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Simulate SPARC machine on a x86 machine

Posted on 2004-10-01
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Dear Experts,

I am trying to learn the Solaris 9 OE.  However, I only have x86 machines.  Are there any simulation softwares that would allow me to simulate a SPARC machine?  I have VMware 4.0.....

I am a begineer at this so please give a brief description on what to do and maybe provide a few reference websites would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a lot,
James
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Question by:Charley420
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by:liddler
ID: 12199759
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by:PsiCop
ID: 12199970
Yeah, just get the x86 version of Solaris. Its not got all the features of the Sparc version, but if your goal is to get a solid feel for the OS, its fine.
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by:Nukfror
ID: 12205382
IMHO - bypass the Solaris 9 x86 distro - go right for Solaris 10 x86.  That version has TOO many kewl things to play with.
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by:Nukfror
ID: 12205414
Now that I'm thinking on it - if you've got the money (and memory on your system) you could setup Solaris 10 x86 as a guest OS under Windows in VMware workstation.  I have Solaris 10x86 and Win2K Pro setup under VMware under Suse 9.1 - LUV IT !!!
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by:PsiCop
ID: 12205883
Nukfror,

You have SUSE v9.1 as a host OS and W2K and Sol 10 x86 as Guest OSes? On what hardware?
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by:Nukfror
ID: 12205946
Toshiba Tecro 9100 with about 768MBytes of memory and a 40GByte hard drive - really wish the hard drive was larger.

Linux and Win2K are dual boot capable but the same Win2K is also setup as a guest OS within VMware.  Solaris 10 x86 is a guest OS-only living in Linux flat files maintained by VMware.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 12206004
I'm going to try to do the same thing on a Fujitsu Lifebook N5010 - 2 GB RAM and 80 GB HDD. Suse 9.1 Pro as the host OS, Sol x86, Netware v6.5 and W2K as Guests. If you want, I can go open up a Question elsewhere and we can discuss it.
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by:Nukfror
ID: 12206756
Sure
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by:Charley420
ID: 12210324
I greatly appreciate everyone's response.  Can anyone explain the differences are between the SPARC platform edition and x86 platform edition?

Thanks for your time,
James
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by:liddler
ID: 12211153
Sparc is a different type of CPU chip, made by Sun.
x86 chips are made by Intel, AMD and Transmedia (sp?), these are usually the only ones that will run windows, Sparc chips generally run Solaris, but will run linux (which runs on most chips).  There are other chips, Alpha (gone now, but the best ever) PowerPC (used in IBM & Mac), PA-RISC and lots of other.
So it's just one version for each chip type
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by:Nukfror
ID: 12211158
If you are looking for "functional" differences, there really aren't any.  They both behave basically the same way.
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yuzh earned 1080 total points
ID: 12214125
In a programmer point of view not much differences between Solaris SPARC and x86, if
you don't have to do 64 bit binary.

In a system adm point of view there are something different between Sparc and x86 platform,
eg, prtdiag is not available for x86, not OBP for x86, the way the boot commands are different
between the the two system.

For learnning Solaris, Solaris x86 is good enough, most of the commands and configuration
etc are the same.

To learn more details, have a look at:

http:Q_21025601.html#11331854

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Assisted Solution

by:PsiCop
PsiCop earned 320 total points
ID: 12216683
" If you are looking for "functional" differences, there really aren't any.  They both behave basically the same way."

I'm going to disagree slightly with that statement. There ARE a few differences.

For example, the anti-stack-smashing entries that many admins add to /etc/system ("set noexec_user_stack=1" and "set noexec_user_stack_log=1" don't work in the x86 version of Solaris. I don't think all their products are ported, and a number of 3rd party products also won't run or are not supported on the x86 version (the reverse is also true - I think Manhunt only works on Solaris x86 and not on Sparc). yuzh mentions some other differences.

But, to give you an answer that might explain it more clearly, only about 5% of the Solaris code-base is hardware-dependent. Everything else about the OS is pretty much hardware-agnostic; it doesn't care what hardware it runs on. So, its fairly easy for Sun to port it to x86 (obviously, they develop their code on Sparc).
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by:Charley420
ID: 12216795
Thanks everyone for responding to the post and providing the URL to the necessary reference sites.

Regards,
James

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by:PsiCop
ID: 12217079
Nukfror (and anyone else interested): My Question is now open at --> http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Linux/Q_21154824.html
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Expert Comment

by:gsuressh
ID: 12471734
Hi James...
   You can install/simulate solaris 9.0 Intel Edition in VMware 4.5.2 version..

Thanks & Regards,
Suresh.
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by:Nukfror
ID: 12472331
One thing I just found out about - and its been around for a while is QEMU (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/).  It supposedly supports booting Solaris x86 as a guest OS but I'm not having much luck trying to get Solaris 10 X86 rev 86 to install.  CD starts booting but I get loads of PCI bus timeouts.

Anyway, you might be able to be Solaris 9 x86 to boot on this thing.  I don't have the Sol9x86 install CDs at the moment to try it out.

But Solaris 10 x86 rev 69 runs just great on my laptop using VMware workstation.
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