Monday Jul 14, 2008

Laptop and retired I/O devices

FMA and my laptop ....

Last Thursday was not much fun. The “reduction in force”, more appropriately called lay-off, was a challenge. Good people lost their jobs and those of use remaining are trying to figure out how to still get our jobs done with out some key support folks.

Well coincidently with the RIF my laptop started mis-behaving. Upon reboot Friday (the day after the rif) I was greeted with this error message:

NOTICE: One or more of your I/O devices have been retired

Great, now did my laptop get RIF'd?

Actually not. Thankfully!

What happen is that FMA detected too many error with my on-board ethernet driver and it disabled the faulty component. How cool is that?!? The operating system on my laptop detected a faulty component and disabled so the processor didn't have to keep dealing with the interrupts.

This is way cool, but it was a bit difficult to figure out what was happening.

To save some of you the pain of debugging this condition, here is a quick post on how to determine what's happening and how to fix the condition.

First, let's check to see where the error message was coming from. A quick search at resulted in a link to retire_store.c:241. Here quick look around the source let me know this was from the fault management portion of OpenSolaris.

To see the fault, use fmadm with the faulty sub-command:

$ pfexec fmadm faulty
--------------- ------------------------------------  -------------- ---------
TIME            EVENT-ID                              MSG-ID         SEVERITY
--------------- ------------------------------------  -------------- ---------
Jul 11 06:30:19 6dc01480-53e3-6046-92c5-b88ea74e17af  PCIEX-8000-0A  Critical 

Fault class :
Affects     : dev:////pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0
                  faulted and taken out of service
FRU         : "MB" (hc://:product-id=TECRA-M5:chassis-id=Y6071991H:server-id=yoyo/motherboard=0)

Description : A problem was detected for a PCIEX device.
              Refer to for more information.

Response    : One or more device instances may be disabled

Impact      : Loss of services provided by the device instances associated with
              this fault

Action      : Schedule a repair procedure to replace the affected device.  Use
              fmdump -v -u  to identify the device or contact Sun for
With the device path I checked to see if this path corresponded to any known devices:

Check that out ... the e1000g0 is the driver for my ethernet!

$ ls -l /dev/\* | grep "pci1179,1@0'
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 54 2008-04-24 16:32 /dev/e1000g0 -> ../devices/pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0:e1000g0

but that device is not available:

ls -l /devices/pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0:e1000g0
/usr/gnu/bin/ls: cannot access /devices/pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0:e1000g0: No such device or address

Knowing that this was the device that was not working I had to correct the fault. Here use the fmadm command again with the repair sub-command and the path the to device.

$ pfexec fmadm repair dev:////pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0
fmadm: recorded repair to dev:////pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0
$ ls -l /devices/pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0:e1000g0
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 225, 1 2008-07-14 13:40 /devices/pci@0,0/pci8086,27d0@1c/pci1179,1@0:e1000g0
Now to reenable the device and replum my network
$ pfexec ifconfig -a
lo0: flags=2001000849 mtu 8232 index 1
	inet netmask ff000000 
wpi0: flags=201004843 mtu 1500 index 2
	inet netmask ffff0000 broadcast
	ether 0:18:de:6a:9e:5a 
ip.tun0: flags=10008d1 mtu 1402 index 7
	inet tunnel src tunnel dst
	tunnel security settings  -->  use 'ipsecconf -ln -i ip.tun0'
	tunnel hop limit 60 
	inet --> netmask ffffffff 
lo0: flags=2002000849 mtu 8252 index 1
	inet6 ::1/128 
ip.tun0: flags=2204851 mtu 1480 index 7
	inet tunnel src tunnel dst
	tunnel security settings  -->  use 'ipsecconf -ln -i ip.tun0'
	tunnel hop limit 60 
	inet6 fe80::a07:fbeb/128 --> fe80::1 
ip.tun0:1: flags=2200851 mtu 1480 index 7
	inet6 2002:8192:117b:1::a07:fbeb/128 --> 2002:8192:117b:1::1 
$ pfexec ifconfig e1000g0 plumb
$ svcadm restart nwam

Everything is up and running again. It's pretty cool to have enterprise features like FMA on my laptop, but being a simple guy it's good to know how to just get up and running again.

Now I'll keep monitoring my ethernet driver and see if it keeps acting up ...

Once again, the power of an enterprise class operating system on my laptop. This is so cool. Thanks to the FMA team for your great work!

Wednesday Feb 13, 2008

My experience in Indiana 2

I'm an early'ish adopter of technology and I like to live what I talk about, so when Sanjay dropped by my office and told me about the latest release of Indian I had to give it a try. The ability to install off a memory stick was really cool, so I jumped in with both feet. (If you want to install off the memory stick, check our Dave Miner's blog entry on the topic) I had already installed SXDE 1/08, but decided to reinstall with Indiana DP 2.

So I grabbed the image, flashed the memory stick and off I want. Here are my thoughts and reactions as I was running ....

  • I have already set up a dual-boot system, but found I couldn't install. I needed to change the partition type of my Solaris partition. A quick trip to fdisk allowed me to change the type. I found some directions at:

  • Wow this install is fast ... 14 minutes off a memory stick

  • Oh this is interesting, I can't login as root ... I have found out that root is not an account, but a role. The user you create as initial install is the account that is given the role as root.

  • After install I wanted to listen to some music and headed over to my favorite source Pandora and there was no flash support for Firefox. However, I was offered the ability to find the plugin (just like on windows) and to my surprise, the latest version of flash was found and installed with no extra effort on my part!!! Within 30 seconds I was listening to Charlie Parker!

  • What happens when I want to print .... nothing, because there are no config utilities installed. To fix that problem you need to:

    • pfexec pkg search printmgr
    • pfexec pkg install SUNWppm
    • pfexec svcadm enable /application/print/server
    • then run System -> Administration -> Print Manager

As a whole this is has been a great experience and I'm happy to be running Indiana as my day-to-day OS. ... now I've got to give VirtualBox a try. ....

Wednesday Feb 06, 2008

Acroreader updated for Solaris ....

I was reading through yesterdays various blog posts on Solaris and was excited to see a post indicating that Adobe has released a patch for the latest version of acroreader for Solaris. However I read to quickly (as is too often the case) and missed the part that said Solaris/SPARC. Bummer. I was and am looking forward to being able to read PDF files, with acroread, on my OpenSolaris laptop. Maybe the growing number of voices on the Adobe Forums will help persuade Adobe to port this useful app to the x64 architecture.


Friday Sep 07, 2007

Better than a Mac!

Erwann just announced the availability of Compiz for Solaris. This is soooo cool. It is like running a Mac, but better. It is Solaris!!

My laptop is running OpenSolaris build 70 (using dual displays with the latest NVIDIA drivers) and Compviz is running on both screens. Being able to see a cube rotate when switching desktops, and having all of the windows shrink when I want to selcect one is so cool.

This is the eye-candy that Solaris has been sorely missing. A huge thanks to the GNOME team and all of your desktop enhancements.

Wednesday Jan 17, 2007

Solaris Ready Applications!

Over 6 months ago I blogged about the difficulty of finding applications that were running on Solaris 10. Well the wonderful folks over at BigAdmin have just released the Solaris Ready Applications and Solutions Catalog.

Just like the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) on BigAdmin you can browse the supported apps by platform (SPARC or X64) or you can search by Vendor, product name or keywords. This should make deploying solutions on Solaris 10 even more straight forward.

Friday Jan 12, 2007

a physical mashup .... OpenSolaris laptop skin

What happens when you combine a great graphic, a great offering, and a little adhesive?

OpenSolaris laptop closedOpenSolaris laptop open 

The skin is  product from and the graphics from the wonderful OpenSolaris team. And yes the laptop (a Toshiba Tecra M5) is running OpenSolaris, (currently build 54) and it supports dual-screens (via the native Solaris NVIDIA drivers)!

Friday Jun 30, 2006

Solaris Apps and where to find them ....

Sometime information just does not flow as smoothly as it should. Sometime the information you need to make a decision is right at your fingertips and you just don't know it.

Such is the case with information about the software solutions available for Solaris 10. There is a great group of folks with in Sun whose job it is to make other people successful. The are in a group known as MDE or Market Development Engineering. These people work with partners big and small to get their applications working with the latest version of Sun's Solaris operating system. It is awesome, and they have done a great job in the past year. According to their web page "Solaris Solutions Are Available Today" there are 1943 applications currently shipping on Solaris 10 SPARC and 1034 applications currently shipping on Solaris 10 x64. Who knew there were so many?

The part of the program that I really like, s that the MDE people are seeking input from the customers on what applications they would like see next. Their request page asks for the application name, vendor and version number and if you want you can be notified when new applications are added.

A great service by an invaluable part of our company. Next time you searching for "applications for solaris" or "solaris 10 application" maybe you'll find the Partner Advantage Program useful.

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Thursday May 25, 2006

News from BigAdmin & developers

I just received my May edition of the BigAdmin news letter, and had to share the news.BigAdmin is a great resource for anyone using Sun products. There are user tips (like Using Metadevices With Solstice DiskSuite Software on my old project),  Blueprints, and are some great articles. Like Observability Using Java Standard Edition 6 and Solaris OS - the latest Java and dTrace.

As I read this newsletter, it really brought to light how we are trying to make Solaris the most compelling developer desktop on the market. If you don't think Solaris is quite up to the test, take the Survey on Solaris 10 OS for Desktops. But also check out the latest Solaris audio drivers and some tips on debugging with the Studio debugger.

There are some pretty exciting things happening with the desktop and how we are trying to make life easier for the developer. If you want to join in the conversation, check out the opensolaris approachability, desktop or laptop communities. There are lots of people trying to make (Open)Solaris the desktop of choice.

Monday May 01, 2006

Solaris Printing - how 2!

New how to guide3s for Soalris printing! [Read More]

Thursday Feb 23, 2006

Time Zone Help

I spend way too much time trying to organize meetings. Much of that time is spent trying to find a meeting time that will work for people in different time zones. I'm always trying to remember is Dublin 7 or 8 hours ahead of Colorado? What timezome is India?

To my rescue was a post on opensolaris-discuss. Chandan enlightend us to another of those burried Solaris commands zdump(1M).  Now I can type
zdump US/Mountain GB Asia/Calcutta

and see the time in Denver, Dublin and Calcutta. Hopefully I can now get the timezones correct in my meeting notices.


Wednesday Jan 18, 2006

Some cool new Solaris How To Guides

There are some new How To Guides that recently hit There is one on Using DTrace on a Solaris 10 system and another on Consolidating Servers and Applications with Containers.

A great introduction to the technology of Solaris 10.

Here I am writing about the OS I love. Trying to show other people how cool the innovations are in [Open]Solaris.


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