Andrew Boothman andrew at
Mon Dec 8 13:25:49 PST 2003

[CCed to -sparc: Can SunRay boxes be made to work with FreeBSD?]

Chris Shenton wrote:
> Andrew Boothman <andrew at> writes:
>>They are *really* thin clients that really only consist of a
>>monitor, mouse and keyboard and rely on their host server for
>>everything else. That's not an architecture that you're going to get
>>FreeBSD to run under I wouldn't think.
> I suspect that if the SunRays do a PXE boot then they can be given
> addresses by DHCP, boot files via TFTP, and filesystems via NFS --
> just like any other diskless client.

There's the thing - I don't think that the Rays are capable of doing 
something like that.

If you look at which 
is a list of features for the most 'advanced' SunRay that is available - 
you'll see that, "All computing is performed on the server". In other 
words, there is no local processor - nothing to run a local FreeBSD 
kernel (or anything else) on.

The rays depend entirely on their host server for all computation, I 
don't think they even have any local memory so they are not simply a 
diskless box in the usual sense - as they would normally have local CPU 
and memory.

However, like I said before if they can be made to understand a normal X 
session then perhaps they could just act as X-servers or something 
similar? Do a google for "sunray linux" and see what Linux-type people 
have done, although from it 
doesn't look too hopeful that anyone has it working yet...


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