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We have a Sunfire 280R (old SPARC/Solaris server) that is refusing to come up after being relocated. We're trying to connect to the serial console port, but all we get is random gibberish on the screen. We've tried both connecting with a DB25>DB9 adapter and using a DB-25->RJ45 adapter with a cisco RJ45->DB9 adapter to a windows laptop.

We're configuring the laptop to 9600 baud, 8 bit, 1 stop bit, no parity. We've tried both no flow control and Xon/Xoff.

We get the same results hooking up to the serial port on a working SPARC server, so it's probably something in our setup rather than a fault with the server.

How do we get access to to serial console so we can work out what is stopping this box from getting to the network? Is there a special sun adapter we need to get/make to get the serial link working?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Did you try a null modem cable in the middle? I think that the Sun wants a real terminal.

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I don't recall needing one before, but then again in the past (i.e.: a decade ago) I had actual sun cables and SPARC workstations to do all this with. – DrStalker Jun 9 '10 at 9:18
I just compared the pins on the DB25->RJ45 converter against the null modem pin requirements, and there's no match at all; the pins used for a db25 null modem cable are completely different to the ones used by the adapter so I'll presumably looking for some sort of magic special sun null modem cable – DrStalker Jun 9 '10 at 10:40
It took a null modem cable, a DB9->DB25 adaptor and a handmade gender changer but now it's working. Thanks! – DrStalker Jun 10 '10 at 6:19

You have to use the cable DB-25->RJ45. Put RJ45 in the sparc workstation serial port and the db-25 head in the serial port A of 280R. On sparc workstation use the command "tip hardwire"

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how do we issue commands on the sparc server? We have no way to interact with it, there is no graphics card - just the serial console connector. – DrStalker Jun 9 '10 at 9:16

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