Current support for Xserve G5

Andreas Tobler andreast-list at
Fri Jun 11 19:57:44 UTC 2010

On 11.06.10 21:39, 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?
> 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.

See here:

Nathan knows more about when this is going into -CURRENT.

But at least you could try if you have spare cycles of time and cpu.


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