How to install Solaris 10 05/08 or 10/08 for a POC

UPDATE: While these directions where made for 05/08 the install for 10/08 is identical and these will work as well.

In the desktop virtualization world, we do a lot of Windows desktop virtualization. Hence we bump into many Windows Administrators who have never installed Solaris. There is no black magic to installing Solaris, it is very similar to Windows in that you click through some text based screens and then some windows based screens, watch for periods of time while the installer runs, a reboot and you are running Solaris.

The goal of this guide is help a Windows administrator step through the installation prompts of Solaris to get a server up and running. Note just like Windows server, Solaris servers can be tuned for many different functions. The different aspects are out of scope of this guide and again the goal here is to get Solaris up and running for a POC.

To install Solaris you are going to need at least 768MB of RAM. Note you can install it with 512, but the gui installer will not start and you will be in a text based installation mode. Also the installer checks that you have at least 8GB of disk. Once Solaris is installed it will use around 3GB of disk. You will also need a somewhat modern version of a processor, Pentium 4 at a minimum. Note these are not the official hardware requirements. Just my recommendations for a POC server. Obviously the more specs the better! The official Solaris hardware list can be found here. Note the list is for servers that have been qualified and Solaris support can be purchased on. If your server is not on the list, Solaris may very well install and run on it. The Sun Device Detection Tool will let you know if Solaris will run on the system or not.

Next you are going to need to get the media. Solaris can be downloaded or ordered from this link. If you download Solaris you will need to burn a DVD. So without further ado, lets get this install rolling by putting the DVD in the drive and booting the system.

The first screen you will be presented with is the Solaris GRUB boot menu. Select Solaris and hit enter.
Grubmenu

Next you will see a series of screens as Solaris boots:
Boot1

Boot2

You will be asking what type of installation you want to perform. Select the default Solaris interactive. The system will identify the nics and attempt to configure them. Don't worry if it does not. Finally it will start Java to start the windows system. And as the screen says, please wait it can take a minute for it to start.
Install4

You then identify your keyboard layout. Note that it asks you to press F2 to continue. If F2 does not work use esc-2.
Install5

Th graphical part of the install is about to begin. Just like the Windows resize screen you will have an opportunity to tell the system that you can read the screen, or it will revert back to text.
Install5-1

At this point we are in the graphical installer and need to select the language we want the directions to be presented to us in.
Install6

The next screen provides an overview of what information is going to be requested during the install.
Install7

The next screen asks if the system is going to be networked or not. Select Networked and continue.
Install8

Next we are asked about DHCP. We are going to say no, because we want to assign a static IP.
Install8-1

Identify the host name for the system.
Install9

Enter an IP for the system.
Install10

Enter the netmask.
Install11

Leave no selected for IPv6.
Install12

Select specify a default route.
Install13

Enter the IP for your default route.
Install14

Do not enable Kerberos.
Install15

Choose DNS as the name service.
Install16

Enter your domain name.
Install17

Enter your DNS servers.
Install19

Enter your search domains. Note these are domains that will be appended to a dns search. For example if we did an nslookup foo, the resolver would look up foo.sun.com, because that is the domain we are in. We need to add other domains, in the example internal.sun.com, if we want to resolve names for that domain.
Install20-1-1

Note that if your server can't successfully do a DNS lookup for your host information you will be prompted to confirm your entries. If your entries are correct it is safe to proceed.

The full details of NFS are outside of the scope of the guide and details can be found here. Select Use the NFSv4 domain derived by the system.
Install21

Select your time zone. Select Geographic Continent.
Install22

Use the menu in the middle to find your time zone.
Install23

The next screen allows you to set the system time adjust if needed.
Install24

Enter a root password for the system.
Install25

Solaris can be hardened so the only port open is SSH. Since this is a lab machine we don't want to do this. Leave yes checked to leave other ports open.
Install25-1

The next screen gives you the chance to confirm your selections. If everything is good to go click on next, if not click on back to make corrections.
Install26

Next we move into defining the parameters for the Solaris install.
Install27

We want the system to reboot automatically and to eject any CD's.
Install28

We are going to install from DVD.
Install29

The installer will do some thinking at this point. This step can take a few minutes.
Install30

Accept the software license.
Install31

Choose custom install.
Install31-1

Choose your geographic location. North America English.
Install32

Choose the system local English Posix C.
Install33

Web start allows for additional products to be installed. We are not going to install any at this time.
Install34

The next screen allows us to install different packages. We are going to do a default install of the entire OS.
Install35

We need to identify what disk we want to install on. Select your primary hard drive.
Install36

Select the primary hard drive for partitioning customization.
Install37

Let Solaris use the whole disk.
Install38

We want to modify and change the partition tables that the installer gave us.
Install39

A full discussion of file systems is out of scope of this guide. For now create a /swap with half the amount of RAM you have in the system, and put the rest of the disk space into / similar to the snap below.
Install40

Confirm installation settings. If everything is okay click install now. If not go back and change things.
Install41

Solaris is now installing. This is going to take a while.
Install41-1

When the install is finished the system will reboot. On the first boot it will need to build the service descriptors. Note it only does this on the first boot after an install and it can take a few minutes.
Install42

Finally you will have the Solaris log in screen up. Log in with the user name root and the password you created during setup.
Install44

Always patch Solaris after installing! Here's how...

Download reco'd patch cluster from SunSolve (requires login & service contract)

In the SunSolve Patch Contents section, click Patches and Updates
In the Downloads section, click Patch Cluster & Patch Bundle Downloads
In the Solaris Patch Clusters section, expand Recommended Patch Clusters
Click the Download link for the appropriate cluster...

Solaris 10 SPARC Recommended Patch Cluster
Solaris 10 x86 Recommended Patch Cluster

Unzip & apply (SPARC):
unzip -qq 10_Recommended.zip
cd 10_Recommended
./install_cluster -q

Unzip & apply (x86):
unzip -qq 10_x86_Recommended.zip
cd 10_x86_Recommended
./install_cluster -q

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