SunPCI on Solaris 9

I just imported this page because I don’t want to forget the information. If you don’t know why you need to read this, then feel free to ignore it.


The SunPCI is a 400mhz AMD k62 card for running Windows in a PCI
Sun. Never versions of the card are the SunPCI-II and the SunPCI-III,
both of which use higher speed Celerons.


The original SunPCI was dropped after version 1.3 of the SunPCI
software (both 1.3 and newer versions are obtainable from Sun’s web
site, registration required). Version 1.3 of the SunPCI software isn’t
supported on Solaris’ newer than 8. Thus this page on making it work on
Solaris 9.

I doubt that it is possible to use this card with Solaris 10.

Important Requirement (that wasn’t immediately obvious to me)

One requirement that the software has is that it can only display on
the Sun X server. This means that you need to either need a framebuffer
in the same machine as the SunPCI, or you need to be remotely displaying
the software on another Solaris machine running the Sun X server.
Thankfully, framebuffers for almost every machine are rather cheap.

Presumably if you still want remote display on a different X server
(say, Xsgi, which is what I want), you could use VNC or Remote Desktop
on the Windows system. You still would need a graphical console to
run the SunPCI, but this could be a case of attaching a monitor to a
Sun in the basement to start the software, then using RDesktop from
your office to operate the Windows session.

When I started trying to set this up, I had only headless Sun machines, and I thought I could run this on one of them.  Oops.


Install the software as normal. It will fail trying to run the
postinstall script, complaining about “/etc/ not updated
correctly”. The first thing to do is to:

  • cd /opt/SUNWspci/drivers/solaris
  • ln -s /opt/SUNWspci/drivers/solaris/sunpcidrv.280 sunpcidrv.290
  • ln -s /opt/SUNWspci/drivers/solaris/sunpcidrv.280.64 sunpcidrv.290.64

You will also need to make sure your OBP is new enough. I don’t know
what is required exactly. Perhaps 3.11. 3.9 seems to be rather common
and is too old. 3.27 seems to be the latest, and likely last version.
New versions can be downloaded from sunsolve.

Additional notes

Google Groups article with some additional notes that I didn’t require.

Also, from a german site, I got this:

d) If SunPCi still gives you trouble, edit:
and add...

I haven’t needed it either.