[pfSense] pfsense on sun v100 server

Adam Thompson athompso at athompso.net
Thu May 10 13:14:07 EDT 2012

The UltraSparc II family of CPUs does not have any support for virtualization, and would not run intel-style machine code even if it did.

You will be limited to running pfSense inside a software CPU emulator like BOCHS, which means you’ll be running pfSense on the equivalent of a 50MHz (original) Pentium, if that… UltraSparcs don’t run emulation code very efficiently.


If your primary goal is to keep power management low, switch to an Intel ATOM-based platform: those can run for under 10W of power.

Otherwise, if you *must* use a SunFire V100 as your firewall, I would suggest installing OpenBSD, which both a) is the original source of the “pf” packet filtering engine that pfSense uses, and b) runs natively on a SunFire V100.


Oh, and there’s a third option: install a “SunPCi” card in your server, which puts an entire x86-compatible PC onto a PCI card.  You’d have to use VLANs, as the SunPCi card only has a single on-board Ethernet port and the “pass-through ethernet” feature tends to panic the Solaris kernel.  Speaking as the owner of several SunPCi cards, I don’t recommend this option!


-Adam Thompson

athompso at athompso.net


From: list-bounces at lists.pfsense.org [mailto:list-bounces at lists.pfsense.org] On Behalf Of Hugo Heykers
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 10:59 AM
To: pfSense support and discussion
Subject: Re: [pfSense] pfsense on sun v100 server

...if the sparc architexture allows virtualization, then for sure i would like to give it a try.

Hugo Heykers
Jozef Stormsstraat 10
2660 Hoboken
skype: hugoh1961
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