SUMMARY: Solaris7 on SparcServer10

From: Przemyslaw Baszkiewicz (
Date: Tue Nov 03 1998 - 10:32:36 CST

The question was about the usability of Solaris7 on older machines.

Thanks to all who replied (I hope I didn't miss anybody):

Kevin Korb <>
David Staggs <>
Mats Kronberg
Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>
Louis Au <>
Ray Trzaska <>
"Teague, Tony" <>
Jim Robertori <>
Janet Hoo <Janet.Hoo@Ebay.Sun.COM>
"Brooke King (6532)" <>
Karl Vogel <>
Matthew Atkinson <>
Chris Marble <>
"Terje J. Hanssen" <>
Grant Beattie <>
"Hemaraj [Support]" <>
Olivier Giraud <>

* The original question:

>Is it OK to install the latest Solaris on old machines?
>If yes, will they still work somehow, or they will be too slow? :)
>Where to look for the info?
>I have SparcServer10 and SparcStation 5.
>I would appreciate some help. I saw the Sol for free offer and I am not
>sure whether it makes sense for me to get it.

* Summary

The general consensus is: YES.

The answers were in general a mix of Solaris2.6 and Solaris2.7 related.

SS10 and SS5 should be OK with Solaris 7, and only the support for really
old hardware has been dropped (like Sun 4/490), everything newer than the
600MP. (Sparc 1+ and higher are still supported; Sol2.6 on Sparc 1+ was
described as slow but usable)

Some said that hardware should be checked as the support has been
dropped for some elements (cgtwo, bwtwo, cgthree, cgeight and cgfour and
possibly some more). The machines with obsolete frame buffers can be used
but with no video.

As for performance, the OS will run only in 32-bit mode on older machines
- Solaris7 CD contains both 32-bit for old platforms and 64-bit kernel for
new ones.

New Solaris versions are not slower than older ones. Some even say 2.6
seems a bit faster. 2.6 was said to run OK on a range of Sparcs 5, 10 and
20. For those who run SunOS 4 nowadays - some reduction of performance is
expected and some more memory needed. The actual performance might depend
more on the applications used than on the OS itself.

Could be slow with CDE or Openwindows.

A larger hard drive has been suggested (more than original 500M), which I
already have, and more memory (possibly over 64) which I don't.

Still, if 2.7 makes my life miserable, I was advised to install SparcLinux
which run well on low power, low memory older systems.

General pros for installing newer Solaris:
- a bit faster than previous Solarises (
- y2k compliance without any patches package.
- cleaner: less patches and cleanest kernel and drivers

I also got an advice, that since I can get if for free, I need not
to worry about the outcome, and simply try it out :)

Suggested resources: - an article about Solaris7 Solaris 7 installation documentation.
and of course for any related/unrelated info

Thanks again to all those who took time to answer my question.

Przemek Baszkiewicz

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