Solaris x86 hints page

Here is a growing collection of hints and utilities for Solaris x86.
I originally wrote it as I encountered issues with my BP6 dual-celeron system back in the dark ages. However, I seem to add new information every year still.
If you'd like to see some general solaris tips, see my miscellaneous hints page.

Table of Contents

  1. Misc Solaris x86 binaries
  2. Accelerated 3d support
  3. Hardware
  4. x86 disk diagnostic tools
  5. Getting set up
  6. Random solaris-x86 quickies
  7. Historical note about Secret Six

Misc Binaries for solaris x86

Ninja i386 binary for Solaris 11.(v1.4.0)
This is for Google type build systems. Used in conjunction with gyp or gp.

I also have a GO language binary distribution

solaris 10 x86 gcc 7.3 binaries, c and c++ only: (300M archive, 1.2GB extracted)
This extracts under /usr/local/gcc7. Note that you will probably have to add -R to your link lines for g++, such as

Solaris 11 x86 gcc 7.3.0 binaries (c,g++, go):
They go into usr/local/gcc/bin. You will have to add the following to your environment to run:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/gcc/lib
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH_64=/usr/local/gcc/lib/amd64
export PATH=/usr/local/gcc/bin:$PATH
And as above, you will probably want to add -R/usr/local/gcc/lib to your compile options.

Accelerated 3d support

(This section is legacy 200x era, but kept for historical reasons)


x86 disk diagnostic tools

As I'm working on my hpt driver, I'm building a few trivial tools to either make up what solaris doesnt have, or to augment lackings in current tools.

Getting set up

Random solaris-x86 quickies

Historical note about Secret Six

Who (and what) were the Solaris x86 Secret Six?

There are vague references in Solaris x86 lore, to the 'Secret Six'. Even lately(2010), in discussions about the Illumos split-off. Yet there is almost nothing in google about them. So, I thought I would put something down for posterity's sake, for the group I was priviledged to be a part of.

In 2002, Sun Microsystems was planning to discontinue Solaris x86. There was a wave of outrage, and unhappiness from the solx86 community; in partucular, on the yahoo groups "(solarisonintel)" mailing list. At that time, six members were elected to talk to Sun, first of all, about how much they had pissed customers off, and also, to attempt to educate them about missed business opportunities. The secret six were:

(In Alphabetical Order)
Philip Brown
Carl Erhorn
Sascha Ferley
Peter Lawler
Bruce Riddle
John Weekly

We were an interesting bunch of highly varied people, with highly varied backgrounds.

After many discussions with certain members of Sun Management (some of whom may prefer to remain anonymous :), Sun actually paid to fly us up to Menlo Park for a discussion in front of Sun VPs, on February 11th, 2002. I think, but could be mistaken, that amoung the VPs present were Anil Gadre, Ed Zander, and Andy Roach.

The six of us did much late-night strategizing, and came up with a fairly good presentation which we gave in front of assorted execs. It is widely believed that our presentation was the turning point in Sun bringing back Solaris on x86, first as an "also ran", but eventually as a key component in Sun's Solaris strategies.

Historical trivia:
Sun had recently bought "Cobalt", an appliance type company, running on linux. It was believed that pressure from the former president of that company was responsible for a push to kill Solaris, in favor of Cobalt's linux. Whether or not that was true, it seems clear that was the start of Sun's long flirtation with linux.

Now of course, (around 2009) Sun has been bought by Oracle. It remains to be seen whether Oracle will be more, or less, responsive to its Solaris customers than Sun itself was.

Random good x86 site:

and dont forget the alt.solaris.x86 FAQ site

Written by: Philip Brown
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