Linux on SPARC

Jonathan Duncan jonathan at
Mon Oct 2 14:45:19 MDT 2006

On Mon, 2 Oct 2006, Stephen Ward wrote:

> 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.
> Thanks,
> Stephen

Now you ask.  A while back I was trying to find a good home for my old 
SPARC Classic.  I had installed RedHat 5/6 on it for testing purposes and 
it worked great.  I tried mailing lists and universities and nobody 
wanted.  My uses ran out for it so I finally threw it out.  I was sad to 
see it go.  If only we had connected sooner.

I know Gentoo has a Sparc install:

Other distros may as well.


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