Server Upgrade Chronicles IV

I got the two new system disks attached to the root ZFS pool and resilvered, so right now I’m running a 4-disk mirror for my root!  And I just booted off the #1 new disk, meaning that the Grub installation as well as the mirroring worked, and that the new controller really does support booting.

Actually, most of the excitement was earlier. In playing around with the new disks, I’d made them into a ZFS pool using the whole disk.  This put EFI labels on the disks, which Solaris / ZFS don’t support in a root pool.  So then I had to somehow get the disks relabeled and the partitions redrawn.  This turns out to be a horrible process which is not documented anywhere. The blogosphere is full of pages saying how to do it, and none of them actually tell you much.  Okay, use format -e, that’s helpful.  But they never say what device file to use, and none of the obvious ones exist.  I think you can maybe use any device pointed at the right disk for part of it. Also, I had to create an S0 manually, and I”m not sure I did it ideally (doesn’t matter much, since these disks are 4 times as big as they need to be).

I’m deeply confused by Solaris disk labeling, going back to SunOS days; even then, I thought it was absurd,  fact suicidally idiotic, to describe regions of the disk used for different filesystems which overlap. Okay, you’re not supposed to use any two that overlap for filesystems, but nothing stops you. The whole setup is just baroque, weird, stupid. And then, on x86 hardware, this Solaris idiocy takes place within one real partition (although Solaris documentation tends to call their things partitions).

So, I had to find a way to overwrite EFI labels with SMI labels. Apparently the secret is to use “format -e”. None of the pages said anything about manually creating partitions (or gave any clues for what space you could use; I believe you have to leave space at the start for the boot stuff). Anyway, totally infuriating partial documentation, and then a large group of aficionados giving slightly variant documentation with slight differences, all of it missing the key points.

Did I mention that I’m annoyed?

So I’m going to chase this for a while, until I get it actually figured out, or until I go postal; whichever comes first.

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