Failing to Sun


Feb 8, 2019
On Thursday evening I saw Sun Ultra 10 listed $20 listed on CraigsList. I contacted the seller and arranged to pick it up Friday.

I contacted a local Sun reseller ("sun-reseller" on eBay) in search of a SCSI card for the U10.

I went to the Sun reseller's warehouse on Friday morning. He'd picked out a card, cable, and an enclosure (Model 611). He also had stacks of T1000s for sale for very cheap. I picked one out, thinking I could install Solaris 11 on it even if the U10 didn't work properly.

When I got home I burned Sol10 to CD and installed it onto the existing IDE drives in the U10. Midway through this I rediscovered a jumpserver VM I'd made a year ago. Woops. I played with Sol10 for a bit, then decided to try installing 11 on the T1000.

This is where I discovered I'd turned onto a dark path at some point in the last 24 hours.

The T1000 is a bag of hell. It has no inputs with which to load an OS other than network. When powered on, it sounds like a swarm of angry bees. Those bees are filled with HATE and RAGE.

Solaris 11 requires Solaris 11 to install. Thanks, Oracle. Eventually I set up a Sol11 VM, then installed the Automated Installation server software.

Configuring AI sucks. The Oracle docs are miserable, riddled with incomplete steps and awkward asides that only serve to confuse the reader. (I'm still confused as to why the installation routine can be considered an installation routine if it doesn't put the damn served files in the correct location?)

I was never able to convince the T1000 to boot from the AI server. It didn't appear that the boot files were in the right place, and I couldn't interpret the docs to determine if I was also supposed to install and set up Apache to serve those files. (Another place the install package should've set up?)

At some point Sunday, I discovered that Sol 11.4 doesn't support the T1000. I don't think this was the cause of the boot problems, as it didn't seem to attempt to boot, but it could have been. I parked that effort there since I haven't found 11.3 images yet.

I've also noticed the T1000 throws errors during POST. I've contacted the seller for info on this.

Some forum posts indicate the T1000 can boot from a DVD drive on the internal SATA connector, but this requires updated firmware. I can't get this firmware because Larebear (Mr. Ellison) commanded that everyone must pay for support contracts.

Since the T1000 effort was parked, I tried to connect the enclosure to my Sun Blade 100 (I don't have a Type 5 kb/mouse, and wanted a desktop). But wait! The SCSI card I have only has VHDCI connectors (the little silver ones), and the enclosure has HD68. I have the right cable for the enclosure, but not the right card.

Here's the list of Sun and Solaris questions I have:

  • Anyone have some firmware for a T1000?
  • What's the correct model number for a Sun PCI SCSI card that has at least one external HD68 port?
  • Does anyone here know of a quick gist of how to set up an AI server in a VM for Solaris 11.2 or 11.3? (I've read a ton of docs, including the official ones, but they seem to skip the steps around configuring the server to actually serve the files).


Storybook / Retired, ex-staff
Feb 4, 2019
Mountain West (US)
Moved to Sun forum ;)

Ouch though; that is amazing that the server has no usable external storage ports, and then that the firmware doesn't recognize a SATA CD on top of that...

Does the "ALOM CMT" allow you to mount a virtual CD image? Sometimes they LOM/iDRAC type things do.

Also it says it came with Solaris 10; you might try that rather than looking for 11.x?


May 3, 2020
San Diego, Ca
I have not used Solaris 11 (successfully). It's a shame they had to much with the Jumpserver functions because it was always one of the easier install systems. Have you read through the AI to Jumpserver comparisons, just to see if that sheds light on it coming from the what we know stand point?

(I miss SUN :( )
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Active member
Dec 13, 2019
The Great White North
I share your pain and frustration. I have a T3-1 and did manage to get Solaris 11.3 on there. However, it has the luxury of a built in DVD drive that miraculously works. It also supports USB-boot amongst other things.

I'm now seriously considering putting 10 on it instead, as it seems less ruined by Oracle. Not being able to get any updates, patches, docs, and info is really silly and frustrating. The other option I was seriously thinking of is OpenBSD or Gentoo Linux for UltraSPARC.

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