Solbourne Software Compatability

Purchasing OS Media/Licenses

Please see OS/MP Ordering Information section.

Operating Systems

Solbournes use a SunOS derived Operating System called OS/MP (probably for Operating System/Multi-Processing). Because Solbourne derived the OS from SunOS, they had to wait for Sun to do an OS upgrade before a new version of OS/MP could be built. There was thus a noticable delay between a new SunOS release and the corresponding OS/MP release. In addition, many Patches had to be generated by Sun, and tested and applied against OS/MP for compatability.

The most current releases for the OS/MP operating system are as follows:

OS/MP releaseSunOS compatabilitySolbourne H/W Support
4.14.1Series4, Series5/5E
4.1A4.1.1Series4, Series5/5E, Series6, KAP
4.1B4.1.2Series5/5E, Series6, KAP
4.1C4.1.3 / 4.1.3_U1Series5/5E, Series6, KAP

Some Major OS differences

A partial list includes:
Multi-Processor Support
Obviously the big one. Solbourne did a good job of making a very efficient MP kernel out of SunOS. It hasn't really been until Solaris2.4 on Suns SPARCcenter boxes that Sun could offer close to what Solbourne was doing with KBus and OS/MP.
VDDRV kernel loadable modules
Unfortunately, Solbourne didn't include support for the kernel loadable modules (options VDDRV). This can cause pain and suffering if you have SBus vendors who only supply modload-able drivers.

ZAP!However :
It is generally possible to hack a modload .o driver into the _cdevsw[] table in conf.c, but it may take some doing, possible disassembly, etc. Hopefully your vendor will assist you with this

Purdue live filesystem enhancements, /etc/media has a table for density, blocking factor, and device length.
Added Diagnostics features
many devices were given 'stat' facilities. Check in /usr/etc/*stat to find some. These provided useful information on SCSI, Ethernet terminal MUX, etc statistics that are quite valuable for problem troubleshooting.
IPI disk support
The IPI drivers are hacked SMD drivers (using the same device spec of 'xd'). You can't intermix IPI and SMD on the same system (or so they say).

But what about Solaris2?

Well.... the best answer is "don't even think about it". The factual answer is that indeed there was some work going on at Solbourne to support Solaris2.x on the Series5/5E and Series6 systems. However, the best this ever got to be was an "unreliable/unstable" beta release.

Update: consider any work on Solaris2.x for Solbourne pretty dead. I can't see any possible benefit to it, and the R&D wouldn't come close to the payback. MEI supposedly finished an S4000 port of Solaris 2.x, but it is not available as a product. The Series5/6 Solaris releases were on the Sun Solaris 2.3 distribution. look at various file sets there.

What about Other Operating Systems?


There's some issues that need to be addressed.
Obviously, this is ground-level work.
KAP Processor
The IDT's KAP processor is a derivative processor that has a lot of Mask Level bug workarounds in OS/MP.


No Support that i know of. You can obtain more information from the S/Linux FAQ


No Support that i know of. You can obtain more information from the OpenBSD SPARC support list

The OpenBSD changes page lists KBus work as being added, but i see nothing else.

	OpenBSD 2.2 released (Dec 4, 1997)
	Addition of 'kbus' port for the Solbourne Series5 sparc-based machines. 
[There is now a basic OpenBSD/Solbourne port from good old Miod. -- Cameron]


In general most libraries you are interested in are compatable across like OS/MP and SunOS revisions.

libc may simply be replaced with one built on a SunOS machine. This piece of the OS is entirely identical to SunOS. So you can happily build a libc with DNS support, etc and just copy it over. The inverse is also true, that you can build a libc on your OS/MP box and copy it to your Suns. The only caveat being that you should stay within the minor revision levels for compatability. E.G. OS/MP 4.1C corresponds to SunOS 4.1.3.

last modified on Wed Jul 4 20:19:10 MDT 2001
Stephen Dowdy