Rodney Campbell's Blog

OpenSolaris Fun on an Ultra 24 WorkStation…

by on Mar.19, 2008, under Technology

As a continuation of my journey to OpenSolaris on my new Sun Ultra 24 Workstation I’m posting another update on my experience so far.

Previously I mentioned I had installed OpenSolaris SXDE (79b) however I was unable to get xVM to work. I thought I would give the newer Community Edition (SXCE) (build 84) a try and see if there was more joy there.

The various OpenSolaris builds can be downloaded from here. Burning the ISO to a DVD and then booting the DVD and installing SXCE is very simple (especially using the new graphical installer).

Unfortunately it looks like build 84 includes the same (version 3.0.4) version of the Xen kernel as the SXDE build I was using before and does not include the newer 3.1 Xen code. As such xVM still won’t boot on my Ultra 24.


Previously (during the previous OpenSolaris b79b install) I had setup a three disk raidz zfs pool (for /data) on the machine:

# zpool create data raidz c0d1 c1d1 c2d0
# zpool list
# zpool status

After reinstalling the OS this time I simply re-imported the existing ZFS pool and all my data (including my home directory which I put into /data) is back:

# zpool import -f data

I also wanted to share the volume via NFS read only by default to my home LAN segment but read/write to my MacBook Pro. Zfs’s set options now make this extremely easy (rather than screwing around with /etc/dfs/dfstab and the share command or even the newer sharemgr command)

# zfs set sharenfs='ro=@,rw=MBP_IP' data

In Kernel SMB (Samba)

I also decided to give the new in Kernel CIFS (Samba) Service a try.

Start the CIFS Service:

# svcadm enable -r smb/server

Edit /etc/pam.conf and add:

other password required nowarn

After the PAM module is installed, the passwd command automatically generates CIFS-suitable passwords:

# passwd rodney

Enable SMB sharing for an existing ZFS file system:

# zfs set sharesmb=on data

and we are done – how easy is that. For more information check out Getting Started with the Solaris CIFS Service.


I noticed that the machine has a number of potential boot menu options which appear on startup (you can press F2/F8/F12 to go into Setup/Select the boot device, after that times out you are presented with the option of pressing Ctrl-S to setup the Intel Boot Agent and after that times out you can press Ctrl-P to do something else and finally you get the Grub menu). I thought that I would reduce the BIOS boot time by disabling the PXE Boot (Intel Boot Agent) since I don’t ever want to network boot this machine anyway. If you are thinking of doing the same thing – DONT!!!

After disabling the PXE boot the various operating systems I’ve got installed on this box (OpenSolaris and Windows 2003) could not enumerate or activate the onboard e1000 NIC. That was it – networking game over man!

Some google searching turned up a few results indicating others who had the same problem with their Ultra 24’s and the basic jist was they couldn’t fix the problem (even via Sun support) and they had to RMA their machines.

The following is what I did which appears to have fixed this:

Download, burn and boot the latest (ver 1.1) Sun Ultra 24 Workstation Tools and Drivers DVD:

and in the boot menu choose to Flash the BIOS (I had previously already updated my BIOS when I first got the machine a few days ago anyway) – it goes and flashes the BIOS anyway and on reboot the PXE menu is back at the default (2 second menu) and the NIC is once again working – lucky…

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4 Comments for this entry

  • Brad

    Hey Rodney,
    Random question… Could you send me the latest sun ultra 24 drivers and tools software 1.56?
    I know that this blog is old but sun / oracle is not charging hundreds of dollars just to get support for drivers downloads. if you are able to send it..


  • Brad

    Now Charging***

  • chris

    i also have a couple ultra 24’s…one is in desperate need of the latest bios-does the boot with full speed fans and will just sit there at post…. anyone have the ultra tools and drivers? or even the bios files? email me @, i would really appreciate it!! really not willing to hand oracle 1000 bucks for a damn bios update….

  • sandag

    my ultra 24 bios broken and getting cpu fan error. could you share tools drivers software? my email sandagmn at

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