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Notes on lighting up a Sun Ultra 5. Dmesg outputs are here

Setting up the serial connection

  • commands: either “screen /dev/ttyUSB0 9600,cs8” or “minicom” with 9600/8n1 settings
  • Keyboard/screen should not be connected when turning on the system, so serial port gets used.
  • Which serial port? serial port a got used for me, the DB25 female port. Serial port b, the male DB9, was not active by default.
  • Which ports are used? I first used 2 usb-serial adapters (adapter1,adapter2) which only had ground/rx/tx pins. With these, I got _something_ (“y�J�”), and reactions to input, but that was not readable. I now use a usb-serial adapter which has DB9 female, a DB9 male/DB29 female adapter, that combination works.
  • serial port pin layout, from
Serial Port A (DB25)
Pin   Signal      Description
2     TxD output  Transmit Data
3     RxD input   Receive Data
4     RTS output  Request to Send
5     CTS input   Clear to Send 
6     DSR input   Data Set Ready
7     GND         Ground       
8     DCD input   Data Carrier Detect
9-14  none        Not connected     
15    TRxC input  Transmit Clock   
16    none        Not connected
17    RTxC input  Receive Clock
20    DTR output  Data Terminal Ready
21-23 none        Not connected
24    TxC output  Transmit Clock
25    none        Not Connected

Working around a dead nvram

“The IDPROM contents are invalid” hints at the nvram being dead:

ok banner
Sun Ultra 5/10 UPA/PCI (UltraSPARC-IIi 270MHz), No Keyboard
OpenBoot 3.15, 256 MB memory installed, Serial #16777215.
Ethernet address ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff, Host ID: ffffffff.

The IDPROM contents are invalid

ok boot net
Boot device: /pci@1f,0/pci@1,1/network@1,1  File and args: 
Internal loopback test -- Did not receive expected loopback packet.

Can't open boot device


Loosely after this howto, the settings can be done on the fly (they are lost when power is turned off though):

# get the system into the "ok" prompt, for example issuing a break signal, then
 1 0 mkp
80 1 mkp
 8 2 mkp
 0 3 mkp
20 4 mkp
c0 5 mkp
ff 6 mkp
ee 7 mkp
 0 8 mkp
 0 9 mkp
 0 a mkp
 0 b mkp
c0 c mkp
ff d mkp
ee e mkp
0 f 0 do i idprom@ xor loop f mkp
# should show Ethernet address: 8:0:20:c0:ff:ee, Host ID: 80c0ffee.

Resetting root password of an installed Solaris

Installing NetBSD

  • I booted via network. Direct cable connection to a Debian box, with mode 100/Fullduplex. Here are the setup instructions.
  • NVFv2 had to be activated, on Debian I had to add RPCNFSDOPTS=“–nfs-version 2,3,4” to /etc/default/nfs-kernel-server
  • I had to set the “next-server;” option in dhcpd.conf, I use isc-dhcpd
  • Netbsd has by default root login with password disabled, 'PermitRootLogin yes' in /etc/ssh/sshd_config changes this

Installing Solaris

I did not get Solaris installed, for further attempts I need to burn a cd (solaris8) or dvd (solaris10). Jumpstart did not work for me so far.

  • several Solaris versions:
  • Solaris 8/9 notes:
    • These iso files can be mounted as iso9669 on a linux system (mount -o loop sol.iso /mnt/tmp), but just a 192kb filesystem becomes available. One could burn the image and try to boot it.
  • Solaris 10 notes:
    • The iso files are mountable, contents can be copied.
    • Tried setting up a Jumpstart server. The sun gets an IP via rarpd, but then sends requests to RPC (port 111), when it is supposed to ask for further data from bootparamd:
[tftp transfer ending]
14:17:55.577445 IP > UDP, length 516
14:17:55.588661 IP > UDP, length 4
14:17:55.588773 IP > UDP, length 404
14:17:55.594455 IP > UDP, length 4
14:17:55.971800 ARP, Request who-has tell, length 28
14:17:56.995783 ARP, Request who-has tell, length 28
14:17:57.940897 ARP, Reverse Request who-is 08:00:20:c0:ff:ee tell 08:00:20:c0:ff:ee, length 60
14:17:57.941256 ARP, Reverse Reply 08:00:20:c0:ff:ee at, length 28
14:17:57.977524 IP > UDP, length 76
14:18:09.749781 IP > UDP, length 76
14:18:23.763177 IP > UDP, length 76
hardwarerelated/sun_ultra_5.1577037397.txt · Last modified: 2019/12/22 18:56 by chris