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    Sparc Station 20 -> Solaris 8?


    Hi guys,

    I have been donated a surplus to requirements, Sun Sparc Station 20 complete with a SCSI hard disk box (containing two HDs of unknown size), an IPX station, 2 tape back-up drives and a CD rom.

    Unfortunately I know next to nothing about Unix/Solaris/Sun OS. With the System I was given an unwanted (even still boxed and sealed) Solaris 8 installation.

    At the moment as far as I can tell the system has Sun OS 4 installed on it but it will only boot to the command line. As the system hadn't been used for quite a few months I have been unable to track down anyone who knows any of the passwords for it. So I wanted to try and install Solaris 8...

    I followed the instructions in the installation manual to get it to boot from the cd-rom but then it hangs and cycles through an error message (I can't remember it, but I will note it down tonight if it will be of use).

    I know this machine is possibly getting on for 8 years old and so might not even be able to support Solaris 8 (it has a SuperSparc II(?) processor with 128Mb RAM) so I was wondering if it would be better to go for a Linux distribution instead?

    Any advice, help, comments will be very gratefully recieved as I have spent a few hours going around the Sun website with very little success...

    Many thanks in advance,

    Dan
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    solaris 8


    The one guy in our office who'd immediately know the answer is on vacation. I'll check back on Monday and ask him if it doesn't appear you've gotten anywhere.

    Yeah, that's a pretty old machine. If you can get by with solaris 7, I'd try installing that first. IIRC, you should be able to get the media kit for free or download the install ISO from sun.com. I might be totally lying, though, so don't quote me. If not, I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few copies floating around out there.

    Personally, I like Linux MUCH better than Solaris anyway, so I suggest check here for more distributions that will fit your SPARC platform.
    http://www.linux.org/dist/index.html

    good luck!
    -zedmelon
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    Great :)


    Thanks for your reply, I think will try out the Linux option... do you have any preferences of distribution for the Sparc? The more automated the better (I just installed Debian Linux on my laptop and that turned into a bit of a mission as it requires a lot of information from the Installer)

    Many thanks again

    Dan
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    preferred distro?


    Actually, there are some valid reasons for choosing one over another, but many of the differences are personal preference.

    Example, the default install of Red Hat isn't as secure as, Slackware, but it's less complex to get done, both the install and getting around the OS.

    Personally, I've only used a couple flavors, but the page at link above gives you a search choice array. Choose Sparc for the platform and Mainstream/General Public for the category. Debian and Suse were listed when I did it.

    If you have reasons to choose other priorities (security, if you have no firewall, or minimalist, if you have a small hard drive, etc), you can see what options turn up.

    Hope this helps, I'm out of helpful ideas on this one.
    ;)

    -zedmelon
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    Cool Many thanks...


    Thanks for your help Zedmelon... I have decided to go for Mandrake ver 7.1 for the moment. I am only just starting out in the *nix world so I wanted something that would be quite easy for a start, then when I get more confident I will go back to the more sophisticated (but harder to install) distros. At the moment I intend to use the Sparc as a file/web server for my little (and very basic) network at home... I may well look into getting an UltraSparc to run the Solaris 8 on in the future.

    Thanks again

    Dan
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