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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Fun with OpenBSD for SPARC64 | High-Security O/S on 64-bit Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU Sun4U and User-mode Networking Back-End

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: Sun UltraSPARC 1
Sun Microsystems UltraSPARC 1
Image courtesy: oldcomputers.info

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: OpenBSD Logo
OpenBSD is among the few operating systems available today (along with the best O/S ever - Digital OpenVMS of course!) for the paranoid that can be the basis of installations requiring bullet-proof security. The official OpenBSD website says, "Only two remote holes in the default install, in a heck of a long time!". Given OpenBSD was released in 1995, the "heck of a long time" is 23 years. The first of the two holes was a OpenSSH vulnerability in 2002 that affected all operating systems using OpenSSH.. The second one, CVE-2007-1365 discovered eleven years ago, involved ICMP6 packets in OpenBSD's IPv6 implementation.

The versatile QEMU emulator project has matured enough to include stable emulation of the Sun-4U featuring SPARC V9 64-bit processor architecture. I took the opportunity to try out OpenBSD release 6.4 for SPARC64 using qemu-system-sparc64 hypervisor on OpenSUSE Tumbleweed running in a Oracle Virtualbox on CentOS 7 on a DELL PowerEdge R-710.

The OpenBSD installer ISO CD image (install64.iso)  was the fastest distribution download I have experienced yet, perhaps due to hosting on Cloudflare CDN.

A QEMU qcow2-format 4GB disk image was created using:

$ qemu-img create -f qcow2 -o size=4G openbsd-sparc-disk-1.4gb.disk

The downloaded install64.iso OpenBSD installer CD image was renamed for better identification to openbsd-sparc-install64.iso and QEMU SPARC-64 emulator fired up for installation:

LC_ALL=C QEMU_AUDIO_DRV=none \
qemu-system-sparc64 \
        -machine sun4u,usb=off \
        -realtime mlock=off \
        -smp 1,sockets=1,cores=1,threads=1 \
        -rtc base=utc \
        -m 1024 \
        -boot d \
        -drive file=openbsd-sparc-disk-1.4gb.disk,if=none,id=drive-ide0-0-1,format=qcow2,cache=none \
        -cdrom openbsd-sparc-install64.iso \
        -device ide-hd,bus=ide.0,unit=0,drive=drive-ide0-0-1,id=ide0-0-1 \
        -msg timestamp=on \
        -serial pty -nographic \
        -net nic,model=ne2k_pci -net user \
        -monitor stdio

"-boot d" boots the virtual Sun4U from the CD-ROM image. Also, "-net nic,model=ne2k_pci -net user" is the only QEMU networking model that works for the QEMU sparc64 hypervisor at this time; neither the tap nor the VDE (Virtual Distributed Ethernet) back-ends could establish network connection from the virtual machine successfully. The tap networking back-end caused a kernel panic and crashed the VM after a few pings went through to the internet. The VDE back-end did not cause a system crash, but did not provide a network connection at all either.  The two attempted and failed networking back-end parameters in the qemu command line were:

-net nic,model=ne2k_pci -net tap,ifname=inettap0,script=no,downscript=no
-net nic,model=ne2k_pci -net vde,sock=/tmp/vde-ip.ctl


QEMU launched successfully with the console connected to a virtual serial port that it identified:

QEMU 3.0.0 monitor - type 'help' for more information
(qemu) qemu-system-sparc64: -serial pty: char device redirected to /dev/pts/5 (label serial0)

On another host (OpenSUSE) terminal, the "minicom" serial port communications tool was used to connect to the Sun4U virtual console serial port (/dev/pts/5 in the above example). The first screen of the installer was displayed after the virtual SPARCstation booted up:


Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #1\

Installation proceeded with no surprises.

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #2

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #3

Eventually installation completed successfully. The machine was then halted and QEMU stopped by entering "quit" at the "(qemu)" prompt.


Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #4

QEMU was then launched again, this time with "-boot c" option to boot from the hard disk instead of the CD-ROM image:

LC_ALL=C QEMU_AUDIO_DRV=none \
qemu-system-sparc64 \
        -machine sun4u,usb=off \
        -realtime mlock=off \
        -smp 1,sockets=1,cores=1,threads=1 \
        -rtc base=utc \
        -m 1024 \
        -boot c \
        -drive file=openbsd-sparc-disk-1.4gb.disk,if=none,id=drive-ide0-0-1,format=qcow2,cache=none \
        -cdrom openbsd-sparc-install64.iso \
        -device ide-hd,bus=ide.0,unit=0,drive=drive-ide0-0-1,id=ide0-0-1 \
        -msg timestamp=on \
        -serial pty -nographic \
        -net nic,model=ne2k_pci -net user \
        -monitor stdio

The virtual SPARCstation booted up finefrom the hard-disk. At the "root device:" prompt, the device "wd0a" was provided. The default for the swap and dump devices were chosen.

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #5

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #6

Eventually the logon prompt was displayed.

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #6

OpenBSD comes with C and C++ compilers. It also provides a graphical X Windows environment; it should be possible to set up routing so that the user-mode network back-end forwards X windows data to an external X server for the display (QEMU SPARC 64 emulator does not support graphics yet).

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #7

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: IInstalling OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit for Sun UltraSPARC using QEMU in SANYALnet Labs - Installation Screen #8

DOWNLOAD

The QEMU OpenBSD SPARC 64-bit virtual machine can be downloaded from my google drive. The root password of the virtual QEMU Sun4u is "password".


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