OpenBSD hppa

OpenBSD/hppa runs on a large set of the 32-bit Hewlett Packard Precision Architecture workstations and servers (HP PA-RISC). A subset of the 64-bit models are supported in 32-bit mode, as well.

A mailing list dedicated to the OpenBSD/hppa port is available at To join the OpenBSD/hppa mailing list, send a message body of "subscribe hppa" to Please be sure to check our mailing list policy before subscribing.

The current port maintainer is Mark Kettenis ( Others are definitely welcome to contribute!



This project was started in those days when the only open source operating systems for HP PA-RISC computers were Lites and MkLinux. These two sources were a major supply of information and code for initial development of the OpenBSD/hppa port. HPBSD is encumbered by HP proprietary code and USL licensing and is not publicly available. One of the major direct benefits from previous porting efforts (besides the code, of course) was support for HP PA-RISC in GCC and binutils, which allowed quick building of a cross-tools environment for development.

Later on, Hewlett-Packard decided to sponsor a Linux port to the PA-RISC family, which actually resulted in some proprietary documentation being released, even though their target was a different class of 9000 machines back then.

Current status

Currently, all the supported systems boot multi-user. In addition to the release, full snapshots are made periodically, and work is ongoing to provide better hardware support.

Supported hardware

For a system component and device driver listing for this architecture, see intro(4/hppa).

Unsupported systems and devices

The following systems are unsupported, but may eventually be coaxed to life. Some of them will boot OpenBSD, but there is not enough device support for OpenBSD to be really useful on them.

The following systems are very unlikely to be supported since they either have incompatible firmware (the 3000s) or almost completely undocumented I/O subsystems (the 8x7s).

Even though some 64-bit systems are supported by this port in 32-bit mode, the following models cannot be supported due to the I/O system limitations:

Convex PA-RISC systems (NUMA supercomputing clusters consisting of one or more 8-way SMP nodes with PA7100 or PA7200 CPUs) are unlikely to be ever supported.

All other HP 9000 6xx, 8xx and 9xx server systems will probably never be supported by this port since they are of 1.0 PA-RISC architecture, which is substantially inferior to the 1.1.

Unsupported peripherals

This list is not meant to be exhaustive either, but sums up the most commonly encountered devices on hppa machines.

Getting and installing

The latest supported OpenBSD/hppa release is OpenBSD 7.5. Here are the OpenBSD/hppa installation instructions.

Snapshots are made available from time to time, in this location as well as on a few mirrors. Here are the OpenBSD/hppa snapshot installation instructions as well.

Hardware documentation

Most of the following documents have been released by Hewlett-Packard for the PA-RISC Linux project.

    1. PA7100LC CPU ERS
    2. PA7300LC CPU ERS
  2. Processor Dependent Code/I/O Dependent Code Interface
    (selected chapters from "PA-RISC I/O Architecture Specification")
    1. PDC 1.1
    2. IODC 1.1
    3. Version and Identification Number Allocation
    4. Memory Data Formats 2.0
    5. PDC Entry Points 2.0
    6. PDC Procedures 2.0
    7. OS Interface 2.0
  3. Bus controllers/bridges/adaptors
    1. ASP
    2. LASI Core Bus Adapter (including LAN, SCSI, serial, lpt controllers)
    3. Dino PCI bridge, and Errata
    4. Elroy ERS (Edited for Open Source)
    5. Astro Overview, Error handling, R2I Operations, Registers Map, Runway Interface, System Memory Map
  4. Stinger graphics
  5. LSI 53C875 SCSI I/O Processor
  6. Intel i82596DX/SX and i82596CA Ethernet Controllers

Of course, no hppa page, be it OpenBSD or not, could pretend to be serious without linking to the essential OpenPA reference website.