GS framebuffer under Solaris 2.5

GS framebuffer under Solaris 2.5

Post by Steve Barne » Wed, 15 May 1996 04:00:00


I've had a number of questions about getting the GS frame buffer
(cg12) working under Solaris 2.5, so a posting seems to be in order.

At this time, please recite the standard disclaimer and pay careful
attention to the bits about this being an unblessed configuration.

Having said all that, the process was pretty straightforward.

During the Solaris 2.5 install, your console will not function in the
standard Openwindows mode. You should, however, be able to get through
the text version of the installation. I'm not sure of the particulars
here (it's been a while).

The GS drivers are on the Solaris 2.4 distribution CD. In my case,
that was a slightly older version of 2.4 (HW 11/94), but I believe
this will remain constant. Specifically, they are on slice 0 of the
CD in the Solaris_2.4 directory. For me this was:


This directory contains all of the packages that make up Solaris.
From here, there are two ways to go:

Note: this will require a few megs of disk space in / and /var

1) you can use swmtool diplayed remotely to handle the installation
   a) Set your Source Media to a Mounted Directory (if you're using vold)
   b) Set the Directory name appropriately (the s0/Solaris_2.4 directory)
   c) Select the Entire distribution cluster and double click to expand
   d) Scroll down the list until you find the GS (cg12) OS Support Files
   e) Install

2) you can use pkgadd to install the drivers
   a) Find the appropriate directory on the installation CD
   b) Locate the appropriate package for your machine architecture
      On our system there are three packages associated with the GS card
      SUNWgs and SUNWgsu are required, I'm not sure about SUNWgsow
   c) Use pkgadd to install the packages I'm not sure about package
      dependencies, but with a little luck pkgadd will get it right

A reboot should get you up and running.

Possible problems:

  This is not a blessed configuration, so there may be some very subtle
  bugs that arise. I've only tried this on one machine and it seems to
  work correctly. There have, however, been a few reports of the console
  display freezing (at times on the order of minutes) while all other
  aspects of the machine function correctly. This may be due to this
  little hack, or bugs in the CDE. I'm not sure at this time.

Well, that's it. If anyone has any additions/corrections or can flesh
out various parts of the procedure a little bit more, let me know.
I'll summarize comments and repost the procedure if necessary.

Best of luck,



UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center
I'm not a rocket scientist, but I play one on TV


1. Solaris 2.5 and GS (cg12) framebuffer

After upgrading an SS2 with a GS card to Solaris 2.5 I discovered that
cg12 support is not included in this version.  (I guess that the
release notes mention this but unfortunately I just got the CD from
the people on campus who administer our site license program...).

I searched the Usenet archives via Digital's altavista and see that
this topic has been discussed to some extent before.  Some people seem
to have had success using the 2.4 drivers.  I have only had partial
success with this solution - although I can now run openwindows there
are problems - for example, opening a web page with forms in Netscape
causes the X server to die.

If anyone has any advice/solutions I would be glad to hear from
you.   If there are sufficient responses I'll post a summary...

I searched Sun's web site but found no mention of GS support
being discontinued.  Can anyone recommend a source for such
announcements in future ?


Dept. Fisheries & Wildlife, University of Minnesota

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