View Full Version : SunSparc IPC

July 18th, 2007, 08:32 AM
I was given a couple of these by a fellow Freecycler.

I spent hours getting Solaris 2.6 and Apache installed on them. For a unit from the late 80's, it does a very good job of being a web server.

The NVRAM was shagged on both units, but I got around that with a bit of Goggling and some 'mkp' commands at the OK prompt.

The first had a 4GB disk (which actually turned out to be faulty) and I had to replace it with a 1GB unit I had as a spare. The other had a 2GB unit, but the older Firmware would not 'see' the external CD-ROM. Well, it could 'see' it, but kept reporting a 'bad magic number'. Anyway, once I had one built, I swapped the hard drives, and installed the other.

Being short on space, I didn't have the full development environment, so getting a binary copy of Apache was essential. Everybody and his wife hosts Apache source, but I had a very hard time locating a pre-compiled version.

I'm not 100% on the security, so I'm not keen on putting it Internet facing.

Enough rambling I think....


July 18th, 2007, 08:49 AM
I remember using one of these machines in 1990 or 1991. Very fast at the time - we used it for AutoCAD. The thing that I remember the most about it was what a pain it was to reconfigure the kernel. Back then, that was a recompile, not just some command line changes or a kernel module load. (Kernel modules? Not back then!)

Congratulations .. get yourself some extra SCSI disks. You should be able to externally attach those, right? (That's how we did ours, and our CD-ROM, which was cutting edge in 1991.)

July 18th, 2007, 09:16 AM
The IPC is a fine little lunch box :)
I'm not sure I would have put Solaris on it, if it's to be an outward facing box.

Have you looked at OpenBSD, which has a Sparc port (http://www.openbsd.org/sparc.html)?
It would also address your security concerns, as OpenBSD strives to be very secure.
And unless you're doing something absolutely Apache-centric,
you might try the thttpd (http://www.acme.com/software/thttpd/) web server, which is very fast and lightweight.


July 18th, 2007, 11:10 AM
How did SparcLinux come along? Last time I touched it, about six years ago, their web page pointed the users to NetBSD (and OpenBSD), if you wanted the maximum performance and didn't require a Linux flavour.

I also once installed NetBSD w/ X on a low-end Sun - either it was an IPX, a CLASSIC or a SS2 pizza box. I was amazed how relatively fast it appeared compared to Solaris 2.5 - 2.6, not to mention that only need a fraction as much RAM to get it to work.

July 18th, 2007, 04:25 PM
How did SparcLinux come along?

I don't know. I wanted maximum performance and I didn't require a Linux flavor. :-)

I've only got one Sparc left in my stable; an Ultra 1 running Solaris 8.
And that will be decommissioned once I get around to moving it's services over to my new OpenBSD server.

July 19th, 2007, 02:50 AM
The other had a 2GB unit, but the older Firmware would not 'see' the external CD-ROM. Well, it could 'see' it, but kept reporting a 'bad magic number'.

Is it a CD-ROM drive that supports 512 bytes per sector? Most CD-ROM's are 2048 bytes per sector. If your drive has a Sector Size jumper on it the put a jumper in it, it should set it for 512 bytes. I have an old SCSI IBM drive with this option and it works on my VAXstation.