On Mon, 18 May 2009, Ralf Baechle wrote:
> A clear yes. In particular the Swarm and Big Sur boards which aside of
> graphics are as close to an workstation or server board, are highly
> sought after as indicated by usually high 2nd hand prices on ebay.
Even *including* graphics AFAIK -- there is apparently support for VGA
console I/O for some chips in CFE. Of course for that you have to get a
universal classic PCI card, but that's not undoable and then you can
attach a keyboard and a mouse to the onboard USB ports without taking a
PCI slot even. So yes, a full-featured graphics workstation if you like.
> Even though far from new these boards are the backbone of the native
> compile farms of several Linux distributions including Debian and the
> native testing by various commercial and non-commercial software
> developers including myself. Aside of mostly SGI surplus workstations
> the Sibyte boards are clearly the most popular among those who somehow
> managed to get hold of them.
Yes, invaluable for native builds and there is a considerable number of
software packages which is not capable of being cross-compiled, or
requires extreme contortions to be built this way, or if buildable with a
reasonable effort, the functionality is limited. Besides a three-stage
GCC bootstrap is a good way of verifying the quality of the tool, never
mind standard DejaGNU-based regression testing which although possible
using cross-tools and a remote target, is awfully painful to be set up