Tag Archives: solaris 10

NTP on Unix

Network Time Protocol (NTP) on Unix/Linux Machines is used to synchronize the system clock with accurate standardized clocks for precise time keeping needed in communication, scientific research and finance.

In this basic NTP on Unix example we’ll be using xntpd – Network Time Protocol daemon on Solaris 10

To see the time and date set on your Unix system type:

sunbox% date

Wed Feb 22 14:13:31 PST 2012


To see if ntp is already running on your Unix system type:

sunbox% ps -ef | grep ntp

    root   243     1   0   Feb 20 ?           0:14 /usr/lib/inet/xntpd

The default configuration file for the xntp daemon is /etc/inet/ntp.conf

sunbox% more ntp.conf

# ident “@(#)ntp.client 1.3     00/07/17 SMI”


# /etc/inet/ntp.client


# An example file that could be copied over to /etc/inet/ntp.conf; it

# provides a configuration for a host that passively waits for a server

# to provide NTP packets on the ntp multicast net.



server xxx.xxx.xxx.x

sunbox% nslookup xxx.xxx.xxx.x

Server:         xx.xx.x.x

Address:        xx.xx.x.x#53

Non-authoritative answer:

x.xxx.xxx.xxx.in-addr.arpa      name = time.time.timeserver???.com.

Authoritative answers can be found from:

xxx.xxx.xxx.in-addr.arpa        nameserver =


Many other settings are available in NTP to tweak the accuracy of the received time signal and to provide authentication of the time signal to enhance security. These are typically used in the banking and financial industries where accurate and authenticated transaction time stamps are critical. The “fudge” command in NTP can be used to take in account signal delays and cable lengths between the master clock and the NTP client.

Cable loss calculation errors can cause your time signal to be off causing significant errors in your data. Especially if you require timing precise enough to measure the velocity  of particles traveling at the speed of light. This happened recently at the particle accelerator CERN, prompting a friendly reminder from Forbes:  Always Check the Cable Before Doubting Einstein.

It is also possible to have NTP running on an Android or iOS powered smart phone which I’ll cover in another post.


Installing Firefox on Solaris Unix

Firefox Browser Logo from Mozilla

Installing Firefox on Solaris Unix

Mozilla releases Firefox for Windows,  Mac OS X, Android, iOS for iPhone and Linux operating systems but the popular browser is also ported to Solaris by Sun/Oracle internal developers.

Here, I’ll describe steps for a quick test install on a Solaris 10 machine. You can copy the Firefox file to whatever directory you specify. I used /usr/lib for testing this version without overwriting my current version of Firefox.

Install as root.

sunbox#  pwd


sunbox#  cp /home/testuser/firefox-10.0.1.en-US.solaris-10-fcs-sparc-tar.bz2 .

sunbox#  bzip2 –cd firefox-10.0.1.en-US.solaris-10-fcs-sparc-tar.bz2 | tar xf –  (use tar xvf if you want to see the verbose output)

sunbox#  cd firefox

sunbox#  ls –l | more


sunbox#  ./firefox & (to start this install of firefox)

[1] 342


Firefox for Solaris can be found here (pkgadd versions):

Firefox 19.0.2 is now available for Solaris at unixpackages.com.

Firefox 18 is also now available for Solaris at unixpackages.com.

Firefox 17.0.1 is now available for Solaris at unixpackages.com.

Update 12 September 2012

Firefox 15 is now available for Solaris Unix

Update 19 July 2012

Firefox 14.0.1 is now available for Solaris 10 at the new Sunfreeware link:  http://unixpackages.com/packages/mozilla

Both pkg and tar files are at the new link.

or Firefox for Solaris (tar versions):


Be sure to choose the correct file for your Solaris OS and platform. (OpenSolaris, Sparc, i386, etc.)

The latest version of Firefox ported to Solaris is 10.0.1 which is the latest version of Firefox for other platforms as of this writing (20120214)

In the world of Unix, as in life, there are many paths that lead to the same place. There are numerous ways to perform the same task in Unix, Linux, OS X and sometimes Windows. This is just one.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Browsing!


Sun/Oracle ends support for some UltraSPARC processors

So I was asked about upgrading some older Sun/Oracle hardware to Solaris 11. The systems in question are all currently running Solaris 10. Solaris 11 was introduced on November 9, 2011 so it hasn’t been around too long yet. But Solaris 10 has been around since 2005 which makes the Unix OS as old as some of our hardware. The full version of Solaris 11 no longer supports legacy processor architectures UltraSPARC I, II, IIe, III, IIIi, III+, IV and IV+. In the world of Sun/Oracle hardware, these don’t go to 11.

The list of our somewhat dated hardware currently running Solaris 10 includes:

System and Codename

Processor Type and Maximum Number

Sun Netra 440                        Chalupa 19

4x UltraSPARC IIIi

Sun Blade 150                Grover Plus

1x UltraSPARC IIi

Sun Fire V440                 Chalupa

4× UltraSPARC IIIi

Sun Fire V880                 Daktari


Sun Fire V890                 Silverstone

8× UltraSPARC IV/IV+

Sun Ultra 45                           Chicago

2x UltraSPARC IIIi

The processors are UltraSPARC IIi, UltraSPARC III/III+ and UltraSPARC IV/IV+, all of which are not supported in the production release of Solaris 11. (They were still supported in the ‘Express’ beta version of Solaris 11 released in November 2010.) Looks we are due for new hardware, which of course is what Larry Ellison wants. Racing sail boats can be expensive. 🙂

If you need to find out what version of Solaris you are running and what type of processors you have, use the uname –a and psrinfo –pv commands.

sunbox% uname -a

SunOS sunbox 5.10 Generic_127111-03 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-880

sunbox% psrinfo -pv

The physical processor has 1 virtual processor (0)

  UltraSPARC-III+ (portid 0 impl 0x15 ver 0xb0 clock 1200 MHz)

The physical processor has 1 virtual processor (2)

  UltraSPARC-III+ (portid 2 impl 0x15 ver 0xb0 clock 1200 MHz)


We are still using old iron in a standalone test environment that doesn’t have to meet the demands of real production servers. At least we aren’t still using the old ‘pizza box’ or the Sun E10K systems from the 1990’s.

Note that If you do try to install Solaris 11 or boot from a Solaris 11 DVD on unsupported hardware, you will get an error similar to this:

Error: 'SUNW,UltraSPARC-IIIi' is not supported by this release of Solaris.
Program terminated
{1} ok

Moving more legacy systems to linux anyone?