Seemed like a good idea at the time…

eBay is a naughty, naughty place. It draws you into buying stuff against your will. Well, not quite, but you get the idea.

The latest idea is playing around with some high-end network services under Linux. OpenLDAP servers maintaining an entire LDAP directory, with integrated Samba file + printer sharing on per user/group basis including virus scanning, e-mail solution containing virus + spam filtering tied into the LDAP structure, and of course Internet content filtering + Squid proxy cache complete with Intranet portalset all based off permissions from the directory. So, I needed some equipment.

My new Sun Ultra 5's

Space being limited, and also wanting a decent challenge as opposed to running them off my usual testing machines based round PII 400Mhz’s with 128Mb-256Mb RAM, picked out some Sun Ultra 5′s instead. Since the Ultra 5′s are IDE interface based, they take standard hard drives and CD drives making them cheap to get parts for. These 4 cost £45 plus shipping – 3 x 270Mhz with 128Mb RAM + 6.3Gb hard drives, plus 1 x 330Mhz with 256Mb RAM and 6.3Gb hard drive.

What’s going to run on these? Gentoo Sparc64, of course. Support seems very good under Gentoo, with active forums, mailing lists and IRC. Although compiling will be slower compared to the other alternative, Debian, I’m interested to see how much Gentoo can harness the 64-bit processing, plus how well Gentoo actually stands up in a server environment. I’ve always ran Debian on servers due to ease of installation and updates, but since I’m not in the production environment, would try something else. Whilst this is purely for development and learning, the reasoning behind it is an integration of these technologies into our Windows network at work, or for future reference depending on employment status in a year or two.

Once the keyboard + mouse arrive, will make a start trying to install Gentoo in the first place! Hoping to simply create a base install, then image the remaining three drives, allowing me then give each machine it’s own roles without having to run through building each system from scratch.

About

Senior Engineer for a St. Louis cloud computing, managed services, and co-location company with a passion for virtualization and server management.

Posted in computing, ebay, gentoo sparc, linux, my projects
2 comments on “Seemed like a good idea at the time…
  1. Chris says:

    interesting choice of kit – if yuo can get gentoo running, should be fun! make sure you look at a stage 3 install on hardware like that, then leave it re-compiling stuff later if you want or it will take an age and a day to go from stage 1. is no point really.

  2. fouldsy says:

    Thanks, I was planning on that anyway. The laptop was hit with a stage 1 install (detailed here) simply because it had the speed to compile everything from source without too much hassle. My test machine struggled with this and in hindsight, would have done a stage 3 build.

    I’m hoping with the Ultra 5′s I can do a single install, then image the remaining three drives, plus a spare drive to keep a clean copy. Whether it works out like that I don’t know!

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About Me
Iain Foulds, 30 years old. Originally from England, now living in St. Louis after 4 years in Alaska. I currently work as a senior engineer for a St. Louis cloud computing, managed services, and co-location company . Very passionate about photography. More...
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