Friday Jan 13, 2006

Installing Solaris 10 on the Fujitsu P7120D

After a day or so of hacking, I was finally able to get Solaris 10 U1 x86 to run on my new Fujitsu P7120D with fully fuctioning widescreen (1280x768) resolution and support for the Atheros Super AG wireless card. For those who are not familiar with this machine, the Fujitsu 7120D is a subcompact laptop with a crisp widescreen LCD, a built-in DVD drive, and excellent battery life.

The general steps for installation and configuration are as follows,

To install base OS
1. Boot and install from Solaris 10u1 DVD by selecting the 'Interactive Text (Console)' option.

To install wireless driver
1. Download and install the SUNWatheros package from the OpenSolaris ath page.
2. Follow instructions on the aforementioned OpenSolaris ath page except the 'wificonfig createprofile' section is incorrect and should be

wificonfig createprofile essid=ssid encryption=wep wepkey1=wepkey
To install native widescreen video driver
1. Download the frkit from OpenSolaris.
2. Install the 915resolution package from within frkit. Don't install the cardbus or wifi packages, they seem to break the SUNWatheros driver. I have to confirm if both are the cause of the break, or just one. More news later on this.
3. Run xorgconfig and select the i810 generic driver.
4. Within the xorgconfig program, set custom Horizontal screen specs to 30-65 and Vert to 30-60.
5. Uncomment the following two lines in /etc/X11/intel_vbios.conf

modeline="3c 1280 768 24"
export modeline
6. Edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add a 'Modes "1280x768"' line within Section Screen, Subsection Display, for example,

Section "Screen"
.......
    Subsection "Display"
    Depth       16
    Modes      "1280x768"
    ViewPort   0 0
7. Reboot...

If you face problems with any of this, feel free to ping me and I'll try to help out as much as I can.

Installing Solaris 10 on the Fujitsu P7120D

After a day or so of hacking, I was finally able to get Solaris 10 U1 x86 to run on my new Fujitsu P7120D with fully fuctioning widescreen (1280x768) resolution and support for the Atheros Super AG wireless card. The general steps are as follows,

To install base OS
1. Boot and install from Solaris 10u1 DVD by selecting the 'Interactive Text (Console)' option.

To install wireless driver
1. Download and install the SUNWatheros package from the OpenSolaris ath page.
2. Follow instructions on the aforementioned OpenSolaris ath page except the 'wificonfig createprofile' section is incorrect and should be

wificonfig createprofile essid=ssid encryption=wep wepkey1=wepkey
To install native widescreen video driver
1. Download the frkit from OpenSolaris.
2. Install the 915resolution package from within frkit. Don't install the cardbus or wifi packages, they seem to break the SUNWatheros driver. I have to confirm if both are the cause of the break, or just one. More news later on this.
3. Run xorgconfig and select the i810 generic driver.
4. Within the xorgconfig program, set custom Horizontal screen specs to 30-65 and Vert to 30-60.
5. Uncomment the following two lines in /etc/X11/intel_vbios.conf

modeline="3c 1280 768 24"
export modeline
6. Edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add a 'Modes "1280x768"' line within Section Screen, Subsection Display, for example,

Section "Screen"
.......
    Subsection "Display"
    Depth       16
    Modes      "1280x768"
    ViewPort   0 0
7. Reboot...

If you face problems with any of this, feel free to ping me and I'll try to help out as much as I can.

Thursday Jan 06, 2005

An update to the Solaris Internals book?!

As per Paul Rogers, the authors of the venerable Solaris Internals book have been working on an update.

The information in the book has been updated for later versions of Solaris (8 to 10) in a set of 367 slides, dated November, 2004, in an Adobe acrobat file available here. Those of you on dialup do not want to download that file and you are already mad at me because of the number of images on my page. And in a late breaking update, Richard just asked me to review the new chapters for Solaris 10. Hope that the publisher can get the revised version out soon so the information half life will be longer. - Paul Rogers

PDF presentation with updates available [1.6MB]here.

Thursday Nov 18, 2004

Solaris 10 Pictures

Solaris 10 logo inside the Santa Clara campus, opposite the cafe.


Solaris 10 logo at one of the entrances to the Santa Clara campus.

Friday Aug 13, 2004

Zones capable pstack, or DUH!

Bryan Cantrill answered my dumb question about Zones capability of pstack. Well..duh, its already there. Just find the pid from the zone you want to check out, and run pstack [pid].

This is what happens when you post technical questions at midnight. :/

Thursday Aug 12, 2004

Zones capability in pstack?

I noticed that Solaris 10 (s10 63) has some zones aware utilities, such as prstat. The new zones aware prstat allows a user to see active process statistics for a non-global zone from the main global zone. Meaning...you could have 4-5 different zones on a machine, and from the main machine, you could see process statistics for any of those zones. All you have to do is specify the -z flag and the zonename, i.e.,

prstat -zMyZone -L.

That command will give you prstat info for MyZone, with LWP IDs shown.

Sooo anyways, my point is..if we have zones enabled prstat, why can't we have zones enabled pstack? A zones enabled pstack would allow users to actually look at the internal workings of a process from outside of the zone!

I guess this may only be important to a few people..but I still think it would be extremely useful for peaking into test enviroments and debugging. Any Solaris Zones engineers listening?

Wednesday Jun 30, 2004

Apple Rendezvous for Solaris

This has to be a sign of things to come. Rendezvous has been used by Apple for many things, including automatic discovery of available cluster nodes during distributed compiles.

Rendezvous is a revolutionary networking technology that lets you create an instant network of computers and devices without any configuration, allows the services and capabilities such as file sharing and printing of each device to be registered on the network, and allows these services to be dynamically discoverable by other devices on the network. Rendezvous enables this seamless networking and service discovery over the standard and ubiquitous IP networking protocol. [Rendezvous for Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD]

Wednesday Jun 16, 2004

Blastwave, donate to the cause.

There has been alot of talk here at blogs.sun.com about the Blastwave project and how it's helping Solaris x86 and Sparc users. Blastwave is a community run site and is not financially supported by Sun or any other large corporate sponsor (to my knowledge). So why not donate $20 and get the full Blastwave Software Distribution DVD? It includes all packages, for both x86 and Sparc.

Managing SunRays in Technical Environments

I've seen a couple of posts about SunRays here at blogs.sun.com, so I figured I'd post a snippet about them also.

This is an old article I wrote for SysAdmin Magazine. It's a bit dated, but it has one or two good tips. [read article here]

Sunday Jun 13, 2004

Final install report for Solaris 10 x86 and Dell Inspiron 4100

This is not much of a report since it seems everything installed without any problems. The only thing that does not work (I think), is the sound card.

After I installed the OS (Build61), I went over to Blastwave and used their pkg-get utility to download goodies such as blackbox, xfce, evolution, gcc, and others.

I do have some concerns, such as:

1.) The OS takes a long time to install..
2.) I typed 'netscape' at the command line and it looks like the default version is 4.78. Wow. I hope we ship a much newer version of Mozilla in the final release.
3.) GNOME crashes when you try to drag a folder or icon anywhere.

Other than that, everything went pretty smooth. Maybe if I get an open couple of days (impossible), I'll try configuring a Solaris 10 Beta desktop as my daily workstation. I still have questions about support for firewire HDs before I do that though.

Solaris 10 x86 supports UXGA resolution on the Inspiron 4100!

To follow up on my previous post, I tried booting Solaris 10 x86 Build61 on my Dell Inspiron 4100 today. I did a simple dry-run without actually writing any data to the HD. I was able to confirm that X came up perfectly in 1600x1200x24bit resolution! My next step is to use Partition Magic 7 to reallocate my current HD so I can try a full install.

Friday Jun 11, 2004

Solaris 10 x86 on a Dell Inspiron 4100 with UXGA+?

According to the Solaris 9 x86 HCL and Philip Browns Solaris x86 Laptop List, my Dell Inspiron 4100 should probably be able to run the Solaris 10 Beta. I'm not sure if the OS drivers will recognize the UXGA+ 1600x1200 LCD display though. I might just try the install next week sometime and post back on the final results. If it works, I'll have Zones capability on my laptop!

Thursday Jun 10, 2004

Solaris 'which' command does not return proper exit code

Richard Lee over at VA Software brought this up to me today. He said that the Solaris 'which' command does not return the correct error code upon failure. Because of this he has to end up parsing stdout when he should be able to simply rely on the exit code.
Example:

# uname -a
SunOS sol10 5.10 s10_55 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Blade-1500

# which ls
/usr/bin/ls
# echo $?
0

# which oogabooga
no oogabooga in /usr/sbin /usr/bin
# echo $?
0


As Richard would say, "Dirty".

Thread movement from Solaris 8, 9, and now 10

I glossed over the differences between the default Solaris 8 threads MxN behavior and the Solaris 9 1:1 behavior in my Debugging thread related hangs in the JVM writeup. Solaris 10 brings new changes in that threading has moved away from libthread and directly into libc. Phil Harman wrote a very good peice called Multithreading in the Solaris Operating Environment[PDF] which explains in great detail the switch from MxN to 1:1 threading. Phil also posted a very frank comment about the libthread changes in Solaris 10. This is great stuff not only for technical purposes, but also for Unix history buffs.

"Having been an advocate of MxN for many years (largely, because that was one of our differentiators), I was treading a very fine line. I think the paper makes it clear that I don't think 1:1 is superior as a _model_, but that our MxN _implementation_ was past its sell-by date. The switch was entirely pragmatic. I personally had to drag quite a few folk kicking and screaming to the right decision. We have never looked back.

Since then we've added other cool stuff like: compiler support for TLS, posix_spawn() and POSIX spin locks. But our crowning achievement is to get rid of libthread altogether by folding it into libc. None of this would have been possible in the same short time if we had persevered along the MxN route.

You can play with all\* of this cool new stuff today via the Solaris Express program (which provides early access to Solaris 10 as we develop it). See www.sun.com for more details. Sorry, I didn't mean this to turn into a marketing opportunity :)

\* currently, only the Forte SPARC compiler supports TLS, but we hope to fix that soon! Actually, with the right patches, TLS is available right back to /usr/lib/lwp in Solaris 8."
[Phil Harman]

Tuesday Jun 08, 2004

Newbie SysAdmin Guide to Solaris

This is a quick cheat sheet for SysAdmins or developers who are new to Solaris. I'll update it with more stuff soon.
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