[fpc-pascal] SPARC / Linux

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.fpc-pascal at telemetry.co.uk
Sat Mar 11 21:06:24 CET 2017

On 11/03/17 18:00, tobiasgiesen at gmail.com wrote:
> Hello,
> I noticed there is no binary FPC 3.0.2 Linux release for SPARC. Should it be possible to compile it for SPARC, possibly using the older binary 2.6.2 release?
> If yes, I am interested in buying a used UltraSPARC system. If it has a DVD-ROM and avideo board, it should be easy to install Linux on it, is that correct?
> Cheers,Tobias Giesen

 From the FPC side of things, I think that I tested 2.6.4 on SPARC but I 
can't remember how far I progressed into 2.6.4 or whether I touched 3.0 
at all. I have no immediate (i.e. this weekend) plans to revisit the 
architecture, same applies to Solaris.

 From the architecture side of things, Linux (which in practice means 
Debian) is in deep trouble on SPARC. The core problem is that for the 
last 10 years or so the kernel has been 64-bit with 32-bit "userland", 
but that is now unsupportable and there is frenzied activity from a very 
small number of developers trying to get the entire thing 64-bit. How 
FPC will behave on that is, of course, anybody's guess.

So quite frankly, you're likely to find that the last mostly-reliable 
Linux to run on SPARC is approximately Debian "Lenny", and you will also 
find that the age of the system libraries on that will gradually make 
supporting FPC on it a problem. You /might/ be able to start with Lenny 
and update to Squeeze or later, but my experience with Debian SPARC 
installation media post-Lenny was deeply frustrating.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. SPARC systems can be great fun, 
particularly in cold weather :-)

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

More information about the fpc-pascal mailing list