OpenBSD sparc64

OpenBSD/sparc64 runs on the 64-bit Sun UltraSPARC machines based on the UltraSPARC I, II, III, IV, T1 and T2 processors, Oracle Sun SPARC machines based on the SPARC T3, T4, T5, M5, M6, M7 and S7 processors, and the Fujitsu SPARC64 machines based on the SPARC64-V, SPARC64-VI, SPARC64-VII and SPARC64-X processors.

A mailing list dedicated to the OpenBSD/sparc and OpenBSD/sparc64 ports is available at To join the OpenBSD/sparc and OpenBSD/sparc64 mailing list, send a message body of "subscribe sparc" 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!


The original port was made for NetBSD by Eduardo Horvath and released for the first time in January 1999. The porting to OpenBSD started in August 2001 and in the end of September the first binary snapshot was released. The porting was done mainly by Jason Wright and Artur Grabowski and was done on both SBus and PCI machines so that a decently wide range of hardware support was ready even before the system could boot multiuser.

OpenBSD 3.0 was the first official release of OpenBSD/sparc64, and since that release support for many more devices has been added (including devices required for X11R6 support). The other architectures that OpenBSD supports have benefited because some kinds of bugs are exposed more often by the 64-bit big endian nature of UltraSPARC.

Sun refused access to the necessary documentation for the (very bizarre) host bridge and caches in the UltraSPARC III machines, so a few years were lost before some reverse engineering figured out the changes in these machines (and the undocumented processor bugs, too). In 2007, Sun was finally convinced to release the missing information, and development progress became more rapid.

OpenBSD 4.0 was the first release to ship with support for the UltraSPARC III based machines; OpenBSD 4.3 first with SMP support, and OpenBSD 4.4 has been the first to support the UltraSPARC IV, UltraSPARC T1, UltraSPARC T2, SPARC64-V, SPARC64-VI and SPARC64-VII processors. OpenBSD 5.7 has been the first to support the SPARC T3, SPARC T4, SPARC T5, SPARC M5, SPARC M6 and SPARC64-X processors.

And since there are always little bits missing, work is continuing...

Current status:

Currently most of the hardware available to the developers boots multiuser and supports enough of the on-board devices to be generally usable.

The X Window System is supported on most systems. Accelerated drivers are available for ATI graphics adapters, Tech Source graphics adapters and the UPA Creator, Creator 3D and Elite 3D. It is possible to use X in frame buffer mode with all supported SBus cards, as well as the on-board ATI graphics, the UPA Creator, Creator 3D or Elite 3D, and the Expert 3D at the boot resolution/depth using either the wsfb(4) or the wildcatfb(4) driver.

Supported hardware:

Supported machines

OpenBSD/sparc64 is known or expected to work on the following machines:

OpenBSD 4.4 may trigger a hardware fault on the SPARC Enterprise M4000/M5000/M8000/M9000 that can only be cleared by a field engineer. A workaround for this problem is available in OpenBSD 4.5 and later.

The PRIMEPOWER 650/850 machines are only supported with SPARC64-V CPUs.

The Fujitsu M10 and M12 machines have only been tested with OpenBSD running in a logical domain.

Please note, some machines like the Ultra1, Ultra2, Enterprise 220R and SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220 may require upgrading the flashprom before OpenBSD can be successfully installed. The SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220 needs at least OBP 4.28.0. On machines like the Oracle SPARC T4-2, older firmware versions from around 2011 are known to cause kernel panics and crashes in ldomd; later versions, at least SysFW 8.9.11 from 2018, are known to work.

Supported devices

Untested machines (please help us test!)

The following machines may work, but have never been tested:

Most of these machines will almost certainly just work. If you have one of these machines available for testing, please give it a try and tell us about the result.

Unsupported machines

The following machines do not run OpenBSD/sparc64 just yet:

OpenBSD may trigger a hardware fault on the SPARC Enterprise M3000. With older versions of the firmware, this fault can only be cleared by a field engineer. Make sure you update the firmware before trying to run OpenBSD on these machines. Firmware XCP 1116 and later are known to allow end users to clear the fault themselves. There is no evidence that running OpenBSD actually damages the hardware.

Unsupported devices

Hardware documentation:

Previous to 2007, it was extremely difficult or impossible to get much of the necessary hardware documentation for these machines. Members of our team (in particular David Gwynne) were instrumental in pressuring and convincing Sun to go back into their archives and dig up the data sheets that they had written in-house, describing the operation of their chips to their own engineers. These documents can now be found at Some documents are still missing at that site, so we ask that interested developers contact Sun and request additional information.

Getting and installing OpenBSD/sparc64:

The latest supported OpenBSD/sparc64 release is OpenBSD 7.5. Here are the OpenBSD/sparc64 installation instructions.

Snapshots are made available from time to time, in this location as well as on a few mirrors. Here are the OpenBSD/sparc64 snapshot installation instructions as well.

There are several installation media provided, so that OpenBSD/sparc64 can be installed or upgraded via CD, floppy boot images on some models, miniroot images for machines without floppies, as well as network and diskless installs.

Please note that booting from floppy might not work on your machine; also, Ultra 1, 1E and 2 systems might require a PROM update (they usually don't if they are able to boot Solaris in 64bit-mode); please refer to the installation notes for details.