Solaris Installation notes

A lot of this was compiled and figured out via extensive reading of this forum. There are a number of confusions and misleading directions if you read everything. In particular, ignore the many posts pointing at the "mfi" driver and driver update ISO's that people put together incorporating this driver. LSI has a driver to use that is currently maintained.

Adding disk drivers before you install

When the installation DVD boots up, you will eventually be offered a list of choices. It times out and does the default eventually. Before the boot, you need to choose to "Add a driver" to the installation. The installer otherwise will not have a driver for the Perc5, and will fail with error "no disks found"

The driver is available here:

This package has DUD (driver update disk) image. Unfortunately, these systems lack floppy drives. I also could not get the installer to see any floppy drives when using the Virtual Media feature of the DRAC card. DVD virtual media are fine, so I converted the floppy .img file to an iso, like this:
 mkdir mnt1 mnt2
 mount -o loop mega_sas.img mnt1
 cp -pr mnt1/* mnt2/
 mv mnt2/du mnt2/DU
 mkisofs -J -R -V "SOL10megasas" -D -l -o mega_sas.iso mnt2

Is moving du to DU strictly necessary? I don't know, someone in that forum said it was. It worked for me, I never tried without renaming it. You could also make one for network drivers, so you can configure network during installation. Broadcom driver is below, it includes a DUD. You could put both on the same DU iso.


Once you have disk drivers, the installation is fairly simple. If you know you don't have network drivers, say "NO" when asked about configuring remote network services. Maybe it doesn't matter, but at least one person claimed to have issues with the installer looping/crashing when trying to configure something network related without a driver.

After Installation

The first reboot will fail unless you edit the grub boot entry to boot a 32-bit fallback kernel. At bootup, hit 'e' on the grub screen. Change this line:
kernel /platform/i86pc/multiboot
kernel /platform/i86pc/multiboot kernel/unix

Once you get it up in the 32-bit kernel, you need to apply the Solaris 10 x86 Recommended Patchset to be able to boot the 64-bit kernel normally. I can't post it here, a support contract is required and obtaining this patch for evaluation required signing an "agreement" not to use the system in production. I assume that also forbids redistribution. There is a copy archived.

Network drivers are available for the Myricom 10GE card at The drivers are 64-bit only, so you must patch the system first.

Have fun configuring Solaris. There are lots of manuals about Solaris online.

-- BenMeekhof - 21 Nov 2007
Topic revision: r5 - 16 Oct 2009, TomRockwell
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