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

From: Hartmut Rombach
Subject: Re: [Qemu-discuss] Newbie: Running Solaris8/SPARC binaries / shared objects on x86-Linux Machines
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:54:34 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.0

Hello everybody,
Thank you for your quick response and for the time you spent to help me find 
the best way to keep old hardware productive.

Perhaps, it's best to describe my situation a bit more detailed to clarify the 
Back in the 1980th / 1990th, our company bought several parameter test systems 
(used for in-production testing of semiconductor devices). Those systems have a 
build in computer-board (based on an 68040 microprocessor). All of those 
testers are controlled by two Sun SPARCs running Solaris 8. User Interface, 
program generation and everything else is done on the Sun. The vendor of the 
test systems supplied us with some shared object libraries, we may use in our 
programs to control the tester (make it force some voltages, measure some 
current and so on).  So, basically we develop programs on the Sun, and use the 
vendor-supplied lib to convert and transfer our commands  to the tester, wich 
returns the results back. Please note: communication from Sun to tester is done 
via ethernet, but they are using their own network protocol and not e.g. 
tcp/ip. Unfortunately, I have only very little information about that network 
The tester-hardware is still in good condition (though out of support) and its 
performance is still sufficient for most of our products. The longer, the 
testers are usable, the more money we save.
On the other hand, the Sun SPARCs are out of support as well, and I am afraid 
that some time one of them breaks down leaving us in a quite difficult 
So I just want to check out, if it's possible to move the programs, which are currently 
running on the Sun SPARC, to an x86/Linux PC using some kind of "SPARC 

@Jim: thanks a lot, for showing me, which difficulties I have do deal with. 
Sounds like it will take quite a lot of time and it's definitely not sure, that 
it all ends up with a reliable system.

@ Tony Su: You are right: I am asking how to run a Solaris application compiled 
for SPARC hardware on an modern x86 linux computer. About your question 
concerning direct hardware access:  I am pretty sure this is not required. 
Although they use their own network protocol, it is possible to use the same 
network interface for in-house communication using tcp/ip and tester 

@Dennis: sorry, but reverse engineering is not an option for me. Maybe, it can 
be done on the network protocol itself, but this is only a small part of what 
has to be done. With almost no documentation about what's going on on the 
tester cpu, it's simply to much work for me.

@Jerry: please, calm down. Dennis did not start the thread, I did. He is trying 
to help me just as you do, and he tried to clarify, what I may not have said 
that clear. So please don't blame him for insulating others.

Once again, thank you for your answers.


Am 31.08.2014 um 14:56 schrieb Jerry Stuckle:
On 8/31/2014 12:44 AM, Dennis Luehring wrote:
Am 30.08.2014 23:18, schrieb Tony Su:
   Need some clarification,
Are you really asking how to run Solaris on x86 or the other way
around? I'm going to assume you have a Solaris application running on
SPARC hardware and you want to explore options running on Linux
instead because it doesn't make much sense to me that you would want
to continue to run on ancient hardware. Even consumer grade
contemporary hardware is probably a better economic decision than to
run on that old hardware.
"I want to replace the SPARC by a state-of-the art Linux / x86 computer"

isn't that clear enough - don't assume - read the email

Which didn't answer Tony's question - the same one I had.  Maybe the
problem is not in his reading - but your description.

Of course insulting people trying to help you is a great way to
encourage people to give you assistance - especially when you're not
paying them for it.

So, what are your options?
Let's say your application only exists running on Solaris 8 and it
requires access to, and uses SPARC hardware.
In this case, you might consider cobbling together a SPARC environment
using QEMU emulation.QEMU should support all Sun SPARC CPUs and most
likely any SPARC I/O devices as well.
thats new to me - the SPARC part of qemu seems to be in an sometimes
very experimental state

I haven't tried it personally but I think a friend of mine has.
Unfortunately, it's a long weekend here and he's gone to the beach, so I
won't be able to talk to him until at least Tuesday or Wednesday.

Let's say your app only runs on Solaris 8 but does not require access
to SPARC hardware.
In this case, you can use almost any virtualization that exists
because various Solaris runs on x86 (I haven't checked whether Solaris
8 is one of them). You should be able to use KVM, VMware, VirtualBox,
Parallels, Hyper-V(I'm guessing), Xen or anything else for better

but the current system is SPARC so no x86 virtualizer can help to run
its SPARC code
on x86 - or how is that possible?

He didn't say an x86 virtualizer.  But this goes back to the very first


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