Sun SPARCstation 2, 40 MHz, 16 MB RAM booting Linux in 2018?

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Today it is finally time to present to you my #Sun #SPARC station 2, with 40 MHz SUN 32-bit SPARC booting #t2sde #Linux!

welcome everyone to another video from the scheme of the last week's you probably guessed it's time for another windage computing video today if your son sparcstation – that was announced in 1990 and currently supported until 2000 the initial spark station was the first machine using Suns own spark microprocessor spark standing for scalable processor architecture one of those RISC architectures that were created from various University Research also pizza-box started pace although slightly smaller than the Woodruff 5 that you have seen in the previous video this one I also got for free as far as I remember maybe together with Sir Woodrow v this one comes with a 40 megahertz processor and 60 megabyte of RAM those are slightly upgradeable at the time I did not if it too much tension it costs already 10 years ago when I got it for free it obviously was super slow 40 megahertz probably only took it to save it from the trash bin and thought I can eventually test set it to booting because otherwise I only had a 64-bit ultrasparc so I probably saw it there I can put it in some corner and maybe test booted to point it was something as far as I remember I spent some time on this some weekends and nights of something but over ten years ago I could not really get it to work right at all or fully booted and such because various things the spark Linux Laura was notorious for being miss compiled by GCC and such – even on ultrasparc I had problems set not each version compiled with any GCC would just put so actually I spend way too much time digging around in machine code so rolling the spark in ox Laura said was really annoying each time we built a t2 or Oakland Oaks Park release as far as I remember over a decade ago I only got it partially booted something but given 40 minutes it was not worse spending much more time on this however no for the YouTube videos I took some extra time over Christmas and New Year together was the SJ obtained to finally get it booted in Linux which was today a decade later even a greater challenge because in the meantime support for this Sun architecture was recently removed in the Linux kernel so now I had to endure extra pain to get this working at all again with some slightly older versions of the Linux kernel GCC and such and also the last Linux kernel versions where the court was still included three-point-something they would not even work probably because of some time our irq refactoring that I have not yet still analyzed the last UNIX kernel that I can hopefully show you in a minute is to 6:00 shortly or 2 629 or something and even that I had to spend extra time getting the Scaasi controller to work because of earlier refracting of this also wears a DMA controller nor would not be found and used from the open from ver device tree so quite some time spent on this and this is also the reasons the SGI obtained and sparcstation are both of the reasons why i did not upload many videos to YouTube in December because I spent on my extra time mostly working on those two machines and in retrospect as a certain other videos already the next time I would probably make more all videos showing all the debugging and fiddling back and forth and such because currently I cannot allocate that much of my relatively free time which is not so much free but anyway and not produce anything so to continue this YouTube video and maybe to have a better learning experience for you I will offer more raw things in the future and also documents of process one thing I modified here at the side was a disk drive and obviously 1.4 megabyte floppies were not much use for me a decade ago so I cut this plastic and even metal case inside and installed a Scaasi theorem which obviously was more useful for me however having read up on the internet about this machine for this video I read that this was an auto ejecting drive so probably without a mechanical button and some automatic eject mechanism and now that I read this I wonder where I put so slowly because that would be a little bit of a pity not to have so sloppy anymore but I really wonder if I have in some box somewhere though on the other hand yeah floppies are not the most useful saying nowadays and yeah that's what it is no I think the serum could have cutted it slightly better it's slightly off but my free time was limited I was a student back then and as I said to machine it not so hard party I was happy when I had to see Durham in there also I says rather quickly and half of an hour or so just to get this done my tip for you would be to spend slightly more time to polish this in even better on the back it does not look that much different than the ultra five power obviously mechanical power button here we got Scaasi here's a regular workstation 13 w 3 analog video connector that you've seen in my as Jarek 10 video already that you can with an adapter usually connect to VGA this place being the same adapter I used on the SGI octane here is an aui ethernet connector where you connect the physical transmitter to I got you some level 1 physicans meter together with the machine for regular 10 megabyte twisted pair set goes in like this and your Ethernet cable going in there and you also got some cereal or TV as well as a Sun specific keyboard connector and an audio in/out court hears it surprisingly uses the same connector like keyboard and is only used on this early Sun machines as far as I know surprisingly it has a Linux driver but unfortunately it's only some 8 kilohertz mule or a compressed coded or something certainly not the highest audio quality and it's actually an AMD codec I did not even know that AMD was making audio codecs really funny I read something about being able to be used as ice-t and Odum Singh was also here there it said opened up like this I need to be a little bit careful here due to my cd-rom cut out hardware vice this is supposed to be the Cypress spark CPU 32-bit spark 40 megahertz maybe some 18 t run controller it's a famous and veeram id prom there's a better address unfortunately this one I tried to modify and I accidentally destroyed the original one I can make a detailed video about this later on this is a new one that I ordered last month unfortunately the new ones are not 100% D compatible so it doesn't work hundred percent ly unfortunately I've also wonder why do the manufactures need to change the specification and production if you order this as replacement parts you can't even reuse it little bit strange by the way some-some AMD chips here at least one of sources for the audio port in the boot room and obviously the memory it's quite full however others are only sixteen megabytes unfortunately I think you can get up to 64 megabyte on this board and apparently hundred 28 with some rum expansion bots that I think goes into this SBUs slots here it has two Scaasi ports or hard drives where's a second I use for my cd-rom modification here there is also the floppy port that I don't use anymore the SBUs cards have nice connector maybe this is some industry standard connector this is a relatively new ish frame buffers is this a Sun cg6 was it even a CG 6 plus what is sometimes surprising is that this one is assembled in Japan this is of course nowadays everything is assembled in China this is always really interesting to see in the ultra 5 the CPU was made in the UK here is this is assembled and Japan is really from a time where the manufacturing world was still a little more diverse below this more AMD chips and 18 key chips actually here are names of engineers on this Sun cg6 frame buffer I wonder why some are crossed out who is a not in the team anymore that's relief the company I have to say this looks a little bit rude as if they passed away yeah so that is an inside look here also some there are also some Sun frame buffer cuts that are bigger so aza maybe early a frame buffers also cover two slots and as I said there's ROM expansions there also Scaasi expansions and other kinds of I think I read somewhere over 200 or nearly 300 different s passcodes were made the serum I simply screwed in the hottest Cerreta Kelly snapped in here with plastic so you could light see how to sort by pressing down some plastic nose in the front and then slide it out into this direction but it is also a pretty compact cabling here even with my cd-rom modification it says fit so tightly there okay so much to the inside look pretty nice compact machine so let's hope it does still work after all this disassembly I'm always a little bit nervous it so a sports cards and such still do work linking some post code so in cases is hanging it should already give some indication which test failed so as you can see it says starting every time clock which I think it should only say once then replace and veeram self-test failed why was it it's a brand new envy remand I read already the sad thing is there were people soldering batteries on this and v-rooms and people were saying no I would not was a soul ring and wasting time and I would buy a new one and I brought a new one and it's not compatible so thank you very much for those people who say don't bother us is better it's all during new one doesn't really hit much either so I would probably either someday in the future I will analyze what exactly is wrong with this new and Veeran and if this can potentially be made to work anyway in the short term I have a most likely movses and veeram from CSUN IPX so it should be the same in this machine and solar a battery to this one and in the meantime it is already keeping my placeholder Ethernet and host ID address so this is already progress otherwise I would have liked in the Sun ultra 5 video enters that each time I turn it on as far as I see the only thing that is not working is the real time clock and maybe this is only not starting time the show anyway so we can new command boot here is a open firmware to the one of the ultra five this logo apparently is different for all the frame buffers used and so we have a pretty Sun calligraphic six frame buffer here it shows here a whopping 16 megabyte of memory yeah let's put as I said this is much further than I it was over a decade ago the Zillow I had to hack around and get working again and this will fully boot Linux the latest kernel I could get working and as I said support for the salt machines was removed in three-point-something and even before it was apparently broken there's some Judith warnings as usual with us I finally got it working and just some minor details are not fully working the rest of the system should come up slowly but steadily and this is also what I mentioned in the other video before my optimizations this is already was optimized dot drawing without my optimized dot drawing the for loop that I showed in the last video about the init system and 222 characters because the for loop that was talking an echo or print process or something 80 or over 80 vocations of echo or print something you could actually see the dots drawing in half of a second or something that was really there you see this modern system you don't even realize house lost but here forking or invocations for throwing single character starts ready to be visible and there we have a hooligan that is the lovely 40 megahertz Cypress Rose spark CPU for me surprisingly that this was short party sauce from Sun as a created SPARC architecture and here's some Texas Instruments FPU 16 Meg's of RAM unicorn Leafs is certain something megabytes is totally usable 11 I used but this is also caches and offers so we have here 5.8 megabyte in caches and 1.3 megabyte in buffers and this obstructed leaves 4 points 3 megabyte used right now apparently 8.8 megabyte free actually I even reinstalled this like three times until it was working best I also optimized some memory usage and startup performance and and things and I also rebuilt some details with gilepsy and such over and over initially my processors were actually segmentation falling out of memory before swap could be activated because I made the beginner mistake of using x4 which used way more memory I probably also should get rid of X 2 because X 2 module may even use some 500k here but maybe 0 wasn't putting from something but in this kind of systems really see even choosing the file system can save you a megabyte of memory and such on a modern x86 Linux system you will have here maybe 30 modules loaded or even more and here we have 5 modules loaded here if you run things like D message you see how slow frame buffer scrolling us on this kind of machines that's probably not accelerated this is P Scaasi drivers that I had to modify to work on this machine so this is 2 6 39.4 which is currently last kernel I could working and even this I had to modify the HP Scottie driver and later Curnutt I think the first Linux kernel 3 includes a refactoring of the irq framework or something for SPARC which probably broke this machine because nobody tested it and compiler Y so this is currently running a relatively new I sing so this is gilepsy here so you see I'm not making this up I competitors over Christmas 25th and even a relatively new already was native project Linux threats surprisingly I did not expect this to work and compiled with GCC 4.4 usually I have to go back also a surge ECC compiler versions because the newer compiler usually do not compile Linux kernel and ellipse II because of strict that have checking and things like this drawing back with gilepsy and the Linux kernel and this is also one thing that really annoys me is that gilepsy normally I would not necessarily have to go back with a gilepsy on the systems but I only have to because the new ellipses require newer kernel features so to be able to run the gilepsy on this older kernel I also have to come back with juniper C versions which I find a little bit annoying I wishes they want to keep Bernal ABI compatibility a little bit longer so GCC you see everything you run takes a little bit to run I even have fear a partial T to check out I think it consumed too much memory somewhere in the middle of the checkout but just for the fun let's compile the other collection of hello world programs and some languages that are just one or two liners and you see the nothing better than the sound of the Scottie Hydra just turned waste time second slightly off of the cache but with this 40 megahertz and 60 megabyte of RAM obviously only with the help of swap it can actually compiled binaries so this hello vert takes a whopping 11 point five seconds to compile the second time partially out of the cache and the program indeed runs but you certainly do not want to run configure make make its toll on this 40 megahertz machines everything on this machine is fully cross-compiled was this kind of compile speed you wait weeks for something to compile nowadays with our to chain making the day of course everything was smaller and the compiler was smaller and faster because the day they probably could bootstrap their system on machines but nowadays 25 years after the peak of the system distribution everything just became bigger compiler programs also support shared libraries that are loaded and so on like was to busi development and dos where you could compile things on a 386 you could certainly run things on this unfortunately it's not yet 100% least stable so as soon as I start to run more things eventually I would probably get segmentation faults I have not yet figured out why this happens maybe this is some kernel buck see even even just loading SSH binary takes some 5 seconds or so yeah as I said this is not 100% ly totally stable and it is certainly possible to get new Linux kernels running where the support was not yet removed after fixing this irq refactoring stuff maybe I will do this another weekend or snowy winter day in the future more documented on YouTube we also have the X Server theoretically it can run an x over and I would be really curious to see how slow that is however that currently hot blocks the machine if I try to run it so right now I have I have currently the latest I think is it the latest X Server I lost over view but maybe it is and the Sun cg6 it appears to start but then that lock the machine or something I think even the kernel dice enough not to have SSH running anymore for the future there are still some things to investigate if we want to have this vintage machines running hundred percent ly fully again on Linux and let me know in the comments below if you want to see me hacking on this X Server and Sun cg6 and gets us running and see what the speed is on this classic vintage UNIX machines so I hope you find this interesting it would be awesome to show you support by giving it a thumbs up and don't forget to subscribe for plenty of more IP videos to come

Sun SPARCstation 2, 40 MHz, 16 MB RAM booting Linux in 2018?

8 thoughts on “Sun SPARCstation 2, 40 MHz, 16 MB RAM booting Linux in 2018?”

  1. X running on this combination would be a sight to see! I'm loving these videos, thanks for all your work in getting these machines running again with (semi) modern kernels. Super cool.

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