OpenBoot 3.x Command Reference describes how to use Sun systems that implement firmware that responds as those described by IEEE Standard 1275-1994., Standard For Boot Firmware .

This manual contains information on using the OpenBoot firmware to perform tasks such as:

This manual also describes the commands of the OpenBoot Forth Interpreter which you can use to write Forth programs or if you want or use the more advanced features of this firmware (such as its debugging capabilities).

Who Should Use This Book

This manual is written for all users, including systems designers, systems administrators, and end users, who want to use the OpenBoot to configure and debug their SBus and PCI-based systems.


The information in this manual is for a system that uses Version 3.x OpenBoot. Other OpenBoot implementations may use different prompts or formatting, and may not support all of the tools and capabilities described in this manual.

How This Book Is Organized

Chapter 1 describes the user interface and other main features of OpenBoot.

Chapter 2 explains the most common tasks for which OpenBoot is used.

Chapter 3 details how to perform system administration tasks with NVRAM parameters.

Chapter 4 describes both basic and advanced functions of the OpenBoot Forth language.

Chapter 5 describes how to load and execute programs from various sources (such as Ethernet, disk, or serial port).

Chapter 6 describes the debugging capabilities of the OpenBoot, including decompiler, Forth source-level debugger, and breakpoints.

Appendix A describes how to create a bootable floppy diskette from which you can load programs or files.

Appendix B describes how to create a bootable floppy diskette from which you can load programs or files.

Appendix C discusses solutions for typical situations when you cannot boot the operating system.

Appendix D contains some PCI-related information for Sun Ultra 5/10 systems.

Appendix E contains some PCI-related information for Sun Ultra 30 systems.

Appendix F contains some PCI-related information for Sun Ultra 60 systems.

Appendix G contains some PCI-related information for Sun Ultra 250 systems.

Appendix H contains some PCI-related information for Sun Ultra 450 systems.

Appendix I contains all currently-supported OpenBoot Forth commands.

Related Documentation

A companion document to this manual is:

For information on OpenBoot FCode, refer to:

For information about Open Firmware, refer to the following manual:

IEEE Standard 1275-1994 Standard for Boot (Initialization, Configuration) Firmware, Core Requirements and Practices (IEEE Order Number SH17327. 1-800-678-4333.) Also see .

For more information about Forth and Forth programming, refer to:

What Typographic Changes and Symbols Mean

The following table describes the typeface changes and symbols used in this book.

TABLE P-1 Typographic Conventions

Typeface or Symbol




The names of commands, files, and directories; on-screen computer output

Edit your .login file.

Use ls -a to list all files.

machine_name% You have mail.


What you type, contrasted with on-screen computer output

machine_name% su Password:


Command-line placeholder:

replace with a real name or value

To delete a file, type rm filename .


Book titles, new words or terms, or words to be emphasized

Read Chapter 6 in User's Guide . These are called class options.

You must be root to do this.

Code samples are included in boxes and may display the following:


OpenBoot command prompt



UNIX C shell prompt



UNIX Bourne and Korn shell prompt



Superuser prompt, all shells


This manual follows a number of typographic conventions:

Press the Return key.

To enter Control-C, press and hold Control, then press C, then release both keys.

To enter Escape B, press and release Escape, then press and release B.

help [ word ]

Sun Welcomes Your Comments

We are interested in improving our documentation and welcome your comments and suggestions. You can email or fax your comments to us. Please include the part number of your document in the subject line of your email or fax message.

Copyright © 2001, Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.