Linux on SPARC!

This is a new one for many Solaris admins, earth shattering in many ways. You can now run Linux on Sparc! From Oracle!

Yes, take a deep breath, I really used the words Linux, Sparc and Oracle in the same sentence!

First, a few point for the record, this is NOT Oracle Linux, but instead a reference build of Linux for Solaris. It’s usefulness for the Enterprise is very limited at the moment, as no applications are supported. But, I can’t imagine it will take Oracle’s chief penguin, Wim Coekaerts long to have a real Oracle Linux build up and running when he is ready to release it. So, take this as a sign of things to come.

I recently installed it on a Fujitsu M10-1 server into an LDOM.

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And yes, this is REALLY a SPARC server!

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There is not much you can do with this build, but gcc is installed, so it can not be long before we see some real applications out there. You might see a few RPMs here soon, so keep watching the blog.

 

If you want to do this yourself, you get get an ISO or OVA file  from here; https://oss.oracle.com/linux-sparc/

6 thoughts on “Linux on SPARC!

    • There are some programs that simply are written for Linux, and will not compile on a different platform without major changes. Yes, you loose some of the performance advantages that Sparc now gives you, but hopefully soon that will no longer be a constraint. It is simply another tool in the IT toolbag, and I always recommend the right tool for the job. While hammers are popular, it’s not the best tool for putting in a screw… but hey that will work too!

  1. A year later, with rumors that Oracle is dropping Solaris, do you think big red will focus on OL on SPARC? I can’t imagine them spending so much capital on hardware development and then drop the operating system that unlocks the key potentials of said hardware?

    • Rumors are rumors… while there may be some truth, the end result is that Linux on Sparc is here, and SPARC is not dead. Just look at the Exadata SL6, where the 1/2 RAC did the same throughput as the FULL RAC x86 Exadata. And the SL6 will BE THE SAME PRICE as the X86 system! I talked about this in 2015 (https://blogs.oracle.com/step/entry/sparc_is_not_dead_an) and in the last year have had clients move FROM X86 to Sparc ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-sHBEa0bzk is ONE of MANY examples)

      Also, in the Cloud, SPARC is the SAME price as x86, but over 2x faster per core. It’s a slow move, but workload is moving back to Sparc.

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