Linux on SPARC

Stephen Ward sjward at
Mon Oct 2 14:10:08 MDT 2006

I'm looking at taking on a project that involves Linux on a SPARC machine.
My only experience with Linux is on the x86 platform, and I have absolutely
no SPARC experience.  Being the adventurer that I am, I intend to pursue
this despite my lack of experience.

In order to tackle this project, I'm going to have to obtain my own SPARC
machine.  I've been looking on ebay for used machines I could pick up on the
cheap.  It isn't hard to find stuff for ~$500 or less, which is about what
I'm looking to spend.  However, I don't know what sort of hardware
considerations I should make in finally choosing one.  For instance, I
imagine the SPARC processor has undergone some revisions over the years (a
la Pentium, P2, P3, etc.); are there certain old processor revisions I want
to avoid?  If I want to add a hard drive, is it pretty likely that I can pop
in a good ol' IDE drive, or would I more likely need to look at SCSI?  Or
does Sun generally use some other funky standard (note my mention of lack of
experience above)?  Are there other things I need to consider that I
probably haven't?

I'm fairly intent on using Gentoo as my flavor of choice unless someone can
give me a pretty compelling reason not to.


Ray tracing rules:

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