Monday, January 15, 2007

Solaris 10 on IBM LS21

We did install Solaris 10 on LS20 blades some time ago without any problems - it just works. However when LS21 blades arrived later despite that IBM lists Solaris 10 as supported system we couldn't get it working - Solaris didn't want to even boot a kernel. That was bad. So we asked IBM how to install Solaris 10 on its blades as it's supported by them. Just in case I also asked on Solaris-x86 mailing list. Almost immediately Mike Riley from Sun offered his help - he asked internal Sun people who were testing Solaris on IBM's blades how they did it. Next day I got the solution forwarded by Mike and it worked! Thank you very much.

Only two weeks later I got an answer from IBM that despite Solaris 10 is listed as supported it's not yet supported on LS21 and it should be early 2007. Well I had it already working for two weeks then.

So in order to install Solaris 10 on LS21 you need to go to BIOS and:
1) Select "Advanced Setup", and then "PCI Bus Control" and then select the
"PCI Enhanced Configuration Access" option.
2) Press the <> or to select "Enabled".
3) Select "Save Settings"

You also need bnx driver to get network working. Driver is provided by IBM on a CD or you can download it directly from Broadcom here. I added it to jumpstart install and then we could install system using jumpstart over the network.


Alexei said...

We are having a similar issue with the Dell x950 systems. What mailing list did you post this query to?

milek said...

Post message:

Anonymous said...

Hi we have IBM x336, and we can not get GUI installation, just text, and after installation we get the error message "pcplusmp: nmi received" . And we don't know what to do. The CPU is not overheating, just for information, and we have tried to change memory, and we have also disabled network cards. do you know what might be the problem?

Thanks Nemanja

milek said...

Well we did manage to install Solaris on x336 - in some cases it just works (installation) but we have problems kater - like restarts once every a day. Sometimes it is up for a few days. What we did is to upgrade BIOS in x336 then disable 'reboot on NMI' in BIOS - that option is also available in older BIOS'es but despite what you set server will reset on NMI. So then you should only see messages that nmi is received but it should work. We alsoe have been using bcme drivers from broadcom instead of bge - we had problems with bge when two interfaces were used - works with bcme.

So we learned to stay with Solaris as far from x336 as we can but still have some such configs running. However we do not see such problems with x335, x346, x345 - those work ok. As do LS20 and LS21 blades.

Anonymous said...

Hm, we do have the exact same problem with three x346 IBM's. Disabling 'reboot on NMI' didn't help. Haven't tried updating the bios though, will do that today.

warf said...

Almost 3 years later ... the same problem on LS21.

s10u8 - fail, s10u7 - fail. s10u6 - works ! (why ?)

Firmware update - s10u8 still doesn't work, we've tried with custom miniroot, and failed.

Quick googlin' first link - BIOS settings change.

Works like a charm; without any miniroot modification.


Anonymous said...

What BIOS settings change did you do to get this to work. I am using the miniroot from Solaris 10 u8. I tried the updating the miniroot with the driver but it still does not work.

If you could let me know the BIOS change you did I would really appreciate it.