Subject: Re: Port to Sun 386i
To: None <>
From: Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. <>
List: netbsd-ports
Date: 06/02/2003 16:06:04
>From: "Zach Lowry" <>
>To: <>
>Cc: <>, <>
>Subject: Port to Sun 386i
>Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2003 11:21:22 -0500
>Hash: SHA1
>I am soon to recieve a Sun 386i, which I notice has not been ported
>to yet. Since for the past little bit I've been acquainting myself
>with my Sun 3/60 and 3/80s, I feel comfortable saying that I intend
>to port NetBSD to this unique machine. 

I have two or three of these... along with the rare 486i.  I think
I have 1 386i/150, 1 or 2 386i/250, and 1 486i.

>I'm looking for advice, however, since I've bever done this sort of
>thing before. Would it be best to start with the i386 port, remove
>all devices except those explicitly available in the 386i and then
>merge drivers for Framebuffers and the like from the sun3 port? From
>what I understand, the normal color and B&W framebuffers on the 386i
>correspond to the cg3 and bw2, but additionally there exists a cg5
>card and a VGA card for DOS emulation under SunOS. 

As the VGA card was only used during emulation, you don't need to worry
about that.... it might be more trouble than it is worth to support that.

>I'm also aware that there existed memory add-ons in the form of ISA
>cards, could anyone clarify on these boards, and would it be possible
>to support them?

The only memory boards I am aware of go into special slots.  One has
cache memory, the other does not.

>If anyone has any guidance/suggestions/additional hardware, please
>let me know. 

I would think since Sun firwmare allows net booting, if the 386i boots
using standard protocols, then the first step would probably be a kernel
with minimal drivers probably only first support serial console.  Once
that is made to work, porting drivers from other NetBSD distros, etc
to support that various hardware....

Though, I've never done this kind of work before, I would think that might
be the easier approach ?

Although, you'd have to have a port of the netboot image that would work with
the 386i hardware.... hmmm... not sure what would be easiest.  

Other than the Sun 386i uses an intel processor, and has an ISA bus, it
has almost nothing in common with a 386 pc.

-- Curt

>Zach Lowry || Murfreesboro, TN ||
>Linux / *BSD / Irix / Solaris / Apple / Unix Network Administration
>Registered Linux User #264589
>14 Different NetBSD-Supported Machines
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