Using FreeBSD to examine/work on a Solaris disk

Ean Kingston ean at
Wed Jun 22 15:05:44 GMT 2005

On June 22, 2005 10:25 am, Lowell Gilbert wrote:
> "Wesley Groleau" <Wesley.Groleau at> writes:
> > I have an i386 FreeBSD 5.4  I've stuck a disk from a Sun Ultra 10 on the
> > ATA0 slave.
> >
> > If possible, I'd like to mount it to see what's what.
> >
> > (and tweak some /etc files so I can get into the Sun).
> >
> > Is there an fstype to mount the disk?  Or even a way to see the
> > partition table?

Nope. FreeBSD does not support the SUN filesystem. SUN does not use a PC type 
partition table (called slices in FreeBSD terminology) on Sparc systems 
(which the Ultra 10 is). And, as Lowell mentioned, there is the endian issue.

> > All the ones I tried wouldn't work.  FreeBSD does recognize there is a
> > disk there.

Good the disk works.

> > Of course, I can't be sure it's Solaris---previous owner might have
> > been into Linux/BSD/whatever.

If you want to learn a lot about filesystems, you could spend the next year 
writing a  program to access the raw disk device and start  picking apart the 
contents of the disk one block/byte at a time.

> To start with, there's probably a problem with endianness (on the
> metadata structures).  Even if the Sun ran FreeBSD, that would still
> apply.  I'd estimate that this is about the level of a semester
> project for an undergraduate programmer...

Ean Kingston

E-Mail: ean AT hedron DOT org
I am currently looking for work. If you need competent system/network 
administration please feel free to contact me directly.

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