Install and use smartctl (smartmontools) on Solaris (opencsw package)

Written by - 4 comments

Published on - Listed in Solaris Unix Hardware

Dear reader. I'm sorry if you're expecting a different topic than SMART for this article. I have to disappoint you. 

While on FreeBSD and Linux it is very fast and easy to install the smartmontools (to get the smartctl command), I just had to do the same on a Solaris 10 machine. Just for the sake of "write it down", here is a short howto:

1. Download the smartmontools CSW package


2. Unpack

gunzip smartmontools-5.42,REV=2011.12.15-SunOS5.10-i386-CSW.pkg.gz

3. Install package

pkgadd -d smartmontools-5.42,REV=2011.12.15-SunOS5.10-i386-CSW.pkg

The following packages are available:
  1  CSWsmartmontools     smartmontools - S.M.A.R.T. disk monitoring tools
                          (i386) 5.42,REV=2011.12.15

Select package(s) you wish to process (or 'all' to process
all packages). (default: all) [?,??,q]: all

Once installed, smartctl can be executed. First let's scan the hard drives:

/opt/csw/sbin/smartctl --scan              
/dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s0 -d scsi # /dev/rdsk/c0t4d0s0, SCSI device
/dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s0 -d scsi # /dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s0, SCSI device
/dev/rdsk/c0t2d0s0 -d scsi # /dev/rdsk/c0t2d0s0, SCSI device
/dev/rdsk/c0t5d0s0 -d scsi # /dev/rdsk/c0t5d0s0, SCSI device
/dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s0 -d scsi # /dev/rdsk/c0t1d0s0, SCSI device
/dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0 -d scsi # /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0, SCSI device
/dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0 -d scsi # /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0, SCSI device

... and then get the SMART information:

/opt/csw/sbin/smartctl /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0 -a
smartctl 5.42 2011-10-20 r3458 [i386-pc-solaris2.10] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen,

Vendor:               HP     
Product:              LOGICAL VOLUME 
Revision:             5.22
User Capacity:        73,372,631,040 bytes [73.3 GB]
Logical block size:   512 bytes
Logical Unit id:      0x600508b1001048395656563133510009
Serial number:        P61620H9VVV13Q
Device type:          disk
Local Time is:        Thu Nov  7 15:44:35 2013 CET
Device does not support SMART

Error Counter logging not supported
Device does not support Self Test logging

Unfortunately the disks of this server are so old that they don't support SMART... Bummer :-/. Newer disks would support SMART.

As a workaround the drive's status can also be read with iostat:

iostat -Exn
                    extended device statistics             
    r/s    w/s   kr/s   kw/s wait actv wsvc_t asvc_t  %w  %b device
    0.6    5.2   54.2  212.4  0.0  0.0    0.0    7.2   0   0 c0t0d0
    0.6    5.0   54.0  212.4  0.0  0.0    0.0    7.7   0   0 c0t1d0
    5.5   12.6  688.3 1116.1  0.0  0.4    0.0   23.8   0   3 c0t2d0
    5.5   12.4  688.0 1116.1  0.0  0.4    0.0   23.7   0   3 c0t3d0
    3.8   17.2  230.3  414.6  0.0  0.1    0.0    3.8   0   2 c0t4d0
    3.8   17.1  229.3  414.6  0.0  0.1    0.0    3.8   0   2 c0t5d0
    0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0  0.0  0.0    0.0    0.0   0   0 c1t0d0
c0t0d0           Soft Errors: 10 Hard Errors: 0 Transport Errors: 0
Vendor: HP       Product: LOGICAL VOLUME   Revision: 5.22 Serial No: 
Size: 73.37GB <73372630528 bytes>
Media Error: 0 Device Not Ready: 0 No Device: 0 Recoverable: 0
Illegal Request: 10 Predictive Failure Analysis: 0

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Comments (newest first)

ck from Switzerland wrote on Nov 24th, 2017:

Hi Jonas. No, we never got to run smartctl correctly on SmartOS.

Jonas from Germany wrote on Nov 24th, 2017:

Hello ck,
did you manage to get smartctl running with cciss driver on smartos? Or getting the information about the array controller with a different approach?
I installes the official hpssacli and hpacucli utils, but the controller is not found.

ck from Switzerland wrote on Feb 26th, 2015:

Hello Peter. Thanks for your comment. As a matter of fact, I have been spending the last two days together with a programmer who analyzed the smartmontools and its capabilities on SmartOS (a Solaris fork). Result is that the drivers (in my case cciss) are missing to pass the information from the drives behind a storage controller through the OS back to smartctl.
So on a HP DL 380 G7 running with SmartOS (joyent_20121018T224723Z), the following happens, when I try to use -d (tested two days ago):

# smartctl -d cciss,4 /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0 -a
smartctl 5.40 2010-10-16 r3189 [x86_64-sun-solaris2.11] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-10 by Bruce Allen,

Device: HP LOGICAL VOLUME Version: 5.70
Serial number: 50014380230B2800
Device type: disk
Local Time is: Wed Feb 25 09:56:30 2015 UTC
Device does not support SMART

Error Counter logging not supported
Device does not support Self Test logging

smartctl only sees the Logical Drive, not the physical drive behind it.
We are currently evaluating if this mentioned programmer should implement the necessary code in smartmontools.
But yes, you are right about the fact, that the drives do support SMART values. The problem is the communication between smartctl, the OS and the physical drives.

Peter from Germany wrote on Feb 26th, 2015:

The reason your smartctl -a failed is not because the disks are old; it is because it is a hardware raid logical volume rather than a disk. You need to use the -d option (eg -d megaraid,0) or use a passthrough device (like /dev/pass* on bsd, /dev/sg* on Linux) to get the SMART data.

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