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Re: Advantages of 64-bit vs 32-bit on old hardware
Do most people run NetBSD sparc64 on their UltraSparc hardware, or are
people like me, who prefer NetBSD sparc (32-bit sun4u kernel + 32-bit
I run Solaris 9 on my Dual 450 MHz Ultra 60. I need something that works.
(And matches my work machines)
I use Ultra 10 as my main desktop system. It can't take more than 1GB
so I don't see much point in having 64-bit operating system. Are there
particular advantages of a 64-bit kernel on such old hardware?
I think a better question is, "Are there any particular advantages of
such old hardware?"
You can find a (single CPU) 450 MHz Ultra 60 with 1 GB of RAM, a CD-ROM
drive and a 9 GB disk on eBay for US $95. I cannot fathom for the life
of me why anyone in their right mind would run anything older/slower,
except out of pure masochism.
Also, a lot of software in pkgsrc is not 64-bit clean. I used to run
with 32-bit userland, compat_netbsd32 on sparc64 has problems. But
NetBSD sparc port builds sunffb driver for X11 and '-mcpu=ultrasparc'
compilation errors have been fixed, running NetBSD sparc port on
hardware seems like a better alternative than sparc64.
At one point on my Solaris 9 systems at work, I changed my default
compilation setup to only build things as 64-bit binaries, as by
then we'd gotten rid of all our old machines and the very oldest
machines we had were some 333 MHz Ultra 5+'s. Things started
breaking left and right. Maybe things have gotten better in this
regard over the last few years but at the time it was obvious that
a lot of ported software had never been built/run on pure 64-bit
systems and they broke. I gave up and went back to building only
SPARC V8+ binaries and my life has been a lot smoother ever since.
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