Building a SunFire V100 from the LOM

When you first unbox your “new” SunFire V100 – as the SunFire V100 and V120 have not been made for some time now it is safe to assume that “new” is a relative term and that your V100 will have seen some prior use – you will need to do some work to get the server ready for the installation of the operating system. You are, of course, going to be doing a fresh install aren’t you? Never use the operating system image that ships on an unknown used server.

I am assuming, in this tutorial, that you are going to be installing your new operating system image from a bootable CD. I suggest, given the architecture of this system, loading the latest available SUN Solaris operating system. At the time of this writing that is the 8/7 edition of Solaris 10. Solaris is available as a free download from SUN and is the native operating system for this server.

You will probably want to plug in and power up the SunFire before you actually make any physical modifications so that you can test it in its raw state. That is fine. When you are finished doing whatever testing you wish to perform go ahead and modify the memory and drives. All of my own testing has been done on machines first with a single PATA (Parallel ATA, IDE, UltraATA, etc.) hard drive and then with both hard drives installed. But the process should, in theory, be identical with all /pci settings being the same regardless of the number of drives installed.

When you first attach to the server through the LOM console, assuming that the server is powered off, you will be brought to the LOM command prompt. From here you can turn on the server. Once the server comes online you will be given access to the OpenBoot environment (we hope.) In many case, in fact ni most cases, the server’s previously existing settings will keep us for reaching the OpenBoot command prompt in the state in which we would like to work with the server. So we will perform the additional step of forcing the server to drop us to the command prompt as insurance.

lom>boot forth
lom>poweron

Once you have powered up the system, you should be at the ok prompt. ok>

ok probe-all
ok probe-ide-all

On the SunFire V100 the probe-all command is used to discover all PCI devices available to the system. The probe-ide-all command will discover the IDE or Parallel ATA (PATA, UltraATA) devices that are correctly connected to the ribbon cables in the machine. This is your opportunity to confirm that the devices that you are expecting to have available are truly available. If you have installed two hard drives, like I have, you should see two hard drive devices and one CDROM device in the list. Once we are sure that we have everything that we need we can continue with the installation of the operating system.

ok set-defaults
ok setenv boot-device cdrom disk
ok nvalias cdrom /[email protected],0/[email protected]/[email protected],0:f
ok reset-all

The set-defaults command is used to return the server to its original state. By issuing this command you are resetting the SunFire so that you have a stable baseline from which to work. The second line, ok setenv boot-device cdrom disk, is used to tell the OpenBoot environment that upon a poweron to boot first to the device specified in the “cdrom” variable and, if that option is not available, to boot to the device specified in the “disk” variable. By default the server is set to automatically attempt to boot upon being powered on or reset.

This step sets the value of the system non-volatile variable “cdrom” to “/[email protected],0/[email protected]/[email protected],0:f”. This value absolutely critical and is the same for all SunFire V100 configurations using the stock SUN CDROM drive. The default value of “cdrom” does not work and without updating it accordingly our system will not be able to boot from the cdrom.

reset-all will powercycle the server and reload the OpenBoot environment with the newly defaulted settings.

Upon restarting, assuming that you have your operating system boot CD correctly burned and inserted into the CDROM drive, the server will boot from the CDROM device and begin to install the operating system.

Once your operating system has been installed you may want to keep the system from automatically booting to the CDROM device in the future. This is the default behaviour in most Intel and AMD class servers as they tend to mimick PC behaviour but many SUN administrators will want the server to boot only to the hard drive unless explicitely told to do otherwise. To change this, simply return to the OpenBoot prompt at any time and issue the following command:

ok setenv boot-device disk

At this point your SunFire V100 should be ready to be put into active duty. Enjoy.

5 thoughts on “Building a SunFire V100 from the LOM”

  1. “This step sets the value of the system non-volatile variable “cdrom” to “/[email protected],0/[email protected]/[email protected],0:f”. This value absolutely critical and is the same for all SunFire V100 configurations using the stock SUN CDROM drive. The default value of “cdrom” does not work and without updating it accordingly our system will not be able to boot from the cdrom.”

    The question is what is the value? and what is the command to set this :o) It doesn’t show in web browser, and I have problem with run from cdrom and install the OS. I looking for solution to resolve this problem but I can’t find any

  2. Are you sure that the drive is a stock drive? I used this on multiple SunFire V100 servers and it worked each time.

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