Installing OpenSolaris on the VB8001

After getting the VB8001 board installed in the M300-LCD chassis, it is time to bring up OpenSolaris (or at least try).


Attach a display, keyboard, mouse and CD/DVD drive to the unit, install the OpenSolaris 2009.06 LiveCD and power up the system. On the initial try, the system panics and reboots. After a little investigation, I found that OpenSolaris doesn't correctly interpret the Nano processor in 64-bit mode as an Intel compatible device.  It assumes AMD and promptly does all the wrong things.


Next attempt is to boot in 32-bit mode. When you get to the grub menu, edit the boot commands to remove the $ISADIR/ from the paths. This "almost" works.  The system gets to the login prompt and then has problems.  A little more digging -- OpenSolaris doesn't have the right drivers for the Xorg system for the graphics controller.


This is getting close.  Try again with 32-bit mode on the VESA graphics grub entry.  Success!


The system is up and running. After launching the Device Driver Utility, I see that there isn't a driver delivered with OpenSolaris for the built-in Ethernet controller, but the utility does tell me where to go to find one. The Ethernet controller is a Via VT6130. While downloading the driver, I started installing the system since the network isn't needed for that at this stage.


Back to the Ethernet driver.  The appropriate driver can be found on Masayuki Murayama's website for Solaris NIC drivers (http://homepage2.nifty.com/mrym3/taiyodo/eng/). Download the vel 2.6.4 driver and install it. I used "pciex1106,3119" as the alias to bind the driver to. After that, the network coudl be configured and I had a functional system to start working with.


In a later blog entry, I'll talk about what else I discover with this system and what works and doesn't work.



Comments:

I'm hoping to build a low-power, 64-bit ZFS NAS on this platform—I'm not that impressed with the $400+ NAS boxes (without disks) though they get good performance with 32-bit Atom processors, and I think opensolaris with ZFS could be so much better. I guess I'll stay tuned to see if you find a way to get 64-bit working :)

Posted by ST on October 08, 2009 at 04:35 PM MDT #

There are bugs filed in both Bugzilla and Bugster about these issues

Posted by Yuhong Bao on December 20, 2009 at 11:23 AM MST #

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Discusses the use of OpenSolaris in small systems. Includes the use of OpenSolaris in appliances for small business and consumer products. Reviews of system boards, small systems and interesting applications will also be covered.

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