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NetBSD/sparc JavaStation Support

Starting with release 2.0 NetBSD supports two JavaStation models, the JavaStation-1 and JavaStation-NC.

Unlike other non-Sun operating systems for JavaStation models, NetBSD does not require you to modify the PROM or NVRAM. It should just work, since the NetBSD bootloader will apply any necessary NVRAM patches for you.

Sun switched their boot ROM from using OpenBoot PROM 2 to using Open Firmware in later JavaStation-1 machines. All JavaStation-NC machines use Open Firmware. OpenBoot PROM is what the rest of the NetBSD/sparc machines have. Open Firmware is what is used in NetBSD/sparc64 models.

Briefly, the JavaStation-1 is a stripped down SPARCstation 4 (other than using Open Firmware in some units). The JavaStation-NC is an entirely new architecture (different bus type, framebuffer chipset, and serial chipset).

JavaStation-1 (a.k.a. Mr. Coffee, part number JJ-xx)

The banner the JavaStation-1 displays at boot-time indicates which boot ROM is present. If it displays OpenBoot 2.30, it has OpenBoot PROM 2. If it displays OpenBoot 3.x (where x is usually 10 or 11), it has Open Firmware.

Unfortunately, the OpenBoot PROM 2 does not properly initialize the PS/2 style keyboard/mouse controller. This means you can't configure the PROM without a serial console. The NetBSD/sparc kernel supports PS/2 keyboards, so you can use the keyboard once the NetBSD kernel is loaded.

Open Firmware has no PS/2 keyboard/mouse issues.

The Xsun X11R6 server works with the PS/2 keyboard and mouse, as long as you run X with the -kb option to disable XKB. This is to prevent problems since it has no XKB description for the "Type4/US101A" PC keyboard.

Audio playback works.

OpenBoot PROM 2-based JavaStation-1 units will netboot like any other NetBSD/sparc machine. See the sparc-specific section of the Diskless NetBSD HOW-TO.

Open Firmware-based JavaStation-1 units will netboot like any other modern machine -- they send a DHCP request for a TFTP server and bootloader filename, then download and execute that file. These units require a different bootloader than other NetBSD/sparc machines. Make sure you use bootjs.net from the snapshot or distribution. See the javastation-specific section of the Diskless NetBSD HOW-TO.

JavaStation-NC (a.k.a. Krups or JavaStation-10, part number JK-xx)

All JavaStation-NC units have Open Firmware. Some units may have a flash SIMM with JavaOS installed. If the flash SIMM is present, the JavaStation-NC will attempt to boot from that before trying to netboot. You may need to remove the flash SIMM before netbooting NetBSD.

There is support for text console on these units.

While the XFree86 server supports the framebuffer chipset used in these units, this support hasn't been integrated into XFree86 on the sparc platform.

Audio playback and recording work.

JavaStation-NC units will netboot like any other modern machine -- they send a DHCP request for a TFTP server and bootloader filename, then download and execute that file. These units require a different bootloader than other NetBSD/sparc machines. Make sure you use bootjs.net from the snapshot or distribution. See the javastation-specific section of the Diskless NetBSD HOW-TO.

JavaStation-E (a.k.a. Espresso, part number JE-xx)

The JavaStation-E is only partly supported at this time. Julian Coleman reported success in booting to single-user mode.


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