OpenBSD/sparc64 runs on the 64-bit Sun UltraSPARC machines based on the UltraSPARC I, II, III, IV, T1 and T2 processors, Oracle Sun SPARC machines based on the SPARC T3, T4, T5, M5 and M6 processors, and the Fujitsu SPARC64 machines based on the SPARC64-V, SPARC64-VI and SPARC64-VII processors.

A mailing list dedicated to the OpenBSD/sparc and OpenBSD/sparc64 ports is available at sparc@openbsd.org. To join the OpenBSD/sparc and OpenBSD/sparc64 mailing list, send a message body of "subscribe sparc" to majordomo@openbsd.org. Please be sure to check our mailing list policy before subscribing.

The current port maintainer is Mark Kettenis (kettenis@openbsd.org). Others are definitely welcome to contribute!

Table of contents


The original port was made for NetBSD by Eduardo Horvath and released for the first time in January 1999. The porting to OpenBSD started in August 2001 and in the end of September the first binary snapshot was released. The porting was done mainly by Jason Wright and Artur Grabowski and was done on both SBus and PCI machines so that a decently wide range of hardware support was ready even before the system could boot multiuser.

OpenBSD 3.0 was the first official release of OpenBSD/sparc64, and since that release support for many more devices has been added (including devices required for X11R6 support). The other architectures that OpenBSD supports have benefited because some kinds of bugs are exposed more often by the 64-bit big endian nature of UltraSPARC.

Sun refused access to the necessary documentation for the (very bizarre) host bridge and caches in the UltraSPARC III machines, so a few years were lost before some reverse engineering figured out the changes in these machines (and the undocumented processor bugs, too). In 2007, Sun was finally convinced to release the missing information, and development progress became more rapid.

OpenBSD 4.0 was the first release to ship with support for the UltraSPARC III based machines; OpenBSD 4.3 first with SMP support, and OpenBSD 4.4 has been the first to support the UltraSPARC IV, UltraSPARC T1, UltraSPARC T2, SPARC64-V, SPARC64-VI and SPARC64-VII processors. OpenBSD 5.7 has been the first to support the SPARC T3, SPARC T4, SPARC T5, SPARC M5 and SPARC M6 processors.

And since there are always little bits missing, work is continuing...

Current status:

Currently most of the hardware available to the developers boots multiuser and supports enough of the on-board devices to be generally usable.

The X Window System is supported on most systems. Accelerated drivers are available for ATI graphics adapters, Tech Source graphics adapters and the UPA Creator, Creator 3D and Elite 3D. It is possible to use X in frame buffer mode with all supported SBus cards, as well as the on-board ATI graphics, the UPA Creator, Creator 3D or Elite 3D, and the Expert 3D at the boot resolution/depth using either the wsfb(4) or the wildcatfb(4) driver.

The directions on how to enable the accelerated and unaccelerated X server are present in the /usr/X11R6/README file on the installed system.

Supported hardware:

Supported machines

OpenBSD/sparc64 is known or expected to work on the following machines:

  • Ultra 1/1E
  • Ultra 2
  • Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation
  • Ultra 5/10
  • Ultra 25/45
  • Ultra 30/60/80
  • SPARCengineUltra AX
  • SPARCengineUltra AXe
  • SPARCengineUltra AXi
  • SPARCengineUltra AXdp
  • SPARCengineUltra AXmp
  • SPARCengine CP1500
  • Enterprise 150
  • Enterprise 220R
  • Enterprise 250
  • Enterprise 420R
  • Enterprise 450
  • Enterprise 3000/4000/5000/6000
  • Enterprise 3500/4500/5500/6500
  • Enterprise 10000
  • Sun Blade 100/150
  • Sun Blade 1000/2000
  • Sun Blade 1500/2500
  • Sun Blade T6300
  • Sun Blade T6320
  • Sun Blade T6340
  • Sun Fire V100/V120
  • Sun Fire V125
  • Sun Fire V210/V240/V440
  • Sun Fire V215/V245/V445
  • Sun Fire V250
  • Sun Fire 280R
  • Sun Fire V480/V880
  • Sun Fire V490/V890
  • Sun Fire V1280
  • Sun Fire 3800/4800/4810/6800
  • Sun Fire E2900/E4900/E6900
  • Sun Fire T1000/T2000
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000/M5000
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise M8000/M9000
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise T1000/T2000
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140/T5240
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440
  • Sun SX1500
  • Sun SX2500
  • Sun SX3200
  • Oracle SPARC T3-1
  • Oracle SPARC T3-2
  • Oracle SPARC T3-4
  • Oracle SPARC T4-1
  • Oracle SPARC T4-2
  • Oracle SPARC T4-4
  • Oracle SPARC T5-2
  • Oracle SPARC T5-4
  • Oracle SPARC T5-8
  • Netra AX1105
  • Netra AX2200
  • Netra X1
  • Netra 20/T4
  • Netra 120
  • Netra 210/240/440
  • Netra 1280
  • Netra 1290
  • Netra T1 100/105
  • Netra T1 AC200/DC200
  • Netra T 1100
  • Netra T 1120/1125
  • Netra T 1400/1405
  • Netra CP3060
  • Netra CP3260
  • Netra T2000
  • Netra T5220
  • Netra T5440
  • Netra SPARC T3-1
  • Netra SPARC T4-1
  • Netra SPARC T4-2
  • Momentum Leopard-V
  • Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 1
  • Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 250/450
  • Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 650/850
  • Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise M4000/M5000/M8000/M9000
  • Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise T1000/T2000
  • Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220
  • Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise T5140/T5240
  • Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise T5440
  • RDI/Tadpole Ultrabook 170/200
  • Tadpole SPARCLE 550SX/650SX
  • Tadpole Viper
  • Naturetech GENIALstation 777S
  • Naturetech PowerBook 777S
  • Naturetech PowerBook 888P

OpenBSD 4.4 may trigger a hardware fault on the SPARC Enterprise M4000/M5000/M8000/M9000 that can only be cleared by a field engineer. A workaround for this problem is available in OpenBSD 4.5 and later.

The PRIMEPOWER 650/850 machines are only supported with SPARC64-V CPUs.

Please note, some machines like the Ultra1, Ultra2, Enterprise 220R and SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220 may require upgrading the flashprom before OpenBSD can be successfully installed. The SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220 needs at least OBP 4.28.0.

Supported devices

Untested machines (please help us test!)

The following machines may work, but have never been tested:

  • Sun Fire 12K/15K
  • Sun Fire E20K/E25K
  • Sun Netra CT 400
  • Sun Netra CT 410
  • Sun Netra CT 800
  • Sun Netra CT 810
  • Sun Netra CT 820
  • Sun Netra FT 1800
  • Sun Netra CP2040
  • Sun Netra CP2060
  • Sun Netra CP2080
  • Sun Netra CP2140
  • Sun Netra CP2160
  • Sun Netra CP2300
  • Sun SPARC Enterprise M3000
  • Oracle SPARC T3-1B
  • Oracle SPARC T4-1B
  • Oracle SPARC T5-1B
  • Oracle SPARC M5-32
  • Oracle SPARC M6-32
  • Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 200/400/600/1000/2000 (with SPARC64-V CPUs)
  • Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 900/1500/2500
  • Fujitsu SPARC Enterprise M3000
  • Fujitsu FX1
  • Tadpole Ultrabook IIi/IIe
  • Tadpole/Sun Voyager IIi
  • Tadpole Sparcbook 5000/6500
  • Tadpole Bullfrog / Bullfrog EXP / V2 Bullfrog I
  • Naturetech Meso 999
  • Naturetech GENIALstation 737S/747S
  • Naturetech PowerBook 737S/747S
  • Naturetech PowerBook 777E/ES/P/V
  • Naturetech PowerBook 878P
  • Naturetech Proso 2000
  • Naturetech Proso 2400
  • Naturetech Proso 2600
  • Themis USP-2
  • Themis USPIIi-1V/3V
  • Themis USPIIe-Gb/USB/cPCI
  • Themis USPIIIi
  • Themis RES-32s
  • Themis T2BC
  • Force Computers CPU-50/CPU-50G
  • Force Computers CPU-56/CPU-56T
  • Force Computers CPCI-520
  • Force Computers CPSB-560

Most of these machines will almost certainly just work. If you have one of these machines available for testing, please give it a try and tell us about the result.

Unsupported machines

The following machines do not run OpenBSD/sparc64 just yet:

  • Fujitsu HALstation 330/350/375/385
  • Fujitsu S-7/300
  • Fujitsu GP7000F Model 200/400/600/1000/2000
  • Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 200/400/600/1000/2000 (with SPARC64-IV CPUs)

Unsupported devices

Hardware documentation:

Previous to 2007, it was extremely difficult or impossible to get much of the necessary hardware documentation for these machines. Members of our team (in particular David Gwynne) were instrumental in pressuring and convincing Sun to go back into their archives and dig up the data sheets that they had written in-house, describing the operation of their chips to their own engineers. These documents can now be found at http://wikis.sun.com/display/FOSSdocs/Home. Some documents are still missing at that site, so we ask that interested developers contact Sun and request additional information.

Getting and installing OpenBSD/sparc64:

The latest supported OpenBSD/sparc64 release is OpenBSD 5.7. Here are the OpenBSD/sparc64 5.7 installation instructions .

Snapshots are made available from time to time, in this location as well as in a few mirrors. Here are the OpenBSD/sparc64 snapshot installation instructions as well.

There are several installation media provided, so that OpenBSD/sparc64 can be installed or upgraded via CD, floppy boot images on some models, miniroot images for machines without floppies, as well as network and diskless installs.

Please note that booting from floppy might not work on your machine; also, Ultra 1, 1E and 2 systems might require a PROM update (they usually don't if they are able to boot Solaris in 64bit-mode); please refer to the installation notes for details.