System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Automatically Configuring SCSI Disk Drives

In Solaris 2.3 release and compatible versions, the format utility automatically configures SCSI disk drives even if that specific type of drive is not listed in the /etc/format.dat file. This feature enables you to format, slice, and label any disk driver compliant with SCSI-2 specification for disk device mode sense pages.

The following steps are involved in configuring a SCSI drive using autoconfiguration:

After the reconfiguration boot, invoke the format utility. The format utility will attempt to configure the disk and, if successful, alert the user that the disk was configured. See "How to Automatically Configure a SCSI Drive" for step-by-step instructions on configuring a SCSI disk drive automatically.

Here are the default slice rules that format uses to create the partition table.

Table 29-2 SCSI Disk Slice Rules

Disk Size 

Root File System 

Swap Slice 

0 - 180 Mbytes 

16 Mbytes 

16 Mbytes 

180 Mbytes - 280 Mbytes 

16 Mbytes 

32 Mbytes 

280 Mbytes - 380 Mbytes 

24 Mbytes 

32 Mbytes 

380 Mbytes - 600 Mbytes 

32 Mbytes 

32 Mbytes 

600 Mbytes - 1.0 Gbytes 

32 Mbytes 

64 Mbytes 

1.0 Gbytes - 2.0 Gbytes 

64 Mbytes 

128 Mbytes 

More than 2.0 Gbytes 

128 Mbytes 

128 Mbytes 

In all cases, slice 6 (for the /usr file system) gets the remainder of the space on the disk.

Here's an example of a format-generated partition table for a 1.3-Gbyte SCSI disk drive.

Part    Tag    Flag     Cylinders     Size        Blocks
   0     root    wm       0 -   96    64.41MB      (97/0/0)
   1     swap    wu      97 -  289   128.16MB     (193/0/0)
   2   backup    wu       0 - 1964     1.27GB    (1965/0/0)
   6      usr    wm     290 - 1964     1.09GB    (1675/0/0)

See Chapter 32, The format Utility (Reference) for more information about using SCSI automatic configuration.

How to Automatically Configure a SCSI Drive

  1. Become superuser.

  2. Create the /reconfigure file that will be read when the system is booted.

    # touch /reconfigure
  3. Shut down the system.

    # shutdown -i0 -g30 -y


    Brings the system down to init state 0 (zero), the power-down state. 


    Notifies logged-in users that they have n seconds before the system begins to shut down.


    Specifies the command should run without user intervention. 

    The ok or > prompt is displayed after the operating environment is shut down.

  4. Turn off power to the system and all external peripheral devices.

  5. Make sure the disk you are adding has a different target number than the other devices on the system.

    You will often find a small switch located at the back of the disk for this purpose.

  6. Connect the disk to the system and check the physical connections.

    Refer to the disk's hardware installation guide for installation details.

  7. Turn on the power to all external peripherals.

  8. Turn on the power to the system.

    The system will boot and display the login prompt.

  9. Login as superuser, invoke the format utility, and select the disk to be configured automatically.

    # format
    Searching for disks...done
    c1t0d0: configured with capacity of 1002.09MB
      0. c0t1d0 <SUN1.05 cyl 2036 alt 2 hd 14 sec 72>
      1. c0t3d0 <SUN1.05 cyl 2036 alt 2 hd 14 sec 72>
    Specify disk (enter its number): 1
  10. Reply yes to the prompt to label the disk.

    Replying y will cause the disk label to be generated and written to the disk by the autoconfiguration feature.

    Disk not labeled. Label it now? y
  11. Verify the disk label with the verify command.

    format> verify
  12. Exit the format utility.

    format> q