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Solaris built-in support for hardware peripherals

Solaris can automatically recognize some hardware devices and use drivers that have been pre-loaded from the Solaris installation CD-ROM.  Other hardware devices come with their own Solaris drivers.

So, if I'm considering a new peripheral card (for instance, an Ethernet card) and I know what kind of chip is used (for instance, an AMD 79C970), is there a way to determine in advance whether or not Solaris will support that peripheral?

Note: I already know Solaris will supports that particular Ethernet chip.  My question is really how to find out what devices need to have Solaris drivers included from the vendor, and what devices don't need drivers from the vendor because Solaris already has support.  I'm trying to locate lists of chips (serial, Ethernet, SCSI, etc) from assorted vendors (National, Siemens, LSI, etc) for which Sun includes drivers on their Solaris 8 (or Solaris 9) CD-ROM release.

Couldn't find such info at www.sun.com.

thanks
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s_turner99
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s_turner99
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jlevieCommented:
Are you talking about Solaris on Sparc or Solaris on Intel?
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s_turner99Author Commented:
Oh, sorry -- SPARC.  (Of course, I'm assuming the answer for one would be essentially equivalent for the other...)
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jlevieCommented:
Actually, the rules are very different for the two platforms. Part of that has to do with the difference in CPU hardware and part with the way the PROM code works vs a PC BIOS. Furthermore it matters what Sparc hardware platform we are talking about (S-Bus vs PCI bus). Assuming that one is only talking about late model Ultra's with a PCI bus, the only reference as to board compatibility would be if a vendor lists a product as being compatible with a Sun Ultra. Knowing, for example that one particular ethernet controller happens to work doesn't necessarily mean that another board using the same chip set will also work as the board implementation might be slightly different.

There is a Hardware Compatibility List (http://soldc.sun.com/support/drivers/hcl/index.html) for Solaris on Intel that can help a bit. If there is an Intel driver for a particular board, there's a possibility that there might also be a Sparc driver. For simple devices (network, serial, etc) that don't need the services of OpenBoot code, like disk and video controllers, an Intel suuported device might well work in an Ultra.
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s_turner99Author Commented:
Thanks for comments, jlevie.

This is a PCI-based UltraSPARC IIi machine.  I guess I should have said that at the outset.  To the best of my knowledge, all devices require the services of OpenBoot code.  That's how addresses are assigned and where the /devices directory structure comes from.  If OpenBoot doesn't "see it", then neither will Solaris.  (Of course, I could be wrong...)

I will check the HCL.  If I can find one for Solaris on SPARC then I will award the points to you.
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tfewsterCommented:
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this Topic Area.
I will leave a recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area as follows:

- Answered by jlevie

Please leave any comments here within the next 7 days

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER !

tfewster
Cleanup Volunteer
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s_turner99Author Commented:
tfewster:

I appreciated jlevie's comments, but they did not help me very much.  I put a lot of points on this question because I was looking for a SPARC answer.  I would have awarded the points to jlevie if there had been a SPARC HCL.

I would like to delete the question and have the points returned to my account.  (In fact, I would have done this myself 6 months ago if it was possible.)  Or, if possible, I would like to give jlevie 100 points for a good try and have the other 100 points returned to my account.  Either one will be fine.

Thanks,
Steve
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tfewsterCommented:
s_turner, thanks for reviewing this question and I'm sorry you didn't find exactly what you needed :-(  

A Moderator will be by in a few days to close this question and they will take all comments into account. Personally, I think your idea for a partial refund & saving the information with a big "Thank You!" to jlevie is an excellent compromise.

If you have any other unanswered questions, you could post a (0 point) question in Community Support to ask them to delete the question or save it & refund your points. If you do so, please post the link to the question AND post a message in the original question explaining what you are doing ;-)

Thanks again, tfewster
Cleanup Volunteer
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NetminderCommented:
Per recommendation, force-accepted.

Netminder
EE Admin
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