Solaris 10 Install on SunFire V100

Installing Solaris 10 on the SunFire V100 UltraSPARC server is very easy and straightforward. However, if you install the “Core” version of the distribution there are some surprises out there. So I decided to document my own installation procedure as well as subsequent “setup” steps that I use to get the server into a reasonable working state.


For my purposes I find that the CD-ROM based installation process is quite adequate.  Solaris 10 is available as a free download from Sun.  Only the first CD needs to be downloaded and burned to complete a “Core” install.  Be sure to choose the Sparc option for the V100.

I suggest using the “Core” installation option for machine destined to be used as servers as it is extremely minimal and takes the approach of forcing you to individually install packages that you will use instead of expecting you to remove or disable packages that you are not going to use.

Post Installation Steps:

Once we have the system installed and restarted we can log in and begin adding in the necessary packages to make the system truly useful. Since we are installing from CDROM the easiest thing to do is to continue working from the CDROM. If you have first installation CD out of the drive replace it now and let’s set up our system to always have our CDROM available to us.

On the SunFire V100 the CDROM is attached as the slave on the secondary IDE controller. Therefore we know that it will be located at /dev/dsk/c0t3d0s0 which makes our lives much easier. First we must make an appropriate mount point and then we can mount the CDROM device there. We will do this with a simple, temporary mount command and then we will show how to add this to the /etc/vfstab in order to make the mount permanently available which will save time and effort in the future.

# mkdir /mnt/cdrom
# mount -F hsfs /dev/dsk/c0t3d0s0 /mnt/cdrom

This creates the mountpoint at /mnt/cdrom which is a very convenient place for it and then mounts the cdrom device to that location. The “-F hsfs” option tells your system that the mount will use the High Sierra File System which is the CDROM filesystem. To make a permanent mount we would add the following line to the /etc/vfstab configuration file:

/dev/dsk/c0t3d0s0 - /mnt/cdrom hsfs - no -

This vfstab entry will not cause the CDROM device to be continually mounted but it will allow you to mount the CDROM in the future by simply using the following easy to remember command:

# mount /mnt/cdrom

Now that we have mounted our CDROM device we should have access to our installation CD which was, in my case, Solaris 10 8/7 CD #1. If this is still in the drive then we should be able to install some much needed software – the SSH server – with the following command:

# pkgadd -d /mnt/cdrom/Solaris_10/Product/ *ssh*

This provides our SSH server software which will, once we get it configured, allow us to access the server remotely without the use of the LOM. We will also want to install SSH client software so that we are able to establish SSH, SCP and SFTP sessions out or away from our Solaris server. This software is located on the Solaris 10 8/7 CD #2. Also on the second CD is the SUNWbash package which provides the BASH shell. You will definitely appreciate having BASH installed once you have worked with it for any length of time.

# pkgadd -d /mnt/cdrom/Solaris_10/Product/ *ssh* SUNWbash

Once you have SSH available as both a server and as a client the machine will be ready for use as a blank slate where networking services can be added as you need them.

Join the Conversation


  1. mount: /dev/dsk/c0t3d0s5 no such device
    cdrom /pci@1f,0/ide@d/cdrom@3,0:f
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 37 Jan 13 18:19 c0t3d0s5 -> ../../devices/pci@1f,0/ide@d/sd@3,0:f

    Any help

  2. I got it.Actually CDROM was automatically eject after installation…
    Your guide is extremely helpful…
    Also I want to get
    man option.
    help to get dir name/filename by tab
    Installing Net:Telnet:Cisco in Perl
    Also how to create users with bash profile

  3. Pl check..

    # pkgadd -d /mnt/cdrom/Solaris_10/Product/*ssh*
    pkgadd: ERROR: no packages were found in

  4. To get user profiles with BASH rather than the default (Korn Shell) simply go into /etc/passwd and change the last segment of the password file for the selected user from /bin/ksh to /bin/bash. Be sure that you have BASH installed first. Then when you log in BASH will be the default shell. This will give you tab completion automatically.

  5. Are you definitely using the first CD of Solaris 10? Mine was not installed from the very latest build (it was at the time.) Try putting in CD #2 and look for it on there. You will need that for the other SSH packages and the BASH packages as well.

  6. I have installed ssh after going to ssh directory. But not able to generate key & not able to run..Pl help.

  7. It’s been a while since I had to set up SSH on Solaris so I don’t know the entire process off the top of my head. At what point are you stuck? What error does it give when you attempt to start the service?

  8. SunFire v100 server,with 2GB of RAM, UltraSPARC processor at 650MHz and 40GB HDD. It has no OS and DVD Drive, and I want to put Solaris 10 on it. Please how do this. I have ALOM and console access. My system is very old so I can not download or install Solaris on the Laptop.The server has no VGA output, no keyboard/mouse input, just a few USB and Ethernet ports. I’ve been thru tons of Sun documents and so far I can’t get the thing rolling. Is there anyone out there who knows how to get this thing rolling? If so, how?

  9. I have sunFire v100 server,with 2GB of RAM, UltraSPARC processor at 650MHz and 40GB HDD. It has no OS and DVD Drive, and I want to put Solaris 10 on it. Please how do this. I have ALOM and console access. My system is very old so I can not download or install Solaris on my Laptop. The server has no VGA output, no keyboard/mouse input, just 2 USB and Ethernet ports. I’ve been thruough Sun documents and so far I can’t get the system runing. Is there anyone out there who knows how to get the system up and running? If so, Please how?

  10. The first thing that you are going to need is the Sun console cable so that you can attach your V100 to the serial port on your laptop or whatever. The V100 does not have any other means of reaching the console so this is an absolute necessity.

    I’m afraid that I did not understand exactly what you said – this unit has NO CD drive? I suggest getting one as that will make the process much easier. I can get you installed easily via CD but doing so without will require, I believe, that you run a JumpStart server which will be far more effort than just getting a CD drive for this machine.

  11. Thanks for the prompt reply. The v100 has no CD Drive. I brought it off ebay. The Guy said I will be able to connect to the internet and then download and install The OS. But I do not have the command for ALOM to connect to internet.

  12. I’m afraid that you have been mislead. The V100 is older than ALOM and has LOM but not ALOM. So you have to have the serial cable in order to use it. There is no network-capabale out-of-band management on this server.

    What operating system was he telling you to install? Solaris is not available in a network-based install image. You need to have a local jumpstart server or else boot from CD in order to install on a V100.

  13. I’m afraid that you cannot connect an external CD to the V100. If you look at the unit carefully you will notice that this particular device has absolutely no external connectors whatsoever except for the ethernet connectins and the serial connectors. There is no USB, SCSI, IEEE1394 or other external connectors available.

    Getting an internal CD drive for this is really the only reasonable solution short of building your own JumpStart infrastructure which you may want to do on a virtual machine or something.

  14. Here is an idea – the Sunfire V100 uses standard IDE interface – just get a long IDE cable and power extender cable (stuff used in large tower builds) and set an internal CD-ROM on top of the box and use it that way temporarily to install OS from CD! Also, Scott – the info here is great – I have debian linux up and running on my ebayed Sunfire v100!

  15. LOL, thanks Mike. Yes, internal CD on the outside of the case definitely is an option 🙂

  16. Chaitud, not sure what you mean. To delete a file you just:

    rm /directory/filename

    You have to have permission to delete those files, of course.

  17. I am not getting the LOM prompts for console connection from windows hyperterminal to my recent ebay purchased V100. Currently all I have been able to do is connect it and power it on. I havent been able to login on get any prompt from the hyperterminal. The sun documentation was not very helpful.

  18. Yes I have tried that with both windows hypterterminal and linux minicom. I never received the LOM prompt. I bought sunfire v100 from ebay, I am not sure if LOM or anything is installed, but I dont get the LOM or any other prompt. I would like to install Solaris 10.

  19. Found the solution to my problem, the RJ45 to DB9 has to be a certain type preferably from Sun. I got one from a co-worker and am not at the LOM prompts and installing Solaris 10. Curious though your above instructions are for the V100 with a version of Solaris already installed and user connecting thru a network connection thru ssh and root user already setup? For me I was trying to set it up and have only a console/serial connection

  20. All RJ45 to DB9 cables have to be of a specific type, there is no standard. If you had followed the link to my V100 hardware page and followed the console cable link,, it walked you through what was needed for the console cable.

    My instructions here are not really for Solaris already installed, it is simply does not step you through the installation prompts which are self explanatory. The beginning of the article assumes that Solaris’ installation media has not even been downloaded yet. Then you boot to it, run the installation from the console.

    If you read the article, there is no network connection. From the console I step you through installing SSH so that you can then, at the end, access the server from the network exactly as you are trying to do.

  21. When installing i am getting the following error any suggestion …
    /sbin/install-setup: fork failed – too many processes

    I have 256 MB of memory and attempting the text install

  22. For a new install of Solaris 10 on the V100,if you have more than 256 M of ram,it will attempt to do a graphical install that wont complete. Its not supposed to do a graphical install since the V100 has no graphics/monitor connections. Had to remove all the memory except for the 256 M to get Solaris 10 installed thru minicom serial connection from my Linux PC.

    The text install is quite different than the graphical install. Many of the options and selections do not appear. From prior installs of Solaris 10 on other computers, I knew to F2 thru some of the options for the install to continue. Some of these options I will have to configure later after the basic install and I have the OS command prompt and the ability to mount drives.

  23. Finally got Solaris 10 installed and running on the V100. There was no need to make any directory (mdkir) or mount cdrom, not sure if you can unless some OS is already installed. I just went to the LOM prompt entered break command to get to the ok> , checked the boot-device with printenv, then set (setenv)boot-device to boot cdrom, placed the Solaris CD in the drive and reboot server and follow on on screen prompts.

  24. All of those directions, like mkdir, you will notice were “post installation” steps. Obviously you can’t do OS commands without the OS. Those are for setting up your environment after the OS is installed.

  25. Excellent walk-through! Now, how about working up instructions on setting up a VNC server so we can “see” the desktop remotely? 🙂 I know that Nomachine NX is popular, but Solaris 10 – I believe – has some sort of VNC server/client on the companion CD.

    Time is money, and there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so I would be eternally grateful if you took some of your time to work up a walk-through on a VNC server setup.

    Thank you!!!

  26. I forgot to mention that I have logged onto a V100 using a VNC viewer, so I know it can be done… I’m just running into roadblocks!

  27. Thanks for the enthusiasm. Unfortunately I am no expert on Solaris desktop at all. I use Solaris on the server side only and never install a desktop at all. I’ll try to remember to take a look next time I break out my SunBlade 100.

    I believe that an RFB (VNC) server is available for Solaris now. This is the common UNIX way to handle remote desktops.

  28. Hi there

    I have a V100 but no cable.

    I believe the disk is wiped (although I will try it with a DHCP server..).

    Is their any possible way to install Solaris on this WITHOUT access to a cable?

    Thankyou for your time.

  29. The serial cable is the only means to access the box until it is built because there is no keyboard or monitor connectors. The serial connector is its only connection to the outside world, I believe, on that unit as the IP accessible ALOM was not available until later models.

  30. I clicked on the link to download the CDROM for the Solaris 10 Core installation and all Oracle seem to be offering now is the DVD format.
    Are there any hidden links at Oracle that will get us the CDROM ISO?

  31. I am having the same problem as DS. I could not find download links for anything but DVD ISO images. Does anyone know whether or not the v100 can be connected/booted from an external/USB DVD drive? There are 2 USB ports on the back side, but I don’t know if the OFW supports external drives or not. Otherwise, as DS asked, does anyone know where on Oracle’s website we can download CDROM ISO images vs the DVDROM images they’re currently offering up?

  32. some problem as DS and Jordan
    does anyone know where we can download CDROM iso images for solaris 10?

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