SUMMARY: Sol 2.3 boot from tape?

From: Brent Paulson (
Date: Fri Jun 07 1996 - 14:00:14 CDT

Here is my original post:

] I have a Sparc 5 here running Solaris 2.3 that I would like to upgrade
]to Solaris 2.4. The problem is that the Sparc 5 is a standalone and it
]does not have a CD-ROM drive. (It is also non-networkable right now.)
]I have the Solaris 2.4 installation media on CD-ROM and I went ahead and
]copied it onto a tape. The question I have then - how does one go about
]booting off of the tape? I believe that this is possible but I may be
]mistaken. Thanks in advance for any insight on this problem.
]Brent Paulson

Thanks for all of the reply's. Here they are:
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Your local Sun representative's SE can assist you. Sun has a process for
creating a boot area on tape.
Sun discourages the practice, but it is do able.


From: List Subscriber <>
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To the best of my knowledge, booting off of tape was only supported as far
as the SunOS 4.1.1 release, and no higher. There is currently no support for
booting off of tape, in the new OS's like 2.3, 2.4, 2.5...

If you find my answer to be incorrect, please mail me!!!



From: Bernward Bretthauer <>
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SUN OS 4.1.3 copied itself to the swap partition for installation,
but Solaris 2.4 runs directly from CD-ROM during installation, using a
RAM-disk for everything that must be writable.

So I think installation from tape is not possible.

Bernward Bretthauer

From: John Swaynos <>
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We have asked sun about producing a bootable tape. The answer is you can
not. I like you think that you should be able. If you get a positive
responce please send me a note or Summarize to the group. I have spent
some time on it and you can write a bootblk (using installboot) to a tape
but it then fails looking for a file system. Creating something that
looks like a files system is another problem. I think that this question
was posed to the group and the answer was not easy.


From: (Mark S. Anderson)
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No, it's not possible. You need a boot program for your arch -k.
CDROM drives are cheap. Every system must have access to one.


From: (Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services)
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For a sparc 5 it is not possible to boot from tape. You will need to
beg/borrow/buy/steal a CD-ROm drive while you do the upgrade...

The only systems that can boot from tape are sun4c, and the last
release that came on bootable tapes was SunOS 4.1.1.

due to the way the install works now it is not possible to create a
bootable tape from a cd-rom.


Glenn Satchell            


These replies all point to an answer of essentially "not possible or not worth the time and effort involved to do it," for booting off of a tape in Solaris 2.3 and a Sparc 5. I did end up borrowing a cd-rom drive from one of our Sparc 20's and installed it on the Sparc 5 and everything went smoothly. Thanks again.

Brent Paulson

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