C H A P T E R  2

System Controller Syntax, Arguments, and Device Names

This chapter describes the following topics:

Command Syntax and Arguments

The general syntax of system controller commands is:

command_name [flags][arguments]

Arguments are the words that follow the command name and are divided into two categories:

Optional arguments always follow the option flags on the command line. In the following example, the optional domainID argument, a, follows the option flag, -d. The boardname argument, which is sb2 in this example, is a required argument and is the board name for a CPU/Memory board.

schostname:SC> addboard -d a sb2

Command Names

Most system controller commands are in the form of verbnoun. Command names are in the English language. System controller commands names are case insensitive, but options for commands are not. However, items such as board names can be specified in upper case characters.

Note - When typing system controller commands, you can type the complete command name or type just enough of the command name to uniquely identify it.

Component Names

TABLE 2-1 shows the component names that are accessible from the platform. TABLE 2-2 shows the component names that are accessible from the domain. In both tables, you can type the component names in either upper case or lower case.

Note - The components in TABLE 2-1 and TABLE 2-2 depend on the system you have. For example, only the Sun Fire E6900 and 6800 systems can have six power supplies and six CPU/Memory boards.

TABLE 2-1 Components That Are Accessible From the Platform

Device Description

Device Name

Power grids*


Power supplies

PS0, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5

CPU/Memory boards

SB0, SB1, SB2, SB3, SB4, SB5

I/O assemblies

IB6, IB7, IB8, IB9

Repeater boards

RP0, RP1, RP2, RP3

ID/Source board


Fan trays

FT0, FT1, FT2, FT3

System controller


* Power grids are not a component but a division of a Sun Fire E6900 or 6800 system into two distinct halves of the system. Power supplies ps0, ps1, and ps2 comprise power grid 0. Power supplies ps3, ps4, and ps5 comprise power grid 1.

TABLE 2-2 shows the components that are accessible from a domain.

TABLE 2-2 Components That Are Accessible From a Domain

Device Description

Device Name

CPU/Memory boards

SB0, SB1, SB2, SB3, SB4, SB5

I/O Assemblies

IB6, IB7, IB8, IB9

Board States for CPU/Memory Boards and I/O Assemblies

TABLE 2-3 lists the board states for the CPU/Memory boards and I/O assemblies. To determine the board state, use the showboards command and look under the State header.

TABLE 2-3 Board States

Board States



The board is not assigned to any domain.


The board belongs to a domain, but the hardware has not been configured or it is not in use.


The board is being actively used by the domain to which it has been assigned. You cannot reassign an active board.

If you have redundant system controllers, the SC state is identified as either the Main or Spare. The main SC provides all system resources, while the spare SC can provide system resources if the main SC fails.

The ID board, power supplies, and Repeater boards do not have a state. A dash is displayed in the Board Status field for these boards and components (TABLE 2-4). Fan trays have a state of off, low speed, and high speed.

Board Test Status

TABLE 2-4 describes the Status field of the showboards command.

TABLE 2-4 Status Field of the showboards Command

Test Status



All board components passed testing.


The board failed POST and is not usable. This could also indicate corrupt or incompatible firmware.


The component is functioning properly.

Under Test

The domain is running POST (power-on self-test); testing has been initiated using the setkeyswitch command, the testboard command, or an SNMP operation.

Not Tested

The board has not been tested.


Certain components on the board have failed or are disabled. A board is degraded when there are still usable parts on the board.


The component has been deconfigured from the system. It was disabled either because the component failed POST and cannot be used by the system or because the setls command was used to disable the component location status.


The slot is empty or not applicable for this device.

Domain Status

In the showplatform and showdomain commands, one of the fields in the command output is domain status. The main values of domain status are (TABLE 2-5):

TABLE 2-5 Values for the Domain Status Column in showplatform and showdomain Command Output

Domain State


Powered Off

The domain is not active and the keyswitch is in the off position.


The domain is not active and the keyswitch is in the standby position.

Running POST

The domain is active and is running POST (power-on self-test).


The domain is active.

Active - OpenBoot PROM

The domain is active and is running the OpenBootTM PROM.

Active - Booting

The domain is active and is booting the Solaris operating environment.

Active - Solaris

The domain is active and is running the Solaris operating environment.

Active - Halted

The Solaris operating environment is halted in the domain.

Active - Reset

The domain has had an XIR reset and had not been rebooted.

Active - Panicking

The domain is active and is panicking. It is creating the core file.

Active - Debugger

The domain is active and the debugger is presently running.

Not Responding

The domain is not responding.

Paused due to an error

The domain is paused due to a hardware error.

Special Characters

To execute multiple commands on the same line, separate them with a semicolon (;). The following example executes both the addboard and deleteboard commands.

schostname:A> addboard sb2;deleteboard sb3

A pound sign ( # ) signifies the start of a comment on the current line. The following example executes the addboard command. Everything you type after the # and before pressing the Return key is ignored.

schostname:A> addboard sb2 #this text is ignored

Using FTP URLs

When you use certain system controller commands, such as flashupdate, dumpconfig, or restoreconfig, where the URL uses the FTP protocol, specify absolute paths by typing a double slash (//) after the hostname. Otherwise, the path is interpreted relative to the home directory of the specified user.

The following examples show the various ways to specify an FTP URL:

The example above references the /tmp/directory.

In the example above, the path name references /home/user/tmp/directory.

The path name in this example references /home/ftp/tmp/directory.

Interactive Commands

Some commands may prompt for confirmation before executing the command. You can disable prompting by specifying the -y or -n flags, which answer yes or no to any prompted question.

Some commands, such as setupplatform and setupdomain, are always interactive.

single-step bulletWhen an interactive command prompts for input, do the following:

Context-Sensitive Commands

Certain system controller commands can be run on the main SC but not on the spare SC. For a list of the commands applicable to your SC, run the help command on your SC in the platform shell. The help listing identifies the valid commands, based on whether the system controller is the main or the spare.

Command Line Editing

The system controller has a basic command line editor that allows you to edit the command line. The keys you press are not echoed on the screen.

TABLE 2-6 lists the keystrokes used to perform basic command line editing.

Command Line History

Each shell keeps a short history of all entered commands. To display the command line history, use the history command. After recalling the commands, you can either edit them or execute them by pressing the Return key. A history of at least eight previously typed command lines are saved.

TABLE 2-7 lists keystrokes you type to recall previously typed commands.

TABLE 2-7 Keystrokes that Recall Previously Typed Command Lines




Selects and displays the previous line for subsequent editing.


Selects and displays the next line for subsequent editing.


Displays the entire command history list.

Command Completion

Using the command completion function makes it easier for you to enter long commands. After typing part of the command, use the completion keystroke (TABLE 2-8). This action searches the list of available commands for commands beginning with the characters you typed thus far.

TABLE 2-8 lists the keystrokes to complete a command.

TABLE 2-8 Keystrokes Used to Complete System Controller Commands

Key Sequence



Complete this command.


Shows all possible matches.


Shows all possible matches.