SUMMARY: SunOS 4.1.1 upgrade

From: Steven Lo (
Date: Mon Dec 10 1990 - 13:13:37 CST

Thanks to all the people who replied to my question concerning the SunOS 4.1.1 upgrade.

Here is my original question:

>> We are planning to upgrade all our machines to SunOS 4.1.1 either next week or
>> sometime in Feb. next year. The decision of go or no go depends on number of
>> sites who have installed the 4.1.1 already. The reason this is an important
>> issue is that our on site Sun tech support is not ready to support us yet because
>> he just got his tape couple days ago and he has not received the Support Contract.
>> Also, if we run into trouble during the upgrade process, we know how many people
>> has done the upgrade and can give us some helps.
>> So, if you have the upgrade already, please drop me a mail. If you are kind enough,
>> please drop me some helpful hints about the upgrade, especially in the area of
>> incorporating the last version's stuff. For instance, if I have a third party
>> vendor's hardware, how can I configure into our new kernel? Do I have to start
>> from scratch again or the upgrade process take care of it for me already.
>> This is our first major upgrade, so helpful hints are very welcome.
>> Configuration: 2 Sun3, 3 Sun4 and more than 20 Sparcstation1. All running SunOS 4.0.3

Among all the replies that I received, there is only one person told me that he has
installed the 4.1.1. I guess it is a new release and not too many people has chance
to try it out yet. Given the situation (and internal politic), we decided to postpone
the event till sometime next year.


>> From: (Benny Yih)
>> Since this is suppose to be a full install, I'd suggest picking a
>> single box w/ disks to try 1st. Full install probably means rebuilding your
>> custom kernel also. We've not moved up yet, so I don't have the full scoop.
>> luck, benny

>> From: (Brendan Kehoe)
>> First, I haven't done 4.1.1 yet -- I'd love to hear what you find out.
>> As far as generic installs go, I can help you a bit there. I had to
>> do the upgrade from 4.0.3 to 4.1 (on four Sparc1's). My suggestions are:
>> 1) Print out everything that's important in /etc. Including:
>> aliases bootparams defaultdomain ethers
>> fstab ftpusers* gettytab group
>> hostname.??0 hosts hosts.equiv hosts.lpd*
>> inetd.conf named.boot netgroup netmasks
>> networks passwd printcap rc.anything
>> remote resolv.conf services
>> shells* svdtab syslog.conf ttytab
>> [Those with * may not be there]
>> Note that for a lot of these, you can omit the ones
>> that you didn't modify. Basically you want to make sure
>> you get everything that you did that Sun won't.
>> VERY important are your diskless clients' ethernet & ip #'s for when
>> you do the server. Have 'em right there.
>> 1a) If you're running DNS, print out alla that stuff. If
>> you're running YP & edited the Makefile at all, get that.
>> 2) If you've got yourself sym-linked to death, draw a little
>> map so you can re-build the hierarchy you have. (For example,
>> /usr/unbundled is my biggest filesystem; /usr/spool/news points
>> to /usr/u/news, /usr/local points to /usr/u/local, etc.)
>> 3) Make a full backup with the newest tapes ya can. After the
>> install is done, you'll be restoring everything off of these.
>> Anything that uses kernel routines (shows you info about any
>> processes, for example) will have to be built. A couple that
>> come to mind are sps and top.
>> 4) If you don't have how the disks were partitioned before 4.1
>> was installed, check in /etc/install. The files
>> will give you the info you'll need when you do 4.1.1's disk
>> menu. (This doesn't count if you want to repartition your
>> drives. If you're lacking for swap or whatever, now's the time
>> to get it.)
>> 5) Make sure you read the RTF that came with the tapes.
>> 6) Do servers before clients. Basically your whole net will be
>> cut out while you do this. If somebody gives you a better method
>> I'm interested in it.
>> 7) I had some trouble getting my dataless clients to boot. What
>> happened is I got the miniroot loaded on partition b of the
>> client's disk, then right after I got done with the dd command
>> it panic'd. After some sh*tting bricks, I finally realized that
>> it was ok, since it's not gonna be using what it just used. (It
>> boot off of the server as a diskless client.) Ignore the panic
>> and just boot the mother off of the partition..oh yeah, it's
>> ok to swap off of the root partition for that amount of time.
>> Whelp, I hope at least some of this helps you! And good luck! Fill
>> me in on how it goes if ya decide to do it this month.
>> --
>> Brendan Kehoe - Widener Sun Network Manager -
>> Widener University in Chester PA A Bloody Sun-vs-Dec War Zone
>> Hey ... do you think George Bush carries money or any kind of ID with him?

>> From: (Brian Kelley)
>> I just upgraded 6 Sparcstations from 4.0.3c & 4.1 to 4.1.1. They were all
>> diskfull machines, having 660 meg shoeboxes, most without tape drives. All
>> user files were stored under a /`hostname` directory.
>> It went mostly without incident.
>> There were a number of changes that were made on the hosts.
>> 4.1.1 was said to have a much faster filesystem. I wasn't sure if my 4.1
>> filesystems needed to be remade to take advantage of the new speed or not.
>> I might have been able to save time by not remaking the filesystems on my
>> 4.1 hosts. I chose to back the disks up and remake everything on all of'em.
>> We were fortunate enough to have a enough free disk space to be able to back
>> up 500 meg, saving the time it would have taken to write it to tape (and it
>> takes longer to check your backup with the tape, and you really should make
>> two backups... ). You can use dump or GNU tar to do your backup. I chose
>> GNU tar because I was fairly confident that I could make it restore my files
>> no matter what (and I had source). I verified the backups by doing a table
>> of contents.
>> I used a shoebox with just a tape drive to install the five machines that
>> didn't have tape drives. The installation was trivial and there were no
>> problems.
>> I have a shell script that configures a Sun (quite a highly localized kludge,
>> I might add). It requires I login as root, make two directories and mount
>> two NFS drives. A few things are done by hand (rc.local changes) at the
>> suggestion of the script. Then you basically reboot the machine and restore
>> the user's files. That turned out to be trivial.
>> We also began using the tmpfs facility in 4.1.1. It existed (barely) in 4.1
>> but it was really slow. I added an additional 12 megs of swap to take care
>> of any spillage from /tmp.
>> We don't have many sophisticated UNIX users at our site (most are from the
>> DOS world). Only one was using cron to do things at night. I missed saving
>> crontab files on the hosts. It was part of the install for root, but not
>> for other users... Next time...
>> Sun put unix2dos in /bin in 4.1.1. This caused our source code control system
>> to break (someone had installed their own "special" unix2dos that our code
>> depending on. They should have changed the name. An easily fixed problem).
>> Hope this helps.
>> Brian
>> --

>> From: (Brian Kelley)
>> There were a couple of things you asked that I forgot to mention!
>> Check with your vendors to make certain that the drivers you need to install
>> are going to work under 4.1.1. Generally, to be safe, I would reinstall
>> everything. This is a pain, I know. The only other way to be safe (that I
>> know of) is to keep copies of all the old kernel software (and the virgin
>> Sun software) and diff the old unmodified with the new unmodified, if they're
>> the same (you have to do this to each file...), you can reinstall your old
>> file. I think it would be more work than just reinstalling (and it would be
>> more prone to error). This is one of the reasons that vendors should have
>> install and uninstall scripts.
>> Brian
>> ---

>> From: michael.harris@East.Sun.COM (Michael Harris - NYC SE)
>> 4.1.1 is mostly a bug fix release (especialy the infamous PMEG
>> stuff). Other than that, it comes with Openwindows, Sun's
>> Open Look implementation with the combined X11R4 / NeWS server
>> on the tape.
>> Beyond that, it has a lot of stuff in the GENERIC kernal which
>> was commented out in the 4.1 GENERIC kernel by default - TMPFS,
>> RFS, TFS etc. The kernel isn't way bigger (more like 100k big-
>> ger) its just got stuff that not everybody wants right now.
>> So the crux of my reply is do it at your convenience. Only the
>> sparcstations will see a real performance improvement, but if
>> you've got about sixteen MB per they're probably humming along
>> OK.
>> Sorry for such a subjective answer, but I've just upgraded my
>> SS1 to 4.1.1 from 4.1. You will notice lots of new things going
>> from 4.0.x to 4.1.x however (TLI, STREAMS etc.), but its still
>> an at your convenience sort of thing.
>> HTH

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