I'm playing around with Solaris 11.1, and have run into a bit of a problem...

I've installed three OS on my computer - LinuxMint, FreeBSD and Solaris - and have partitioned my harddrive (/dev/sda on LinuxMint) thus:

Disk 500GB

  • sda1 (Primary Partition): FreeBSD (UFS) 50GB
  • sda2 (PP): "Storage" (VFAT) 50GB
  • sda3 (PP): Solaris (zpool/zfs) 100GB
  • sda4 Extended Partition (what's left)
    • sda5 (Logical Partition): LinuxMint, / (root) 50GB
    • sda6 (LP): LinuxMint, /home 100GB
    • sda7 (LP): LinuxMint, swap 2.5GB

I used LinuxMint fdisk to set-up the partitions, using "old-style" DOS partition-table. I boot with grub in MBR, managed from LinuxMint. In addition, the Solaris-partition has it's own GRUB (to select between Solaris boot-enviroment) - it shows when I select "Solaris" from the MBR-GRUB.

In LinuxMint, all partitions are correctly identified and listed - and accessable. When I used gparted from LinuxMint, the disk is shown as partitioned as described above.

However in Solaris, it doesn't look like all partitions are correctly identified - in fact, I seem to only be able to access the Solaris-one... and it's sort of reported as being the only partiton on the disk (I think):

# zpool status
  pool: rpool
 state: ONLINE
  scan: none requested

    rpool     ONLINE       0     0     0
      c7d0s0  ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

I've not used Solaris much - and I still struggle with how it addresses disk-partitions - but in my mind, c7d0s0 means "controller: 7, disk: 0 and slice(?) 0" - I would've expected slice 2 or 3, since it's the 3rd partition on the disk.

When I use gparted (as root) under Solaris, my harddisk (/dev/sdk/c7d0p0) is reported as being one large block of "unalocated" with a size of 500GB - this matches the size of my disk... But since I'm working from it, I know there is at least a 100GB zpool there with several zfs filesystems.

Probably it's just me not knowing the ins and outs of Solaris enough - or how what commands to use - but I'm stomped...

What I would like to do, is mount the VFAT-partiton (/dev/sda2 under LinuxMint) under Solaris. As I understand it, Solaris is able to read VFAT-partitions (unlike for example ext4), and I'd like to use it to back-up some stuff from Solaris...

So how do I get Solaris to "see" the other partitions on the disk? What should be the device of the 2nd partition on the disk? I assume the mount command works pretty much like the one in Linux...

  • 1
    zpool is for ZFS only, df should print things better. No clue why gparted is going mad though.
    – grochmal
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 3:20

1 Answer 1


What actually happens with Solaris is that when you create a partition, Solaris will create a "disk" inside it. So when you see c7d0s0, means controller 7 disk 0 slice 0. Now in x86 the disk is in fact your partition. Your full disk contains something along these lines: Physical disk:

  • sda1 - Linux
  • sda2 - VFAT partition
  • sda3 - Solaris partition with SMI label.
    • Slice 0 thourgh slice 8, slice 2 represents the full disk (x86 partition)
  • sda4
    • sda5
    • sda6
    • sda7

Traditionally if you want to mount the VFAT partition, you can do it like this:

mount -F pcfs /dev/dsk/c7d0p1 /path/to/mountpoint

if you want to see which partition have recognized filesystems, you can also do:

fstyp /dev/rdsk/c7d0p1 or p2 or p3

In addittion, you can do fdisk /dev/rdsk/c1t0p0 to list all the partitions, careful not to use destroying options.

You can also take a look here for more information.

  • Yes, that worked just fine! Thank you so very much for explaining this. Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 16:10

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