From the Trenches: a Niagara Jumpstart "gotcha"

Occasionally, things happen which remind me how subtle networking can be, even at the lower levels of the OSI stack.

I was with a customer yesterday, and they were upgrading their nice shiny new T2000 to Solaris 10 Update 3 using JET.

They were having an odd problem with this. The box would do the usual RARP / ARP and tftp its kernel and miniroot over from the server, but would hang just after whoami returned "no domain". Basically, it stalled just before the point where it would report that it was configuring its devices.

After a few 'phone calls to their Jumpstart guru, the problem was found to be that the T2000's network interfaces were trying to autonegotiate speed and duplex at this point; as the switches it was connected to had these properties set statically, the Jumpstart stalled.

The fix is to set these properties statically when initiating the Jumpstart; instead of the familiar "boot net - install", we used "boot net:speed=100,duplex=full, - install".

NB. Note the second, oddly-placed comma after "full" in the line above - it is necessary!

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