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Linux++:::: SPARCling Ubuntu Linux
Posted at 20.Dec,2006 12:26  Comments 6 / Trackbacks 0 / Like this post!
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I was asked to install Linux on sparc boxes, two E250 and a sunfire 280r. The last time I intall linux was way back; using RH6.x on netrai.

So, I searched for a good Sparc Distro. Turned out that there are many quite well known distros that support sparc, Ubuntu, gentoo, and debian to name a few.

Initially I chose to go with aurora Linux. Later, I decided against that and went with Ubuntu 6.06.1 LTS.

I downloaded the iso (quite small ~ 400MB), burned it and try booting the sparc boxes.

The e 250s booted ok. sunfire 280r? Well that proved to be a challenge.

Here's how things went. First, the E250s.

Booting from cdrom was ok. Nothing special needed. Then, just follow the prompt.

One thing that bugged me was that there was no timezone for Asia/*. So I picked any one and changed that later.

A few minutes later, the e 250s are running Linux. Great!

Now, he sunfire 280r. It booted cdrom ok. Got to the SILO prompt. Selected:

  install ide=nodma

Got till remapping kernel. Dang, not so good.

Powered off the box. Booted again. At the SILO prompt, typed:


Now we got to Booting Linux. Great. Or so I thought. Nothing happened.

Powered off again. Thanks to google, I tried appending fb=true:

  install fb=true

It booted ok! followed the prompt and we're happy!

Now, the e 250s and sunfire 280r are running Ubuntu Linux.


  • always cold boot. else, we'll get "Illegal Instruction"
  • try ide=nodma for older cd drive.
  • if fb=true do't work, connect thru the serial. unplug the keyboard, attach a null modem cable to your pc with minicom/hyperterminal, and install .

kudos to the ubuntu spac devs!


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Installing ubuntu on sun blade 150

hi !
i m trying to install ubuntu on sun blade 150 but got error illegal instruction.
need help.

saji  at 14.Feb,2007 21:36
illegal instruction

is something hard to trouble shoot.

try cold boot, change the boot order
power off, power on and see if thing s went ok

which ubuntu did you try?

kedai  at 20.Feb,2007 19:23
problem in installing ubuntu on sun blade

I am using ubuntu-6.06.1-server-sparc . I did all steps u mentioned above like
install ide=nodma
install fb=true
but after all these i got illegal instruction error. My sunblade 150 OBP version is 4.10.6.
Similarly i tried same ubunut on sun blade and after doing some processing its monitor got black.

capricorn  at 13.Mar,2007 14:41
blank screen

iirc, take out external graphics card if you have one.

or try the serial approach.

also try and set the boot order to boot off cd rom, power off and power onn again.

good luck

kedai  at 13.Mar,2007 18:53

try the serial approach.
can u tell me in detail how can i proceed with serial approach?

capricorn  at 14.Mar,2007 14:49

Just disconnect your keyboard, that should be enough for a serial boot.
(Just did a remote install with serial/netboot on my ultra10 located 30miles away, to bad I had to call for a powercycle.. :)

anonymous  at 17.Sep,2007 21:01
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