Features for this platform

Good day,
For the last few years, quite impressive features were added to the graphic driver on Linux and FreeBSD as well : OpenCL (CUDA) and vulkan.
I was wondering if there is any will to port these features on the Solaris driver knowing that the 3 drivers share quite a lot of code.

Best regards

Thanks for posting this Mike.

I’m definitely interested in having these features added to the Solaris driver(s) also.

Thank you,


This is definitely a long shot, but it would also be really great to have support on SPARC machines, too, but that would probably require firmware modifications to include the OpenBoot Forth code, though maybe that has already been partially implemented for POWER. Either way, up to date support Solaris (and Illumos!) would be appreciated

I would benefit from SPARC firmware+drivers myself.

At this time, it would just be exceedingly helpful to have feature match for Solaris+Solaris based distro’s on x86/x64.

Exactly. For instance, it would be great and potentially profitable to do with SPARC something similar to what IBM has been doing with POWER: combining a great RISC architecture with LOTS of I/O (notice that POWER is the only major platform with PCIe 4.0 right now as well as CAPI?) and potentially even including NVLink. SPARC used to be a leader in HPC but oracle has abandoned that and Fujitsu is the only other manufacturer that’s still around, though anyone could take the OpenSPARC T2 design and turn it into a modern chip. Something like this could be an advantage for SPARC, for sure. (I also would like to have a video console on the T2 in my homelab without spending $$$$ on an outdated Sun “framebuffer” card)

Among other systems, I’m running a T4-2 @ home running 11.4, which, among other things serves as my AI+repository server.

I had reached out to Alan Coopersmith @Oracle back in August 2018 for a frame buffer that I could uses in this box, for Desktop usage for myself. All Alan was able to come back with was this:


Which, even on paper isn’t too appealing.

Enjoy our discussion, fingers crossed, it will catch the eye of someone here at Nvidia. I would be estatic for any increased Solaris+Solaris based distro support, both SPARC and x86/x64.

Yeah… it sure isn’t. I bet it costs a pretty penny, too. I wish I had something newer like a T4 or T5 and/or if my T2 took 3.5" disks so I could affordably use it as a NAS/SAN without buying a JBOD for it. The T2 caps out at 11.3 and is also too old for Oracle’s silly linux port for SPARC. While I like the idea of having a video console, I really would be even more excited if CUDA came to SPARC (Linux or Solaris/illumos). That being said, it would also be nice if any of the active illumos distros supported SPARC but I understand why it’s hard for them to do so.

I did some more research and IBM’s POWER systems indeed are running Open Firmware (aka OpenBoot) so I wonder if there are any video cards for the POWER machines because they might work off the bat, save for proprietary drivers if any (nouveau could maybe be an option in linux, though nouveau is trash)

I have a t2000 myself and it is a fine box aside from being EOL’ed at 11.3, t1000 also, I recommend avoiding those except for data center use only.

I specifically picked up the T4 as it looks like Oracle is planning to become much more agressive with their update schedule, 11.4 Sept 2018, rumors (from Oracle seminars) strongly suggest that 11.5 will be out next year.

I respectfully disagree on the illumos community. drivers and other HW specific items aside, for decades Sun, and now Oracle state that the OS is compiled from the same base code. I’ve been in/using/following the illumos+OpenIndiana community almost since the get-go, and my person opinion (and you know what those are worth! ) are that many of the developers have a bias against SPARC.

That out of the way, I’ve noticed that the last, maybe 6 months or so, there has been a softening in the illumos community toward SPARC, along with a sharp increase in development and coding. And more directly, I’m speaking to the illumos-developer list.

Either way, Nvidia, hope you are watching, and keeping us Solaris+Solaris distro users in mind, both for the enterprise and at home. Thank you for the fine products you provide !

Please note that FreeBSD driver is also missing cuda/opencl/vulkan support :(

It is a bit sad as some years ago I think, I thought it was told that the driver core was basically the same for all unix platforms and there was indeed some feature parity across all platforms…

The core is literally the same:

% sha256 NVIDIA-FreeBSD-x86_64-440.36/src/nvidia/nv-kernel.o
SHA256 (NVIDIA-FreeBSD-x86_64-440.36/src/nvidia/nv-kernel.o) = c4dcac30300328ebf080c0a4658d465285537f8079ba37087c36717e05586caf
% sha256 NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-440.36/kernel/nvidia/nv-kernel.o_binary
SHA256 (NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-440.36/kernel/nvidia/nv-kernel.o_binary) = c4dcac30300328ebf080c0a4658d465285537f8079ba37087c36717e05586caf

It’s rather all the stuff around it that makes the difference.