Adding a Hard Drive to Solaris 10

Here’s how you would add a hard drive to Solaris 10, including the format, fdisk, partition, and then creation of the file system. Of course, you first need to actually add the hard drive physically to the machine, I’m not going to cover that – if you don’t know how to do that then the rest of the information isn’t going to help!

If you installed a drive through VMWare while the VM is running, you will need Solaris to recognize the new drive. In this case, run devfsadm, otherwise boot your system and Solaris should recognize the new drive.

First, here’s the original drives (c0t0d0 & c1t0d0):

# ls /dev/rdsk/*s0
/dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0 /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0

Have Solaris check for new hardware:

# devfsadm

Now you can see there is a new disk on another bus (c1t1d0):

# ls /dev/rdsk/*s0
/dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0 /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0 /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0

Next, we want to format the drive (which includes creating the partitions):

# format
Searching for disks…done

0. c1t0d0
1. c1t1d0
Specify disk (enter its number):

Type “1”, the option for the new drive and hit “enter”. Depending on the type of disk it may be preformatted:

selecting c1t1d0
[disk formatted]

If your drive is not formatted, type format at the format prompt to low level format your hard drive. Next, we need to use fdisk to create the partitions, type “y” to create the default Solaris partition:

format> fdisk
No fdisk table exists. The default partition for the disk is:

a 100% “SOLARIS System” partition

Type “y” to accept the default partition, otherwise type “n” to edit the
partition table.

Next enter the partition menu, by typing partition:

format> partition

You can print out the current partitioning first if you like:

partition> print
Current partition table (original):
Total disk cylinders available: 1020 + 2 (reserved cylinders)

Part Tag Flag Cylinders Size Blocks
0 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
1 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
2 backup wu 0 – 1020 1.99GB (1021/0/0) 4182016
3 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
4 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
5 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
6 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
7 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
8 boot wu 0 – 0 2.00MB (1/0/0) 4096
9 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0

In this case, I just want to create one large partition for some extra storage so I will allocate all I can to partition 0. Note that partition 2 is used to reference the entire drive and is not a usable partition. To modify a given partition, just enter the number of the partition at the partition prompt:

partition> 0
Part Tag Flag Cylinders Size Blocks
0 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0

Enter partition id tag[unassigned]:
Enter partition permission flags[wm]:
Enter new starting cyl[0]: 1
Enter partition size[0b, 0c, 1e, 0.00mb, 0.00gb]: 1019c

And now to print the partition table again you can see what has changed:

partition> print
Current partition table (unnamed):
Total disk cylinders available: 1020 + 2 (reserved cylinders)

Part Tag Flag Cylinders Size Blocks
0 unassigned wm 1 – 1019 1.99GB (1019/0/0) 4173824
1 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
2 backup wu 0 – 1020 1.99GB (1021/0/0) 4182016
3 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
4 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
5 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
6 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
7 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
8 boot wu 0 – 0 2.00MB (1/0/0) 4096
9 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0

Save your changes by writing the label to the disk:

partition> label
Ready to label disk, continue? y

Quit out of the partition prompt, and then the format prompt, which takes you back to the command prompt:

partition> quit
format> quit

Now we are ready to create a file system on this new partition (in this case UFS).

# newfs /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0
newfs: construct a new file system /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0: (y/n)? y
/dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0: 4173824 sectors in 1019 cylinders of 128 tracks, 32 sectors
2038.0MB in 45 cyl groups (23 c/g, 46.00MB/g, 11264 i/g)
super-block backups (for fsck -F ufs -o b=#) at:
32, 94272, 188512, 282752, 376992, 471232, 565472, 659712, 753952, 848192,
3298432, 3392672, 3486912, 3581152, 3675392, 3769632, 3863872, 3958112,
4052352, 4146592

Make sure that the file system is clean:

# fsck /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0
** /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0
** Last Mounted on
** Phase 1 – Check Blocks and Sizes
** Phase 2 – Check Pathnames
** Phase 3a – Check Connectivity
** Phase 3b – Verify Shadows/ACLs
** Phase 4 – Check Reference Counts
** Phase 5 – Check Cylinder Groups
2 files, 9 used, 2020758 free (14 frags, 252593 blocks, 0.0% fragmentation)

Next, add the proper line to /etc/vfstab:

/dev/dsk/c1t1d0s0 /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0 /data ufs 2 yes –

And then mount the partition. In this case, I’m making a /data partition:

# mkdir /data
# mount /data
# df -h /data
Filesystem size used avail capacity Mounted on
/dev/dsk/c1t1d0s0 1.9G 2.0M 1.9G 1% /data

You’re all done!


  1. Also note that the newfs and fsck commands use ‘rdsk’ paths and the mount command uses ‘dsk’ paths.

    Using ‘rdsk’ in a mount command will give you the ‘mount: /dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s0 not a block device’ error.

    # mount /dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s0 /mnt/a
    mount: /dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s0 not a block device

    # mount -F ufs /dev/dsk/c0t1d0s0 /mnt/a
    # cd /mnt/a
    # df -h .
    Filesystem size used avail capacity Mounted on
    /dev/dsk/c0t1d0s0 67G 64M 67G 1% /mnt/a

    Good stuff though.



  2. I agree with everything you are saying, I’m just not sure where in here I incorrectly use rdsk versus dsk? When mounting I reference the mount point not the device, so I’m not sure where I threw you off?

  3. You didn’t throw me off, its just something i pointed out to newbies that might read your blog. Nothing wrong with what you’ve written thats for sure. :)

  4. – you saved me a lot of work. BTW to get the mount to work on my system I had to have a – at the end of the entry in /etc/vfstab

  5. When adding FC LUN to my Solaris machines:
    After a devfsadm
    I do a cfgadm -al
    And I don’t have to reboot to see the LUNs as disks in format.

    If your VM was using raw device mappings you would probably have similar success.

  6. Thank you all for this information! Thanks for keeping up community spirit by contributing and for taking the time to disseminate information :) <33333!

  7. i have never worked on Solaris before. but your instructions were very easy to follow and i mounted my new 250GB HD without any issue in one shot. Thank you… :-)

  8. Hi, I got problem when do the mounting:

    bash-3.00# mount /data
    mount: Warning: Line for “/dev/dsk/c1t2d0s0” in vfstab has too few entries
    mount: Mount point cannot be determined

    bash-3.00# vi /etc/vfstab
    “/etc/vfstab” 16 lines, 611 characters
    #device device mount FS fsck mount mount
    #to mount to fsck point type pass at boot options
    fd – /dev/fd fd – no –
    /proc – /proc proc – no –
    /dev/md/dsk/c1t0d0s1 – – swap – no –
    /dev/md/dsk/d0 /dev/md/rdsk/d0 / ufs 1 no –
    /dev/md/dsk/d3 /dev/md/rdsk/d3 /usr ufs 1 no –
    /dev/md/dsk/d5 /dev/md/rdsk/d5 /var ufs 1 no –
    /dev/md/dsk/d6 /dev/md/rdsk/d6 /export/home ufs 2 yes –
    /dev/md/dsk/d4 /dev/md/rdsk/d4 /opt ufs 2 yes –
    /dev/dsk/c1t2d0s0 /dev/rdsk/c1t2d0s0 /data ufs 2 yes
    /devices – /devices devfs – no –
    ctfs – /system/contract ctfs – no –
    objfs – /system/object objfs – no –
    swap – /tmp tmpfs – yes –
    “/etc/vfstab” 16 lines, 617 characters

    Is there something wrong? I follow the step and all OK except the mounting process. Please help Thanks.

  9. Looks like you are missing the “-” at the end of the line. I rechecked my posting and apparently I missed it as well when I pasted it. I have now fixed the posting. Sorry for the delay!

  10. Great ! The whole process worked perfectly for me (a small Solaris 10 x86 server on which I just wanted to add an extra 500 GB for music, movies, etc ..)

    I’m a genuine newbie to Solaris and really, believe me or not, adding a hard drive to the system just looked like a huge pain in the .ss when I came to read sun’s doc on the matter (Solaris 10 system administrator collection) … until finally I found a straightforward method

    Thanks a lot to Kevin Pendleton


  11. Hey, this worked perfectly! I’m good at other UNIX OSs, but Solaris has always been a different animal for me. They way Solaris uses new drives and SAN Luns has been a sore spot, but I understand now. Thanks!

  12. Thanks for clear instructions. A big help…i didn’t know the devfsadm command and it’s just what I was needing to find!

  13. Worked 100%, managed to attach the virtual scsi drive, very well written and clearly presented, really big help, thank you

  14. Thanks! Saved me a lot of time!
    The same procedure works on SPARC as well (except the fdisk).
    I used this procedure to rename a partition.

  15. HI Everybody ,

    Please help me out on this,Can you please investigate and write down how to add a new disk in X4170 from the Operating System ( not from the BIOS ).

    When we add or replace a disk in one of these Sun Fire boxes we typically need to bounce the box and create a volume from the controller application in the boot process but there is a way to do it from the operating system using an utility (a package has to be installed of course).

    if there is any thing like that can u pls post it , i will be very thankful guys.


  16. Hi,

    in the post, while partitioning , you took the default partition TAG unassigned..but i know system allows u to create a file system on it.

    it’s better to specify partition TAG any other rather keeping it to unassigned.

    But suppose i want to change that partition type to USR (from unassigned) that i can change it directly from partition it possible without data loss. ?

  17. Hi,

    before i saw this.. I Got stuck …!!! … did’t know what to do abt adding additional HDisk.. i could’t!!!

    Thanks!!!… Great one…!!!
    simple and most helpful!!!

    Just Keep on Rocking!!!

  18. Would the instructions be the same for Solaris 11? I followed your steps and they worked perfectly for Solaris 10. With 11, after ls /dev/rdsk/*s0, I see 6 drives before and after attaching the hard drive :(

  19. Mohclip your contribution was very usefull!!! Thanks… in solaris 10, the correct directory is dsk instead rsk.

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