Subject: Re: Community Issues ** LONG **
To: Ken Nakata <>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 02/22/1999 14:13:58
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Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 14:13:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Todd Vierling <>
To: Ken Nakata <>
cc:, netbsd-advocacy@NetBSD.ORG
Subject: Re: Community Issues ** LONG ** 
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On Tue, 23 Feb 1999, Ken Nakata wrote:

: > No, they have not done SPARC.
: Just out of curiosity.  I've heard Sun has done a port of FreeBSD to
: SPARC.  Is it true?  When I heard it, I thought it was a shame they
: didn't just take NetBSD/sparc.  Would it be possible they didn't know
: any better than porting an OS when there's a perfectly fine OS already 
: running on their platform?

Actually, it had to do with porting to the *Ultra*SPARC, which is pretty
well different when running in `native mode' than the rest of the SPARCs.

Just for starters, it has a 64-bit address bus, which in an instant makes
the programming challenges much like those for an Alpha.  (Solaris's
userland on the uSPARC is 32-bit, as it's the same userland that they use
for the other SPARC chips.  Therefore the processor runs in a sort of
"compatibility" mode.)

There was a discussion here about it some time ago.  Unfortunately, Sun
didn't care much for NetBSD thanks to FreeBSD's name recognition--and they
went about working on FreeBSD. What work they have done, I have no idea.  
However, I have strong suspicions that Eduardo will have NetBSD/sparc64 up
to snuff sooner than they'll get FreeBSD to production quality.

-- Todd Vierling (Personal; Bus.