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Re: [Qemu-discuss] Newbie: Running Solaris8/SPARC binaries / shared obje

From: jim
Subject: Re: [Qemu-discuss] Newbie: Running Solaris8/SPARC binaries / shared objects on x86-Linux Machines
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:27:40 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.6.0

HI Hartmut,

I'm sure some people with more in depth knowledge will answer too, but
my experience of trying to run SPARC emulation did not go well. 
Building a new VM using the install disks can be done but that requires
some quirks on the install like manually editing some boot files (this
is at least documented so you will find that OK).

However, the various ROMs are very particular about the CPU being used,
so you need to get that right (it came down to a guessing game for me
and keep going till one works).  Then, there are only particular memory
configurations which work (more trial and error) and some graphics cards
work only on some rom/memory combinations and pretty soon there are
hundreds of config variations and no easy way to find which work well.

Trying to take an image of a live/existing system is even less likely to
work as the emulated hardware differs from what you're probably using on
real hardware so you have issues trying to reconfigure the kernel to
actually boot.

I spent around 3 months (it was important to me as like you I had some
old hardware which I needed a contingency plan for) but in the end I had
to give up as I could not get anything reliable; if you are making a
bare install from install media you can get further but that was no good
for me since I needed to virtualize something already running.

I hope you have more success than me; if you do, please post back to the
list with any magic incantations of memory/rom/graphics/cpu which work well.


On 30/08/2014 15:09, Hartmut Rombach wrote:
> Hi there,
> I am in charge of some hardware built back in the 1980th, which is
> controlled by a SPARC computer under Solaris 8. Unfortunately this
> hardware has to survive several more years. I want to replace the
> SPARC by a state-of-the art Linux / x86 computer, but:
> I don't have the source code for that old hardware, only some binaries
> and shared object libs. This is, why I came across QEMU (which is
> completely new to me).
> Question 1: As far as I understand the documentation, I have to
> install Solaris 8 to some QEMU disk, install the software for my old
> hardware, and this should end up with a working system, right?
> Question 2: It would be much easier for me, to stay on Linux, and run
> only the binaries for my hardware under QEMU control. Is this ok as well?
> Question 3: For several programs, I have "most of" the source code,
> only the source of the low-level routines which talk to the hardware,
> is not available. I have to link in some vendor supplied shared object
> for this. Is it possible to set up some "mixed platform binary" e.g.
> use a binary for x86, and link in some shared objects build for SPARC ?
> Thanks a lot for your advice,
> Hartmut

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