I have to work with EMC PowerPath disks/LUNs. I find them in the /dev/dsk/ directory under names such as emcpower0a, emcpower0b, …, emcpower0z, emcpower1a, …

Here are my points of confusion:

  • Inside of /dev/dsk/, it will the show disks emcpower##[a-z] regularly, but when it gets to 'p' (emcpower#p), it includes emcpower#p0, emcpower#p1, …, emcpower#p4. Why is it showing me partitions for these and not any others?
  • When I try to create partitions on a disk, I do this: format emcpower0a; then I go into partition, modify, and assign a size for each of the available slices. I then type quit, type save at the format > prompt, and exit. Yet, after that, where do I find these slices?
  • 1. look for cfgadm command output; 2. check from emc itself if the disks are showing filesystems. Dec 6, 2011 at 16:35
  • 3
    devfsadm -c disk -v to rescan the disks affter you run cfgadm. Verify it with fcinfo and prtconf commands. Dec 7, 2011 at 4:34
  • Are you running X86 of Sparc? If SPARC were these Luns ever assigned to a system with a BIOS?
    – Johan
    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:21
  • If this is X86 or if the disk have a BIOS partition table then you must set one of the partitions to have a Solaris ID=BE. Note: ID 82 is depreciated for sue for Solaris due to it conflicting with Linux Swap.
    – Johan
    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


The p# partitions is an X86 / BIOS thing.

In the Solaris-on-X86 world, Solaris partitions are a little like Extended partitions - the Solaris VTOC and s* partitions lives inside a primary partition.

p0 is the entire disk.
p1-p4 are the 4 physical partitions recognized by the BIOS.
s1-15 are the Solaris VTOC partitions (Some of which are special).

Your Solaris type partitions are created in one of these. The format tool will only access the first partition with a Solaris ID. fdisk can set a Solaris ID on a physical partition, then run format to create a Solaris vtoc in that partition.

Use the new "BE" ID for Solaris, not the old "82" which is also used for Linux Swap.

  • I almost never see links to reference URLs posted on SE so I assume it is not allowed?
    – Johan
    Jul 12, 2013 at 10:16

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