Configuring Solaris ACPI at boot-time

As part of the new Solaris ACPI subsystem integrated as part of Newboot, I've added a new bit to the "acpi-user-options" boot option.

Historically, acpi-user-options=0x2 has been the only publicly documented option, and is used to disable Solaris use of ACPI for CPU enumeration and interrupt routing. Generally speaking, the pattern has historically been to set acpi-user-options=0x2 if there's any problem at all, just to see if the system works better. Changes made in Solaris 10 have made ACPI use in Solaris much more robust, so disabling use of ACPI should not be required as frequently as in previous releases.

Beginning with Newboot, integrated into Solaris source in April (2005), acpi-user-options has changed in a couple of ways:

  • The previous ACPI subsystem did not put the system into “ACPI” mode, but left the system in “Legacy” mode, where the system BIOS retains control of the system. The new Solaris ACPI subsystem based on ACPI CA now places the system in ACPI mode by default.

  • acpi-user-options=0x8 causes the new Solaris ACPI subsystem to leave the system in Legacy mode. This is the first option one should try if ACPI-related issues are suspected.

  • acpi-user-options=0x4 is present in Solaris 10, and causes both the previous Solaris ACPI subsystem and the new subsystem to partially disable use of ACPI – but Hyper-Threaded CPUs are still enumerated using ACPI tables. This is the second option one should use if ACPI-related issues are suspected.

  • acpi-user-options=0x2 is present in Solaris 10, and causes both the previous Solaris ACPI subsystem and the new subsystem to disable the use of ACPI.

Generally speaking, the new Solaris ACPI subsystem seems to do very well by default. I'll blog separately about some issues I've diagnosed that appeared to be ACPI-related but turned out to be to something else (BIOS issues, actually).


Dana, I'm attempting to boot an alpha copy of trusted solaris 10 on a Pentium M 1.6 GHz processor, with amibios. I'm getting a panic, with this output: SunOS Release 5.11 Version b28-EA 32-bit Copyright 1983-2005 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved. Use is subject to license terms. DEBUG enabled panic[cpu0]/thread=fec1e0e0: assertion failed: ((sema_impl_t \*)sp)->s_slpq == N8 fec3465c genunix:assfail+5c (fea43b78, fea43b5c,) fec34670 genunix:sema_destroy+23 (0) fec34680 acpica:AcpiOsDeleteSemaphore+10 (0) fec34690 acpica:AcpiUtDeleteMutex+24 (0) fec346a8 acpica:AcpiUtMutexTerminate+f (fec346cc, fea9c901,) fec346b0 acpica:AcpiTerminate+10 (0, cc653e60, fec346) fec346cc acpica:acpica_init+b1 (fec00ae0, fec3fa38,) fec346f8 uppc:uppc_init_acpi+2e (e, fec34720, fec347) fec34708 uppc:uppc_softinit+14 (fec1d880, fec1f550,) fec3471c unix:mach_init+ad (fe8b19d8, fec1e0e0,) fec34748 unix:psm_install+95 (fe83c2a1, 3, fec347) fec34758 unix:startup_end+5f (fec34784, fe930ce4,) fec34760 unix:startup+35 (fe800000, 1010ab0, ) fec34784 genunix:main+5b () skipping system dump - no dump device configured rebooting... ñ I tried setting the user option you suggested, but it tells me krtld: Unused kernel arguments: `acpi-user-options=0x8'. I think the panic dump is identical. Can you tell from the panic dump whether this is a problem with ACPI, and do you have any ideas of how I can track down the problem? Thanks for your help.

Posted by Tony Schultz on February 14, 2006 at 06:34 AM PST #

I don't know what ONNV build that Trusted Solaris is synchronized with, but you're describing CR 6283818, fixed in nv22. I'd check to make sure your system BIOS has ACPI support enabled to avoid this issue.

Posted by Dana H. Myers on March 06, 2006 at 04:44 AM PST #

I tried to either upgrade the previous vs. 10 to 6/06 or install 6/06 from scratch, but I don't get anything on screen. I know the DVD works, because when I boot it on other computers, I get GRUB on screen nicely. Some other hits on internet suggest passing additional options to the GRUB menu, but that's very hard if you don't have anything visible on screen. My latest attempt was Solaris Express, but that has the same problem: I assume it does boot, but nothing comes on screen. My hardware: Asus A7V8X systemboard, BIOS version 1012 beta 003, with powermanagement disabled. GeForce2 MX400 graphicscard. Do you have any suggestions what I can do to get it running?

Posted by Huub van Niekerk on August 08, 2006 at 06:29 PM PDT #

Huub, I do not know why you're not seeing video when running GRUB.

Posted by Dana H. Myers on August 30, 2006 at 08:23 AM PDT #

Hi Dana, I wonder if some regression bug has appear related to ACPI for Nevada above snv_22. I have installed snv_22 on my notebook Acer Travelmate 4151LCi, and the ACPI works. I can turn on or turn off wifi button, and I don't have to pass ACPI user option. Battery applet also works ok. Later I install snv_43 and also snv_45 on the same notebook in which I have to use acpi-user-options=0x8 or I cannot boot. When I used acpi-user-options=0x8, I can boot but I loose control of the wifi button. The error message said something about EHCI0 controller is unusable and the boot process just hangs. Is this a known bug and if it is do you know in which build will this be fixed ? Best Regards Adrianus

Posted by Adrianus B. Kurnadi on September 21, 2006 at 08:45 PM PDT #

Hi Dana,
I have search in the internet about the bug I mentioned on my comment above.
I find similar bugs in this url :

But in my case the hardware is a bit different :
vendor 0x8086 device 0x265c
Intel Corporation 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller.
I think maybe similar approach can be done to fix this bug

Do you know how I can post bug report for Solaris/OpenSolaris ?

Posted by guest on January 27, 2008 at 05:40 PM PST #

Adrianus, I do not believe the bug you are seeing with your Acer is the same as CR 5047712; the symptoms you describe sound like an "interrupt routing" problem. Am I correct to understand that acpi-user-options=0x8 makes your Acer boot Solaris correctly, but the Wi-Fi button no longer works?

Posted by Dana H. Myers on January 28, 2008 at 12:54 AM PST #


The user-acpi-options was useful in working around a first time boot problem on Nexenta Core Platform v1.0:

We saw errors with 'Gen-ATA ' error code: 0x3 repeating.

The user-acpi-options=0x2 and 0x8 both allowed the Solaris kernel to boot properly.

Documented at:

Posted by lent on February 26, 2008 at 03:58 AM PST #

we have some issues with dell r610 running solaris.
After applying a work load for 1-2 days, our scsi target driver stops receiveing traps.
I've seen "NO ACPI obj for busXXX" messages at dmesg.
I'm now running a test without acpi. Does this sounds like a possible ACPI issue to you?

Posted by Gili Buzaglo on July 15, 2010 at 03:08 PM PDT #

Gili, this does not at all sound APCI related to me.

Posted by Dana Myers on August 05, 2010 at 06:08 AM PDT #

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