Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

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Raion-Fox
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Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:39 am

So the other day I picked up a Sun Ultra 5 in the box with two sets of keyboards/mice for $150. It currently runs Solaris 10 judging from SunOS 5.10 on the uname -a. Here are the specs:

270MHz CPU
512Mb RAM
160GB HDD ( only 137GB is shown )

A few questions here:

1. Is it possible to bypass the 137GB limit on the U5's IDE bus? If not then...
2. Can I get a Serial ATA or SCSI card in one of the PCI slots and boot the machine off that instead?
3. Is a CPU upgrade to 440MHz worth it?
4. Are there any other upgrades I should look at getting?
5. I want to reOS this box - Should I stick with Solaris or should I go for an illumos distro?
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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby kramlq » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:13 am

TeamBlackFox wrote:So the other day I picked up a Sun Ultra 5 in the box with two sets of keyboards/mice for $150. It currently runs Solaris 10 judging from SunOS 5.10 on the uname -a. Here are the specs:

270MHz CPU
512Mb RAM
160GB HDD ( only 137GB is shown )

A few questions here:

1. Is it possible to bypass the 137GB limit on the U5's IDE bus? If not then...
2. Can I get a Serial ATA or SCSI card in one of the PCI slots and boot the machine off that instead?
3. Is a CPU upgrade to 440MHz worth it?
4. Are there any other upgrades I should look at getting?
5. I want to reOS this box - Should I stick with Solaris or should I go for an illumos distro?


2 - There are certainly compatible SCSI cards available. Many did this upgrade at the time, because (if I recall correctly) the EIDE disk only works in PIO mode rather than DMA mode, and is quite slow. If you google you should find some posts listing cards people used.
3 - If you can find it cheap, why not. You can also overclock it to 480MHz via a prom command, and according to many reports it works at that speed without any issues.
4 - SunPCi is a PC-on-pci-card for the Ultra. They are probably fairly cheap these days, and are an interesting example of how Windows could be run back when CPU's weren't really up to the task of virtualisation.
You can also upgrade the RAM to 1Gb if you don't need the floppy drive (you have to use Ultra 10 memory, which are taller than standard Ultra 5 memory chips). I also installed a DVD drive so I could install the OS without lots of changing CDs.
5 - I've used Solaris 9, 10 and Linux, and preferred Solaris 9 (now EOL). CPU speed and memory is an issue the newer you go.... e.g. SMC is annoyingly slow. Things like SunPCi drivers only worked on certain versions of Solaris - 9 mainly, 10 with some hacks.

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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby recondas » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:45 am

TeamBlackFox wrote:2. Can I get a Serial ATA or SCSI card in one of the PCI slots and boot the machine off that instead?

If Sun's PCI Happy Meal with Ethernet (HME) is one of the works-with-your-U5 SCSI adapters kramlq mentioned, I've got one you can have for postage.
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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby miod » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:28 pm

TeamBlackFox wrote:1. Is it possible to bypass the 137GB limit on the U5's IDE bus? If not then...

The hardware can definitely work with drives larger than 137GB (it's the ALI5229 controller found on Blade 100/150 which is limited to 137GB for DMA transfers, not the CMD646 found on U5/U10). But there might be a limit enforced by Solaris itself.

TeamBlackFox wrote:2. Can I get a Serial ATA or SCSI card in one of the PCI slots and boot the machine off that instead?

No, but U5/U10 PROM will recognize SCSI boards based on NCR 53C810/53C825/53C835 chips out of the box, and will boot from them. Higher models using 53C875 and 53C1xxx will not work.

TeamBlackFox wrote:3. Is a CPU upgrade to 440MHz worth it?

Yes, but it will require a PROM update first if yours is too old; upgrading the PROM requires you to open the machine and flip a jumper to make the flash PROM writable.
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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby mgtremaine » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:13 am

TeamBlackFox wrote:2. Can I get a Serial ATA or SCSI card in one of the PCI slots and boot the machine off that instead?

No, but U5/U10 PROM will recognize SCSI boards based on NCR 53C810/53C825/53C835 chips out of the box, and will boot from them. Higher models using 53C875 and 53C1xxx will not work.


Not so sure about this. I just got my Ultra 5 out of storage and repaired the NVRAM (yay my first clock chip fix), I started thinking about the IDE and noticed that both the Gentoo hardware list and the NetBSD faq hint that PCI PATA Cards might just work with some FCODE hacking... Link here

https://www.netbsd.org/ports/sparc64/faq.html#pci-cards

I need to dig up a PATA Adapter to test this, I know I have one but it's buried. Once I get it I will post the results.

-Mike
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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby mgtremaine » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:41 pm

Holy Cow it works! I'm running OpenBSD 6.2 on this Sun.

I dug out a Maxtor ATA 133 PCI card with Promise PDC20269 chip put in and plugged the CDROM cable from the motherboard into it. I used nvedit to add the above lines and reset.

I saw the device in the tree after reset (which means I can make a new devalias). So I booted into OpenBSD and dmesg shows the device and picked up the CD-ROM

Code: Select all

pciide1 at pci2 dev 2 function 0 "Promise PDC20269" rev 0x02: DMA, channel 0 configured to native-PCI, channel 1 configured to native-PCI
pciide1: using ivec 0x7d4 for native-PCI interrupt
atapiscsi0 at pciide1 channel 0 drive 0
scsibus1 at atapiscsi0: 2 targets
cd0 at scsibus1 targ 0 lun 0: <SONY, CD-RW CRX220E1, 6YS1> ATAPI 5/cdrom removable
cd0(pciide1:0:0): using PIO mode 4, Ultra-DMA mode 2


Mounts no problems

[mgt@xray ~]$ df
Filesystem 512-blocks Used Avail Capacity Mounted on
/dev/wd0a 37530092 4244928 31408660 12% /
/dev/wd0e 14115212 1876 13407576 0% /home
/dev/wd0d 5908236 24 5612804 0% /tmp
/dev/cd0a 523732 523732 0 100% /mnt/cdrom

Sadly I don't have 80pin IDE cable handy so it's too early to do the speed tests but that's next. In theory I can reset the devalias and move the drive over and boot from it. It should be a significant speed bump over the internal IDE.. (I get 11/MB on the current)

More details as I get them. I start a new thread with my Ultra 5's tinkering.

-Mike

ADDED: May have spoke to soon, the device node has no children so I'll play around with openboot to see what I can do with it. The goal obviously is a bootable card.
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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby mgtremaine » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:11 am

Fixed it this morning. Here is the proper way.

Add your PCI ATA Card. Boot the system use "show-devs" to find the card node. The you want to get the class-code property so

cd /pci@1f,0/pci@1/<DEVICE>
.properties

Look for the class-code my Promise PDC20269 is 00018085

nvedit
dev /packages/SUNW,builtin-drivers
: class018085
f 9 my-space + " config-b!" $call-parent class010100
;
device-end

Control-C to end.
nvstore
reset

When it comes back show-dev should have ide@2/disk and ide@2/cdrom instead of the long pic vendor-id@device-id

-Mike
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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby mgtremaine » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:12 am

Just to followup on this I dug out a proper cable and switched the Hardrive over to the Promise controller. I then set a new devalias for "atadisk" [and atacd ] and was able to boot via "boot atadisk" . So far so good.

At this point the only snag is OpenBSD is still showing the wd0 drive as PIO 4 UDMA 2 so the performance is not any better (well dd was 1MB/sec faster). I'm assuming this is user error and I'll research how to configure the correct settings. I did find the atactl command and it shows the drive can handle UDMA 7

For anyone trying this with Solaris the first step would be to check /etc/driver_aliases and see what devices are supported in your Solaris install. Obviously the newer version of solaris are more likely to have a driver these cards. X86 releases probably come with way more drivers but perhaps they can be ported? Not sure but it's where i would start if I was going run solaris.

-Mike
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Re: Sun Ultra 5 - Some questions and advice

Unread postby mgtremaine » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:42 am

I'm going to keep dumping info in this thread and then cleanup my findings and post it complete later on.

ATA PCI INFO:

Maxtor ATA133 (Promise PDC20269) <-- Wondering if something is bad not the card.
works in Openboot (class 018085) ,
works in OpenBSD 15.7 MB/sec.
does not work in Debian 9 (it boots from the CD attached to the device but then the later can not detect the drive even though it has the right driver and lspci shows the card.)
does not work in Solaris 10.

Adaptec ASH-1233 (Sil 0680 chipset)
Does not work in Openboot, therefor works in nothing.
Might need revisit this...
Found a link where someone else went down this rabbit hole back in 2006. http://trashbox.homeip.net/nownow/20061018/

I have a Promise PDC20268 on the way that will get tested.
Promise Technology Ultra100 TX2 IDE PCI (PDC20267)
works in Openboot (class 018000)
works in OpenBSD averaging 27.8 MB/sec
woks in Debian

Memory: I already have 512MB so I was looking to see ways of getting to 1GB. I found that 168-pin EDO ECC BUFFERED (aka Registered) memory works fine. I bought 2 sticks of 64MB off eBay with those features and they tested fine. They are branded IBM memory but made in Japan with a date of 1998 and are low profile. I'm going to try to buy the full 1GB soon.

OpenBoot Programing:

Found the essay on Dropins http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/ ... dorf99.pdf which was really interesting. The implications seem to be that if you know forth and your hardware specs you could write the required code and call it to get things like a SATA PCI Card working.


DVD/CD:

I attached a DVD drive to PATA IDE Card and was able to boot from it and it detects correctly. So it is possible to add DVD.

cd0 at scsibus1 targ 0 lun 0: <TSSTcorp, CD/DVDW TS-H552D, HP06> ATAPI 5/cdrom removable
cd0(pciide0:1:0): using PIO mode 4

The same DVD drive did not work on the internal EIDE when I tried it like 6 years ago. So that's another bonus of using a PATA controller.

-Mike
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