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Solaris administration commands

This is a list of non-trivial Solaris commands and can be used as a cheat sheet or link collection. If you find errors or want to add something please post a comment below!


  • mdb - Analysing core files:
    $ mdb core.xxxx        # Open core file
    > ::status             # Print core summary
    > ::stacks             # Backtrace
    > ::stacks -v          # Backtrace verbose
    > ::quit
  • Changing Solaris Kernel Parameters:
    # mdb -kw
    > maxusers/W 500
    > $q
  • Library Dependencies of a running process:
    pldd <pid>
  • Details of Memory Usage - pmap:
    # pmap 19463
    19463:  -sh
    08047000       4K rw---    [ stack ]
    08050000      76K r-x--  /sbin/sh
    08073000       4K rw---  /sbin/sh
    08074000      16K rw---    [ heap ]
    FEE60000      24K r-x--  /lib/
    FEE76000       4K rw---  /lib/
    FEE80000    1072K r-x--  /lib/
    FEF90000      24K rwx--    [ anon ]
    FEF9C000      32K rw---  /lib/
    FEFA4000       8K rw---  /lib/
    FEFC4000     156K r-x--  /lib/
    FEFF0000       4K rwx--    [ anon ]
    FEFF7000       4K rwxs-    [ anon ]
    FEFFB000       8K rwx--  /lib/
    FEFFD000       4K rwx--  /lib/
     total      1440K
  • kstat API: Accessing Solaris kernel statistics using C-API
  • infocmp - Compare terminal settings: This is not Solaris specific, but you need it quite often.
    infocmp -L
  • DTraceToolkit: Useful dtrace scripts for all types of debugging tasks.
  • How to kill a Solaris machine


  • snoop vs. tcpdump: How to use snoop:
    snoop -v -d qfe0 -x0 host
    snoop -v -d qfe0 -x0 port 22
  • Show installed NIcs:
    dladm show-dev 
    dladm show-link
  • iSCSI on Solaris
  • Find unknown NIC: When you do not know the network interface name and don't want to guess: simple plumb all unplumbed NICs with
    ifconfig plumb -a


  • Extend 256 file descriptor limit for 32bit binaries: This requires preloading a helper library
    % ulimit -n 256
    % echo 'rlim_fd_max/D' | mdb -k | awk '{ print $2 }'  # determine allowed maximum
    % ulimit -n 65536
    % export LD_PRELOAD_32=/usr/lib/
  • Determine if Solaris is 32 or 64 bit:
    isainfo -b


  • SEtoolkit: Performance data gathering script collection based on orcallator.
  • Orcallator: Provides a variety of Solaris specific probes.
  • NICstat: Source (C) for a monitoring NICs in Solaris. vmstat/iostat like command line client.
  • Munin on Solaris

Package Installation

  • Resolve File to Package:
    pkgchk -l -p /usr/bin/ls

Service Management

  • svcs - List Service Infos
    svcs -a              # List all installed services and their current state
    svcs -d <service>    # List all dependencies of a service
    svcs -D <service>    # List who is depending on a service
    svcs -xv             # List why something is failed
  • svcadm - Control Services
    svcadm enable <service>
    svcadm disable <service>
    svcadm refresh <service>    # like init reload
    svcadm restart <service>
    svcadm clear <service>      # Clear errors: try starting again...


  • Jumpstart HowTo
  • SUNWdhcs DHCPd Setup
  • Sun Packaging Guide
  • Solaris Event Notification API
  • Suns OpenBoot PROM reference manual
  • Solaris IPv6 Administration Guide
  • ALOM/iLOM - Get OS Console:
    start /SP/console
    If the console is already in use you can kill it with
    stop /SP/console
  • ALOM - Set/Get Infos from CLI: When you want to fetch infos or change settings from a running system (e.g. from scripts) you can use the scadm (or rscadm) command. Examples:
    # Show log
    scadm loghistory
    # Send a normal or critical console message
    scadm send_event "Important"
    scadm send_event -c "Critical!"
    # Dump all or single settings
    scadm show 
    scadm show sc_customerinfo
  • Dump HW Infos:
    prtconf -v
  • ZFS Cheat Sheet:
    # Analysis
    zpool list             # List pools
    zpool status -v        # Tree like summary of all disks
    zpool iostat 1         # iostat for all ZFS pools
    zpool history          # Show recent commands
    # Handling properties
    zfs get all z0
    zfs get all z0/data
    zfs set sharenfs=on z0/data
    zfs set sharesmb=on z0/data
    zfs set compression=on z0/data
    # Mounting 
    zfs mount               # List all ZFS mount points
    zfs set mountpoint=/export/data z0/data
    zfs mount /export/data
    zfs unmount /export/data
    # NFS Shares
    zfs set sharenfs=on z1/backup/mydata         # Enable as NFS share
    zfs get sharenfs z1/backup/mydata            # List share options
    zfs sharenfs="<options>" z1/backup/mydata    # Overwrite share options
    # Create and load snapshots
    zfs snapshot z0/data@backup-20120601
    zfs rollback z0/data@backup-20120601