What devices do you want supported & Writing Solaris Drivers

Looking for opinions out there... Mostly concentrating on x86, but SPARC comments welcome too.

  • For those of you who are, or would like to run Solaris x86, what's the top device that you would like to see supported?
  • For those of you that write, or would like to write Solaris device drivers, what could we do to make it easier for you?




How about some \*truly\* supported wireless drivers for laptops? I wouldn't even mind if I had to use certain qualified hardware.

Posted by wireless on June 22, 2004 at 07:38 AM EDT #

Great. Which card would you like supported first? Would a GPL'd driver that you would have to install separately be OK for your case? Thanks, MRJ

Posted by mrj on June 22, 2004 at 08:54 AM EDT #

Definately better/more video drivers! Substantually better ATI Rage Mobility drivers would be nice, since thats the laptop graphics chipset of choice. Other devices would probly also be wireless (LinkSys and Dlink are the favorites). I've primarily stayed away from Solaris/X86 due to the driver support issue, figuring Linux really is a much better fit, but with Solaris10 it's getting more and more compelling esp since I can't afford a SPARCle from Tadpole. Besides, as an SA it's nice having a JumpStart server in your bag. It's really kool that your looking to shut all us "there isn't a driver!" folks up. :)

Posted by benr on June 22, 2004 at 07:11 PM EDT #

I'd like to see native support for VMWare - it's a fantastic testing/development environment.

Posted by Rob on June 22, 2004 at 11:26 PM EDT #

Not sure if this is in-line with corporate thinking, but one (set of) driver(s) I'd love to see, would be one that would allow me to install Solaris x86 on a SunPCi/SunPCi II/SunPCi III card - the hardware constraints and capabilities are well-known inside Sun (I'd hope ;\^), and doing such a port would allow for interesting test applications. Oh, and of course, wireless - I'd like Sun to decide what the purpose of Solaris x86 is (low-cost server platform, desktop, or portable (as in laptop) OS, and push in that direction. I think Solaris on laptops is great, and that should be high on the priority list (#2, say?) with an emphasis on supporting wireless. As for particular cards, well, I'd like support for Orinoco, NetGear, as well as Cisco Aironet and the popular chipsets found in laptops. Support should cover 802.11a/b/g - all have their place in the datacenter/corporate environment. Thanks!

Posted by Ken on June 23, 2004 at 12:39 AM EDT #

More PCMCIA ethernet and combo card drivers. Specifically the 3Com Megahertz FEM556B 10/100 LAN + 56K modem card (don't care about modem support) and IBM 10/100 EtherJet CardBus card.

Posted by lister on June 23, 2004 at 03:57 AM EDT #

Rob, how does VMware make for a better testing enviroment than Zones? You get all the advantages without the fluf by using Zones. Not to mention that VMware is a commercial product that is outside the influence of Sun. And even if they could influence VMware, why would you want to when you have the vastly superior Zones in Solaris10 natively.

Posted by benr on June 23, 2004 at 07:40 AM EDT #

I have a number (by that I mean like 15 extra) of G1 Compaq DL380s. I can run the fine with Solaris 8 x86 using the drivers at http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/locate/38_1122.html, but this would be really useful to run these with 9 x86, but the Smart Array gets in the way all the time. These are older machines, but we have them, and with the number of them we have getting them all running together would be dandy. I never have been able to get the 8 drivers to work with 9, that might be user error, I don't know.

Posted by Jim on June 23, 2004 at 11:24 AM EDT #

I agree that zones are an ideal solution \*if\* the host is running Solaris \*and\* you want to run the same version of Solaris. VMWare however allows you to run one host OS (Windows or Linux) and then whatever guest you want (currently I've got FreeBSD, Solaris 9 12-03, Mandrake 10 and Windows 2000 installed - Solaris 10 06-04 goes on later today). It also allows you to define systems that are essentially static - any changes are lost on reboot. While I don't expect Sun to influence VMWare, it would be nice if Solaris x86 had the required video drivers available natively, rather than me having to download and install them separately.

Posted by Rob on June 23, 2004 at 09:05 PM EDT #

Lack of support for older/crappy monitors has prevented me from installing solaris on my soon to be dedicated server. I intend to use it as a headless server one day, but in the meantime, i want to play around with it as a workstation. Thats kinda hard with a monitor that can barely do 800x600. This also bit me a year or so back when i tried solaris 7, only this time the monitor could do 1600x1280 (or something like that) In short DDC support + some standard VESA resolutions would be nice.

Posted by surge on June 23, 2004 at 09:39 PM EDT #

Definitely better wireless support of both PCMCIA and CardBus cards (Yes, I know that PCMCIA is a pain). And if you are doing CardBus support, well, maybe PCI as well? Electriacally they are similar enough, don't know on the OS side. Specifically, it would be nice if there would be a driver for PCMCIA Intersil Prism based chipset (That would cover vast majority of older wireless 802.11b cards), for Orinoco and for Cisco AirNet cards (that's like 95% of all 802.11b cards in the market) Out of the newer chipsets, Atheros support would be great - that would cover such cards as Netgear WAG511 (a/b/g), D-Links, newish Proxims, etc. You mentioned potentially the driver being GPL and available separately from OS. In fact, that would be great, especially for the older Intersil Prism - I have a couple of old Tadpole SPARCbooks that are gathering dust (Newest release of Solaris you can run on them is 7) that would get a life extention as a result. As for the rest of the wireless cards - Amongst the newer ones Broadcom chipset is popular (Linksys 802.11G wireless cards, etc). Problem is that the source to drive those cards is highly proprietary, and Broadcom doesn't make it easily available even to their own people/partners (or maybe folks I deal with didn't try hard enough). So maybe just starting with the drivers for cards that have support of some sort, and, say, only the hardware abstraction layer is proprietary? http://sourceforge.net/projects/madwifi is a project to support Atheros chipsets. Thank you for considering this.

Posted by Stanislav Vardomskiy on June 26, 2004 at 04:20 AM EDT #

Definitely like to see drivers for semi cheap sata raid cards (LSI, 3ware, Adaptec, etc).

Posted by Scott on June 27, 2004 at 07:06 PM EDT #

In addition to drivers for the cheap SATA cards, we need drivers for the cheap PCI IDE add-on cards. Such as the SIIG 0640. These are pretty standard devices. My understanding is they don't work because they use IRQ sharing and X86 just doesn't detect them.

Posted by Charles on June 28, 2004 at 04:09 PM EDT #

In addition to drivers for the cheap SATA cards, we need drivers for the cheap PCI IDE add-on cards. Such as the SIIG 0640. These are pretty standard devices. My understanding is they don't work because they use IRQ sharing and X86 just doesn't detect them.

Posted by Charles on June 28, 2004 at 04:10 PM EDT #

WiFi please - especially those based on Intel chipsets.

Posted by geoff lane on July 22, 2004 at 11:05 PM EDT #

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