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RE: Debian on Sparc 4 - woody to sarge

Thanks for the tip Martin,

Looking at the page it seems I have the following, which is indeed
sun4m: -

    SPARCstation 4
    Processor(s):   MicroSPARC II @ 70MHz
    Bus:            SBus, 1 slot
    Architecture:   sun4m
    Notes:          Optional 16-bit audio, onboard framebuffer.


I have since tried to upgrade my kernel to the
kernel-image-2.4.27-2-sparc32_2.4.27-2_sparc.deb package but had a
kernel panic, unable to mount root fs error on the reboot.  I think this
could be a silo.conf error.  I did add the initrd line to silo.conf but
I didn't include a root=/dev/sda1 line.  I had a look around for a
decent (full and complete) example of a silo.conf file but couldn't find
one on the net.

I was hoping that upgrading the kernel would allow me to move to the new
stable 'sarge' release.

Any good pointers?

Once again though, getting my box back to a decent version of woody was
not straight forward, I had to edit my source.list before completing the
install as the floppy disks always point to stable, which of course is
now 'sarge'.  I tried getting the floppy rescue and driver files over
the net thinking they may have been updated, but alas no.

Cheers all,


-----Original Message-----
From: Martin [mailto:inkubus@interalpha.co.uk] 
Sent: 30 June 2005 21:14
To: Debian Sparc
Subject: RE: Debian on Sparc 4

> I think the SPARC 4 is a sun4m architecture although I am no guru on 
> SUN architecture at all.
It is a sun4m machine.  For hardware info for this generation of
machine, this site: http://www.sunhelp.org/faq/sunref1.html
is good (IMHO).

>   I don't know the differences between c and m but I
> think the sun4c is the SPARC 1 and 2.
They are a different abstract architecture, more critically sun4m
machines use SPARC v8 processors rather then SPARC v7 in sun4c machines
(I can't think of an exception - although there might be one).  This
only matters as SPARC v8 has unsigned int multiply and divides (as well
as atomic swap I believe) which has to be emulated on SPARC v7 machines.
In short, for a few key apps (such as ssh, GPG and libc), having support
for SPARC v7 processors slows down the code on faster machines, thus
(and as sun4c machines are getting quite old) there is limited support
for them in Debian 3.1.

>   I shall have to take a closer
> look at this although looking at the SUN site I am sure it is sun4m.  
> I shall see if sarge supports it.  Perhaps the sun4m can use a => 
> 2.4.21 kernel and then be upgraded to sarge.
I believe sarge on sun4m is viable, not sure about the status of 2.6
kernels on sun4m machines, know there used to be at least some bugs on
SMP, check the archives and http://sparclinux.mit.edu/sparc/ if you have
problems with it.


 - Martin

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