[rescue] sun software repository ??

Mike Spooner mike.spooner.ux at gmail.com
Fri Dec 29 13:45:52 CST 2017

On 29 December 2017 at 09:35:09 -500, john <jferg977 at aol.com> wrote:

> Subject: [rescue] sun software repository ??
> ...
> Second question: Sun made 100baseT Sbus cards.B  They look interesting
> and are available for cheap but require SunFastEthernet 1.1 software if
> one expects the thing to work. Googling doesn't produce much hope of
> finding it.B  Any ideas there?
> john

SunFastEtherNet 1.x is first-generation Sun 100MB/sec hardware, in one form:

   1. X1056A "BigMac" card

This uses the "be" device-driver which is built-in to Solaris 2.4, 2.5,
2.5.1 and 2.6.
For Solaris 4.1.3, 4.1.3u1, 4.1.4 and Solaris 2.3 HW 5/95, the
SunFastEthernet Software 1.1 CD is needed. Other SunOS and Solaris versions
are *not supported*.

The "BigMac" can only do half-duplex, thus can be difficult to make work
with some modern switches. It was also notoriously buggy at the
hardware/register level, requiring the (unbundled) device-driver software
to perform considerable contortions just to make the thing work at least
somewhat reliably.

SunFastEthernet 2.x is a 2nd-generation Sun 100MB/sec hardware, in two
forms, both based on the "HappyMealEthernet" controller core:

    1. X1059A "Colossus-Lite" card
    2. X1018A "Colossus" card, formally known as SunSwift adaptor. This
also provides an external 20Mb/sec Fast_Wide-SCSI port.

Both of these use the "hme" device-driver which is built-in to Solaris 2.5
11/95 through Solaris 9. For SunOS 4.1.3u1 through Solaris 2.4, you need
the SunFastEthernet Software 2.1 CD.

The HappyMeal is much less buggy than BigMac, and can do full-duplex.
However, you still sometimes need to *force* duplex mode either in OpenBOOT
or at the O/S level, rather than letting it auto-negotiate
half-/full-duplex when connecting to some particular switches; it always
negotiates speed correctly, but the IEEE specs for autonegotiation of
full-/half-duplex were not quite as 100% unambiguous as could have been
hoped, and some manufacturers had different opinions about how to interpret
the duplex-negotiation specs (hint: Sun were probably overly liberal in

*** I have an original SunFastEthernet 2.1 Software CD *** (original Sun
package purchased in 1996), which I could turn into a downloadable ISO
file, if you so wish.

Based on having to live with both "be" and "hme" for quite a while, on both
my SPARCstation-10s, as well as an SS-20 and SS-1000E, I strongly recommend
you try to get an "hme" card, either X1018A SunSwift or X1059A


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