Debian SPARC Port
- Current Status
- About 64-bit SPARC support
- Who are we? How can I help?
- Where can I find out more information?
These pages are meant to assist users and Debian developers running Debian GNU/Linux on the SPARC architecture. In these pages, you will find information about the current status, currently known problems, information for and about Debian porters, and pointers to more information.
Debian SPARC is officially released and known to be stable. Supported are sun4u and sun4v machines (with a 32-bit userland). See the Install Manual for information on supported systems, hardware, and how to install Debian.
About 64-bit SPARC support
The Debian SPARC port,
as mentioned above, does support the sun4u (
and sun4v (Niagara CPU) architectures.
It uses a 64-bit kernel (compiled with gcc 3.3 or newer), but most of the
applications run in 32-bit. This is also called a
The Debian SPARC 64 (a.k.a.,
UltraLinux) porting effort is not
currently conceived as a full porting effort like other ports.
Rather, it is intended to be an add-on to the SPARC Port.
In fact, there is really no point in having all applications running in 64-bit mode. Full 64-bit mode involves a significant overhead (memory and disk size) with often no benefit. Some applications really can benefit from being in 64-bit mode, and that is the purpose of this porting effort.
Compiling kernels for sun4u
To compile a Linux kernel for Sun4u, you'll need to use the Linux 2.2 or newer source tree.
We highly suggest you also use the kernel-package package to help with the installation and management of kernels. You can compile a configured kernel in one command (as root):
make-kpkg --subarch=sun4u --arch_in_name --revision=custom.1 kernel_image
Some of the common problems with fixes or workarounds can be found on our Errata page.
Who are we? How can I help?
The Debian SPARC port is a distributed effort, just as Debian is. Countless people have helped with the porting and documentation efforts, although a short list of credits are available.
If you'd like to help, please join in the <email@example.com> mailing list as described below, and chime in.
Where can I find out more information?
To subscribe to the list, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the word `subscribe' in the subject line, and no body. Alternatively, subscribe on the web with the Mailing List subscription page.
Kernel questions should be addressed to the list
<email@example.com>. Subscribe by sending a message
subscribe sparclinux to the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also a Red Hat list, of course.
This is a very small list of Linux SPARC (a.k.a.
- UltraLinux -- the definitive source for the kernel port. Don't be deceived by the name; it covers mostly plain SPARC rather than UltraSPARC.