Sandy Bridge NIC vs. Solaris 10 & 11

I’ve been working with a new multiboot build: Intel DH67CL motherboard and i3-2120.  It needs to boot Solaris 10 and 11 (among several other OSen) for PCI board and driver testing.

Networking isn’t absolutely necessary, but sure would be handy.  I was prepared to do without, since this is new-ish hardware that may not have Solaris driver support, but was pleasantly surprised – mostly.

The i3 graphics are fine on both S10 & 11, and run my monitor at full resolution out of the box.  Networking worked out of the box for Solaris 11 using the e1000g driver (included in the Solaris distro), but not for ’10.

The chipset NIC is an Intel 82579V, PCI ID 8086,1503.  The usual trick of just adding the PCI ID to the existing driver didn’t help:

update_drv -a -i '"pci8086,1503"' e1000g
Driver (e1000g) successfully added to system but failed to attach ..

Tried every other trick I could think of including copying the Solaris 11 driver. (It still seems like that should have worked using the process below, but maybe I missed something).

Finally out of desperation I installed Solaris 10 U10.  (update 10).  Had been working with U9.  Continuing in this optimistic mode I tried the driver update again:

update_drv -a -i '"pci8086,1503"' e1000g
(no error message - yay!)

Since the networking wasn’t auto-configured during install, I had to manually set up the NIC and configure for DHCP.  Per Rich Teer’s Solaris DHCP guide

ifconfig e1000g0 plumb  (that's a ZERO on the end)
touch /etc/hostname.e1000g0
touch /etc/dhcp.e1000g0 (which will use defaults)
(verify /etc/nodename is already configured to the desired
hostname if not - edit accordingly)

And I had an operating network connection.

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One Response to Sandy Bridge NIC vs. Solaris 10 & 11

  1. Vikas Agarwal says:

    Good post. I am also trying to install the Solaris10 U10 on an i3 machine, however, I am not able to install it in UI mode which I overcome by installing in text mode. Now, after installation it is trying to go into UI mode but the screen goes blank while other system parts keep on working. I think some how my monitor is not being supported or there is some problem graphics card detection. Can you please help me out in this case?

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