sparc64 TODO list (was: Re: Sparc64 doesn't care about you, and you shouldn't care about Sparc64)

Mark Linimon linimon at
Sat Jan 2 19:10:48 UTC 2016

[replies trimmed down a bit to just the most interested parties]

On Sat, Jan 02, 2016 at 01:17:48PM -0500, alexmcwhirter at wrote:
> I guess I need to know what needs attention first?

I think it depends on what you'd like to do.

Here at the house I have the following status:

 - on hard drive: 10.2-PRERELEASE FreeBSD 10.2-PRERELEASE #0 r284970:
   Wed Jul  1 03:30:12 UTC 2015, up 72 days, 13:58.  This is building
 - netboot: sparc64-10 20151230 working.
 - netboot: sparc64-11 20151222 fails: "panic: pcib0: fatal DMC/PEC error"

> I'd like to do some work on the bootloader and installer (zfs from
> installer would be nice)

I know there is some work being done on the bootloader for x86.  I do
not know if this carries over to non-x86.  Hopefully someone on arch@
will comment.  If not, please ping me offline.

> and of course sun4v.

A build of sun4v from 8-STABLE (last version it existed) on 20151120
just hangs.  I believe the netboot setup is the same as for the above,
with 90% confidence.  IMHO it's going to take a great deal of work.
I will probably only tinker with it from time to time.

> It seems what needs the most attention is the build toolchain, am I
> correct?

Correct.  There was some discussion earlier in the thread about "external
toolchain support".  This would allow us to use various gcc/clangs without
having them in the base system.  This would also help us out on various
of the other tier-2 archs (in particular, those for arm/mips).

I do not know the latest state.  Perhaps a check of the freebsd-toolchain@
archives might help.  If not, email me offline and I'll put you in touch
with the right people.

This is going to be a very involved task, however, so FYI.

> I think clang is not really considerable at the moment

We took a look at it several weeks ago and it needed help.  I can put
you in touch with the person who was interested.

> This would be my first real contribution to FreeBSD, so any pointers
> or docs are graciously accepted.

First, thanks for the offers :-)

Second, please be patient when waiting for answers.  sparc64 support is
on a "as time is available" status and not many developers prioritize it.
I split my time between it and powerpc64 and ports work.

I'll email you some of the basic documentation pointers offline from
this discussion.


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