Sun U20 supported, fully/partially working... or not at all?

Roland Smith rsmith at
Wed Nov 16 11:12:58 PST 2005

On Wed, Nov 16, 2005 at 06:47:59PM +0100, Julien Gabel wrote:
> >> I am currently looking for feedback on using a Sun Ultra 20 Workstation.
> >> [...]
> >> Any chance to get it working using FreeBSD?  Many thanks in advance for
> >> reply(ies) and feedback(s).
> > It seems to run Linux, so I'd _guess_ that most things would work. Not
> > sure if Xorg supports PCI-express yet.
> This is what i would gess too at first, but since some additional "Driver
> and Diagnostics updates" are also provided[1], i am not sure anymore this
> kink of hardware (especially the motherboard and the SATA controller) may
> be supported "out of the box", based on the assumption of generic hardware
> or similar Linux support.  On the other side, Windows is also supported
> and if i can imagine Sun to provide some binary driver(s) for Linux, i
> don't think it may be the case for Windows.  So, i don't really know what
> to think... and ask the list ;)

Well, the thing comes with UNIX ((Open?)Solaris) installed, so unless
there is some functionality in FreeBSD that you can't do without, you
can always fall back on that.

> I think that PCI-Express is -- at least partially -- supported by Xorg
> via the 'Option "BusType" "PCIE"' configuration entry.  The problem is
> more to know if a driver is provided by Xorg or in the binary updates
> on the downloadable ISO from Sun: i am pretty sure this one is a problem
> (i can't see any reference for the proposed cards on the release notes
> for Xorg 8.6.2...).

Most of the cards listed use NVidia chips. Most nvidia cards will work
in 2D in Xorg, but might not use much of the accelleration features
provided by the card. Hardware OpenGL will probably not work.

> > But I bet you can have a no-name amd64 PC built to your specs for less.
> Since this one is provided at work, it isn't an issue.

If there is already a machine in the house, just try booting the FreeBSD
install CD, and look at the dmesg output. That should give you an idea
what works and what doesn't.

R.F.Smith ( Please send e-mail as plain text.
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