Trying Out & Failing With OpenIndiana, Solaris 11.3 On The Broadwell-EP System

Written by Michael Larabel in Oracle on 9 September 2016 at 07:42 PM EDT. 16 Comments
After testing seven Linux distributions and eight BSDs on the new Xeon E5-2609 v4 Broadwell-EP + MSI X99A WORKSTATION system, I next decided to try getting some fresh Solaris-based results.

Unfortunately, using OpenIndiana nor Oracle Solaris was successful.

With the OpenIndiana tests I was using their newest "Hipster" ISOs bundled with the MATE desktop. I was able to get to the MATE desktop after selecting the VESA driver option from the boot-loader, then it looked like things may be going well for this Illumos-based operating system on this modern Broadwell-EP system where I've been testing all these Linux/BSD distributions as of late. However, after firing up the graphical installer, as soon as the actual installation process began the installer window immediately disappeared... Then a few seconds later the system was completely unresponsive. Rebooting again, same problem.

So unfortunately OpenIndiana with the test ISOs from last month weren't playing well on this system, just like the few BSDs also running into problems preventing a working installation.

Next I decided to try the latest Oracle Solaris 11.3 Live images.... Not that I was going to publish benchmarks of "Solaris" if it did work, because Oracle's user-agreement still bans that... Per their license agreement, "You may not...disclose results of any benchmark test results related to the Programs without our prior consent." But anyhow, it didn't pan out. When trying to boot the Solaris 11.3 Live image, there's a WARNING: page_create_io: No forward progress for X minutes message that appears and never ends up going away, even after waiting more than two hours. Strangely, I found no references to this error in Google.

Thus my Solaris-based OS attempts on this Broadwell-EP system were foiled... Somewhat miss the Sun Microsystems days with Solaris Express and when there was the vibrant Open Solaris community. Anyhow, I'll have my BSD performance figures from this system to publish this weekend.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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