Tag: OpenSolaris

Sun’s Predicament

I’ve been working with Unix for a fairly long time now- about 13 years.

I’ll admit that I started with Linux and thought it was light years ahead of SunOS 4.x running on those old SPARC machines- I mean who had heard of SPARC processors? I remember my boss trying to explain to me that even an older SPARC processor was more powerful than a newer Intel Pentium processor. I didn’t really believe him. In time, I convinced them to get rid of most of their SPARC/Solaris in favor of the hip, free, and cheap Intel/Linux combination.

Now I see that I couldn’t have been more wrong. I realize that SunOS 4.x probably still has features which I don’t know how to use properly. When I look at Solaris 10, ZFS, Zones, LDOMS, DTrace, etc. I not really sure you could pay me to work with Linux (that would be soo depressing). That isn’t even mentioning the SPARC hardware it runs on- Can any Intel server compare to a T5140???

That’s why the current situation with Sun absolutely SUCKS (pardon my french)! I’m sure there are a lot of admins out there who feel the same way. If this Oracle deal doesn’t go through and Sun disappears because of it, it will be our loss. We’ll be stuck with mediocre operating systems and commodity hardware and I really hope it doesn’t happen.

That said, I’d like to say thanks to all the people at Sun who are still turning out crazy cool technologies despite the problems.

Network Interface Utilization in Solaris

A friend asked me how he could see the network utilization in Solaris. It seems like a fairly simple request but for some reason this is not a simple command line away.

In Linux I would instinctively go straight to iptraf. I don’t know if iptraf is the tool of choice these days but I’m pretty sure it is an apt-get away if not already installed.

If you are a DTrace wizard, you could whip something up. Maybe you could get the information from one of the of the DTraceToolkit scripts if their installed. The DTraceToolkit scripts I’ve seen seem to give too much information as most of them are concentrated on not only telling you if the network is loaded but what is loading it as well.

For the sake of practice I wrote the following script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
print "Interface: ";
$if=<>;
chomp($if);
$max=`dladm show-dev -p $if | awk -F= '{print \$3}' | awk '{print \$1*1024*1024/8}'`;
print "Max speed: ",$max,"\n";
$if=~m/([a-z0-9]+?)(\d+)/;
($module,$instance)=($1,$2);
$last_rbytes=0;
$last_obytes=0;
while(1){
@kstat=`kstat ${module}:${instance}:mac:/[or]bytes\$/ |awk '{print \$2}'`;
chomp(@kstat);
if($last_rbytes!=0){
printf("%02d%%\n",
(($kstat[$#kstat-1]-$last_rbytes)+
($kstat[$#kstat-2]-$last_obytes))/$max*100);
}
$last_rbytes=$kstat[$#kstat-1];
$last_obytes=$kstat[$#kstat-2];
sleep 1;
};

This script will ask you which interface you want to watch and then print out the utilization percentage on a new row every ~second.

On a side note, it seems strange to me the the received bytes are stored in kstat as rbytes while the transmitted bytes are stored in obytes. The only answer I can come up with is that if they would have chosen ibytes (in bytes) instead of rbytes, then the ‘i’ and ‘o’ might become interchanged in typos since they are next to each other on the keyboard. If they would have chosen tbytes (transmitted bytes), the same situation occurs- ‘r’ next to ‘t’. Still, as a friend pointed out, they could have used sbytes (sent bytes) which makes more sense than obytes.

Sparc Solaris 10 Jumpstart Flar DVD – Part 1

The Solaris Flash installation feature enables you to use a single reference installation of the Solaris OS on a system, which is called the master system. Then, you can replicate that installation on a number of systems, which are called clone systems. You can replicate clone systems with a Solaris Flash initial installation that overwrites all files on the system or with a Solaris Flash update that only includes the differences between two system images. A differential update changes only the files that are specified and is restricted to systems that contain software consistent with the old master image.

By combining Flash installation with Custom Jumpstart, and packaging all that on a re-mastered Solaris installation DVD, you can create very fast and efficient, standalone, and automated installation media.

I ran into several issues trying to create such a DVD when following the standard Google results so I thought I’d summarize my experiences. This is a work in progress- I might hit a brick wall at some point, but I hope not.

First, I built the prototype system. I’m running Solaris 10 11/06 with one non-global zone based entirely on a ZFS file system. This will make things challenging since Solaris Flash Archives are not completely compatible (or even supported) for these kinds of configurations and Jumpstart is not ZFS aware.

Creating the Flash Archive

  1. Make sure you have the right packages installed (SUNWinst, SUNWadmc, SUNWadmfw, SUNWbtool) Theoretically, you should install platform support for all possible hardware- I forget the name of the cluster- but if you will only be installing on the same hardware, this isn’t necessary. NOTE- If you try to install packages from inside single user mode with non-global zones it will give you issues.
  2. Put the prototype system into single user mode
  3. Create a text file, called for example ‘exclude’, with the directories not to include in the flash archive (man flarcreate)
  4. flarcreate -n system -X exclude -c system.flar
    Full Flash
    Checking integrity...
    Integrity OK.
    Running precreation scripts...
    Precreation scripts done.
    Determining the size of the archive...
    cpio: File size of "etc/mnttab" has decreased by 136
    2259925 blocks
    1 error(s)
    The archive will be approximately 764.41MB.
    Creating the archive...
    2259925 blocks
    Archive creation complete.
    Running postcreation scripts...
    Postcreation scripts done.

    Running pre-exit scripts...
    Pre-exit scripts done.
  5. Verify your archive: flar info -l system.flar

More to come…

Solaris 10 doesn’t find network card

I recently installed Solaris 10 06/06 x86 on my desktop machine, a Compaq Evo with an onboard Intel 10/100 network card.

At first the Solaris installation seemed to hang while trying to find a network configuration from a non-existant RPC boot server. In retrospect, I think the problem was that Solaris didn’t find an appropriate driver for the card but after waiting a long time, the installation continued skipping the network configuration.

Running prtconf -pv shows the pci identification details for the ethernet card:

model: ‘Ethernet controller’
power-consumption: 00000001.00000001
fast-back-to-back:
devsel-speed: 00000001
interrupts: 00000001
max-latency: 00000038
min-grant: 00000008
subsystem-vendor-id: 00000e11
subsystem-id: 00000012
unit-address: ‘8’
class-code: 00020000
revision-id: 00000081
vendor-id: 00008086
device-id: 0000103b
name: ‘pcie11,12’

Looking up the identification information in the PCI ID repository tells me I’m dealing with a 82801DB PRO/100 VM (LOM) Ethernet Controller

Looking at /boot/solaris/devicedb/master, I found the following similar drivers:

bash-3.00# grep 82801DB /boot/solaris/devicedb/master
pci8086,1039 pci8086,1039 net pci iprb.bef “Intel 82801DB Ethernet 82562ET/EZ PHY”
pci8086,103d pci8086,103d net pci iprb.bef “Intel 82801DB PRO/100 VE Ethernet”

Both cards use the iprb driver so I add the identifier for my driver into /etc/driver_aliases:

iprb “pci8086,1038”
iprb “pci8086,1039”
iprb “pci8086,103b”
iprb “pci8086,103d”

Load the driver with the modload command and plumb the interface:

modload /kernel/drv/iprb
ifconfig iprb0 plumb

If that works, create the /etc/hostname.iprb0 file. I wanted to use DHCP so I did the following:

touch /etc/dhcp.iprb0
touch /etc/hostname.iprb0

Then do a reconfigure reboot.