Tim Hentenaar's Blog

CPU Idling Driver for Solaris 2.5.1 (i386)

Continuing my messing around with Solaris 2.5.1, I began exploring the reasons behind the constant CPU usage from the VM. The rason, as you may already suspect, is that when Solaris idles, it never yields the CPU. I've written a driver to resolve this, which can be found on my Github. I've also made a binary package.

It's intriguing that if you have only one processor, then by default Solaris's idle thread simply calls an empty subroutine to idle the CPU. Perhaps it was expected that platform drivers should handle this in a platform-specific way. Who knows? Anyhow, here's the pertinent part of the idle thread...

Continue reading...

Published on: Jul 27, 2015

Building GCC for Solaris 2.5.1 (i386) in 10 Easy Steps

Having installed Solaris 2.5.1 in VirtualBox, I happened to recall the unfortunate fact that the Solaris of that era doesn't ship with a C compiler. Of course, you could always buy Sun's compiler, but in this day and age I haven't been able to find a copy, and I doubt Oracle would be willing to sell it to me. Thus, I set about to build one. Not the simplest task, as evidenced by the length of this post. Thank God Sun ships the C library, headers, and basic binary tools at least. :P

In this article, I cover the steps necessary to build the toolchain and build / package software under Solaris, and I've also made binary packages available of software that I've already built.

Let's get started...

Continue reading...

Published on: Jul 26, 2015

Patch for the Solaris 2.5.1 (i386) Paging Bug

Recently, I decided just for the hell of it to install the i386 version of Solaris 2.5.1 (SunOS 5.5.1) in VirtualBox just to screw around with it. It's been quite some time since I was greeted by Open Windows and the classic korn shell. Much to my dismay, however, the OS would not boot.

Thankfully, Michal Necasek wrote an article describing the issue, as he debugged it with kadb. His analysis was spot on, and most helpful with getting Solaris to install and run. Since there was no patch available, I decided it was damn sure time to write one...

Continue reading...

Published on: Jul 24, 2015

This Month's New Software



I don't always have enough time on my hands, but over the last month I've published a few more projects to my Github page. Since I haven't updated my blog in a while, I figured it'd be an opportune time to write a short post introducing those projects...

Continue reading...

Published on: Jul 14, 2015