SUMMARY: Sol2.5 installing for a different architecture

From: Martin Achilli (
Date: Thu Jul 11 1996 - 03:28:00 CDT

This is a correction to my previous summary, I had made a mistake which
may lead to waste of time for others in trying to figure things out.
For some strange reason in point 3 you must create a file with at least
a line in it (I put a comment string starting with #), if you simply
use touch to create an empty file it won't work.

To install Solaris 2.5 on one Sun4X architecture and later use the same
installation on a different SUN4X architecture you must:

 1 - install all the platform dependent packages: SUNWkvm, SUNWcar +
 the framebuffer related packages, which ones depend on your
 2 - install the boot block for the platform you want to boot, read the
 installboot man page and replace the platform name (sun4X)
 3 - rename the /etc/path_to_inst file and create a new empty file (read
 above) called /etc/path_to_inst. If you simply rename the file without
 creating an empty one in its place the machine won't boot.
 4 - change the boot disk name in /etc/vfstab if necessary
 5 - connect the disk to the new platform and do a boot -r


 1 - to find out which packages are platform dependent simply go to the
 directory on the cd-rom where the packages are stored
 (.../Solaris_2.5) and do a ls *.m or *.c. You must figure out all the
 necessary packages for the destination platform.

To install and remove packages you must use the pkgadd and pkgrm
commands, I had two disks connected to the installation machine and
mounted all the partitions of the second disk under a single directory,
so that the original filesystem layout was preserved. Under /mnt I
mounted the root, under /mnt/usr I mounted the usr partition and so
on. You then must use the pkgadd and pkgrm commands with the -R option
to specify the root directory of the disk you will use (/mnt in the
previous example).

3 - This is the point which took most time to figure out. You do not
need to touch the /dev/ and /devices directories, if you do so the
system won't boot in any case.

4 - I an not sure why but the SCSI controller on the Sparc 2 was seen
as c0 whereas the SCSI controller on the Sparc 10 was seen as c1. This
meant that all disk entries ( c0t1d0s0...) had to be modified in

This procedure worked for me, the installation machine was a Sparc 2,
the destination a Sparc 10. I can't say if it will work for sure for
other combinations. I would like to thank

David Schiffrin
Glenn Satchell
Victoria Lau

and in particular I would like to thank Casper Dik for putting me on
the right track telling me about /etc/path_to_inst


Martin Achilli -
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - I.N.B.
c/o Medicina Nucleare, Osp. San Raffaele
20132 Milano, Italy
tel: +39/2/26433648 fax: ../26415202

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