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Debian Dropping SPARC Support

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  • Debian Dropping SPARC Support

    Phoronix: Debian Dropping SPARC Support

    While Debian supports many CPU architectures, it's working to remove support for the Sun/Oracle SPARC architecture. As of this weekend, Debian has dropped SPARC from their unstable, experimental, and jessie-updates archives...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Dropping-SPARC

  • #2
    Was anything of value lost?

    Did anyone even notice except the people trying to maintain it?

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    • #3
      I know a guy that maintains a few SPARC systems, but he runs an HP Unix derivative on it. Most of those systems are tied to very strict support contracts.

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      • #4
        It's a bit sad. The SPARC architecture is fully open, non-proprietary and royalty free, and even has schematics available for FAB-ing. No one is interested... UltraSPARC T1 was just a dream? There is always NetBSD that will keep on the dream, though that OS sucks. The world could be open and free. I'm feeling very dark about the future. Businesses accept vPro, don't want free software. The world is wrong. The worlds needs a hero, but doesn't want one.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
          It's a bit sad. The SPARC architecture is fully open, non-proprietary and royalty free, and even has schematics available for FAB-ing. No one is interested... UltraSPARC T1 was just a dream? There is always NetBSD that will keep on the dream, though that OS sucks. The world could be open and free. I'm feeling very dark about the future. Businesses accept vPro, don't want free software. The world is wrong. The worlds needs a hero, but doesn't want one.
          The T1 was generally garbage... but fairly ok for certain things. Debian removing Sparc support just goes to show how poisoned and negative thier outlook is. Much like recent comments on QT vs GTK in Linus torvals diving app...GTK and Debian have the same poisoned mentality IMO. If anything sparc32 support should be there for embedded systems. I more or less am maintaining gentoo on sparc32 see here http://gh0stwriter.net/gentoo there are very few deviations from sparc64 since that is 32bit userland also but it can be a bit of a pain to get off the ground which is why my stage3s are useful.

          Also I don't hate T1's... my homepage runs on a T2000 ;-) The fact is Sparc isn't owned by Oracle ... anybody can make them. And I think they are being dropped because of Oracle hate.. which is stupid.

          I have an example of just about every Sparc v8 machine... SS2 (sparc v7), SS5, SS10, SS20, LX, Sparc Plug, Sparcbook 3GX. Then Ultrassparc wise I have.. U1, U10, Blade 150, and the T2000 which I use to build my sparc32 stages in chroot.

          Fair warning... emerge seems broken on real hardware due to a bug in it or python. I get a timeout overflow :/
          cb88
          Senior Member
          Last edited by cb88; 27 July 2015, 12:10 AM.

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          • #6
            I'd love a SPARC64 computer. Too bad nobody makes them. I'd love a royalty free patent free ISA

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cb88 View Post

              The T1 was generally garbage... but fairly ok for certain things. Debian removing Sparc support just goes to show how poisoned and negative thier outlook is. Much like recent comments on QT vs GTK in Linus torvals diving app... If anything sparc32 support should be there for embedded systems. I more or less am maintaining gentoo on sparc32 see here http://gh0stwriter.net/gentoo there are very few deviations from sparc64 since that is 32bit userland also but it can be a bit of a pain to get off the ground which is why my stage3s are useful.
              Yeah, I know. T1 was mostly... disappointing, basic, not optimal. But now it's free. Multithreaded, It has a hypervisor!

              Thank you for keeping the dream alive. I haven't been able to make Gentoo work, since I'm not smart enough to invent the time that is required for installation.

              What TDP, process node size, core count and frequency are the chips you are working with? SPARC chips seem very thread friendly, but TBH I've never worked with them. Sun's hardware looked like mac for a while. Great, unless you looked at the specs.

              I loved Sun. They were this belly laughing buddha. Then the Oracle came along, and stabbed him in the stomach. And now Oracle has gold kidneys as earrings. And Sun is in a perpetual eclipse. I'm very down tonight. Sorry

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              • #8
                The decision to remove an architecture isn't made lightly - it comes after multiple failed eligibility rounds. See https://release.debian.org/jessie/arch_qualify.html for current status. Note the number of porters (1 person), and the broken compiler support (stuck on gcc-4.6).

                gcc is what dropped 32-bit SPARC support. And there aren't enough humans who care to pick up that slack.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by directhex View Post
                  The decision to remove an architecture isn't made lightly - it comes after multiple failed eligibility rounds. See https://release.debian.org/jessie/arch_qualify.html for current status. Note the number of porters (1 person), and the broken compiler support (stuck on gcc-4.6).

                  gcc is what dropped 32-bit SPARC support. And there aren't enough humans who care to pick up that slack.
                  Funny... then why do my stage3s have gcc 4.9 in them. 32bit sparc support isn't hard to maintain... its practically maintained for all 64bit sparc machines anyway because they can all run the same code. And most of the time 64bit sparcs DO RUN 32bit code... unless they are big memory applications. The biggest difference is cache coherency bugs as the old and new machines have different memory models but that isn't really a compiler problem in most cases.

                  It is also pretty stupid to remove support for an architecture that clang for instance is *improving* it support of ... sparc is llvm and clangs example arch they point new people at to understand the system.
                  cb88
                  Senior Member
                  Last edited by cb88; 27 July 2015, 07:46 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
                    It's a bit sad. The SPARC architecture is fully open, non-proprietary and royalty free, and even has schematics available for FAB-ing. No one is interested... UltraSPARC T1 was just a dream? There is always NetBSD that will keep on the dream, though that OS sucks. The world could be open and free. I'm feeling very dark about the future. Businesses accept vPro, don't want free software. The world is wrong. The worlds needs a hero, but doesn't want one.
                    Fully open? I remember in the 90s when I tried to get documentation of SPARC there was no online material available because it was strictly copyrighted and no one except Sun was even allowed to document it

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