Web site: ftp.cs.berkeley.edu/ucb/sprite/sprite.html
Origin: USA
Category: Workstation
Desktop environment: CLI
Architecture: DECstation, SPARCstation 2
Based on: UNIX
Wikipedia: Sprite
Media: Install
The last version | Released: 1992

Sprite – a research operating system developed at the University of California, Berkeley, by John Ousterhout’s research group.

Sprite is a distributed operating system that provides a single system image to a cluster of workstations. It provides very high file system performance through client and server caching. It has process migration to take advantage of idle machines. It was used as a testbed for research in log-structured file systems, striped file systems, crash recovery, and RAID file systems, among other things.

The Sprite project has now ended, although Sprite is still running on a few machines. If you have a DECstation 5000/200 or a SparcStation 2, you could try running Sprite off the Sprite CD-ROM.

The one single archive contains following files:
– bench.tar.Z: Sources for a collection of small benchmarks used in the paper “Why Aren’t Operating Systems Getting Faster as Fast as Hardware”.
– gdb.tar.Z: gdb for Mach 3.0. (missing)
– gld.tar.Z: Gnu linker with modifications for cross-linking between different machine types.
– hash.tar.Z: The Sprite hashing package. You’ll also need the list package.
– list.tar.Z: The Sprite list package.
– mab.tar.Z: Sources for Modified Andrew Benchmark (used in paper “Why Aren’t Operating Systems Getting Faster as Fast as Hardware” and for other purposes).
– mipsim.tar.Z: A simulator and assembly-language program debugger for the MIPS R2000 architecture, written by John Ousterhout for use in a freshman-level course in C and assembler.
– tcl: A subdirectory full of various files containing sources and documentation for Tcl and Tk and related packages. See the README file in that directory for more information.
– xtsim.tar.Z: library to interface event driven simulator to Xt toolkit.
– sprite-1.096.tar.Z: Sprite kernel sources, version 1.096. Won’t compile into a kernel, but useful for browsing or borrowing code.
– sprited.tar.Z: Sources for a Mach-based Sprite single-server. Mostly of interest only to people doing work with Mach.
– cdrom.txt: Information about Sprite sources and docs on CDROM.


Sprite archive files 8MB.zip
md5sum: 6f67131f55f5069026f1e70b429983c3



Web site: gnustep.org/resources/OpenStepSpec/OpenStepSpec.html
Origin: USA
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment:
Architecture: x86 (IA-32), PA-RISC, SPARC
Based on: UNIX
Wikipedia: OpenStep
Media: Install
The last version | Released:

OpenStep – an object-oriented operating system that uses any modern operating system as its core. Mainly created by NeXT. NeXT Computer Inc, and Sun Microsystems Inc. teamed up in late 1993 to push a free object layer API based on the NeXTSTEP object system. This agreement evolved into the OpenStep specification which was published by NeXT in a first draft back in summer 1994.

There is a distinction between OpenStep, which is an API specification, and OPENSTEP (capitalized) which is a specific implementation of OpenStep developed by NeXT. Although it was originally created on a Unix-based Mach kernel (just like the NeXTSTEP core), OPENSTEP versions were also available on Solaris and Microsoft Windows NT. Therefore, OPENSTEP libraries (which were supplied with the OPENSTEP system) are actually a subset of the original OpenStep specification.


No download is available.




Web site: (not active)
Origin: USA
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment:
Architecture: Intel x86, Motorola 68000, SPARC, PA-RISC
Based on: UNIX
Wikipedia: NeXTSTEP
Media: Install
The last version | Released: 4.2 Pre-release 2 | September 1997

NeXTSTEP – an object-oriented, multitasking operating system created by NeXT Computer, Inc. a company founded in 1985 by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs.

This system was created on the base of Mach microkernel and BSD Unix system code. NeXTStep was oriented to work in a graphical environment. It had a very well-prepared, intuitive user interface, based on object-oriented architecture, quite different from both the most popular then Microsoft Windows 3.1 and Mac OS. The visualization engine was based on Postscript, which on one hand made it very demanding in terms of hardware (considerable demand for memory) and on other hand an ideal solution for industrial and designer workstations.

NeXTSTEP 1.0 was released 18 September 1989 after a couple of hits in 1986, and last Release 3.3 in early 1995, and previously worked only on the Motorola 68000 CPU family (especially the original black boxes) and the generic IBM compatible x86/Intel, Sun SPARC , and HP PA-RISC. About the time 3.2 releases NeXT teamed up with Sun Microsystems to develop OpenStep, cross-platform implementation of the standard (for Sun Solaris, Microsoft Windows, and NeXT Mach kernel version) based on NEXTSTEP 3.2.

In February 1997, after the purchase of NeXT by Apple, it became the source of the popular operating systems macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

The NeXTSTEP screenshot’s author: Gürkan Sengün; source: Wikipedia; License: GNU GPL.


No download is available.




Web site: oracle.com/us/sun/index.html (not active)
Origin: USA
Category: Server
Desktop environment: CLI
Architecture: 386i, Sun, SPARC
Based on: BSD
Wikipedia: SusOS
Media: Install
The last version | Released: 4.1.4 | November 1994

SunOS – a UNIX based OS derived from BSD, created by Sun Microsystems. Initially released in 1982, it was the standard OS on Sun Machines at that time. Platforms supported by this OS were the Motorola 68000, the Sun 386i, and the SPARC.

Sun-1’s were the very first models ever produced by Sun. The earliest ran Unisoft V7 UNIX; SunOS 1.x was introduced later. According to some sources, fewer than 200 Sun-1’s were ever produced; they are certainly rare. The switch from Motorola 68000’s to 68010’s occurred during the Sun-1’s reign. Some models are reported to have 3Mbit Ethernet taps as well as 10Mbit.
68000-based Sun-1’s are not supported by SunOS. The last version of SunOS to support Sun-1’s may be the same as the last version to support Sun-2’s, since the 100U CPU boards are the same part.

Sun-2’s were introduced in the early 1980’s and were Sun’s first major commercial success. While not as popular or as common as the later Sun-3’s, they did well and there are still quite a few in circulation in the home/collector-used market.
All Sun-2’s are based on the Motorola 68010 and run SunOS. The last version of SunOS to support Sun-2’s was 4.0.3. Early Sun-2’s were Multibus; later models were VME, which Sun continued to use through the Sun-3 era and well into the Sun-4 line.

Sun switched to using the Motorola 68020 with the introduction of the Sun-3’s. A few later models had 68030’s, but by that time Sun was already moving toward SPARC processors. All models either have a 68881 or 68882 FPU installed stock or at least have a socket for one. All models which are not in pizza box chassis are VMEbus. Two out of three pizza box models have a “P4” connector which can take a framebuffer; the exception is the 3/50.
Support for Sun-3’s was introduced in SunOS 3.0. The last version of SunOS to support Sun-3’s was 4.1.1U1.
During the Sun-3 era, Sun introduced the handy practice of putting the model number on the Sun badge on the front of the chassis.
There are two different kernel architectures in the Sun-3 model line. All 68020-based models are “sun3” architecture; 68030-based models (the 3/80 and 3/4xx) are “sun3x” architecture.

The Sun 386i models, based on the Intel 80386 processor, were introduced when 80386-based IBM PC/AT clones were starting to become widespread. Intel had finally produced a chip sufficiently capable (32-bit, among other things) to allow porting SunOS, and using an Intel processor and an ISA bus offered the ability to run MS-DOS applications without speed-draining emulation. Unfortunately, they were a dismal failure.
Support for Sun-386i’s was introduced in SunOS 4.0. The 386i SunOS releases came from Sun’s East Coast division, so 386i SunOS was not identical to the standard version with the same number. The last released version of SunOS to support Sun-386i’s was 4.0.2; there are a few copies of 4.0.3Beta (with OpenLook 2.0) floating around.

Support for Sun-4’s was introduced in SunOS 4.0, although there was a special variant of SunOS 3.2 for Sun-4’s which was shipped with some very early units. Since this product line is still current, it is still in general supported by SunOS, which has mutated to become part of Solaris. Support for some earlier models has been dropped, and some later models require at least 4.0.3c, 4.1.1, or Solaris 2.x.

SunOS took a shift starting with version 5.0, which changed its base from BSD to Unix System V Release 4, and became Solaris. The last release under the SunOS name was Version 4.1.4, released in November 1994.


No download is available.




Web site: www.vitanuova.com/inferno/
Origin: UK
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment: GUI
Architecture: x86, ARM, PA-RISC, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC
Based on: Independent
Wikipedia: Inferno
Media: Install
The last version | Released: 4 | March 28, 2015

Inferno – an operating system designed for building distributed and networked systems on a wide variety of devices and platforms. Inferno was based on the experience gained with Plan 9 from Bell Labs, and currently being developed by Vita Nuova. Applications for this system are written in the Limbo language. The name of the system and some related programs (including Styx, Limbo) come from the Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Inferno can run as a user application on top of an existing operating system or as a stand alone operating system. Most of the popular operating systems and processor architectures are supported:
– Host Operating Systems
– Windows NT/2000/XP
– Irix
– Linux
– MacOS X
– FreeBSD
– Solaris
– Plan 9

Inferno applications are written in Limbo®, a modern, safe, modular, concurrent programming language with C-like syntax. It is more powerful than C but considerably easier to understand and debug than C++ or Java. It is easy to express the concurrency in the physical world directly in Limbo’s syntax. Any Inferno application will run identically on all Inferno platforms.

High level security is an important part of the Inferno system. By using one standard protocol for all network communication, security can be focused on one point and provided at a system level. Inferno offers full support for authenticated, encrypted connections using a certificate based user identification scheme and variety of algorithms.

Inferno 4 was released in 2005 as free software.

Founded in March 2000, Vita Nuova Holdings Ltd is an operating systems and application development company specializing in technologies for distributed applications on network devices and embedded systems.


Inferno 20150328 Unix-like systems (FreeBSD, Linux, MacOS X, Plan 9) 71MB.tgz
md5sum: 1b3b406dcaa9d7919e933dd192d53a39

Inferno Windows 2000, XP, and 7 62MB.zip
md5sum: 728b515bc6d866a24bed9b573965ee90

Inferno Mac OSX 386 3,7MB.tgz
md5sum: 83a10dc646f421dead3d59d63bc64ba8

Inferno source code



Aurora SPARC Linux

Aurora SPARC Linux

Web site: auroralinux.org (not active)
Origin: USA
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment: GNOME, KDE
Architecture: sparc32
Based on: Fedora
Media: Install
The last version | Released: 2.0 | April 14, 2006

Aurora SPARC Linux – a researching & building a Sparc Linux distribution based on Fedora Core. Aurora was originally created after Red Hat dropped support for the SPARC architecture after Red Hat Linux 6.2.

The project status:
– A build 0.1 was released November 5, 2001
– The first “stable” build of Aurora (1.0) was released January 19, 2001
– The second “stable” build of Aurora (2.0) based on Fedora Core 3 was released April 14, 2006
– The Corona Tree (?) was based on Fedora Core 6


Aurora SPARC Linux 2.0 i386 2.44GB.iso
md5sum: 8a8430063835320bc74b4f80d0844177




Web site: www.mirbsd.org
Origin: Germany
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment: CLI
Architecture: x86, SPARC
Based on: OpenBSD
Wikipedia: MirOS BSD
Media: Install
The last version | Released: #10semel | March 16, 2008

MirOS BSD – a secure operating system from the BSD family for 32-bit i386 and sparc systems. It is based on 4.4BSD-Lite (mostly OpenBSD, some NetBSD®). The MirPorts Framework is a portable ports tree to facilitate the installation of additional software. The project also releases some portable software: mksh, a pdksh-based shell; PaxMirabilis, an archiver for various formats; MirMake, a framework for building software; MirNroff, an AT&T nroff based man page (and text document) formatter; MirCksum, a flexible checksumming and hash generation tool; and some more.

MirOS is available as a BSD flavour which originated as an OpenBSD patchkit, but has grown very much on its own, though still being synchronized with the ongoing development of OpenBSD, thus inheriting most of its good security history. This variant is also called “MirBSD”, but the usage of that word to denote MirOS BSD (plus MirPorts) is deprecated.

MirOS started after some differences in opinion between Theo de Raadt, the OpenBSD project leader, and Thorsten Glaser, who is now our lead developer. The main maintainer of MirPorts is BennySiegert. There are several more persons working as contributors on the project.

The latest release of MirOS is #10semel released March 16, 2008; the latest preview of MirBSD-current is 10uB4-20160117 released January 17, 2016.


MirOS BSD 10semel i386/sparc install 9.7MB.iso
md5sum: 7ccff00227252b35a55de9b3bd682594




Web site: cs.vu.nl/pub/amoeba/
Origin: Netherlands
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment: CLI
Architecture: x86, MIPS, Motorola 68030, NS 32016, SUN 3/50 & 3/60, SPARC, VAX
Based on: Independent
Wikipedia: Amoeba_(operating_system)
Media: Install
The last version | Released: 5.3 | July 30, 1996

Amoeba – a fully functional operating system with shared time by Andrew S. Tannenbaum from Vrije University. The Amoeba distribution includes the source code, binaries and kernels for all supported architectures plus full on-line and Postscript versions of the documentation.

Amoeba is a powerful microkernel-based system that turns a collection of workstations or single-board computers into a transparent distributed system. It has been in use in academia, industry, and government for about 5 years. It runs on the SPARC (Sun4c and Sun4m), the 386/486, 68030, and Sun 3/50 and Sun 3/60.

Amoeba is a general-purpose distributed operating system. It is designed to take a collection of machines and make them act together as a single integrated system. In general, users are not aware of the number and location of the processors that run their commands, nor of the number and location of the file servers that store their files. To the casual user, an Amoeba system looks like a single old-fashioned time-sharing system.

Amoeba is an ongoing research project. It should be thought of as a platform for doing research and development in distributed and parallel systems, languages, protocols and applications. Although it provides some UNIX emulation, and has a definite UNIX-like flavor (including over 100 UNIX-like utilities), it is NOT a plug-compatible replacement for UNIX. It should be of interest to educators and researchers who want the source code of a distributed operating system to inspect and tinker with, as well as to those who need a base to run distributed and parallel applications. Amoeba is intended for both ‘‘distributed’’ computing (multiple independent users working on different projects) and ‘‘parallel’’ computing (e.g., one user using 50 CPUs to play chess in parallel). Amoeba provides the necessary mechanism for doing both distributed and parallel applications, but the policy is entirely determined by user-level programs. For example, both a traditional (i.e. sequential) ‘make’ and a new parallel ‘amake’ are supplied.


Amoeba 5.3 files

cs.vu.nl/pub/amoeba/amoeba5.3/ (no active)




Web site: www.ethoberon.ethz.ch
Origin: Switzerland
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment: TUI (text user interface)
Architecture: x86, Ceres, Xilinx Spartan, SPARC, PowerPC, RIOS, MIPS
Based on: Independent
Wikipedia: Oberon
Media: Install
The last version | Released: V5 | 2013 (?)

Oberon – a single-user, multi-tasking system that runs on bare hardware or on top of a host operating system. Oberon is also the name of a programming language in the Pascal/Modula tradition.

The Oberon project was started at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ) in 1985 by Niklaus Wirth and Jürg Gutknecht. Although the project was originally targeted towards in-house hardware, the language and system have now been ported to many computer platforms. Oberon is also a name of a modern integrated software environment.

In 1991, Jürg Gutknecht and his group continued the development towards the ETH Oberon System. The goal was to exploit the inherent potential and features of Oberon to a much larger degree, upgrade the system by a concept of composable and persistent objects, complement the textual user interface by a graphical companion and provide support for the ubiquitous network. In 1995, the first official Oberon System 3 release was finished. Since then, the system has been constantly improved and extended. In 1997, the Release 2.2 including a large palette of applications was published together with a comprehensive hypertext-based documentation. In March 2000, a new release was ready and the system was renamed “ETH Oberon System”.

The original Oberon system is a single-threaded, single-user, co-operative multi-tasking operating system that runs on bare hardware or on top of a hosted operating system as a single-window application. The ETH Oberon System is an extended version that has intrinsic support for persistent objects and for building graphical user interfaces. It presents itself as a hierarchy of modules, many of which export one or several powerful abstract data types. Application modules simply reuse these data types and do not have to care about their implementation at all.

ETH Oberon System highlights:
– Advanced Textual User Interface
– Integrated object support in the kernel
– Object Autonomy and Persistence
– Extensibility by Software Bus Technology
– Fully Hierarchical Composability
– Generalized MVC Scheme
– Powerful GUI Framework Gadgets
– Self-Contained Documents
– Extensibility on Different Levels

The ETH Oberon System package includes several interesting tools and applications. Many of them were developed as productivity tools by ETH assistants and students.

The Oberon system is available free of charge and no registration is required for downloading the material. The source code is available under a BSD-like License.

The source of the Oberon screenshot is Wikipedia; uploader: SomPost; under BSDU License.


Splack Linux


Web site: github.com/fede2cr/splack_linux
Origin: Costa Rica
Category: Desktop
Desktop environment: CLI
Architecture: Sparc
Based on: Slackware
Media: Install CD
The last version | Released: 10.2-rc5 | August 29, 2007

Splack Linux – a Linux distribution based on Slackware, for Sparc and Ultrasparc architecture.

Slackware Linux is the oldest distribution still in service and a common distribution for users among the GULCR (Grupo de Usuarios de Linux de Costa Rica) as well as the FuerzaG hacker group and in servers for Universidad Latina (ULatina) that were using the i386 architecture, as this the only architecture supported by the distribution at the time. The big servers all where Sun and ran Solaris 2.6.

For some time Slackware turned into a team with some people in charge of PPC port, and David Cantrell in charge of a port for sparc that I used quite a bit. We had a lot of Sun hardware available at ULatina and it was my favorite distribution. At the time to use other architectures Debian GNU/Linux was, and still is the default as they supported about 8 architectures at the time.

The Slackware sparc port didn’t lived long but was more than enough to get kernel, basic libraries and ssh and other tools on a Sun workstation or server.

Splack project was under active development between 2001-Jul-14 and 2006-Aug-05.
The project developer is Alvaro Figueroa.


Splack Linux 10.2-rc5 disk1 Sparc 673MB.iso
md5sum: 9b904af4f52636dd517358e386583371
Splack Linux 10.2-rc5 disk2 Sparc 573MB.iso
md5sum: 5a3feefc53135b5aa40f74b0a91cab72