I'm a big CentOS fan. Have been since I installed it on an old laptop about 3 years ago and it found absolutely every piece of hardware (including the PCMCIA Linksys Wireless adapter that no other distro I tried could find).
Currently I've got CentOS 5 running on 3 of the 4 "PCs" in my house; the boys "media center", the old laptop (still chuggin) and a VM I use for testing
My network sits behind my Sunblade-150 running Solaris 10.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love Solaris 10. I'm a Distributed Systems Admin for a large local University, and we've got like 400+ servers running Solaris. My Solaris box is tight, secure, and gets the job done acting as my home-network's firewall/internet-gateway/file-server.
But anyone who runs Solaris knows that sometimes it just takes a little work to get things done, related to third-party software, open source stuff, or even just grabbing a tar-ball and compiling from stratch. Solaris is an excellent OS for the industry and work-place, but for a "home server" sometimes it just doesn't roll with the punches as well as my three CentOS PCs. There's almost never packages available for it, in-relation to what I run on the other machines, and I almost always have to work too hard getting source-balls to compile (assuming they'll even compile at all, in some cases).
So I thought, wouldn't it be great if there was a copy of CentOS 5 for my Sunblade 150.
Alas, there does not appear to be a build of CentOS 5 for Sparc, but I discovered you all had a build of 4.2 for Sparc, and I've come across the seeded BitTorrent for the Sparc 4.2Beta (http://beta.centos.org/centos/4.2beta/isos/sparc/) and am currently downloading things (moving along at a whole 21.5kB/s right now, as there's only like 1 Peer and no Seeds, but whatever... It's moving).
Anyways, I was wondering if anyone else is running CentOS 4.2 Beta on Sparc64 hardware (especially interested in other Sunblade-100 and Sunblade-150 owners), as I had a few questions (especially since I've never tried installing anything _but_ Solaris on Sparc architecture).
- How did the install go? Did you have to setenv anything special in OpenBoot first, and if-so what did you find you needed to set? Did you have to pass any special codes to the kernel in order to get things to boot from the install CDs, and if-so what did you find you needed pass?
- After the install, were there any problems with initial boot? Did it choke on any hardware? Did it boot all the way to Runlevel 3 (or even 5?) without issue?
- Does it come with Java? I've seen numerous Linux distros for Sparc that do __not__ have any type of Java support (don't really get that, but whatever)
- Does it feel stable once you set it up to do the job you intended to have it do? I'm primarily looking for IPF/NAT (in Linux it'd be iptables/NAT I'm assuming), but I also run SSH, HTTPD, DHCP, DNS, NIS, NFS, and Samba. I don't want no "barely holding together at the seems" type of setup. My home network is as important, if not more important, than the network I support at the college, since it's my family we're talking about here. So I'm very anal about keeping things locked down, and not having to worry about security holes or kernel panics.
- How's the addon/third-party applications? Are they few and far between? Or are they plentiful and easy to find?
- How's the source-building? Do you find yourself fighting to find the right compilers, libraries, or pre-reqs?
- Are there drivers for the SunPCI-III cards? I've got two installed in my Sunblade-150, which I use from time to time, and would like to continue to be able to use them, but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker if I had to give them up.
Sorry if all these questions seem to be anal-retentive or out-of-scope of this forum. Like I said, I've never installed anything but Solaris on Sparc hardware, so I just want to make sure this is a project I want to take-on prior to even attempting it. Yea, a full backup of my existing system wouldn't be hard to restore in a couple of hours, if I needed to. But it'd be simpler to avoid it all-together if I learn this isn't going to be worth the effort,