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Gathering Solaris system information

News Recommended Links MAC address What is the latest release of Solaris OS Release
Processors RAM via prtconf Disk space CPU mode(32/64) Etc

A UNIX administrator may be asked to gather system information about his/her Solaris systems. First let's discuss how to get some information about hardware of the system on which the processes run. Total amount of memory installed on particular Solaris system one can get from prtconf command.

$ prtconf
System Configuration: Sun Microsystems sun4u
Memory size: 8192 Megabytes
System Peripherals (Software Nodes):

The number of CPUs present in the system can be retrieved from prtdiag command:

System Configuration: Sun Microsystems sun4u Sun Fire V240
System clock frequency: 160 MHZ
Memory size: 8GB
==================================== CPUs ====================================
E$ CPU CPU Temperature
CPU Freq Size Implementation Mask Die Amb. Status Location
--- -------- ---------- --------------------- ----- ---- ---- ------ --------
0 1280 MHz 1MB SUNW,UltraSPARC-IIIi 2.4 - - online MB/P0
1 1280 MHz 1MB SUNW,UltraSPARC-IIIi 2.4 - - online MB/P1

Amount of free memory on Solaris can be misleading as the system cashes /tmp in the memory.

Use the prtconf  command with the -vp  options to view OpenBoot parameters from the shell prompt as follows:

You use the dmesg  command to view system messages that were displayed during the boot process.

The poweroff  command is equivalent to the init 5  command, which takes the system into run state 5, the power-down state.

You use the  Open Boot sysdef  command to list all hardware devices, system devices, and loadable modules, as well as the values of selected kernel tunable parameters.

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sysstat utility C-based cursor integrator of major statistics.

Comment of top on Solaris:

Top is a popular tool on many UNIXes and UNIX like OSs. I cannot comment on other OSs, but regarding Solaris its value is quite limited. First, Solaris comes with prstat which is much more versatile concerning the analysis of running processes. Second, the summary statistics shown by top are inaccurate concerning swap. Top gathers its swap information using kstat's unix/system_pages, which really concerns total virtual memory and not swap space. This has the negative effect that most people think that Solaris uses a lot of swap space, when it is actually using only RAM.

The right way to gather swap statistics, is to look at kstat's values for unix/vminfo, which includes the correct numbers. Sysstat does this correctly, and additionally, it shows a vast amount of statistics that are unavailable on most other OSs. Please compare yourself.

If you are still not convinced, remember that top doesn't have a networked mode. Sysstat in contrast supports multicasting, which allows you to monitor multiple machines from a single sysstat session.

Mike Kruckenberg Find MAC Address on Solaris

Here's a tip to solve an annoying little problem, run ifconfig as root on Solaris to find MAC addresses. If you run it as someone else it will show you everything but the MAC address.

Fortunatly I didn't spend a lot of time figuring this out, would be even more annoyed. Every search about how to find MAC addresses on Solaris says to run "ifconfig -a" and it will show you the MAC address. I was getting pretty annoyed with all the resources that were saying this because it just wasn't true on the particular machine I was on. Then I stumbled into a note on a forum stating that on Solaris ifconfig only gives the MAC address if run as root.

What's the point of that? Are we to believe that the MAC address is something secret that only root should be able to see?

In the past I've also used arp, but in this case the interface wasn't actually being used yet, I needed the MAC address before getting it connected.

C H A P T E R 1 - Installing Software From the Solaris Disk

You can determine the speed of your processor(s) by typing:

# /usr/sbin/psrinfo -v

You can change the default kernel from 32-bit on a system by modifying the boot policy file. Edit the /platform/platform-name/boot.conf file so that it contains an uncommented line with the variable named ALLOW_64BIT_KERNEL_ON_UltraSPARC_1_CPU set to the value true as shown in the example that follows:


See boot(1M) for more information about changing the default kernel.

You may also purchase an upgrade to your system. Contact your Sun representative for details.

Solaris Release Information

There are thee ways to obtain Solaris release information:

  1. By using /etc/release file. The /etc/release file was first introduced on the Solaris 2.5.1 Hardware 4/97 release and can be found on all subsequent Solaris versions. The purpose of the /etc/release file is to determine easily the base OS level or the OS release the system was upgraded to. The /etc/release file is the same whether obtained from the installed operating system, the CD ROM, or the installation image on the hard disk.
    bezroun@rocksnort$ cat /etc/release
    Solaris 11 nv_23 SPARC Copyright 2005 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Use is subject to license terms. Assembled 13 September 2005

  2. By using cat /var/sadm/softinfo/INST_RELEASE

  3. By using uname -a

    bezroun@rocksnort$ uname -a
    SunOS rocksnort 5.11 snv_23 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-V210

MAC address

You can MAC address by runnning ifconfig, but only as root. If you run as a user it will not show your MAC address

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SUMMARY sysinfo


The psrinfo utility displays processor information. When run in verbose mode, it lists the speed of each processor and when the processor was last placed on-line (generally the time the system was started unless it was manually taken off-line).

/usr/sbin/psrinfo -v

Status of processor 1 as of: 12/12/02 09:25:50
Processor has been on-line since 11/17/02 21:10:09.
The sparcv9 processor operates at 400 MHz,
and has a sparcv9 floating point processor.

Status of processor 3 as of: 12/12/02 09:25:50
Processor has been on-line since 11/17/02 21:10:11.
The sparcv9 processor operates at 400 MHz,
and has a sparcv9 floating point processor.

The psradm utility can enable or disable a specific processor.

To disable a processor:
/usr/sbin/psradm -f processor_id

To enable a processor:
/usr/sbin/psradm -n processor_id

The psrinfo utility will display the processor_id when run in either standard or verbose mode.

RAM via prtconf

The prtconf utility will display the system configuration, including the amount of physical memory. To display the amount of RAM:

/usr/sbin/prtconf | grep Memory
Memory size: 3072 Megabytes

Disk space

Although there are several ways you could gather this information, the following command lists the amount of kilobytes in use versus total kilobytes available in local file systems stored on physical disks. The command does not include disk space usage from the /proc virtual file system, the floppy disk, or swap space.

df -lk | egrep -v "Filesystem|/proc|/dev/fd|swap" | awk '{ total_kbytes += $2 } { used_kbytes += $3 } END { printf "%d of %d kilobytes in use.\n", used_kbytes, total_kbytes }'
19221758 of 135949755 kilobytes in use.

You may want to convert the output to megabytes or gigabytes and display the statistics as a percentage of utilization.

The above command will list file system usage. If you are interested in listing physical disks (some of which may not be allocated to a file system), use the format command as the root user, or the iostat -En command as a non-privileged user.

CPU mode

If you are running Solaris 2.6 or earlier, you are running a 32-bit kernel.

Is Solaris has been configured to run in 32 bit or 64 bit Mode?
On a 32 bit machine
# isainfo -v
32-bit sparc applications

On a 64 bit machine
# isainfo -v
64-bit sparcv9 applications
32-bit sparc applications



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