SPARC port (was Re: Technical Board decisions)

Caroline Ford at
Wed Feb 14 04:31:16 UTC 2007

Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 13, 2007 at 11:42:38AM -0600, Chris wrote:
>> Matt Zimmerman wrote:
>>> The Ubuntu Technical Board has made two technical decisions of which we
>>> would like to inform the Ubuntu community.  Both of these decisions concern
>>> the upcoming 7.04 release of Ubuntu, scheduled for mid-April.
>>> The PowerPC Architecture
>>> ------------------------
>>> Summary:
>>>   Beginning with Ubuntu 7.04, the PowerPC edition of Ubuntu will be
>>>   reclassified as unofficial.  The PowerPC software itself and supporting
>>>   infrastructure will continue to be available, and supported by a community
>>>   team.
>> It would be nice to see support for Sparc devices. Is this something in
>> the works? Case in point, I have several Sparc10 I would love to toss
>> Ubuntu on.
> SPARC has been an official Ubuntu platform for the past two releases,
> Ubuntu 6.06 LTS and Ubuntu 6.10.  Prior to that, it was an unofficial
> platform.
SPARC is ambiguous. I'm not sure what you mean by a SPARC10 - if you 
mean SPARCstation 10 then we don't have support from those (10 years 
old+ 32bit machines). Debian does in its SPARC port, as does *BSD.

What Ubuntu calls SPARC everyone else seems to call SPARC64. Our 
documentation is confused (and bug reported..) - from reading the forums 
our SPARC port runs on Sun 4u - not the earlier Sun 4m and Sun4c. It 
also presumably runs on the newer ones mentioned in the marketing blurb 
- I think these are called sun4v. It may run on these as they are 
backward compatible with 4u. I'm pretty sure we are shipping 4u.

I have some smp 66Mhz SPARCstation 20s here I could test if we think we 
do run on sun 4m. I'd love to say I've stuck Ubuntu on my Ultra 1 but I 
haven't as we don't provide a boot floppy (this is an upstream bug). I 
don't feel like setting up the non-trivial netbooting (our instructions 
are really crap in this regard also) and have stuck bsd on it instead..

While I'm having a SPARC whinge - we need to ship an smp kernel - don't 
expect people to pay $$ for a server box and either only run one cpu or 
compile the kernel. Compiling a kernel is *very* not ubuntu in my eyes.

We need to ship a SPARC cd with X on. Many of the supported machines are 
workstations not servers. Leaving the user with the command line is A 
Bad Thing too.


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