1. META Information

This section lists the meta-information of this document. The hows, whys, location and changes to the structure of the document are documented here. The main content begins in the next chapter.

1.1. The Purpose of this Document

This document is to serve as a comprehensive HOWTO and FAQ collection regarding the Sun JavaStation NC and enabling the GNU/Linux OS on it.

The intended audience of this document is anyone who has an interest in enabling Linux on the Sun JavaStations. The document structure is laid out to serve as either a top-to-bottom read for a newcomer, or as quick reference on a single topic for advanced users. Pointers to sample files submitted by users are included for extremely hurried readers.

The author of this document is Robert Dubinski . Robert is the former computer technician and UNIX systems administrator for Marquette University's Math, Statistics and Computer Science Department, where he had 125 JavaStations running Linux. These machines were all configured using the information, techniques and files presented in this document.

In early 1999, Eric Brower wrote the first informal HOWTO for the JavaStation. Parts of this document are inspired by his work, and all unique information presented there have since been merged into this document. Eric's original mini-HOWTO is saved for posterity at: http://dubinski-family.org/~jshowto/Files/texts/eric_brower_js_howto_19980218.txt

This HOWTO also aims to serve as a member document of the Linux Documentation Project. The LDP can be reached at: http://www.linuxdoc.org

1.2. Acknowledgments

Enabling Linux on the JavaStations , and allowing this HOWTO to come to be would never have been possible without the fine work of the following people:

The HOWTO author wishes to give a second thank-you to Pete and Eric for their work:


Pete got me going with Linux on the JavaStation in December 1998, has been the main kernel programmer adding in support for the JavaStation line, and despite his busy work schedule was nice enough to find time to answer all my email queries for help over the last 15 months.

Eric worked on bringing X support to the JavaStation when it had none. He had been working on a dedicated server for the JavaStation in early 1999, and kept me informed of his progress. In mid-1999, he switched tactics and sent a working framebuffer example to test out. He also wrote the first comprehensive mini-HOWTO for the JavaStations, answered my email questions, and got me interested in the embedded solution which I employ here at Marquette.

Thank-you Pete and Eric!

--Robert Dubinski, March 2000 

1.2.1. Document Contributors

The following people have contributed to this specific document:

If you contributed a tidbit of info and are not listed, please email the document author to get yourself listed. Everyone deserves recognition helping this document evolve.

1.3. History

Revision History
Revision 1.3031 Oct 2001
Many major changes: restructured for better layout, new chapters added, updated files and file pointers, new master distribution location, source broken into parts, new sample files, md5sums on all sample files, overall update and proofread of materials. Thank-you very much to Simon Kuhn for donating an old Sun4 to enable more sample files be made. Thank-you also to Nate Carlson for donating sample kernels (unfortunately that info was lost during a disk crash...Nate, please contact me.). If anyone contributed items between May 31 and Oct 31 and it does not show up in this revision, please resubmit it.
Revision 1.2530 Oct 2001
This is called the "@#!$?" release. It is called such because there were some small-mid size changes to the document which were lost in a disk failure, prior to me re-uploading to the LDP site. To give you an idea of how bad the situation was, the last version I had on backup was in Docbook SGML, while I had switched to Docbook XML many months prior. Simply put, any contributed changes or email contacts I had with contributors were lost, and are hopefully on their way back in with this release. If you contributed something, and it disappeared, please contact me immediately, and it'll get back in. --RSD
Revision 1.2231 May 2001
Changed file links, some sample file formats, and clarified info relating to the sample files, following requests on the sparclinux mailing list.
Revision 1.2008 May 2001
Information Refresh up to the current date, and change to GNU Free Documentation License 1.1
Revision 1.1501 May 2001
Migrate source to DocBook XML 4.12
Revision 1.1302 Feb 2001
Minimal Bugfixes
Revision 1.1229 Dec 2000
Additional info on the "Fox" model
Revision 1.1123 Nov 2000
Krups truecolor blurb, removed one acknowlegement per email request
Revision 1.115 Nov 2000
Numerous updates and additions revisions
Revision 1.0516 Jun 2000
Requested Format Changes and Fixes
Revision 1.0413 Jun 2000
Suggested Fixes and Added Requests
Revision 1.0304 May 2000
Minor Fixes, Requests
Revision 1.0228 Apr 2000
Small fixes.
Revision 1.0125 Apr 2000
"Brown Paper Bag" Revision.
Revision 1.024 Apr 2000
First submission to the LDP.
Revision 0.918 Apr 2000
Continued reorganization and final merges.
Revision 0.715 Apr 2000
Migration from LinuxDoc DTD to Docbook DTD.
Revision 0.7114 Apr 2000
Received word doc was forwarded inside Sun.
Revision 0.714 Apr 2000
Linked on Metabyte Website.
Revision 0.69 Apr 2000
First semi-public release.
Revision 0.424 Mar 2000
First move to comprehensive HOWTO.
Revision 0.215 Oct 1999
More notes collected and merged.
Revision 0.124 Jun 1999
Initial scraps put together.

1.4. Document Copyright and Licenses

Copyright (c) 1999-2001 Robert S. Dubinski. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being: "Why JavaStations are No Longer Produced", with one Front-Cover Text: "Linux on JavaStation HOWTO", and with one Back-Cover Text: "This document was written by Robert S. Dubinski in the hope that more people can put their JavaStation hardware to good use. Thank-you to the Linux kernel hackers who made this happen, and thank-you to Sun for a rock-solid piece of hardware." A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

The document author makes no warranties that all the information presented here is completely accurate, and cannot be held liable to any loss you experience as a result of the information you use from here.

Best efforts have been made to ensure everything included is accurate as of the publication date listed at the beginning of this document, but there is always a possibility something may be wrong. In this case, doublecheck with alternative sources first before considering implementing anything at a production-level. If you find something wrong, drop the author a line at or send a patch to the document source, and corrections will be made immediately.

This document is an official member document of the Linux Documentation Project.

1.5. Location of the Latest Version and Source

The latest online version of this document can be found at: http://dubinski-family.org/~jshowto .

The pre-processed XML source to this document, written to the Docbook DTD, version 4.1.2, is available from: http://dubinski-family.org/~jshowto/doc/src/

The pre-processed XML source to the GNU Free Documentation License, written to the Docbook DTD, and which this document is licensed under, is available from: http://dubinski-family.org/~jshowto/doc/src/gfdl.xml

Copies of this document are also available from the Linux Documentation Project at: http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/JavaStation-HOWTO.

This project used to be available at the URL 'http://javastation-howto.homeip.net'. In Spring 2001, homeip.net discontinued their free service and moved to a fee based scheme. Given the hundreds of mirrors of LDP documents, I do not find the fees justifiable. I have changed all references in this document back to my home server. Between my server's address, http://dubinski-family.org/~jshowto, the LDP website, and its hundreds of mirrors, you should be able to always find the JavaStation-HOWTO. If this is not the case, email me immediately at either or .

1.6. Reporting Bugs Found In or Additions to the HOWTO

Any problems or concerns about the HOWTO should be reported via email to the author, Robert Dubinski, at . Do NOT send document bug reports to the SparcLinux mailing list, the debian-sparc mailing list, or the Linux Documentation Project. The folks on there really do not care about my typos or server misconfigurations, so please don't trouble them.

1.7. TODO List for this HOWTO

  1. As NetBSD now supports JavaStations as well, it would be good to talk about support and sample files for it too.