SUMMARY: Running SunOS on a dual-processor Sparcstation 10

From: BILL BANHAM 0131 343 4333 (
Date: Thu Oct 12 1995 - 21:53:57 CDT

Sorry for the delay but I thought I would try the acid test first. The
consensus says it does work but unsupported by Sun and IT DOES WORK. It has
worked so far without any problems at all. Thanks to all who replied. The
replies are listed below. By the way the system is running 4.1.3_U1 out of the
box - no patches.


        From what I understand, it's not a supported configuration. MP SunOS
is only supported on the older MP machines e.g. the 690 deskside server boxes.
I believe 4.1.3 will run and will use both processors, but is supposedly NOT
reliable. Sorry to dampen your squib, but there you go . . .

If I were you, and the machine wasn't mission critical, I'd throw in the
processor and give it a lash for a while and see how it goes, rembering to
save early and often.

Kindest regards,

Niall O Broin

European Space Operations Centre
Darmstadt, Germany Ph./Fax +49 6151 90 3619/2179


Have you loaded the Sun-4m supplemental CD? This is required to run
SunOS 4.1.3 on a Sun-4m arch. It is called:

Sun-4m Supplement for Solaris 1.1 SMCC Version A

(as far as I know)

This should allow both processors to be used, but a single
process will not be able to use more than one processor.
You need Solaris and appropriately compiled code for that.



In article <9952401819091995/A06237/MAGPIE/11999CA83400*@MHS> you write:

It will boot and enter multi-processing mode. You should make sure that it is
the same processor type as the existing one you are putting it with.
A Model 30 processor will only ever work single cpu.
Model 40 can go with model 40 and become model 402
Model 50 can go with model 50 and become model 502
Model 51 can go with model 51 and become model 512
Model 61 can go with model 61 and become model 612

And so on.

However, you will find that the second cpu will only ever get used when the
first cpu is at 100% usage.
It is only ROSS hyperSPARC that gives effective multi-processing under
SunOS 4.1.3/4.1.3_U1. This is achieved with SunOS patches as supplied by ROSS
with their upgrades.


John Cheshire

Floating Point Solutions Ltd


You can not run multiple CPUs by SunOS 4.1.3. You need SunOS 4.1.4 (or, they call it Solaris 1.2). I would not recommend 4.1.4, because SUN does not seem to be supporting it in the near future. The best you can do is to upgrade to Solaris 2.4. To my knowledge, you probably will not be experiencing heat problems with a dual-processor..

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | Bulent Ozunaldim | voice : 90 (312) 266-4000 / 2293 | | Unix Systems Group. | fax : 90 (312) 266-4126 | | Computer Center, Bilkent University | e-mail: | | TR-06533 Ankara/TURKEY | | +--------------------------------------------------------------------------+ **************************************************************************8

I hear it's do-able but unsupported.

Cindy Miller


It will probably work ok, but if it is a desktop system, openwindows will flash annoyingly (I think when the server changes cpu's or something). Sun doesn't support SunOS4 MP systems, so they won't help or provide a patch.



Sun only supports a limited set of multi-CPU Sparcs with SunOS 4, primarilly the 600MP series. It won't hurt having it in there, but you might as well remove the board and put it in a static-proof bag, and put that away somewhere and save some power if you have no intention of installing Solaris 2.

Richard Pieri/Information Services \ When eating out, think nothing of sending <> \ back your meal twenty or thirty times. -A \ cat's guide to life


No. We have 3 2-cpu sparc 10's and 3 4-cpu sparc 10's running 4.1.3_u1b. They have run very well for us.



I assume you're talking about SuperSparc. You should have said.

In terms of hardware:

Model 30: These CPUs have a mask error that prevents MP operation, you'll panic at boot time.

Model 40: Some of these CPUs have the same problem as the Model 30.

Model 41: These will all work. Model 50: Model 51: Model 61:

There is no thermal problem on an SS10 with one or two CPUs.

In terms of operating system:

SuperSparc MP is officially unsupported under 4.X. We've had excellent results with a 4.1.3 412 configuration. No patches, no crashes.

We've have mediocre results with a 4.1.3 514 configuration. Lots of patches, time between hangs = 6 weeks +- 4 weeks.

In general, 4 CPUs cause more problems than 2, and faster CPUs cause more problems than slower.

HyperSparc (with ROSS 4.1.3 patches) works great (but you probably don't have those lying around). :-)

Jay Lessert Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (voice)1.503.681.0118 Hillsboro, OR, USA (fax)1.503.693.0540


SunOS 4.x supports only one CPU. It will never support more. If You want to use Your 2nd CPU You chave to change to solaris 2. Michael Ritzert


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:10:34 CDT