Subject: 32-Bit Userland On 64-Bit Machine?
To: None <,>
From: Bill Dorsey <>
List: port-sparc64
Date: 05/23/2003 10:15:02

I've spent the last month trying to upgrade an older 32-bit sparc 
machine to a newer 64-bit machine.  It's been a frustrating process.  
My main show-stopper has been that some of the pkgsrc software I rely 
on (Cyrus, Apache-SSL, etc.) doesn't work when built in 64-bit mode (I 
can even see the compiler warnings about casting ints to pointers and 
vice versa while some of these packages are being built).

I note that both Solaris and Linux are using special kernels for the 
64-bit machines, but they are sticking with 32-bit userlands.  Maybe 
this is not always the best thing to do, but it sure seems like it 
would solve my problems.  I have a strong preference to continue to use 
NetBSD as my operating system, and in fact will give up on the new 
hardware before I will switch to Solaris or Linux.

I spent a few hours installing NetBSD/Sparc64 from CD, and then 
installing the 32-bit Sparc userland on top of it (basically, 
everything except for the kernel from the sparc distribution).  When I 
rebooted the machine, I got numerous error messages including "ttys 
spawning too fast," and more.  I was under the impression that this 
would just work, but if so, then I was clearly missing some important 
step.  All of this was with the 1.6.1 release, BTW.  I tried this a 
couple of times just to be sure, but the result was the same each time.

So, I am wondering if anyone has had any luck in installing a 32-bit 
sparc userland on a 64-bit machine?  If so, I would love to know how 
you did it!

Bill Dorsey