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This chapter is from the book

Device Autoconfiguration

Autoconfiguration offers many advantages over the manual configuration method used in earlier versions of SunOS, in which device drivers were manually added to the kernel, the kernel was recompiled, and the system had to be restarted. Now, with autoconfiguration, the administrator simply connects the new device to the system and performs a reconfiguration startup. To perform a reconfiguration startup, follow these steps:

  • Create the /reconfigure file with the following command:

    # touch /reconfigure<cr>

    The /reconfigure file causes the Oracle Solaris software to check for the presence of any newly installed devices the next time you turn on or start up your system.

  • Shut down the system using the shutdown procedure described in Chapter 3.

    If you need to connect the device, turn off power to the system and all peripherals after Oracle Solaris has been properly shut down.

  • After the new device is connected, restore power to the peripherals first and then to the system. Verify that the peripheral device has been added by attempting to access it.

An optional method of performing a reconfiguration startup is to type “boot -r” at the OpenBoot prompt.

On an x86-based system, perform a reconfiguration reboot by editing the boot command in the GRUB menu as described in Chapter 3.

During a reconfiguration restart, a device hierarchy is created in the /devices file system to represent the devices connected to the system. The kernel uses this to associate drivers with their appropriate devices.

Autoconfiguration offers the following benefits:

  • Main memory is used more efficiently because modules are loaded as needed.
  • There is no need to reconfigure the kernel if new devices are added to the system. When you add devices such as disks or tape drives other than USB and hot-pluggable devices, the system needs to be shut down before you connect the hardware so that no damage is done to the electrical components.
  • Drivers can be loaded and tested without having to rebuild the kernel and restart the system.

Occasionally, you might install a new device for which Oracle Solaris does not have a supporting device driver. Always check with the manufacturer to make sure any device you plan to add to your system has a supported device driver. If a driver is not included with the standard Oracle Solaris release, the manufacturer should provide the software needed for the device to be properly installed, maintained, and administered.

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