Laptop Diaries IV

Mike Ramchand has informed me that some pre “Express”  code that implements agapart inside the S10 kernel exists, so we (probably means he) should be able to get Solaris to run using Xorg @ 1024×768 on my Dell C400. Here’s how we did it. For a detail of my previous attempts to re-build the laptop, check out my articles tagged Laptop Diary  at this site or visit the oracle site for the originals.

Firstly we cut a S10 GA Boot DVD (with Bruce’s Extensions) and try to install. The order of my partitions is Linux, Windows, Linux Swap (512 Mb) and Solaris. I only have a 20Gb disk. The S10 installer fails on the partition label recognition and trys (but fails safely ) to install in my Linux swap partition. Fortunately S10’s fdisk can reassign partition labels so we did that and the installer should have been able to use the larger partition. i.e. We gave the swap partition a Solaris2 label the big partition a Solaris label. The original partition table had been created by Red Hat’s disk druid. So we returned to the S10 GA interactive installer. This still failed.

OK …. blow away Linux, blow away Solaris, Ghost off the windows partition, and ghost back on. This yields a Windows partition occupying the whole disk. We booted of an XP disk, entered the XP recovery console and rebuilt the mbr (bootcfg /mbr). We then tidied up some rubbish (in the boot infrastructure) left from the previous build together with tarting up the boot.ini file which had been amended by the console hosted mbr rebuild. To do this we used

My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Startup Recovery

to amend boot.ini to delete the old menu options. So now we have a computer that can boot into Windows XP. (Not quite the triple boot I want.)

We booted from a Partition Magic CD and shrank the partition. We then created an extended partition, over the last 5.5 Gbytes with a logical FAT 32 partition. This leaves about 7 Gb for Solaris. The S10 installer found this space and sucessfully installed into the unassigned space. We then rebooted and Xorg fails, which is expected behaviour, because my laptop’s video implemention is so poor and S10 GA defaults to Xorg. Mike logged in using the command line. He ftp’d the patch which is in tarball format. So

B$ tar xvf -

Reboot the system we get Xorg at 1024×768. Fantastic!!!!

So we now have the Linux partition missing, which I hope to address tomorrow. I think its safe to say that the two installation technologies haven’t quite got to grips with what interoperability means.


Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog, republished here in Feb 2016.

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