[rescue] Biggest drives (and SVM) in a U60?

Bryan Gurney arb_npx42 at comcast.net
Thu May 18 20:57:44 CDT 2006

I just finished breaking in an Ultra 60.  I took the 8x2x24 Plextor CD-ROM drive and 18 GB Cheetah from the idle Ultra 2, and installed Solaris 10 on this thing.  I still had to lug over my ancient 19" Sun 13W3 monitor to use the video, but once I finished installing 10, I could see that it was a significant improvement over the U2, and a vast improvement over the SS5.  I tested it out for about 3 hours, scp'ing files to it and web browsing, and it didn't spontaneously die or crash (though I did have a bit of fun with xmms not being able to play ogg files because I forgot to point blastwave's pkg-get at the stable tree!).  It's a rather nice machine that could probably do some great stuff, and also serves as as nice internet-bubble-era trophy, and symbol-of-all-that-could-have-been (my profitable actions take place in sky-blue Tahoma-land, with a slight dose here and there of Linux; I had a chance to work in a half-Sun shop, but they were turning away from it, and all the oth
 er Sun  
shops weren't looking for a "freaking college kid with hobby experience").

The seller had decided to give me extra RAM sticks (he was an NT kinda guy, so I had to make sure that he put in FOUR matching sticks; he did, thankfully).  He said that the stock configs were 256 MB, so I was planning on raiding some of the U2's 640 MB, until I saw the banner come up with 768 MB of RAM.  Nice.  Also contributing to the speed boost are two 450 MHz USII CPUs, and the 40 MB/sec LSI onboard SCSI controller.  The framebuffer is an Elite3D M3; I might track down a PGX32 so I can connect this machine's video to the HDB15 VGA port on my LCD panel (whose specs says it can sync to composite sync-on-green; is there a 13W3 to HDB15 adapter that could work with this?).  But one thing I want to do is have bigger disks; preferably 74 GB.  I've seen a U2 running with 74 GB disks just fine, but are there any other considerations with the U60?  One of my planned uses for this machine is as a PostgreSQL kickaround server so I can do some useful things with databases, and perha
make something useful.

Another idea was to get two identical drives and mirror them with SVM (metainit, metastat, etc.).  I've done it once before, but I need to track down the instructions for mirroring all the partitions, including / .  Other than the hard drives, my budget for this box is 0, so that means no VxVM.

Also, I'd probably soon be obsoleting the SS5 in favor of the U5 as an energy-efficient kickaround machine, so I'm throwing around the idea of parting with it for $20 (no shipping; west of Boston).  It has a 110 MHz MicroSparc, 256 MB of RAM, an 18 GB Maxtor Atlas 7200 RPM drive, and an incredible knack for not keeping time when it's powered off (the MAC address does show up properly, and it's been like this for as long as I've had it, ever since summer 2004.).  Expansion cards include a CG6 framebuffer and a 100-base ethernet NIC with what I think is an MII connector.  I also have an sbus 100-base ethernet with fast/wide SCSI (twice as fast as the SS5's onboard controller, LOL!).  Considering that the U2 already has 100-base and external fast-wide, and that I'm not using any tape drives or drive cages, I'd be willing to throw that in as well if you want.

So to summarize the original point of this email, is there a hard ceiling for the 1998-era SCSI-based Sun machines, or can I buy at will?

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