I have read of all sorts of problems getting FireWire drives working under SPARC Solaris the following is my experience getting a LaCie 500GB external FireWire 400 disk running.
The first problem i ran into is that the system will lock up hard if there isn't a volume label and you try to do much with the disk. This includes running the
The solution? First disable volfs with
svcadm disable volfs
rmformat(1) to format the disk. Just use
rmformat -b label devicename where label is the name you want to give the new disk and devicename is the path to the device. Running rmformat with no arguments will give you the device paths to all removable drives on the system.
Next you have to run newfs with the device path as the only argument. Make sure you use slice 0 (cntndns0 instead of s2 as given by rmformat) Answer y and wait a long long LONG time for newfs to finish.
Once this is done you can re-enable volfs with
svcadm enable volfs and the drive should come up and be mounted under /rmdisk/label where label is the name you gave to the -b argument of
If volfs doesn't mount the drive make sure you have
/etc/vold.conf edited properly or just mount it manually or through
After writing this short article I discovered some problems with Firewire performance Reads are as fast as you can expect them to be but writes were down around 1MB/s I'm currently investigating whats causing this. If you try this with your SunBlade or other Sun with built in firewire please let me know your results and what drive you used. you can contact me at wschaub at steubentech.com
In general I think USB 2.0 is likely the way to go on Solaris unless they really improve the scsa1394 driver. However, with a little elbow grease and some luck (and being sure your enclosure only uses oxford chipsets) FireWire can still be useful for storage on a sun machine with no other viable way to attach cheap external storage.
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