[nSLUG] what to do with an older Sun machine?

Aaron Spanik aaronspanik at eastlink.ca
Fri Jun 10 10:14:07 ADT 2005

First of all, nice score.  Nothing like free hardware, especially Sun.

The system is running Solaris 8, which I _think_ means you're
essentially entitled to a Solaris 8 license.  You'll want to comb the
Sun.com site to make sure though (I know I saw Solaris 8 licensing info
last week while helping a student get a similar system up and running,
but damned if I can find it now).  Oh wait.  There it is.  And it looks
like unless whoever left the system in your office left a support
contract on it, you're SOL:


That said, if you're thinking at all about using it as a "desktop"
machine, Solaris 8 is not the OS you want to be running anyway,
especially if your only experience with Solaris is from a "user with a
shell" perspective.  There are plenty of Linux distros out there that do
Sparc:  Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware come to mind pretty quickly and
I'm sure Red Hat probably does too.

Solaris 10 might run on that hardware, but I'm guessing you'd need a RAM
upgrade at the absolute least.  Solaris 10 is free for download, free
for use, so no licensing issues there.  I still think you'd be better
off with a Linux distro; assuming you're already a linux user, I'd
suggest using the Sparc version of your favorite distro if there is one.
 Otherwise, maybe take this as an opportunity to try a distro you've
always wanted to try (assuming they do Sparc).

Have fun,


On Fri, 10 Jun 2005 09:04:57 -0300 (ADT)
ricardd at mathstat.dal.ca wrote:

> Hello nslug,
> By some twisted series of event, a Sun Ultra 10 Creator 3D box landed
> my office and stands there unused. I have no experience with Sun
> except as a happy user of a well-maintained system running Solaris
that I
> access from my laptop. As I don't have a desktop machine at home, I
> thought that this could be an interesting project.
> What are my options here in terms of bringing this machine back to
life? I
> don't have the full specs, I need to scrounge around for a Sun
> and a monitor before firing it up. It currently runs Solaris 8.
> Cheers,
> Dan


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