FreeBSD viability on Sparc platform

Kris Kennaway kris at obsecurity.org
Wed Nov 23 12:40:28 PST 2005


On Wed, Nov 23, 2005 at 03:33:19PM -0500, Nathan Vidican wrote:
> Been a (long) while since I've been following the port at all, where is 
> FreeBSD/sparc anyhow? Looking to replace a server here which is currently 
> running FreeBSD/i386 on dual PIII 550's, the machine is heavily loaded and 
> stability/redundancy are key but budget is a concern. For the price I can 
> get decent configurations of Sun Ultra and Ultra II powered sparc servers 
> with redundant power for cheap... but can I reliably run FreeBSD on them, 
> or am I stuck with Solaris. Really, would Solaris not be a better option 
> anyhow given it's their hardware, or is FreeBSD stable enough on the 
> platform yet for production?
> 
> The machine is basically pure mysql server, and does minimal routing 
> accross two network interfaces. I know this could just as easily be done in 
> Solaris, just curious as to FreeBSD/sparc viability. I'm looking at some 
> E420R's with qty 4 450mhz Sparc II cpus, and 4GB ram each.

It's generally pretty stable..but there are a couple of panics I run
into on the sparc machines on 6.0.  You may not see them depending on
what you do.  If stability is your main concern you should use an i386
or amd64 machine though, since those architectures are better
maintained.  Alternatively, you could use 5.4 which doesn't have those
bugs, but performance is much lower than 6.0 on SMP machines.

Kris
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