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Thread: SPARCStation 10 - Best OS Choice

  1. #1
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    Default SPARCStation 10 - Best OS Choice

    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

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gepooljr View Post
    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?

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4

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    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.
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  5. #5
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    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.

  6. #6

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    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.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
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  7. #7
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    Slap Solaris 2.6 on it and call it good.
    = Excellent space heater

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    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.

  9. #9
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    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...
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  10. #10
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    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

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