Friday Jun 11, 2010

Flash Player 10.1 RC available for Solaris / OpenSolaris

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 RC is now available as a prerelease. This version does not require the medialib dependency and should work on its own after installation. You can find it at the Adobe Labs site.

$ wget
$ bzip2 -d flashplayer10_1_rc1_solaris_x86_061010.tar.bz2
$ tar xvf flashplayer10_1_rc1_solaris_x86_061010.tar
$ mkdir -p ~/.mozilla/plugins/
$ mv flash_player_solaris_10_1_53_64_x86/ ~/.mozilla/plugins/
$ pfexec mv flash_player_solaris_10_1_53_64_x86/ /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/
$ wget
Follow x86 directions above

Wednesday Jun 09, 2010

"Cannot open device" Error

On occasion if you are trying to fdisk or mount a USB disk on Solaris 10 you may get an error that says "Cannot open device." For example:
# fdisk /dev/rdsk/c2t0d0s2
Cannot open device
Things to check:
  • 1. Make sure you are root or have the correct user privilege
  • 2. Try `devfsadm -Cv` to remove any stale disk entries
  • 3. Stop volume management `svcadm disable volfs`

Wednesday Apr 28, 2010

Packages Renamed in OpenSolaris

If you have been using the package management system in the newest builds of OpenSolaris (b133+), you may have noticed the naming scheme changes that affect new and existing packages. [Full list of changes]

For example, trying to find the usb header file package is a bit trickier. These files, namely usba.h, usbai.h, and usbdevs.h, are not installed into /usr/include/sys/usb in the default installation. To retrieve them, use this command:

$ pfexec pkg install header-usb

In previous version, these files could have been obtained from either SUNWusbu or SUNWsfwhea. The removal of the SUNW prefix is the most apparent name change for the package collection. Now you can get busy building the latest apcupsd version!

Thursday Jan 21, 2010

OpenSolaris + Fit-PC2 + Mediasonic Pro Box 4 Bay Enclosure

After the failure of the SATA and USB ports on my Intel D945GCL Atom board, I decided to build out a new file server. Sticking to the Atom theme, I decided to go small and get the CompuLab FIT-PC2. This little toy uses the Z530 1.6Ghz CPU that apparently uses only 6 watts of power. I'm assuming that means *without* a hard drive installed.

Measuring in at around 115 x 101 x 27mm (~ 4.5"x4.0"x1.0"), it is only big enough to hold one laptop sized 2.5" SATA drive.

The drive I installed only has 80GB of space. That would run out real quick with my needs, so I decided to get a MediaSonic USB disk enclosure to link up with my server. It can hold up to 4 SATA drives.

The PC sits on top of the enclosure on my bookshelf taking up 8.5" x 5.0" x 6.5" amount of space. This is not only power efficient, but space efficient since I am using 4 x 1TB drives. 4TB total (theoretical), ~2.6TB in a ZFS raidz. If I were to have purchased the 2TB drives, it would be even better.

Doug's blog on the FIT-PC2 gives a good overview on the features of the device and what works. There is no wifi driver and Xorg doesn't work, so you may want to install OpenSolaris on another machine before installing the internal HDD. My server is headless and uses the built-in gigabit ethernet, so I don't care about those issues.

Links and prices Total = $748

Wednesday Dec 09, 2009

Can't use NumPad in OpenSolaris?

Today I thought I broke the numpad on my keyboard; none of then numbers were working. Switching on and off the Num Lock key didn't work. However, anytime I hit a number and held the key down, the mouse cursor would move across the screen. By some sort of black magic, I found a secret keyboard combo to turn on Mouse control via keypad.

Solution to turn it off
System ⇾ Preferences ⇾ Assistive Technologies ⇾ Keyboard Accessibility ⇾ Mouse Keys

Uncheck 'Pointer can be controlled using the keypad'
I must admit, however, this can be a handy feature when working with a mouse-less machine.

Wednesday Nov 25, 2009

Latex for OpenSolaris

Ever wanted to experiment with latex to write a paper or redesign your resume, but unsure how to install a latex package or compose a latex document? I'll try to explain it simply using OpenSolaris.

Install Latex

d its dependencies from our friends at
cd /tmp
gzip -d \*.gz
  • Install the packages
  • pfexec pkgadd -d libgcc-3.3-sol10-intel-local
    pfexec pkgadd -d ncurses-5.6-sol10-x86-local
    pfexec pkgadd -d libiconv-1.11-sol10-x86-local
    pfexec pkgadd -d tetex-3.0-sol10-x86-local

    Play with Latex
    For my simple uses of latex, I use two binaries to compose my documents: latex and dvipdf. Latex requires a tex file to generate a document. For this example, I will use my favorite resume template created by David Grant.
    cd /tmp
    mv resume.tex.txt resume.tex
    mv shading.sty.txt shading.sty
    Now, let's use the binaries I mentioned earlier to create a pdf file.
    /usr/local/teTeX/bin/i386-pc-solaris2.10/latex resume.tex
    /usr/local/teTeX/bin/i386-pc-solaris2.10/dvipdft resume.dvi
    You should find a pdf file in /tmp called resume.pdf. View it with acroread or evince to get an idea of how awesome latex is. I won't go into too much detail on how to create the resume.tex file, but viewing and editing it will you give you a good understanding on its syntax. This is David's resume that is generated:

    Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

    Compiling Alpine on OpenSolaris 2009.06

    For Alpine 2.00, the configure file looks around in the wrong directories for the OpenSSL header files.
          if test -d /usr/sfw/include/openssl ; then
          elif test -d /opt/csw/include/openssl ; then
            if test -d /opt/csw/ssl/certs ; then
    Unfortunately, configure never looks for the new location: /usr/include/openssl. Thankfully, there is an easy fix:
    ./configure --with-ssl-include-dir=/usr/include/openssl

    Thursday Dec 18, 2008

    OpenSolaris Installation Checklist

    When I reinstall OpenSolaris, I have a small checklist of things I execute to create a familiar environment between my systems. This might be helpful to others.

  • Allow NIS user (really any user) access to the root role (lets them access packagemanager)
  • # vi /etc/user_attr
    Append to end of file:
    USERNAME::::profiles=Primary Administrator;roles=root

  • Enable NTP
  • # vi /etc/inet/ntp.conf
    # svcadm enable ntp
    # svcadm restart ntp

  • Install OpenOffice
  • # pkg install openoffice

  • Install gconf-editor
  • # pkg install SUNWgnome-config-editor

  • Disable Audible Alert Sound
  • I hate the audible alert sound. If you wear headphones while you're computin' and use tab-completion excessively on your shell or have a mail client that beeps on every new message, you know what I'm talking about.
    However, when I click on System->Preferences->Sound, the Play Alert Sound option is grayed out. Here is the solution:
    $ gconf-editor
    /apps/metacity/general/ and decheck audible bell

  • Allow root user to login directly
  • Don't do this.
    # rolemod -K type=normal root

    Thursday Dec 11, 2008

    2008.11 on the Asus EEE 701

    Things that have been fixed/work out of the box since 2008.05

  • Keyboard/mouse now fully functional throughout the install
  • Sound works by default
  • Webcam *should* work by default (my model doesn't have one so I can't test)
  • Atheros wi-fi still requires an additional download
    $ wget
    $ tar zxvf ath-x86-ar5007eg-pkg.tar.gz
    # pkgadd -d SUNWatheros
    # init 6
  • Attansic L1/L2 ethernet is now functional thanks to our good friend Masayuki Murayama
    $ wget
    $ tar zxvf atge-2.6.2.tar.gz
    $ cd atge-2.6.2
    # make install
    # ./
    # devfsadm -i atge0
    # ifconfig atge0 plumb

    Asus EEE 701 vs. 30 inch Dell Monitor
    800x480 vs. 2560x1600 resolution
    Longs Peak in the background
  • About

    Hiya, my name is Paul Johnson and I'm a software engineer working on the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance .


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