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32-bit vs 64-bit Solaris 8 or is it 9?

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One of my customers called me in for a weekend update that had me scrambling for older Solaris patches on a system that confused me.

Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.8       Generic Patch   October 2001
[root@host8 /]$  uname -a
SunOS host 5.8 Generic_117350-62 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-280R

Now, you can see that the system is SunOS 5.8 -- Solaris 8.

However, I needed to find out if it was 32-bit or 64-bit for patching. How to figure that out? Google returns this out of some query I'd diced together:

isainfo -vk

So I tried it:

[root@host8 /]$  isainfo -kv
64-bit sparcv9 kernel modules

Well, obvious the system is 64-bit. Why does a Solaris 8 box identify as sparcv9 though? Well, because SPARC V9 is the processor architecture.

Here's a Solaris 9 system:

Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.9       Generic May 2002
[root@host9 /]$  uname -a
SunOS host9 5.9 Generic_118558-09 sun4u sparc SUNW,UltraAX-i2

It's a vastly different piece of hardware. For those of you not up on Sun Hardware, it's a T1 AC-200.

[root@host9 /]$  isainfo -kv
64-bit sparcv9 kernel modules

Just for giggles, here's a Solaris 10 system:

Sun Microsystems Inc.   SunOS 5.10      Generic January 2005
[root@host10 /]$  uname -a
SunOS host10 5.10 Generic_137111-03 sun4v sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-T200
[root@host10 /]$  isainfo -kv
64-bit sparcv9 kernel modules

So even a T2000 is a "sparcv9" system.

So the root level confusion of this is that sparcv9 does not equal solarisv9.

Solaris in virtual machines: init 3, please!

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I got tired of trying to negotiate a default graphical environment with Solaris 10, so I went right to the source and stopped that stuff:

svcadm disable /application/graphical-login/cde-login

Blammo. X server dies, stays off, and machine reverts to text-mode console.

Much easier to negotiate in an emulated environment or remote environment where you're lucky to get five frames per second of video or serious misalignment of the emulated mouse with the actual mouse cursor.

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