Subject: Re: Hmmm, will NetBSD run on these? How slow are they?
To: Zach Fine <>
From: Todd Whitesel <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 06/10/1999 00:01:43
> A banner ad on slashdot brought me here:
> I'm curious how fast these Sparc notebooks are and whether or not they 
> run NetBSD.

Somewhere in the teeny text it says they are 110 mhz, and I can confirm this.
I bought one two weeks ago. It's basically a late model Sparcstation 5 packed
into a laptop. NetBSD 1.4 installs and runs fine in console mode, and can use
the SCSI and ethernet just fine (you have to buy a sun compatible AUI cable
though; Sun accessories shops and the cooler surplus stores carry them).

However support for the weirder hardware is lacking. In particular the PCMCIA
interface is custom and the graphics chip is not a Sun frame buffer. The
netbsd kernel identifies the chips correctly, but doesn't have actual drivers
for them.

Tadpole support just put a PDF version of the Sparcbook3 techie manual up for
FTP at earlier today. I've only
skimmed it so far, but it looks to have all the juicy info we need to write
drivers. I'm spread very thin until late July and probably can't afford to do
any hacking on these yet, but if anyone needs a tester sign me up, especially
for X11 -- I'm still running Slowaris on the internal drive so I can use the
custom Xsun that groks the graphics chip.

Todd Whitesel
toddpw @