Current support for Xserve G5
nwhitehorn at freebsd.org
Fri Jun 11 20:08:35 UTC 2010
On 06/11/10 14:39, Paul Mather wrote:
> On Jun 10, 2010, at 8:41 PM, Nathan Whitehorn wrote:
>> On 06/10/10 13:20, Paul Mather wrote:
>>> In our lab we have two Xserve G5 servers. We'd like to keep using these, but, because of EOL issues with Mac OS X, I am looking for an Open Source replacement. My preference is for *BSD---preferably FreeBSD or NetBSD. When I looked a while ago, it seemed that the Xserve G5 was either not supported or not very functional under these two OSes. (NetBSD, for example, had no support for the onboard SATA controller and so could only run diskless via netbooting.)
>>> I just looked at the FreeBSD/ppc project Web page and was happy to see the Apple Xserve G5 as reported as running for FreeBSD 8.1. Can anyone tell me whether this runs fully for the stock Xserve G5 hardware, or does it have some serious limitations to deployment, as mentioned for NetBSD above?
>> It is fully supported, and we use G5 xserves for building PPC binary packages, so they are quite stable.
> This is excellent news! I'll be able to use FreeBSD after all. :-)
>> The only caveat is that 64-bit PPC support will first be appearing in the 9.0 release series, so you will only be able to use 2 of the 4 GB of RAM in your machines with 8.1.
> Is this 2 GB per process of user addressable space or 2 GB of physical RAM usable across all processes? I remember having to mess around with kernel address space size to increase it on a ZFS-based FreeBSD/i386 system. Is this something similar, or is it some hardware limitation?
2 GB of physical RAM. Apple sets up the memory maps on their machines so
that the first 2 GB of RAM are mapped at 0-0x7fffffff, there are devices
and various things from 0x80000000-0xffffffff, and the rest of the
memory is mapped above 4 GB, which we can't use with a 32-bit kernel
without some PAE-like hacks that don't exist on ppc at present.
> When you say, "64-bit PPC support will first be appearing in the 9.0 release series," does this mean it is not currently in HEAD? I'm not averse to running FreeBSD-CURRENT (I've done it in the past) to try it out if support is already in HEAD.
It's not currently in HEAD, but should show up there in the next two
weeks or so following some work by M. Warner Losh on build
infrastructure. While I'd appreciate testing, and 64-bit PPC is stable
enough that I can use it on my main work desktop without issue, I
wouldn't recommend it for production use for a while yet. There has been
only limited testing exposure and there is a large possibility of bugs
with big pointy teeth.
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