34 PM
I would probably go with 2.6 just because it's going to be easier to bring back other interesting software. But NetBSD would be nice.

haightc
January 27th, 2016, 08:26 AM
Happy New Year!

I've recently bought a SPARCStation 10. It's in great condition and has a single SuperSparc I TMS390. I'm trying to decide what OS to run on it.

My goals are:

1. Keep it close to period as possible. That rules out NetBSD.
2. Keep it reasonably functional.
3. Be able to build packages as needed with GCC.

I've narrowed it to three options, but I'm open to suggestions.

1. Solaris 2.6
2. Solaris 2.5.1
4. SunOS 4.1.4

I'm new to Sparc systems, so any advise/suggestions are welcome.

Thanks to all in advance.

Geoff

Which OS did you end up settling on? So far I have tried Solaris 2.3, 2.4, 7 and NextSTEP beyond SunOS 4.1.4. I didn't have much luck trying to install MirOS, NetBSD or Solaris 2.6 from my SyJet drive. I might try the others again from a CD, I know that's what tripped up 2.6....

So far my favorites without have are
1) SunOS 4.1.3 - pretty quick responding but I haven't got all tools I like installed yet (python, mysql, pico/nano, lynx). I miss these tools from Linux
2) NextSTEP - Surprising functional, for me everything just kind of worked right away and has lots tool sets. You can definitely see the inspiration from for OS X in it.
3) Solaris 7 - definitively feel the bloat by this release, it's the first release I can't fit everything on a 1gb drive (not that I probably need everything) but everything seems to work from the get go.
4) Solaris 2.5 - improved hard way support, still no big disks and slower... still doesn't fully understand all keyboard inputs.
5) Solaris 2.4 - slightly better hardware - little slower
6) Solaris 2.3 - okay, little slower than SunOS 4, doesn't work that well from start.

It seems a little odd that SunOS 4.1.3 can handle all the special keys on my type 5 keyboard except media keys but not Solaris 2.3-2.5. I didn't experiment too much with NextSTEP, but all the standard keys seem to work. I way revisit NextSTEP as well too and see if there is a way I can get my GPIB hardware to work with it. Although Linux has abandoned SPARC I may look into into that as an option as well. These days modern intel distros feel like a bloated whale to me.

gepooljr
January 27th, 2016, 07:31 PM
I've installed 2.6 and it works... but not as well as I hoped. My SS10 only has the Supersparc 50 right now.... just moved (back) to Oregon and have had to divert resources so I can't buy the Ross Hypersparc (yet). My biggest complaint with Solaris 2.6 is bloat. Granted, the machine is 1992 era and 2.6 is 1997/98 era, so that plays into the calculus. For a true period OS, SunOS 4.x would be correct. My issue is finding/creating development tools - I would like to setup GCC 3.x.

I've seen instructions on how to create cross-compilers, but the instructions I've found relate to Solaris. Ideally, it would be nice to try SunOS 4.x and then have GCC 3.x or even 2.95 installed to fill in the software gaps.

Geoff

Trixter
January 28th, 2016, 11:52 PM
For a true period OS, SunOS 4.x would be correct.

The SparcStation 10 was sold after Solaris existed, so to be properly period-correct, you'd run a version of Solaris on it. 2.4 or 2.5.1 are good bets if it has enough RAM.

haightc
January 29th, 2016, 03:21 PM
Actually when the SparcStation 10 was introduced was right when the change over had started. So for a couple years SunOS went from 4.1.2 to 4.1.4 and solaris went to 2.4. I think I 1994 is when they upgraded I think is when they moved to the 20 series and 2.5.

My system has an SM41 and 128mb, I tried 2.5 and it didn't seem that bad... Just remember if you want to have more than one processor and be able to use it you need to be on Solaris. When I tried a full install everything was still able to fit on a single 1gb disk without issue. Didn't Solaris 2.6 come on multiple discs?

haightc
January 29th, 2016, 03:23 PM
The SparcStation 10 was sold after Solaris existed, so to be properly period-correct, you'd run a version of Solaris on it. 2.4 or 2.5.1 are good bets if it has enough RAM.


Isn't this this the lapse time when continues to begrudingly support and develope 4... meanwhile when things wouldn't work Sun would just tell them to move to Solaris.