Solaris Single User Mode on x86/i386

This may seem silly, but I work exclusively on SPARC boxes, so when I need to get an x86 box into single user mode, such as in VirtualBox, I am lost.

To get Solaris x86 into single use mode:

1. At the “GRUB” boot menu where you get the boot options press ‘e’ to edit the boot line.
2. Use the arrow keys to highlight the line that starts with “kernel”
3. Press ‘e’ again to edit that line.
4. Add ” -s” to the end of that line and press
5. Press ‘b’ to boot

That is it.

FYI, in case you are an x86 guy looking for SPARC instructions, the way to boot into single user mode is to get to the “OBP” prompt and run “boot -s”.
If you are not sure how to get to the “OBP” prompt, run “shutdown -i0” from the command line of a running Solaris box. WARNING! This will shut down Solaris and leave you at the “OBP” prompt, if you are at the console. You will only be able to access the box from the console now. No SSH or Telnet, so make sure you have console access before doing this!

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2 Responses to Solaris Single User Mode on x86/i386

  1. praveen says:


    Single user mode works perfect.

    Can a x86 solaris 10 get into obp prompt.
    I tried the above procedure but after “shutdown -i0” it shows “RPC: Program not installed” and then getting down. say’s press any key to boot.
    after that i returns the grub screen.

    FYI i installed Solaris 10 x86 in VMware, is this the problem for not getting OBP prompt ?

    • Christen says:

      The OBP is a function of the hardware in a SPARC machine. x86 boxes do not have this.

      As far as I know “-i0” has no use on an x86 Solaris system. I would just use “-i6” for reboot and “-i5” for full shutdown.

      The OBP on SPARC systems has many features, not all of which exist in the x86 world. The boot management options of the OBP on SPARC are replaced with GRUB on the x86.

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