OpenBSD Journal

OpenBSD's Battle For UltraSparc III Documentation

Contributed by jose on from the activism dept.

Jeremy Andrews writes:
"In late November of 2002, OpenBSD creator Theo de Raadt announced on the project's mailing lists that after over a year of attempting to obtain useful UltraSparc III documentation, they had still not made much headway. In the email he rallied the OpenBSD community to help out, asking them to contact the people within Sun responsible for providing such information. C/Net reported on this in their story titled, Open-source clan in spat with Sun. The UltraSparc III is Sun's third generation 64-bit RISC architecture based processor.

Sun boasts their UltraSparc III as an "open" architecture, yet seem to recognize that there is insufficient information freely available for the open source community to support it with operating systems. I have been told that the required documentation does exist, however, with a Sun part number of 805-0408-05-P. An early version of this manual was allegedly made available to Linux developers once a Confidential Disclosure Agreement was signed (Sun's version of a Non-Disclosure Agreement), however no such offer has been made to the OpenBSD team, an offer that if made is likely counter to the project's goals.

I attempted to discuss this issue with Danese Cooper who works in Sun's Open Source Programs Office, with as of yet limited results. My goal is to gain a clear understanding of Sun's official position on this situation, something that to date they seem unwilling to discuss with me. My continued attempts to get direct answers are described here ."

As we've come to expect from Kernel Trap, this article is full of all sorts of interesting good things. The exchanges are very illustrative of the struggle and full of technical details on the issue.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Subject: Re: A quick questions about ultrasparc 3 documentation
    Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 14:26:23 -0800 (PST)
    From: "David S. Miller"

    You are the second person in one day from the OpenBSD project
    to ask me this question, and I am going to give you the same
    answer. Please spead the knowledge so I don't have to sit here
    all day typing in responses.

    I have docs under NDA with Sun that allows me to write GPL'd
    code based upon the documentation. I therefore cannot give the
    docs to anyone else.

    And no, I no longer have any contacts at Sun that could help you
    guys out.

  2. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Is Theo an oficially The Creator now?

  3. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Pity there isn't this much publicity about the Cisco failure to allow unrestricted use of vrrp...

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Is this info available from Fujitsu? They produce better 64-bit Sparcs than Sun:

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