Recently in Solaris Category

login account failure: No account present for user

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doukoula console login: pascal
Password:            login account failure: No account present for user
   instance svc:/system/console-login:default exited with status 1

What's the problem?
It is the nscd, the Name Service Cache Daemon.

What did I wrong?

Solaris 10 Minimal, getting started with SSH server

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solteaser.jpgJust because it happens again today:

After doing a very minimal Solaris 10 installation without remote services enabled, it is always the same thing to get the SSH server running (Solaris 10 DVD in drive):

# mount -F hsfs /dev/dsk/c2t0d0s0 /mnt
# cd /mnt/Solaris_10/Product
# pkgadd -d . SUNWsshdr SUNWgssc SUNWgss SUNWsshcu SUNWuiu8 SUNWsshdu SUNWsshr SUNWsshu
# cd /etc/ssh
# ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048 -f ssh_host_rsa_key
# ssh-keygen -t dsa -b 2048 -f ssh_host_dsa_key
# svcadm enable ssh

Replace device of the DVD drive with your actual configuration.

Solaris 10 / 11 and Oracle VM Virtualbox

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As I want to test an IP multipathed iSCSI storage configuration under Solaris 10 and 11 I wanted to set them up in Oracle VirtualBox. It was more or less easy.

Please do not forget to install the VirtualBox guest tools, otherwise the guest will crash as soon as the host system "steals" CPU cycles.

On text-only installs, mount the CD image like this (Solaris 10, CD is IDE master):

# mount -F hsfs /dev/dsk/c0t0d0p0 /mnt
On Solaris 11, the CD was attached to controller "7" target "1" (SATA, Port 1)

# mount -F hsfs /dev/dsk/c7t1d0p0 /mnt


# pkgadd -d /mnt/VBoxSolarisAdditions.pkg

If you accidentally upgraded your root zfs pool (which is not recommended until it is supposed to be done from Oracle) do not forget to update your boot signature,  your boot archive and your grub installation -

but do not reboot before having done this, otherwise the system won't boot any more.

Don't upgrade the root pool! You won't be able to repair your system when booting from the actual Solaris 10 boot CD (09/10) as the root pool cannot be mounted then. The following steps are to make sure that your system will at least boot when you did the upgrade accidentally.


Since Kernel patch/update 144501-19, Oracle now puts zpool version 29 and zfs version 5 into production.

One visible change is the more detailed status when doing a scrub or a resilver operation:

# zpool status
  pool: rpool
 state: ONLINE
 scan: scrub in progress since Mon Aug  8 16:18:21 2011
    1.98G scanned out of 3.66G at 50.7M/s, 0h0m to go
    1.98G scanned out of 3.66G at 50.7M/s, 0h0m to go
    0 repaired, 54.13% done

        NAME        STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
        rpool       ONLINE       0     0     0
          c1t0d0s0  ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

Just had a problem about a crontab not being executed for a system user. In /var/cron/log the message

! bad user (cyrus) Mon May  9 08:05:00 2011
shows up.

The cure was simple: The system user "cyrus" had a locked password in /etc/shadow:

Cron does not like this. Just set a random password for the user and throw it away. Damn. Solaris 10 Cron does not work with "locked password"-Users.

In case you're interested in Sun/Oracle Openstorage, Fiberchannel Enterprise technologies or just want to drink a glass of fine beer - drop a note.

May 19th I am at Frankfurt Int'l Airport (Sheraton Airport Hotel) and from May 20th to 30th I will be staying in Cameroon meeting friends.

For Cameroon I am interested in internet connections. Last time I set up Orange Wimax connections and I am particularly interested in Camtel and MTN's offerings.

You may contact me at +49 171 6522660.


pascal@pgt02:~# smbios -t SMB_TYPE_BASEBOARD
2     202  SMB_TYPE_BASEBOARD (base board)

  Manufacturer: Sun Microsystems
  Product: Sun Fire X4200 M2                    
  Version: To Be Filled By O.E.M.         
  Serial Number: 1005LCB-0807GB0U08             
  Asset Tag: To Be Filled By O.E.M.         
  Location Tag: To Be Filled By O.E.M.         

  Chassis: 3
  Flags: 0x9
        SMB_BBFL_MOTHERBOARD (board is a motherboard)
        SMB_BBFL_REPLACABLE (board is field-replacable)
  Board Type: 0xa (motherboard)

Just in case you need it...

Our new OpenStorage arrived

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We just installed our new OpenStorage from Sun, consisting of an X7310 RAID (zfs) Storage Controller and a 4400 JBOD case (for SAS).

The X7310 has a 10 GE Ethernet card installed additionally, the lower half is filled with 11 1TB SATA disks and a 16 GB log flash device.

Sun OpenStorage appliances are special OpenSolaris versions installed with a web (and terminal) interface to configure ZFS file systems and block devices (ZVOL) to share them via iSCSI, NFS and CIFS to other SAN members.

Windows dynamic disks and Sun xVM

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The dynamic disk feature of Windows Server is quite efficient when it comes to work into a Sun xVM environment. The 30 GB disk "Disk 0" is handled by the OpenSolaris Dom-0 as a ZFS block volume:

dladm: VLANs with OpenSolaris (and Sun xVM)

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"dladm" also allows to define VLAN trunking and VLAN usage with OpenSolaris.

You may assign specific VLANs to xVM virtual domains/machines (DomU) as well as use them in Dom0 or in your bare OpenSolaris using zones or not.

The physical interface (e1000g0) will act as the native vlan interface in this example, producing packets without a 802.1q vlan tag.

Defining VLANs with dladm is simple:

dladm: Virtual networks with Sun xVM

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dladmetherstubbridge.pngSolaris has a nifty utility named "dladm" which creates "dynamic" links.

It can be used to:

  • work with virtual network interfaces
  • work with wireless interfaces (WiFi)
  • work with virtual switches (named etherstubs and bridges)

For our Xen-based xVM environment, a virtual switch to connect DomU's to an internal network is a common configuration. This virtual switch may even have an interface to the Dom0 system - the path to the outside world.

Sun MPxIO: multipathed network connections

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ipmp.pngIn many of the entries this blog contains the topic lied on MPxIO configuration for fiberchannel storage links: (for Solaris 10) or (for OpenSolaris)

Now let's have a look into Solaris IP networking redundancy.

141445-09/141444-09 Solaris 10: zfs version 15, ::memstat

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Just a note: Sun kernel patch 141445-09 (i86/amd64) and 141444-09 (SPARC) introduces zfs version 15 (zpool upgrade!), and the ::memstat-macro behaviour matches OpenSolaris:

Loading modules: [ unix krtld genunix specfs dtrace cpu.generic cpu_ms.AuthenticAMD.15 uppc pcplusmp ufs mpt ip hook neti sctp arp usba fcp fctl qlc lofs fcip cpc random crypto zfs logindmux ptm nfs ]
> ::memstat
Page Summary                Pages                MB  %Tot
------------     ----------------  ----------------  ----
Kernel                    2082351              8134   25%
ZFS File Data             3616346             14126   43%
Anon                      1125938              4398   13%
Exec and libs               11206                43    0%
Page cache                 961960              3757   11%
Free (cachelist)           286172              1117    3%
Free (freelist)            302471              1181    4%

Total                     8386444             32759
Physical                  8177548             31943

Sun xVM 3.4.2 available, dom0_min_mem

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win2008r2sysinfo.pngThe xvm-3.4-source tree has obviously reached 3.4.2, as there is no more "pre", "rc..." or other suffixes in the version number.

After a svcadm enable milestone/xvm (and a reboot if you don't already booted the Xen Hypervisor) all daemons are coming up, it seems to work.

Windows 2008 R2 in a HVM identifies the BIOS as "3.4.2-xvm" (click on the picture on the right to enlarge it).

New ZFS feature: deduplication - new in snv_128

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With Nevada 128 you'll get zpool/zfs version 22 with new features.

A noticeabe new feature is named "deduplication" which means that identical blocks are only kept once on disk reducing real storage use.

pascal@denver:~# zpool list
rpool   135G  63.7G  71.3G    47%  1.00x  ONLINE  -
xvm     135G  29.3G   106G    21%  8.52x  ONLINE  -

The pool "xvm" has some nearly identical block volumes (zfs zvol) for Xen/xVM use and the result is noticeable.

Don't forget to allocate enough RAM to your Dom0-kernel when using Sun xVM.

snv_128 / ZFS version 22 dedup not mounting/kernel hang

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In case your OpenSolaris snv_128 kernel does simply hang (replies to icmp echo requests but does not do much more than that...) after destroying a snapshot, a block device or a file system there's a simple solution:

Add RAM to your box resp. increase Dom-0 memory usage. In my case I had 1 GB Dom0 memory which was not sufficient.

With 2GB the pool mounted properly again. ZFS with deduplication needs RAM. Sad that there's no warning message including an abortion of the pool import in that case.

OpenSolaris snv_126 and Xen 3.4.2-rc1-xvm

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There is snv_126 on the Mercurial repository at
xvm-gate 3.4 has also be taken to a new version: Xen 3.4.2-rc1-xvm (from 3.4.2-rc1-pre-xvm).

Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.11      snv_126 October 2009
bfu'ed from /export/home/pascal/archives-nightly-osol-nd/i386 on 2009-10-23
Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.11      snv_118 November 2008

pascal@priscilla:~$ uname -a
SunOS priscilla 5.11 snv_126 i86pc i386 i86xpv
Due to popular demand, here are part two and three about basic fiberchannel configuration & diagnostics in Solaris. So the basic trilogy is ready:

Part 1: Introduction, Basics
Part 2: Configuration SAN & TCP/IP
Part 3: Diagnostics

I hope it helps you.

Part 1 of my Solaris Fiberchannel notes

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wwnnwwpnhost.pngWhat's a WWPN? A WWNN? What's an F_port? How my disks appear in Solaris?

As many readers asked me to give an introduction to fiberchannel usage in Solaris I started a little course for you.

Lesson 1 are fundamentals of the fiberchannel protocol - not really much, but only  the really needed addressing and network stuff.

It begins here:

I love to have feedback from you, and please ask if you don't understand something or when my language is too bad or too simple.

One strong remark: I am a german citizen writing in english to have a greater audience. Please don't hesitate to correct my faults in english. I'll be happy about that!

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Pascal Gienger
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