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Why does "boot -i" fails ? - Sun Solaris

Hi, I was reading about Solaris and I saw 2 boot switches I didn't know : boot -v (verbose) : works fine, see all sorta stuff.. boot -i (interactive) : supposed to ask me for a few parameters (that usualy have defaults). But "boot -i" doesn't work on my 2 test systems (2 Ultra-1, one running Solaris 8 2/02, one running Solaris 9 3/04, with latest obp). Instead, it just core dumps after displaying the usual Solaris header... Does anybody has a clue on why this is happening ? Thanks, Alex......

  1. #1

    Default Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    Hi,

    I was reading about Solaris and I saw 2 boot switches I didn't know :

    boot -v (verbose) : works fine, see all sorta stuff..

    boot -i (interactive) : supposed to ask me for a few parameters (that
    usualy have defaults).

    But "boot -i" doesn't work on my 2 test systems (2 Ultra-1, one
    running Solaris 8 2/02, one running Solaris 9 3/04, with latest obp).

    Instead, it just core dumps after displaying the usual Solaris
    header...

    Does anybody has a clue on why this is happening ?

    Thanks,

    Alex...
    Alex007 Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    Alex007 <com> wrote: 
     

    Where were you reading it?
     
     

    This would be -a.

    While you might think 'boot' would be a good place to look for this, you
    wouldn't find most of it, so you'd probably get confused. Basically if
    the OBP doesn't recognize the flag, it passes it on to the program that
    it runs. For solaris that's the kernel. So do a 'man kernel' to see
    the flags you can use.

    There is no -i.
     

    Now that's weird. I'll have to give that a try.

    --
    Darren Dunham com
    Unix System Administrator Taos - The SysAdmin Company
    Got some Dr Pepper? San Francisco, CA bay area
    < This line left intentionally blank to confuse you. >
    Darren Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    On Mon, 29 Sep 2003, Darren Dunham wrote:
     

    From the kernel man page:

    BUGS
    Bugs in the kernel often result in kernel panics.

    Talk about understatement of the week! :-)

    --
    Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

    President,
    Rite Online Inc.

    Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    URL: http://www.rite-online.net

    Rich Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    In article <Pine.GSO.4.44.0309291622060.29865-100000zaphod>,
    Rich Teer <com> wrote: 
    >
    >From the kernel man page:
    >
    > BUGS
    > Bugs in the kernel often result in kernel panics.
    >
    >Talk about understatement of the week! :-)[/ref]

    But surely it isn't a bug that "bugs in the kernel often result in
    kernel panics" ! After all, it's the bugs in the kernel that *don't*
    result in a kernel panic, but instead subtly mangle the contents of
    memory, discs, the whole Internet (:-)), that are the scary ones.

    I think it ought to read

    BUGS
    Not all bugs in the kernel result in kernel panics.

    Chris Thompson
    Email: cet1 [at] cam.ac.uk
    Chris Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    com (Alex007) writes:
     
     
     

    That should be "boot -a" (a for ask).

    (-i is an undoented option which specifies an alternate "init")


    Casper
    Casper Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    > Alex007 <com> wrote: 

    >
    > Where were you reading it?[/ref]

    I was reading that in some Solaris 9 cert book by Tim Gibbs... That
    books does contains quite a few mistakes that even I was able to point
    out.... unfortunately I don't have it with me right now, so I can't
    check if the error's in the book or in my brain :) I'll keep you
    posted... Oh and I did try -a latter on and worked great... at least
    now I know the real command ;)
     
    >
    > Now that's weird. I'll have to give that a try.[/ref]

    Yeah... it'd be interesting to know... how is the kernel supposed to
    react when unknown boot args are passed ? I for one think that core
    dumping ain't the best idea :)

    Alex...
    Alex007 Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    I knew I wasn't _that_ crazy :)

    There was indeed an error in the book, in the boot options table,
    where the options were listed as follow :

    -a : Boots from an alternate /etc/system file (which is one of the
    questions, but should have been called the interactive, or ask switch
    ....
    [...]
    -i : Boots interactively; the system requests answers to many
    questions that normaly have defaults (now that's wrong !, it's an
    undoented switch that permits to change init (from what Casper
    said.)

    For those who want to know, the book is :
    Sun Certified System Administrator for Solaris 9 Study Guide
    By Tim Gibbs, published by Osborne/McGraw Hill
    ISBN : 0-07-222598-X

    As I said in another post, this book contains numerous errors (mostly
    minor) mistakes. But this one beats'em all. No errata on the
    publisher's site so I'll send'em an email.

    Casper : What does the switch really does ? Is it used to specify a
    run level or an alternate inittab file ?

    Thanks to all for your replys...

    Alex...
    Alex007 Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    Alex007 wrote: 


    Neither. As Casper said, it allows you to specify your own "init". The
    default "init" executable is "/etc/init"; if you have a debug version
    (or are developing your own "init" for whatever reason) you could say

    boot -i /etc/my_own_init

    and the machine would spawn /etc/my_own_init as PID 1 on booting.

    Just saying "boot -i" without specifying a filename put a null pointer
    into the place where the boot code expects to find a filename for the
    "init" executable and this is why you saw a core dump. I suppose the
    code should check for a null pointer or specification of an inaccessible
    "init" and behave sensibly, however (once
    again, as casper said) the -i option is neither doented nor supported
    so I can't see this ever happening.

    Elsewhere in the thread you said
     

    And that's right - in fact the boot process will completely ignore flags
    that it doesn't understand (and pass them to init in case it means
    something to "init"). It so happens that the flag you chose, -i, *does*
    mean something and was being used inappropriately (not through your
    fault, I realise).


    --
    Tony

    Tony Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    Thanks the precision Tony... now I understand why the systems core
    dumped... and I wouldn't call it a bug... since it's a undoented
    feature... I should know what I'm doing :)

    I've already sent email to the editor of the book to see if he could
    put up an errata on the publisher's site (so others don't get burned
    like I did)... I'll send him this new info so he also knows what he's
    writing about ;)

    Thanks !

    Alex...
    Alex007 Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why does "boot -i" fails ?

    On 29 Sep 2003 23:49:32 GMT, cam.ac.uk wrote: 

    As a driver developer, i think it ought to read,

    BUGS
    Not all bugs in the kernel should result in kernel panics.


    I'd rather it kick out a driver-coredump, than a full kernel coredump,
    so that single-machine driver development were a little less painful.

    --
    http://www.blastwave.org/ for solaris pre-packaged binaries with pkg-get
    Organized by the author of pkg-get
    [Trim the no-bots from my address to reply to me by email!]
    S.1618 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d105:SN01618:D
    http://www.spamlaws.com/state/ca1.html
    Philip Guest

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