Solaris Developer Express on Acer 5613 AWLMi


This post is a bit out of date as there have been several more builds of Solaris Express since I originally started to create this entry, but it should provide a good starting point for anyone with a similar laptop. While installing Solaris Developer Express on an Acer 5613 I ran into a couple of issues that took a bit of time to resolve, so rather than having someone else having to do the same digging I've listed the relevant details here. The installation discussed here was done with a Solaris Express Developer Edition 9/07 dvd.

Initial Boot

The intial bootup from the dvd goes through fine until we start to configure /dev. Now it turns out that Acer bioses have a history of being a bit funky in regards to ACPI, and the workaround is documented in 6505915. You need to add the following options to your Grub menu options before starting the installation.
-B acpi-user-options=8
If your curious about ACPI on Solaris Dana Myers has a nice blog posting from way back on how to configure Solaris ACPI at boottime. In the above workaround we have just switched our acpi mode to legacy.

Networking

The onboard nic is a BCM4401-B0 Broadcom, which is supported by the bfe driver.

Wireless networking proved to be problematic, initially I had suspected something odd with the chipset, but it is supported. I logged 6614097 which after some analysis with the help of the wifi nic folks was shown to be a side effect of to the ACPI problems noted above.

This problem has been root caused to an inability to switch on the RF switch from Solaris due to having to disable ACPI, unfortunately there is no workaround for this. My solution has been to purchase an atheros based pcmcia wireless card which works perfectly.

I/O Resource Warnings

On the initial boot we get a warning message similar to
	WARNING: out of I/O resources on bridge: bus 0x20, dev 0x3, func 0x0, for secondary bus 0x23
Which is 6573171 - unnecessary I/O resource warnings on some machines. A fix for this issue integrated into Nevada 75, but its nothing to worry about anyway.

Grub Entries for Windows & ACPI Workaround

I decided to keep the Vista partition on this laptop, and while the installer picked up the windows partition, it didn't add it to my grub menu. As far as I am aware this has been fixed, but just in case I added the following to my /boot/grub/menu.lst under the unknown partition id section.
# Unknown partition of type 6 found on /dev/rdsk/c0d0p0 partition: 2
# It maps to the GRUB device: (hd0,1) .
title Windows Vista
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
chainloader +1
We also need to pass the acpi option listed above into Solaris, which gave me the following
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris Express Developer Edition 9/07 snv_70b X86
kernel$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix -B acpi-user-options=8
module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris failsafe
kernel /boot/platform/i86pc/kernel/unix -s -B acpi-user-options=8
module /boot/x86.miniroot-safe
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
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