Multiple Interfaces (NICs) use single MAC-Address in Solaris on SPARC

In SPARC Servers running Sun Solaris, you can see multiple Network Interface Cards (NICs) or interfaces are all sharing a single MAC-Address than having a unique Factory-default MAC-Address assigned to it. This is because by default, a System-Wide MAC-Address is assigned to all the NICs and hence a ifconfig -a output will show only one MAC-Address.

To confirm this behaviour

root@solarisserver# eeprom local-mac-address?

The output “local-mac-address?=false” indicates that the factory-default Mac-Address is not being used and a system-wide MAC-Address is used.

To make the NICs use their factory default MAC-Address set the “local-mac-address?” value to true.

root@solarisserver# eeprom local-mac-address?=true

This requires a reboot for the changes to take effect and hence reboot the server.

root@solarisserver# init 6

When the system comes back online, an “ifconfig -a” should show the NICs having individual MAC-Addresses. These are the factory default unique mac-addresses than the system-wide mac-addresses.

If however, if you find more than one interface still have same MAC-Address then it indicates that the NIC does not have a factory-default mac-address and hence will still use the system-wide mac-address.

3 thoughts on “Multiple Interfaces (NICs) use single MAC-Address in Solaris on SPARC”

  1. Hello All,
    Before reinstall Solaris 8, the E3500 server
    worked with multiple NICs and mutiple MACs.
    After reinstall Solaris 8, it still work with a
    multiple NICs, but use a single MAC.
    Q. What alse can be the reason?

  2. older Sun interfaces such as le, hme do not have a MAC address assigned to them. use the ifconfig command to change an interface MAC address.

    ifconfig hme1 8:0:20:aa:aa:aa

    to make the change perm put the command in a script that runs at boot or add it to /etc/init.d/inetsvc

    of course make the MAC unique for each interface, only use on internal networks, and make a copy of inetsvc before you edit it.

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