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I have an old Sun Netra X1 server and two SunRays 1 lying around and wondering about installing Linux or Freebsd on them.

  • is possible run Linux (and/or FreeBsd with ZFS) on SunRay 1? (I hope Netra X1 is ok)
  • what performance i can expect? Is the Netra suitable as:

    • home fileserver?
    • webserver?
    • etc?
  • some creative ideas how (for what) i can use the SunRays 1 (and Netra X1) today?

Specs:

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Might help to give some system specs here - are we talking the old sun ray thin clients? –  Journeyman Geek Nov 21 '12 at 9:07
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2 Answers 2

What it comes down down to is finding an operating system that supports the processor architecture in those machines. Sun machines generally uses the sparc family and for FreeBSD there are releases that supports this.

http://www.freebsd.org/where.html#download contains links to isos for the various platforms FreeBSD supports, including sparc64 which would be the one you should download for installation on your machines.

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Your Sun Netra is good enough for a file/http server. Just a advice: ignore all the fancy new features of Linux or FreeBSD like ZFS or btrfs, it's very hard for old machines to work with this new (and demanding) stuff. UFS and ext4 are very good FS.

I don't own a Sparc machine but usually OpenBSD is also considered a good OS for this architecture by the users. OpenBSD has a dedicated page for Sparc and a FAQ for help you with the installation.

If you're only interested on Linux, probably the best OS for your machine is Debian.

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