Sparc64 doesn't care about you, and you shouldn't care about Sparc64

Marius Strobl marius at
Sun Nov 8 16:02:18 UTC 2015

On Wed, Nov 04, 2015 at 11:26:49PM +0000, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:
> --------
> In message <2AAC0EF3-528B-476F-BA9C-CDC3004465D0 at>, Warner Losh write
> s:
> >I concur.  I think sparc64 has had a nice run, but it's time to 
> >recognize that the run is nearing its end.
> The main reason we wantd to have sparc64 in the fold was that it
> was the opposite sex than i386, and thus helped find endianess bugs.
> The secondary reason was that it was 64 bit vs. i386's 32 bit.

Maybe that was the original motivation. However, in my perception,
the main benefit of sparc64 for the entire tree over the last couple
of years was to be a real magnet for alignment bugs in MI code,
mainly network related things (with powerpc/powerpc64 being second
place in that regard). It did that job so well that I repeatedly
wondered myself: Who on earth actually is using arm and mips? I
mean, sure, Juniper has its own IP stack but f. e. at the time
alignment bugs in netgraph(4) got reported on sparc64, I really
would have expected at least some people to use a MIPS-based router
board for running a PPPoE session in order to terminate their DSL
That's even true as of today; f. e., there are still alignment bugs
left to be fixed in dummynet(4) (which apparently has been written
without platforms with strict alignment requirements in mind and,
thus, is somewhat a PITA to properly fix). These bugs get reported
for sparc64 from time to time but I've never seen a single one in
the context of arm, mips or powerpc/powerpc64).


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