Subject: Re: next68k port status?
To: Martin Baehr <>
From: Brian Willoughby <>
List: port-next68k
Date: 10/16/2003 18:15:26
[  > I understand that I am
[  > one of a very small handful of people running NEXTSTEP on a SPARCstation
[  > (as opposed to OPENSTEP on Solaris).
[  hmm?
[  do you really mean OPENSTEP on solaris and not just OPENSTEP on sparc?
[  anybody who bought OPENSTEP (as i did) got the version that runs
[  standalone on sparc.

Lot's of people have the install CD, but I understand that few actually  
installed it.  Have you installed your copy on a SPARCstation and run it for  
any significant time as a server?

Before I purchased my SPARCstation in 1999 (specifically to run OPENSTEP for  
SPARC), I asked tons of specific questions of my contacts who were former NeXT  
employees.  I was told that there were thousands of customers running OPENSTEP  
on Solaris (probably for WebObjects), but only about two known installations of  
OPENSTEP standalone for SPARC.  Perhaps this was just the limited experience  
of the person I spoke with.  I got the impression that there would be nobody I  
could compare notes with.

For the last couple of years, I've have a strange problem where the ethernet  
driver runs out of buffers.  Based on netstat, I've never had the driver pass  
more than about 8.5 million packets before it quickly stops working.  It's  
almost acting like it were a demo ethernet driver which purposely shuts down  
after a certain number of packets.  It's more likely that there is some sort of  
memory leak.  In one case, I had a particularly large file (a mailbox full of  
diverted sobig virus messages), and I could not transfer it over the network  
without exhausting the usablility of the network driver.  I had to chunk the  
file to get it off the SPARC.

The error message is:

Unable to write to socket: No buffer space available

... which seems to be a kernel problem to me (in my admittedly limited  
experience in these things).  One of the reasons I'm following the NetBSD /  
next68k port is in hopes that I might be able to find a way to fix this.  Seems  
unlikely, though, since it could be specific to SPARC ethernet hardware.   
Plus, I am not aware of a nextsparc port project.  It's a shame, but I may have  
to retire the machine for software reasons (I never purchased a Solaris  
license with the used SPARCstation).

[  OPENSTEP on top of solaris was available for download from sun at one
[  time. i had it once, but i think i lost my copy :-(

I can't remember where it was available.  Probably on some CD or another.  I  
believe it was part of WebObjects, or maybe just "hidden" on the OPENSTEP CDs  
as a set of tar files.

Brian Willoughby
Sound Consulting