System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems

What's New in Device Management?

This section provides information about new device management features in the Solaris release.

For a complete listing of new Solaris features and a description of Solaris releases, see Oracle Solaris 10 9/10 What’s New.

New Hot Plugging Features

Oracle Solaris 10 9/10: In this Solaris release, the hotplug command is available to manage hot pluggible connections on PCI Express (PCIe) and PCI SHPC (Standard Hot Plug Controller) devices. This feature is not supported on other bus types, such as USB and SCSI.

You would still use the cfgadm to manage hot pluggible USB and SCSI devices as in previous Solaris releases. The benefit of using the hotplug features in this release is that in addition to enable and disable operations, the hotplug command provides offline and online capabilities for your supported PCI devices.

For more information, see PCIe Hot-Plugging With the (hotplug) Command.

x86: Device Detection Tool

Solaris 10 5/08: You can use the device detection tool to identify whether your x86 hardware is supported in this Solaris release. For more information, go to the following site:

Support for PCI Express (PCIe)

Solaris 10 11/06: This Solaris release provides support for the PCI Express (PCIe) interconnect, which is designed to connect peripheral devices to desktop, enterprise, mobile, communication, and embedded applications, on both SPARC and x86 systems.

In the previous Solaris 10 6/06 release, PCIe devices were only available on x86 systems.

The PCIe interconnect is an industry-standard, high-performance, serial I/O bus. For details on PCIe technology, go to the following site:

The PCIe software provides the following features in this Solaris release:

The administrative model for hotplugging PCIe peripherals is the same as for PCI peripherals, which uses the cfgadm command.

Check your hardware platform guide to ensure that PCIe and PCIe hotplug support is provided on your system. In addition, carefully review the instructions for physically inserting or removing adapters on your system and the semantics of device auto-configuration, if applicable.

For information about using the cfgadm command with PCIe peripherals, see PCI or PCIe Hot-Plugging With the cfgadm Command (Task Map).

USB and 1394 (FireWire) Support Enhancements

Solaris 10 6/06: In this Solaris release, both non-removable USB storage devices and 1394 mass storage devices are identified as hotpluggable devices at the driver level. This new behavior means that these devices can be connected or disconnected without rebooting the system and configured or unconfigured automatically without intervention. These changes are made at the kernel level and do not impact the use of these devices. For example, the responsibility of mounting and unmounting these devices is controlled by the removable media management services.

In addition, non-removable USB devices and 1394 mass storage devices can be accessed and labeled by using the format utility. However, you can override the new hotpluggable behavior of these devices by setting the remvalue to true in the /kernel/drv/scsa2usb.conf file. Setting this parameter to true means that the device is treated as a removable media device at the driver level, if that behavior is preferred.

For more information on using these devices, see scsa1394(7D) and Using USB Mass Storage Devices (Task Map).

Improved Device In Use Error Checking

Solaris 10 6/06: This feature was undocumented previously.

The following utilities have been enhanced to detect when a specified device is in use:

These enhancements mean that the above utilities might detect some of the following usage scenarios:

For example, if you attempt to use the format utility to access an active device, you will see a message similar to the following:

# format
Specify disk (enter its number): 1
selecting c0t1d0
[disk formatted]
Warning: Current Disk has mounted partitions.
/dev/dsk/c0t1d0s0 is currently mounted on /. Please see umount(1M).
/dev/dsk/c0t1d0s1 is currently used by swap. Please see swap(1M).

However, these utilities do not detect all scenarios in the same way. For example, you can use the newfs command to create a new file system on a device in a live upgrade configuration. You cannot use the newfs command to create a new file system on a device that is part of a live upgrade configuration if it also has a mounted file system.