U1E and U2 are supported system?

Scott Long scottl at freebsd.org
Mon Aug 30 07:39:56 PDT 2004

Brad Knowles wrote:
> At 9:54 PM -0600 2004-08-29, Scott Long wrote:
>>                                        In reality, it's hard to get
>>  excited about putting this much work into a machine that is only 167MHz.
>>  The Ultra2 is fairly useable but is still pretty slow at basic things
>>  like 'buildworld'.
>     For me, one of the really cool things about the U2 is that you can 
> swap the CPU modules for ones based on UltraSPARC-II, up to 400MHz.  
> That plus decent speed SCSI drives brings them a lot closer to the 
> capabilities of more modern hardware.  I mean, 2GB of RAM plus two 
> 400MHz UltraSPARC-II chips gets you into the 220R class, and I have run 
> some pretty good size ISP-class mail servers on machines like that, 
> serving multiple hundreds of thousands of users.
>     Certainly, even an original U2 is quite capable of being a decent 
> firewall/IPSec VPN/DHCP box for a moderate size network, and should be 
> overkill for that function on most SOHO networks.
>     The Ultra1 doesn't let you swap out the CPUs or give you two of 
> them, so that puts it back quite a bit further.  Still, as the least 
> expensive UltraSPARC out there, it would be good if we could support 
> them better, if only to lower the barrier to entry.

Indeed, and this is why I've tried to keep this work going.

>>                      I can't possibly imagine waiting for an Ultra1 to
>>  complete this task.  However, if someone wants to lend a hand, I'd be
>>  happy to share my notes and point you in the right direction.
>     I may have mentioned this before, but I'm not a programmer.  I'm 
> happy to drive up to a University in a nearby country and help to pick 
> up a good quantity of boxes that are being donated to the project, and 
> there are a variety of other ways that I will try to contribute to the 
> project -- perhaps including the distribution of some of my existing 
> UltraSPARC hardware to deserving/needy developers.

Lack of hardware is not the problem.  There are plenty of Ultra1 boxes
floating around and it's trivial to buy one off of ebay for less than
what it costs to ship it.  What would really be useful is more Ultra2
and higher boxes that can be used for package building and used by
developers to write better console support.

>     That said, it might be interesting to look into the NetBSD le driver 
> and see just what exactly it is that you kernel hackers do....

I suspect that the NetBSD le driver is going to be similar to the NetBSD
esp driver in that it's going to have an unbelievable number of
attachments and special cases.  Have fun!


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