[CentOS] Centos for SPARC- when?

Pasi Pirhonen upi at iki.fi
Tue Oct 4 14:58:28 UTC 2005


On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 09:34:26AM -0500, Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
> I'm really curious about the sparc64 version of CentOS.  Currently there are
> only Debian and Aurora, with Debian being something completely different, 
> and
> Aurora not even having working installer for current version (only for RH7.3
> equivalent version).  Mandrake or Suse (not sure which one) also has sparc64
> version, but not for free.

I do belive Aurora Project is making new installer on that FC3 based
thing soon enought too. There seems to be some issues still left (and
as i haven't even tried to generate installation media still, there
might be somne major issues on that area).

My aim being making something that could be mainatained with minumun
pain for next 5-6 years, but rebuilding the bleeding edge.

> My guess is that you'll do only sparc64?  There's probably not many 
> people that
> still have sparc32 machines around (well, I have one, an SS5 box, currently
> running OpenBSD, mostly because there's no decent current Linux distro for 
> the
> thing, primary use to burn some electricity and as monitor stand).  Not even
> sure if 2.6 kernels would run on the thing at all...

I do have sparc32/UP version of some CentOS-4.1 level kernel running on
dual-CPU SS20. It's so damn slow that it's not primary target.
Userspace is 32bit and everything needed is provided as 32bit, but the
initial goal is not including something that is crawling with 100Mhz
range of CPU-speed - it's just too damn slow :)

My initial merge for semi-working SMP-patch for sparc32 was faling
miserably. First generating kernel just too large not to even boot and
after some fine tuning, it did not boot anyway.

I'd say personally that it is time to drop anything below ultra-sparc
now and not trying to drag legacy behind. I was even considering making
gcc use -mcpu=v8 as default, as noone really does have those sun4c sparcs
anywehere doing anything reasonable. Then again, gcc might not been
having too much testing for such target, so i dropped it.

I did do build all the stuff and even installed it to be built against
itself with this -mcpu=v8, but later on i did revert back to thise
default -mcpu=v7 as one needs -mcpu=ultrasparc anyway for things
starting to fly where it's needed (like glibc + openssl).

My kernel isn't still stable on SMP, but neither is Aurora's. My only
SMP-capable target is Netra T1405 tho, so it might work much better on
some other hardware. The kernel being most crucial piece on this puzzle
and frankly i a, no kernel hacking guru and propably never will be. I
try and fail, test and fail, but sometimes i just can't figure out all
of those kernel internals like this one where kernel was not swapping.
I finally managed to isolate it to some non-working atomic operrations
and merged some stuff from 2.6.12.x to fix it up. David S. Miller would
have solved this propably in 15mins, but i am no guru on that area :)

My plan is to start looking for real installation image generation

So my fear is that the kernel area is the most headaches even after
release. Userspace seems to be pretty consistent even now.

Pasi Pirhonen - upi at iki.fi - http://iki.fi/upi/

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