14.2. Firmware Server Discovery

Starting with Sun Ray Software 5.3, the firmware for Sun Ray Clients (called Sun Ray Operating Software) must be downloaded and installed separately on Sun Ray servers. Any Sun Ray server providing the latest Sun Ray Operating Software for Sun Ray Clients is considered a firmware server. For details, see Section 3.2.4, “Installing Firmware Before Sun Ray Software Installation”.

When a Sun Ray Client boots in a properly configured environment, it checks with a firmware server to determine if it needs a Sun Ray Operating Software update. A Sun Ray Client's firmware server is discovered in the following order:

  1. Locally configured value (configured through Configuration GUI)

  2. DHCP Sun Ray vendor option (FWSrvr)

  3. Generic DHCP option 66 (TftpSrvr) (IP Address or DNS name)

  4. DNS lookup of sunray-config-servers (if mapped to multiple addresses, choose one randomly)

Each of these values are attempted in order until one succeeds. Although it is the last value attempted, the DNS lookup is the recommended firmware discovery configuration, as described below.

If the local configuration value is used and fails, none of the others are attempted. This prevents the overwriting of custom-configured firmware in a situation where the controlling firmware server happens to be temporarily unresponsive. See Section 13.19, “Sun Ray Client Boot Process” for more details on how a Sun Ray Client finds its firmware server.

Once a firmware server is discovered by a Sun Ray Client, the client retrieves a parameter file (.parms) via TFTP. This file is used by the client to determine if its currently installed Sun Ray Operating Software is older than the version on the firmware server. If so, the newer firmware is automatically downloaded and installed on the client.

In the event of an error in the firmware download, error messages through OSD display icons (if enabled) provide additional information that can be useful in diagnosing and correcting the problem. See Chapter 16, Sun Ray Client Troubleshooting Icons for details.


By default, a client's firmware uses the configuration provided by the Sun Ray server's .parms file, which provides a centralized mechanism to administer firmware. However, you can enable the Configuration GUI on a client, which enables users to modify a Sun Ray Client's local configuration. See Chapter 14, Sun Ray Client Firmware for details.