UNIX builds for Open / Free source

Linux isn’t the only show in town, but don’t see much love on here for other NIX variants… I run FreeBSD on my NAS (FreeNAS), occasionally spin up FreeBSD desktop, occasionally spin up OpenBSD running on my sparc Sun Ultra 5…

Spun up Solaris 10 running on my Sunblade 2500 (2 x uSparc RISC @ 1.6 Ghz, 16 GB RAM) recently - because I wanted to refresh my Solaris UNIX skills as we’re taking on board a customer with a sh!tload of sparc boxes running Solaris (10 and 11, with a sh!tload of LDOMS (sparc VM guests) and Zones (containers - like docker but way more mature and robust)).

And then I remembered a time 25+ years ago (27) when I was doing my first job in IT, as a mainframe operator (room full of lotsa blue boxes the size of whales) - and I bought a computer magazine on the way to work, and it had a copy of Persistence of Vision “POVRAY” ray tracer on the accompanying floppy disk… it was pretty neat actually, demoed it to a few colleagues… I recall the article in the mag mentioned that you could get the C/C++ source code from Compuserve, and my boss overheard, and dialled into Compuserve, and we got the source code! You gotta remember, 1993 was still pretty much “pre-internet” days for most people…

Where to run it? Didn’t need to compile it for i386 because the MS-DOS binary povray.exe was on the floppy. We didn’t have any Amigas… All the x86 servers were Novell Netware 3.11…

But - we did have a pretty much “idle” Data General AViiON server running DG-UX (Unix), and it was pretty beefy for its day, SMP with dual 40 Mhz Motorola 88010 RISC CPU’s and either 32 or 64 MB of RAM (that was MASSIVE back in 1993!)… and of course it had its own full blown C/C++ compiler!

My boss ended up compiling the binaries on that DG box, and set things up so I could telnet to it - and run povray renders - it was LIGHTNING quick compared to the MS-Dos version! I even got it to do some basic animations (i.e. output a bunch of TGA image files I could then cycle into Autodesk Animator)…

And that all took less than a single day! Get the source from Compuserve, copy it to the DG-UX server, and make it!

Today? You’d a thunk everything would be way WAY easier!

No! No! No! :grimacing:

I’ve been trying for 3 days now to get POVRay 3.7 (the version we built on DG-UX was like 0.91 or 1.x or something) to compile on Solaris 10 sparc… no go… nada…

The source code has a “unix” folder, with a shell script (prebuild.sh), that itself barfs in Solaris (incorrectly marks packages as being too old, and uses “sed” without single quotes) - when I fix those errors (comment the version checking, add single quotes either side of a couple of sed calls) - it runs just fine… sweet… creates a “configure” script in the source tree “root”…

Now - I’ve tried two versions of the source.

3.7.0.8 - and - 3.8

On 3.7.0.8 the “configure” script, without fail, barfs on some lib boost libraries, without fail, everytime, tried installing lib boost from sunfreeware, and CSW to no avail. I’ve tried various arguments to configure to point it at the location of different versions of libboost…

ALL the help that’s available, it’s always assumed UNIX = Linux! Every time! Suggestions “apt install libboost-dev” or yum, or whatever and that fixes them… Not me! No such luck on Solaris… I can prebuild.sh, ./configure, “make check” piece of cake on any Linux I’ve tried (ubuntu amd_64 and debian arm64) - haven’t bothered to “make install” because I’ve already installed the binaries (sudo apt install povray povray-doc povray-includes povray-examples) and I don’t wanna fudge something that’s already working just fine…

On 3.8 source? - I don’t get this error - AND - ./configure in the source tree root, successfully builds the make files! Woo hoo! But when I try “make check” : nada! >:-( … gives warning something like “solaris 10 huh?”, “YMMV” blah, then crashes, without any really meaningful or helpful errors (nothing glaringly obvious in the generated “config.log” file)…

I’m about to throw the towel in and admit defeat… Dang!

And of course everything’s like 10,000 harder than it has to be, since when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems (circa 2009) they forced a “cease and desist” on Sunfreeware which offered a vast library of GNU stuff as binary packages… I suspect Oracle only bought Sun to get Java so Larry Ellison could sue the pants of Sergei and Co at Google…

And Solaris’ package management system (e.g. pkgadd), 15 years ago, was pretty good, but compared to modern apt or yum and their ilk, it’s positively anti-deluvian… I think there’s “ways and means” to get packages from Oracle over the public cloud on Solaris 11, but my Sunblade 2500 is too old to run Solaris 11…


I’m thinking I might explore removing all the GNU stuff I’ve installed i.e. found outside of the Solaris 10 DVD - and try installing Sun Developer Studio and see how I go there…

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i think based on some of your posts here, i was interested in trying out one of the bsd’s. after i finally got freebsd and xorg installed, i didn’t know enough to figure out how to troubleshoot a malfunctioning xfce desktop. nomad was more like a linux install, but i couldn’t figure out how to run boinc from the command line.

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Update: using Oracle/Sun Developer Studio made no difference… tried replacing all the GNU stuff in /usr/local/ with the SUNW stuff in /opt/, no difference… I really wanted to use POVRAY on sparc Solaris, and compare raytraces across different devices - already noticed my arm64 RPi4B 8 GB is a few milliseconds slower than my hex-core Phenom II (circa 2010/2011), which itself is a few milliseconds slower than the i7 (4th gen? 5th gen? circa 2015/16) on my Dell Latitude 7440. I’d expect the sparc to probably be a tiny bit slower than the RPi, but not by much…

Damn shame about Solaris… also - there’s still some active stuff on descendants of OpenSolaris (which Orrible [sic] killed when they bought Sun - but too late - it, and ZFS were already out there, in the wild), there’s even ZFS appliances with OpenSolaris (e.g. Nappit - tried it for a few months on my HP NL40, but went back to FreeNAS) - like IllumOS and OpenIndiana, but - THEY’RE ALL for X86!!!

I predict, by the end of this decade, sparc will be truly dead, PowerPC still in a few IBM things (like decrepit AS/400’s and legacy pSeries AIX - I think IBM would rather EVERYONE switched their Linux/NIX workloads to Z series mainframes running RedHat), MIPS32 (64?) might still be around in Chinese clones (Loongsong) - but - x86_64 - and - ARM (arm64) will dominate even more than today… There’s already developer edition Mac Minis with ARM, and in a couple of month’s Apple’s first ARM McBook… I wander what the future holds for “RISC V”?

I still lament the current dearth of RISC, once upon a time we had :
MIPS (64)
SPARC
Alpha (Sweet!)
PowerPC (not just IBM but Apple too!) - note : I think Sony PS3/4/5 run “Cell” (PowerPC derived), and some Nintendo Wii use these, and maybe even later post Intel/AMD XBox consoles…
Motorola 88010
PA-Risc (HP-UX)
ARM (only on a few niche things, like Acorns and Apple Newtons)
and there were probably more…

And even Microsoft ported Windows NT (3.x and 4.x) to PowerPC, Alpha (I actually ran a few DEC Alphas with Windows NT 4.0) and MIPS (of course - Windows NT was NEVER 64 bit on any of these).

That was my experience so I just went back to something I had some experience with and could get working. Motorcycles are so much simpler, you can see all the parts. :grinning:

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i opted for familiarity as well and installed something debian-based, but appreciated the introduction to bsd. i believe i take your meaning about motorcycles, when i was a landscaper it was much easier to troubleshoot a rake than a chainsaw :slight_smile:

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I find BSD to be super-good if you do most of your work through or on the internet because the speed of the internet is much faster than either Windows or Linux. I’ve tried every flavor of Linux and the internet speed has never matched BSD’s speed up and down.

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