Newbie to FreeBSD on SPARC - questions about Sun hardware

Joerg Wunsch j at
Mon Jan 11 19:51:51 UTC 2010

As Royce Williams wrote:

> Also, "performance" means different things
> to different people.  I don't know of any broad, publiished benchmarks
> comparing freebsd/sparc64 and freebsd/i386 performance, but they would
> be interesting to see.

It's been a while ago that I've really been using FreeBSD/sparc64 for
the last time.  However, in those situations where I've been using it,
it's been on hardware that has once been used for Solaris but now
became too slow/old for its original job.  In all those situations,
FreeBSD gave the respective machines a second life.  So in general,
I'd say its resource requirements are often a little lower than for a
Solaris setup.  But of course, your mileage may vary.  If you run a
fat database engine which is mostly memory-bound, both systems will
probably be in the same boat.  It's just that you could get a FreeBSD
running with a smaller memory (and CPU) footprint than Solaris.

As for the ported software, you could simply gather data by analyzing
a ports tree, looking out for Makefiles that have ONLY_FOR_ARCHS or
NOT_FOR_ARCHS definitions.  Obvious candidates to not run on sparc64
are, of course, ports for anything that uses external binaries (Linux
or Win32) that are only available for i386.

I've never run a sound driver on my Sparc hardware, so I can't tell
about multimedia capabilities.  I guess now that many of the older Sun
Blades have been retired from their first life, other people here
probably made experience with running those under FreeBSD.

cheers, J"org               .-.-.   --... ...--   -.. .  DL8DTL                        NIC: JW11-RIPE
Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for. ;-)

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