Thursday Feb 20, 2014

Pre-work for upcoming Solaris 11 Hands on Workshops

Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting several Solaris 11 hands on workshops. Some of these will be public events at an Oracle office while others will be private sessions for a specific customer. If you are planning on attending any of these sessions, there are a few items of pre-work that will help us get the workshop started on time.

Enable VT-x

If you will be using VirtualBox to run your workshop lab guest, the hardware virtualization feature for your CPU must be enabled. For AMD systems, AMD-V is on by default and there may not be a setting to turn it off. For Intel systems, this is controlled by a BIOS setting, and almost always defaults to disabled. The BIOS setting varies from vendor to vendor, but is generally found in the System or CPU settings. If you don't see it there, try looking in security. If you still can't find it, search for your brand of laptop and "enable vt" using your favorite search engine.

On newer Intel systems, you may be given choices for CPU virtualization (VT-x) and data/IO (VT-d). You only need to enable VT-x. Some laptops will require a complete power cycle after changing this setting, including removing the battery.

If you have a company laptop that does not allow you to change the BIOS settings, you might ask your employer if they can provide you one for the day that is not locked down.

Note: Enabling hardware virtualization is a requirement to complete the workshop.

Download and Install VirtualBox

Since this will be primarily a hands on lab, you are encouraged to bring a laptop. The labs will all be run in a Solaris guest machine, so your laptop will also need a virtualization application, such as VMware or VirtualBox. We recommend VirtualBox and will be supplying the lab materials as a VirtualBox guest appliance. You can download VirtualBox for free at VirtualBox.org. Binaries are available for Windows, MacOS, Solaris and most Linux distributions.

After installing VirtualBox, you should also install the VirtualBox Extensions Pack. These are not required for the lab, but should you continue to use the guest machine after the workshop, you might find some of the features very useful.

Don't Forget Your Power Adapters

Since you will be running Solaris as a guest operating system, your host power management features might not very effective and you may find yourself with a drained battery before the morning is over. Please remember to bring your power adapter and cables. An external mouse, while not required, is generally a welcome device, as you cut and paste text between windows.

That should be about it. Please leave a comment if you have any questions. I am looking forward to seeing you at one of these, or a future Solaris event.

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Thursday Jul 11, 2013

VirtualBox 4.2.16 is now available

On July 4, 2013, the VirtualBox development team released version 4.2.16 and it is available for download.

This is a maintenance release for version 4.2 and contains a relatively small number updates, but one important fix for appliance importing. Here is the list from the official Changelog.

  • OVF/OVA: don't crash on import if no manifest is used (4.2.14 regression; bug #11895)
  • GUI: do not restore the current snapshot if we power-off after a Guru Mediation
  • Storage: fixed a crash when hotplugging an empty DVD drive to the VM
  • Storage: fixed a crash when a guest read from a DVD drive attached to the SATA controller under certain circumstances
  • EFI: don't fail with 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts (bug #11456)
  • Autostart: fixed VM startup on OS X
  • Windows hosts: native Windows 8 controls
  • Windows hosts: restore native style on Vista 32
  • Windows hosts / guests: Windows 8.1 adaptions (bug #11899)
  • Mac OS X hosts: after removing VirtualBox with VirtualBox_Uninstall.tool, remove it from the pkgutil --pkgs list as well

    The full changelog can be found here.

    You can download binaries for Solaris, Linux, Windows and MacOS hosts at
    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

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  • Monday Jun 24, 2013

    VirtualBox 4.2.14 is now available

    The VirtualBox development team has just released version 4.2.14, and it is now available for download. This is a maintenance release for version 4.2 and contains quite a few fixes. Here is the list from the official Changelog.

  • VMM: another TLB invalidation fix for non-present pages
  • VMM: fixed a performance regression (4.2.8 regression; bug #11674)
  • GUI: fixed a crash on shutdown
  • GUI: prevent stuck keys under certain conditions on Windows hosts (bugs #2613, #6171)
  • VRDP: fixed a rare crash on the guest screen resize
  • VRDP: allow to change VRDP parameters (including enabling/disabling the server) if the VM is paused
  • USB: fixed passing through devices on Mac OS X host to a VM with 2 or more virtual CPUs (bug #7462)
  • USB: fixed hang during isochronous transfer with certain devices (4.1 regression; Windows hosts only; bug #11839)
  • USB: properly handle orphaned URBs (bug #11207)
  • BIOS: fixed function for returning the PCI interrupt routing table (fixes NetWare 6.x guests)
  • BIOS: don't use the ENTER / LEAVE instructions in the BIOS as these don't work in the real mode as set up by certain guests (e.g. Plan 9 and QNX 4)
  • DMI: allow to configure DmiChassisType (bug #11832)
  • Storage: fixed lost writes if iSCSI is used with snapshots and asynchronous I/O (bug #11479)
  • Storage: fixed accessing certain VHDX images created by Windows 8 (bug #11502)
  • Storage: fixed hang when creating a snapshot using Parallels disk images (bug #9617)
  • 3D: seamless + 3D fixes (bug #11723)
  • 3D: version 4.2.12 was not able to read saved states of older versions under certain conditions (bug #11718)
  • Main/Properties: don't create a guest property for non-running VMs if the property does not exist and is about to be removed (bug #11765)
  • Main/Properties: don't forget to make new guest properties persistent after the VM was terminated (bug #11719)
  • Main/Display: don't lose seamless regions during screen resize
  • Main/OVF: don't crash during import if the client forgot to call Appliance::interpret() (bug #10845)
  • Main/OVF: don't create invalid appliances by stripping the file name if the VM name is very long (bug #11814)
  • Main/OVF: don't fail if the appliance contains multiple file references (bug #10689)
  • Main/Metrics: fixed Solaris file descriptor leak
  • Settings: limit depth of snapshot tree to 250 levels, as more will lead to decreased performance and may trigger crashes
  • VBoxManage: fixed setting the parent UUID on diff images using sethdparentuuid
  • Linux hosts: work around for not crashing as a result of automatic NUMA balancing which was introduced in Linux 3.8 (bug #11610)
  • Windows installer: force the installation of the public certificate in background (i.e. completely prevent user interaction) if the --silent command line option is specified
  • Windows Additions: fixed problems with partial install in the unattended case
  • Windows Additions: fixed display glitch with the Start button in seamless mode for some themes
  • Windows Additions: Seamless mode and auto-resize fixes
  • Windows Additions: fixed trying to to retrieve new auto-logon credentials if current ones were not processed yet
  • Windows Additions installer: added the /with_wddm switch to select the experimental WDDM driver by default
  • Linux Additions: fixed setting own timed out and aborted texts in information label of the lightdm greeter
  • Linux Additions: fixed compilation against Linux 3.2.0 Ubuntu kernels (4.2.12 regression as a side effect of the Debian kernel build fix; bug #11709)
  • X11 Additions: reduced the CPU load of VBoxClient in drag'and'drop mode
  • OS/2 Additions: made the mouse wheel work (bug #6793)
  • Guest Additions: fixed problems copying and pasting between two guests on an X11 host (bug #11792)

    The full changelog can be found here.

    You can download binaries for Solaris, Linux, Windows and MacOS hosts at
    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

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  • Saturday Apr 13, 2013

    VirtualBox 4.2.12 is now available

    The VirtualBox development team has just released version 4.2.12, and it is now available for download. This is a maintenance release for version 4.2 and contains the following fixes.

  • VMM: fixed a Guru Meditation on putting Linux guest CPU online if nested paging is disabled
  • VMM: invalidate TLB entries even for non-present pages
  • GUI: Multi-screen support: fixed a crash on visual-mode change
  • GUI: Multi-screen support: disabled guest-screens should now remain disabled on visual-mode change
  • GUI: Multi-screen support: handle host/guest screen plugging/unplugging in different visual-modes
  • GUI: Multi-screen support: seamless mode: fixed a bug when empty seamless screens were represented by fullscreen windows
  • GUI: Multi-screen support: each machine window in multi-screen configuration should have correct menu-bar now (Mac OS X hosts)
  • GUI: Multi-screen support: machine window View menu should have correct content in seamless/fullscreen mode now (Mac OS X hosts)
  • GUI: VM manager: vertical scroll-bars should be now updated on content/window resize
  • GUI: VM settings: fixed crash on machine state-change event
  • GUI: don't show warnings about enabled or disabled mouse integration if the VM was restored from a saved state
  • Virtio-net: properly announce that the guest has to handle partial TCP checksums
  • Storage: Fixed incorrect alignment of VDI images causing disk size changes when using snapshots
  • Audio: fixed broken ALSA & PulseAudio on some Linux hosts due to invalid symbol resolution
  • PS/2 keyboard: re-apply keyboard repeat delay and rate after a VM was restored from a saved state
  • BIOS: updated DMI processor information table (type 4): corrected L1 & L2 cache table handles
  • Timekeeping: fix several issues which can lead to incorrect time, Solaris guests sporadically showed time going briefly back to Jan 1 1970
  • Main/Metrics: disk metrics are collected properly when software RAID, symbolic links or rootfs are used on Linux hosts
  • VBoxManage: don't stay paused after a snapshot was created and the VM was running before
  • VBoxManage: introduced controlvm nicpromisc
  • VBoxManage: don't crash on controlvm guestmemoryballoon if the VM isn't running
  • VBoxHeadless: don't filter guest property events as this would affect all clients
  • Guest control: prevent double CR in the output generated by guest commands and do NLS conversion
  • Linux hosts / guests: fixed build errors on Linux 3.5 and newer kernels if the CONFIG_UIDGID_STRICT_TYPE_CHECKS config option is enabled
  • Linux Additions: handle fall-back to VESA driver on RedHat-based guests if vboxvideo cannot be loaded
  • Linux Additions: RHEL/OEL/CentOS 6.4 compile fix
  • Linux Additions: Debian Linux kernel 3.2.0-4 (3.2.39) compile fix
  • Linux Additions: added auto-logon support for Linux guests using LightDM as the display manager
  • Windows Additions: Support for multimonitor. Dynamic enable/disable of secondary virtual monitors. Support for XPDM/WDDM based guests
  • X11 Additions: support X.Org Server 1.14

    The full changelog can be found here.

    You can download binaries for Solaris, Linux, Windows and MacOS hosts at
    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

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  • Friday Feb 01, 2013

    Installing Solaris 10 in VirtualBox (watch that memory setting)

    During a recent Solaris 11 Hands on Workshop, a couple of attendees mentioned troubles installing Solaris 10 as a VirtualBox guest. In truth, it had been quite a while since I last installed Solaris 10, so I was unable to help at that particular moment, other than to recommend verifying the md5 checksum of the downloaded ISO image - a very common installation problem.

    Thinking a bit more about this, the last time I installed Solaris 10 as a guest was 10/08 (u6) and it would have been on version 3.something of VirtualBox. Thanks to Live Upgrade and VirtualBox's cloning and snapshot capabilities, I really haven't had a reason to install anything newer. Until now.

    Trying to duplicate my customer's problems, I grabbed a copy of the Solaris 10 8/11 ISO image from the Oracle Technology Network and verified the MD5 checksum. I then configured a guest VM with the following settings:

    • CPU: 1
    • Video Memory: 32MB
    • Base Memory: 1024MB
    In other words, a pretty basic 1GB guest machine. More important, it is exactly the same configuration as the half dozen or so other guests that are running 8/11 just fine, courtesy of Live Upgrade.

    After starting the guest machine with the Solaris 10 8/11 ISO image in the CDROM device, you quickly get a kernel oops that looks something like this.

    Click image to enlarge

    That's not quite what I expected, but it does look like what the workshop attendees were describing. Trying Solaris 10 10/09 (u8) produces slightly different results (the guest quietly stalls), but ultimately ends up in the same place - a failed installation. This led me down a path of changing the chipset to ICH9 and enabling IO APIC which helped with u8, but the u10 install was still punting.

    Then I remembered reading something in the release notes about the minimum memory requirements bumping up. Sure enough, when I look up the System Requirements in theSolaris 10 8/11 Installation Guide, I see that the minimum memory size for x86 is now 1.5GB. After adjusting the base memory to 1500MB in the guest, the installation completes as expected.

    The moral to this story is that minimum system requirements are documented for a reason and they really should be followed.

    Thursday Dec 20, 2012

    pkg fix is my friend - a followup

    We bloggers appreciate questions and comments about what we post, whether privately in email or attached as comments to some article. In my last post, a reader asked a set of questions that were so good, I didn't want them to get lost down in the comments section. A big thanks to David Lange for asking these questions. I shall try to answer them here (perhaps with a bit more detail than you might have wanted).

    Does the pkg fix reinstall binaries if the hash or chksum doesn't match?

    Yes, it does. Let's actually see this in action, and then we will take a look at where it is getting the information required to correct the error.

    Since I'm working on a series of Solaris 11 Automated Installer (AI) How To articles, installadm seems a good choice to damage, courtesy of the random number generator.

    # ls /sbin/install*
    /sbin/install             /sbin/installadm-convert  /sbin/installf
    /sbin/installadm          /sbin/installboot         /sbin/installgrub
    
    # cd /sbin
    # mv installadm installadm-
    
    # dd if=/dev/random of=/sbin/installadm bs=8192 count=32
    0+32 records in
    0+32 records out
    
    # ls -la installadm*
    -rw-r--r--   1 root     root       33280 Dec 18 18:50 installadm
    -r-xr-xr-x   1 root     bin        12126 Dec 17 08:36 installadm-
    -r-xr-xr-x   1 root     bin        74910 Dec 17 08:36 installadm-convert
    
    OK, that should do it. Unless I am terribly unlucky, those random bytes will produce something that doesn't match the stored hash value of the installadm binary.

    This time, I will begin the repair process with a pkg verify, just to see what is broken.

    # pkg verify installadm
    PACKAGE                                                                 STATUS 
    pkg://solaris/install/installadm                                         ERROR
    
    	file: usr/sbin/installadm
    		Group: 'root (0)' should be 'bin (2)'
    		Mode: 0644 should be 0555
    		Size: 33280 bytes should be 12126
    		Hash: 2e862c7ebd5dce82ffd1b30c666364f23e9118b5 
                         should be 68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7
    
    For clarity, I have removed all of the compiled python module errors. Most of these have been corrected in Solaris 11.1, but you may see these occasionally when doing a pkg verify.

    Since we have a real package error, let's correct it.

    # pkg fix installadm
    Verifying: pkg://solaris/install/installadm                     ERROR          
    
    	file: usr/sbin/installadm
    		Group: 'root (0)' should be 'bin (2)'
    		Mode: 0644 should be 0555
    		Size: 33280 bytes should be 12126
    		Hash: 2e862c7ebd5dce82ffd1b30c666364f23e9118b5 
                         should be 68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7
    Created ZFS snapshot: 2012-12-19-00:51:00
    Repairing: pkg://solaris/install/installadm                  
                                                                                   
    
    DOWNLOAD                                  PKGS       FILES    XFER (MB)
    Completed                                  1/1       24/24      0.1/0.1
    
    PHASE                                        ACTIONS
    Update Phase                                   24/24 
    
    PHASE                                          ITEMS
    Image State Update Phase                         2/2 
    
    We can now run installadm as if it was never damaged.
    # installadm list
    
    Service Name     Alias Of       Status  Arch   Image Path 
    ------------     --------       ------  ----   ---------- 
    default-i386     solaris11-i386 on      x86    /install/solaris11-i386
    solaris11-i386   -              on      x86    /install/solaris11-i386
    solaris11u1-i386 -              on      x86    /install/solaris11u1-i386
    
    Oh, if you are wondering about that hash, it is a SHA1 checksum.
    # digest -a sha1 /usr/sbin/installadm
    68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7
    
    

    If so does IPS keep the installation binaries in a depot or have to point to the originating depot to fix the problem?

    IPS does keep a local cache of package attributes. Before diving into some of these details, it should be known that some, if not all of these, are private details of the current implementation of IPS, and can change in the future. Always consult the command and configuration file man pages before using any of these in scripts. In this case, the relevant information would be in pkg(5) (i.e. man -s 5 pkg).

    Our first step is to identify which publisher has provided the package that is currently installed. In my case, there is only one (solaris), but in a large and mature enterprise deployment, there could be many publishers.

    # pkg info installadm
    pkg info installadm
              Name: install/installadm
           Summary: installadm utility
       Description: Automatic Installation Server Setup Tools
          Category: System/Administration and Configuration
             State: Installed
         Publisher: solaris
           Version: 0.5.11
     Build Release: 5.11
            Branch: 0.175.0.0.0.2.1482
    Packaging Date: October 19, 2011 12:26:24 PM 
              Size: 1.04 MB
              FMRI: pkg://solaris/install/installadm@0.5.11,5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482:20111019T122624Z
    
    From this we have learned that the actual package name is install/installadm and the publisher is in fact, solaris. We have also learned that the version of installadm comes from the original Solaris 11 GA release (5.11-0.175.0.0). That will allow us to go take a look at some of the configuration files (private interface warning still in effect).

    Note: Since package names contain slashes (/), we will have to encode them as %2F to keep the shell from interpreting them as a directory delimiter.

    # cd /var/pkg/publisher/solaris/pkg/install%2Finstalladm
    # ls -la
    drwxr-xr-x   2 root     root           4 Dec 18 00:55 .
    drwxr-xr-x 818 root     root         818 Dec 17 08:36 ..
    -rw-r--r--   1 root     root       25959 Dec 17 08:36
                0.5.11%2C5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482%3A20111019T122624Z
    -rw-r--r--   1 root     root       26171 Dec 18 00:55
                0.5.11%2C5.11-0.175.0.13.0.3.0%3A20121026T213106Z
    
    The file 0.5.11%2C5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482%3A20111019T122624Z is the one we are interested in.
    # digest -a sha1 /usr/sbin/installadm
    68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7
    
    # grep 68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7 *
    file 68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7
    chash=a5c14d2f8cc854dbd4fa15c3121deca6fca64515 group=bin mode=0555 
    owner=root path=usr/sbin/installadm pkg.csize=3194 pkg.size=12126
    
    
    That's how IPS knows our version of installadm has been tampered with. Since it is more than just changing attributes of the files, it has to download a new copy of the damaged files, in this case from the solaris publisher (or one of its mirrors). To keep from making this worse, it also makes a snapshot of the current boot environment, in case things go terribly wrong - which they do not.

    Armed with this information, we can use some other IPS features, such as searching by binary hash.

    # pkg search -r 68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7
    INDEX                                    ACTION VALUE               PACKAGE
    68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7 file   usr/sbin/installadm 
                     pkg:/install/installadm@0.5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482
    
    ... or by name
    # pkg search -r installadm
    INDEX       ACTION VALUE                      PACKAGE
    basename    dir    usr/lib/installadm         pkg:/install/installadm@0.5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482
    basename    dir    var/installadm             pkg:/install/installadm@0.5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482
    basename    file   usr/sbin/installadm        pkg:/install/installadm@0.5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482
    pkg.fmri    set    solaris/install/installadm pkg:/install/installadm@0.5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482
    pkg.summary set    installadm utility         pkg:/install/installadm@0.5.11-0.175.0.0.0.2.1482
    
    And finally...
    # pkg contents -m installadm
    
    ..... lots of output truncated ......
    
    file 68374d71b9cb91b458a49ec104f95438c9a149a7 chash=a5c14d2f8cc854dbd4fa15c3121deca6fca64515 
    group=bin mode=0555 owner=root path=usr/sbin/installadm pkg.csize=3194 pkg.size=12126
    
    There is our information using a public and stable interface. Now you know, not only where IPS caches the information, but a predictable way to retrieve it, should you ever need to do so.

    As with the verify and fix operations, this is much more helpful than the SVR4 packaging commands in Solaris 10 and earlier.

    Given that customers might come up with their own ideas of keeping pkgs at various levels, could they be shooting themselves in the foot and creating such a customized OS that it causes problems?

    Stephen Hahn has written quite a bit on the origins of IPS, both on his archived Sun blog as well as on the OpenSolaris pkg project page. While it is a fascinating and useful read, the short answer is that IPS helps prevent this from happening - certainly much more so than with the previous packaging system.

    The assistance comes in several ways.

    Full packages: Since IPS delivers full packages only, that eliminates one of the most confusing and frustrating aspects of the legacy Solaris packaging system. Every time you update a package with IPS, you get a complete version of the software, the way it was assembled and tested at Oracle (and presumably other publishers as well). No more patch order files and, perhaps more important, no more complicated scripts to automate the patching process.

    Dependencies: A rich dependency mechanism allows the package maintainer to guarantee that other related software is at a compatible version. This includes incorporations, which protect large groups of software, such as the basic desktop, GNOME, auto-install and the userland tools. Although not a part of dependencies, facets allow for the control of optional software components - locales being a good example.

    Boot environments: Solaris 10 system administrators can enjoy many of the benefits of IPS boot environment integration by using Live Upgrade and ZFS as a root file system. IPS takes this to the next level by automatically performing important operations, such as upgrading the pkg package when needed or taking a snapshot before performing any risky actions.

    Expanding your question just a bit, IPS provides one new capability that should make updates much more predictable. If there is some specific component that an application requires, its version can be locked within a range. Here is an example, albeit a rather contrived one.

    # pkg list -af jre-6
    NAME (PUBLISHER)                                  VERSION                    IFO
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.37-0.175.1.2.0.3.0   ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.35-0.175.1.0.0.24.1  ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.35-0.175.0.11.0.4.0  ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.33-0.175.0.10.0.2.0  ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.33-0.175.0.9.0.2.0   ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.32-0.175.0.8.0.4.0   ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.0-0.175.0.0.0.2.0    i--
    
    Suppose that we have an application that is tied to version 1.6.0.0 of the java runtime. You can lock it at that version and IPS will prevent you from applying any upgrade that would change it. In this example, an attempt to upgrade to SRU8 (which introduces version 1.6.0.32 of jre-6) will fail.
    # pkg freeze -c "way cool demonstration of IPS" jre-6@1.6.0.0
    runtime/java/jre-6 was frozen at 1.6.0.0
    
    # pkg list -af jre-6
    pkg list -af jre-6
    NAME (PUBLISHER)                                  VERSION                    IFO
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.37-0.175.1.2.0.3.0   ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.35-0.175.1.0.0.24.1  ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.35-0.175.0.11.0.4.0  ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.33-0.175.0.10.0.2.0  ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.33-0.175.0.9.0.2.0   ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.32-0.175.0.8.0.4.0   ---
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.0-0.175.0.0.0.2.0    if-
    
    # pkg update --be-name s11ga-sru08  entire@0.5.11-0.175.0.8
    
    What follows is a lengthy set of complaints about not being able to satisfy all of the constraints, conveniently pointing back to our frozen package.

    But wait, there's more. IPS can figure out the latest update it can apply that satisfies the frozen package constraint. In this example, it should find SRU7.

    # pkg update --be-name s11ga-sru07
                Packages to update:  89
           Create boot environment: Yes
    Create backup boot environment:  No
    
    DOWNLOAD                                  PKGS       FILES    XFER (MB)
    Completed                                89/89   3909/3909  135.7/135.7
    
    PHASE                                        ACTIONS
    Removal Phase                                720/720 
    Install Phase                                889/889 
    Update Phase                               5066/5066 
    
    PHASE                                          ITEMS
    Package State Update Phase                   178/178 
    Package Cache Update Phase                     89/89 
    Image State Update Phase                         2/2 
    
    A clone of solaris exists and has been updated and activated.
    On the next boot the Boot Environment s11ga-sru07 will be
    mounted on '/'.  Reboot when ready to switch to this updated BE.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NOTE: Please review release notes posted at:
    
    http://www.oracle.com/pls/topic/lookup?ctx=E23824&id=SERNS
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    When the system is rebooted, a quick look shows that we are indeed running with SRU7.

    Perhaps we were too restrictive in locking down jre-6 to version 1.6.0.0. In this example, we will loosen the constraint to any 1.6.0 version, but prohibit upgrades that change it to 1.6.1. Note that I did not have to unfreeze the package as a new pkg freeze will replace the preceding one.

    # pkg freeze jre-6@1.6.0
    runtime/java/jre-6 was frozen at 1.6.0
    
    # pkg list -af jre-6
    NAME (PUBLISHER)                                  VERSION                    IFO
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.37-0.175.1.2.0.3.0   -f-
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.35-0.175.1.0.0.24.1  -f-
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.35-0.175.0.11.0.4.0  -f-
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.33-0.175.0.10.0.2.0  -f-
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.33-0.175.0.9.0.2.0   -f-
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.32-0.175.0.8.0.4.0   -f-
    runtime/java/jre-6                                1.6.0.0-0.175.0.0.0.2.0    if-
    
    This shows that all versions are available for upgrade (i.e. , they all satisfy the frozen package constraint).

    Once again, IPS gives us a wonderful capability that is missing in the legacy packaging system.

    When you perform a pkg update on a system are we guaranteed a highly tested configuration that has gone thru multiple regression tests?

    Short answer: yes.

    For the details, I will turn your attention to our friend, Gerry Haskins, and his two excellent blogs: The Patch Corner (Solaris 10 and earlier) and Solaris 11 Maintenance Lifecycle. Both are excellent reads and I encourage everybody to add them to your RSS reader of choice.

    Of particular note is Gerry's presentation, Solaris 11 Customer Maintenance Lifecycle, which goes into some great detail about patches, upgrades and the like. If you dig back to around the time that Solaris 10 9/10(u9) was released, you will find a links to a pair of interesting documents titled Oracle Integrated Stack - Complete, Trusted Enterprise Solutions and Trust Your Enterprise Deployments to the Oracle Product Stack: The integrated platform that's been developed, tested and certified to get the job done. These documents describe several test environments, including the Oracle Certification Environment (OCE) and Oracle Automated Stress Test (OAST). All Solaris 10 patches and Solaris 11 package updates (including Oracle Solaris Cluster) are put through these tests prior to release. The result is a higher confidence that patches will not introduce stability or performance problems, negating the old practice of putting a release or patch bundle on the shelf while somebody else finds all of the problems. Local testing on your own equipment is still a necessary practice, but you are able to move more quickly to a new release thanks to these additional testing environments.

    If I am allowed to ask a follow up question, it would be something like, "what can I do proactively to keep my system as current as possible and reduce the risks of bad patch or package interactions?"

    That is where the Critical Patch Updates come into play. Solaris 11 Support Repository Updates (SRU) come out approximately once per month. Every third one (generally) is special and becomes the CPU for Solaris. If you have a regular cadence for applying CPUs or Patch Set Updates (PSU) for your other Oracle software, choose the corresponding SRU that has been designated as that quarter's CPU. You can find this information in My Oracle Support (MOS), on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN), or just read Gerry's blog in mid January, April, July and October.

    Thanks again to David Lange for asking such good questions. I hope the answers helped.

    Tuesday Dec 11, 2012

    Solaris 11 pkg fix is my new friend

    While putting together some examples of the Solaris 11 Automated Installer (AI), I managed to really mess up my system, to the point where AI was completely unusable. This was my fault as a combination of unfortunate incidents left some remnants that were causing problems, so I tried to clean things up. Unsuccessfully. Perhaps that was a bad idea (OK, it was a terrible idea), but this is Solaris 11 and there are a few more tricks in the sysadmin toolbox.

    Here's what I did.

    # rm -rf /install/*
    # rm -rf /var/ai
    
    # installadm create-service -n solaris11-x86 --imagepath /install/solaris11-x86 \
                     -s solaris-auto-install@5.11-0.175.0
    
    Warning: Service svc:/network/dns/multicast:default is not online.
       Installation services will not be advertised via multicast DNS.
    
    Creating service from: solaris-auto-install@5.11-0.175.0
    DOWNLOAD                                PKGS         FILES    XFER (MB)   SPEED
    Completed                                1/1       130/130  264.4/264.4    0B/s
    
    PHASE                                          ITEMS
    Installing new actions                       284/284
    Updating package state database                 Done 
    Updating image state                            Done 
    Creating fast lookup database                   Done 
    Reading search index                            Done 
    Updating search index                            1/1 
    
    Creating i386 service: solaris11-x86
    
    Image path: /install/solaris11-x86
    
    So far so good. Then comes an oops.....
    setup-service[168]: cd: /var/ai//service/.conf-templ: [No such file or directory]
                                             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    
    This is where you generally say a few things to yourself, and then promise to quit deleting configuration files and directories when you don't know what you are doing. Then you recall that the new Solaris 11 packaging system has some ability to correct common mistakes (like the one I just made). Let's give it a try.
    # pkg fix installadm
    Verifying: pkg://solaris/install/installadm                     ERROR
            dir: var/ai
                    Group: 'root (0)' should be 'sys (3)'
            dir: var/ai/ai-webserver
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/ai-webserver/compatibility-configuration
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/ai-webserver/conf.d
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/image-server
                    Group: 'root (0)' should be 'sys (3)'
            dir: var/ai/image-server/cgi-bin
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/image-server/images
                    Group: 'root (0)' should be 'sys (3)'
            dir: var/ai/image-server/logs
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/profile
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/service
                    Group: 'root (0)' should be 'sys (3)'
            dir: var/ai/service/.conf-templ
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/service/.conf-templ/AI_data
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            dir: var/ai/service/.conf-templ/AI_files
                    Missing: directory does not exist
            file: var/ai/ai-webserver/ai-httpd-templ.conf
                    Missing: regular file does not exist
            file: var/ai/service/.conf-templ/AI.db
                    Missing: regular file does not exist
            file: var/ai/image-server/cgi-bin/cgi_get_manifest.py
                    Missing: regular file does not exist
    Created ZFS snapshot: 2012-12-11-21:09:53
    Repairing: pkg://solaris/install/installadm                  
    Creating Plan (Evaluating mediators): |
    
    DOWNLOAD                                PKGS         FILES    XFER (MB)   SPEED
    Completed                                1/1           3/3      0.0/0.0    0B/s
    
    PHASE                                          ITEMS
    Updating modified actions                      16/16
    Updating image state                            Done 
    Creating fast lookup database                   Done 
    
    In just a few moments, IPS found the missing files and incorrect ownerships/permissions. Instead of reinstalling the system, or falling back to an earlier Live Upgrade boot environment, I was able to create my AI services and now all is well.
    # installadm create-service -n solaris11-x86 --imagepath /install/solaris11-x86 \
                       -s solaris-auto-install@5.11-0.175.0
    Warning: Service svc:/network/dns/multicast:default is not online.
       Installation services will not be advertised via multicast DNS.
    
    Creating service from: solaris-auto-install@5.11-0.175.0
    DOWNLOAD                                PKGS         FILES    XFER (MB)   SPEED
    Completed                                1/1       130/130  264.4/264.4    0B/s
    
    PHASE                                          ITEMS
    Installing new actions                       284/284
    Updating package state database                 Done 
    Updating image state                            Done 
    Creating fast lookup database                   Done 
    Reading search index                            Done 
    Updating search index                            1/1 
    
    Creating i386 service: solaris11-x86
    
    Image path: /install/solaris11-x86
    
    Refreshing install services
    Warning: mDNS registry of service solaris11-x86 could not be verified.
    
    Creating default-i386 alias
    
    Setting the default PXE bootfile(s) in the local DHCP configuration
    to:
    bios clients (arch 00:00):  default-i386/boot/grub/pxegrub
    
    
    Refreshing install services
    Warning: mDNS registry of service default-i386 could not be verified.
    
    # installadm create-service -n solaris11u1-x86 --imagepath /install/solaris11u1-x86 \
                        -s solaris-auto-install@5.11-0.175.1
    Warning: Service svc:/network/dns/multicast:default is not online.
       Installation services will not be advertised via multicast DNS.
    
    Creating service from: solaris-auto-install@5.11-0.175.1
    DOWNLOAD                                PKGS         FILES    XFER (MB)   SPEED
    Completed                                1/1       514/514  292.3/292.3    0B/s
    
    PHASE                                          ITEMS
    Installing new actions                       661/661
    Updating package state database                 Done 
    Updating image state                            Done 
    Creating fast lookup database                   Done 
    Reading search index                            Done 
    Updating search index                            1/1 
    
    Creating i386 service: solaris11u1-x86
    
    Image path: /install/solaris11u1-x86
    
    Refreshing install services
    Warning: mDNS registry of service solaris11u1-x86 could not be verified.
    
    # installadm list
    
    Service Name    Alias Of      Status  Arch   Image Path 
    ------------    --------      ------  ----   ---------- 
    default-i386    solaris11-x86 on      i386   /install/solaris11-x86
    solaris11-x86   -             on      i386   /install/solaris11-x86
    solaris11u1-x86 -             on      i386   /install/solaris11u1-x86
    
    
    
    This is way way better than pkgchk -f in Solaris 10. I'm really beginning to like this new IPS packaging system.

    Wednesday Aug 22, 2012

    VirtualBox 4.2 Release Candidate 2 is available for testing

    Release Candidate 2 of VirtualBox 4.2 is now available for testing. This release is made available for testers and early adopters, and should not be used on production or critical systems.

    Version 4.2 will be a major update and contains the following new features.

  • Improved Windows 8 support, in particular many 3D-related fixes
  • Ability to group virtual machines
  • Expert mode for wizards
  • Allow more settings to be modified while a guest is running
  • Support for up to 36 network cards
  • Limiting network IO bandwidth
  • Ability to start VMs during system boot on Linux, OS X and Solaris
  • New experimental support for Drag'n'drop from the host to Linux guests. Support for more guests and for guest-to-host is planned. (bug #81)
  • Host parallel port pass through on Windows platform
  • New API functions for controlling guests (see the SDK documentation)

    In addition to the new functionality, the following bugs have been fixed since the last beta release.

  • Mac OS X hosts: sign application and installer to avoid warnings on Mountain Lion
  • VMM: improved VM context switch performance for Intel CPUs using nested paging
  • VMM: added support for FlushByASID features of AMD CPUs (Bulldozer and newer)
  • VMM: fixed unreal mode handling on older CPUs with VT-x (gPXE, Solaris 7/8/9; bug #9941)
  • VMM: fixed MP tables fixes for I/O APIC interrupt routing relevant for ancient SMP guests (e.g. old OS/2 releases)
  • VMM: support recent VIA CPUs (bug #10005)
  • GUI: network operations manager
  • GUI: allow taking screenshots of the current VM window content
  • GUI: allow automatically sorting of the VM list
  • GUI: allow starting of headless VMs from the GUI
  • GUI: allow reset, shutdown and poweroff from the Manager window
  • GUI: allow to globally limit the maximum screen resolution for guests
  • GUI: show the full medium part on hovering the list of recently used ISO images
  • GUI: do not create additional folders when a new machine has a separator character in its name (bug #6541)
  • GUI: don't crash on terminate if the settings dialog is still open (bug #9973)
  • Snapshots: fixed a crash when restoring an old snapshot when powering off a VM (bug #10491)
  • Settings: sanitise the name of VM folders and settings file (bug #10549)
  • Settings: allow to store the iSCSI initiator secret encrypted
  • E1000: 802.1q VLAN support
  • Storage: implemented burning of audio CDs in passthrough mode
  • Storage: implemented support for discarding unused image blocks through TRIM for SATA and IDE and UNMAP for SCSI when using VDI images
  • Storage: added support for QED images
  • Storage: added support for QCOW (full support for v1 and readonly support for v2 images)
  • Storage: added readonly support for VHDX images
  • Solaris additions: added support for X.org Server 1.11 and 1.12
  • Windows hosts: no need to recreate host-only adapters after a VirtualBox update
  • Windows hosts: updated toolchain; make the source code compatible to VC 2010 and enable some security-related compiler options
  • NAT: improvements for the built-in TFTP server (bugs #7385, #10286)

    Please refer to the VirtualBox 4.2 Release Candidate 2 Changelog for a complete list of changes and enhancements.

    Binaries for Windows, MacOS, Linux and Solaris can be downloaded here.

    Important Note: Please do not use this VirtualBox Beta release on production machines. A VirtualBox Release Candidate should be used for early evaluation and testing purposes.

    Report problems or issues at the VirtualBox Beta Forum.

    Technocrati Tags:

  • Tuesday Aug 21, 2012

    VirtualBox 4.2 Release Candidate 1 is available for testing

    Release Candidate 1 of VirtualBox 4.2 is now available for testing. This release is made available for testers and early adopters, and should not be used on production or critical systems.

    Version 4.2 will be a major update and contains the following new features.

  • Improved Windows 8 support, in particular many 3D-related fixes
  • Ability to group virtual machines
  • Expert mode for wizards
  • Allow more settings to be modified while a guest is running
  • Support for up to 36 network cards
  • Limiting network IO bandwidth
  • Ability to start VMs during system boot on Linux, OS X and Solaris
  • New experimental support for Drag'n'drop from the host to Linux guests. Support for more guests and for guest-to-host is planned. (bug #81)
  • Host parallel port pass through on Windows platform

    In addition to the new functionality, the following bugs have been fixed since the last beta release.

  • Mac OS X hosts: sign application and installer to avoid warnings on Mountain Lion
  • VMM: improved VM context switch performance for Intel CPUs using nested paging
  • VMM: added support for FlushByASID features of AMD CPUs (Bulldozer and newer)
  • VMM: fixed unreal mode handling on older CPUs with VT-x (gPXE, Solaris 7/8/9; bug #9941)
  • VMM: fixed MP tables fixes for I/O APIC interrupt routing relevant for ancient SMP guests (e.g. old OS/2 releases)
  • VMM: support recent VIA CPUs (bug #10005)
  • GUI: network operations manager
  • GUI: allow taking screenshots of the current VM window content
  • GUI: allow automatically sorting of the VM list
  • GUI: allow starting of headless VMs from the GUI
  • GUI: allow reset, shutdown and poweroff from the Manager window
  • GUI: allow to globally limit the maximum screen resolution for guests
  • GUI: show the full medium part on hovering the list of recently used ISO images
  • GUI: do not create additional folders when a new machine has a separator character in its name (bug #6541)
  • GUI: don't crash on terminate if the settings dialog is still open (bug #9973)
  • Snapshots: fixed a crash when restoring an old snapshot when powering off a VM (bug #10491)
  • Settings: sanitise the name of VM folders and settings file (bug #10549)
  • Settings: allow to store the iSCSI initiator secret encrypted
  • E1000: 802.1q VLAN support
  • Storage: implemented burning of audio CDs in passthrough mode
  • Storage: implemented support for discarding unused image blocks through TRIM for SATA and IDE and UNMAP for SCSI when using VDI images
  • Storage: added support for QED images
  • Storage: added support for QCOW (full support for v1 and readonly support for v2 images)
  • Storage: added readonly support for VHDX images
  • Solaris additions: added support for X.org Server 1.11 and 1.12
  • Windows hosts: no need to recreate host-only adapters after a VirtualBox update
  • Windows hosts: updated toolchain; make the source code compatible to VC 2010 and enable some security-related compiler options

    Please refer to the VirtualBox 4.2 Release Candidate 1 Changelog for a complete list of changes and enhancements.

    Binaries for Windows, MacOS, Linux and Solaris can be downloaded here.

    Important Note: Please do not use this VirtualBox Beta release on production machines. A VirtualBox Release Candidate should be used for early evaluation and testing purposes.

    Report problems or issues at the VirtualBox Beta Forum.

    Technocrati Tags:

  • VirtualBox 4.1.20 is now available

    VirtualBox 4.1.20 has been released and is now available. This is a maintenance release for version 4.1 and contains the following fixes.

  • VMM: fixed a crash under rare circumstances for VMs running without hardware virtualization
  • VMM: fixed a code analysis bug for certain displacement instructions for VMs running without hardware virtualization
  • VMM: fixed an interpretion bug for TPR read instructions under rare conditions (AMD-V only)
  • Snapshots: fixed a crash when restoring an old snapshot when powering off a VM (bugs #9604, #10491)
  • VBoxSVC: be more tolerant against environment variables with strange encodings (bug #8780)
  • VGA: fixed wrong access check which might cause a crash under certain conditions
  • NAT: final fix for crashes under rare conditions (bug #10513)
  • Virtio-net: fixed the problem with receiving of GSO packets in Windows XP guests causing packet loss in host-to-VM transfers
  • HPET: several fixes (bugs #10170, #10306)
  • Clipboard: disable the clipboard by default for new VMs
  • BIOS: the PCI BIOS was not properly detected with the chipset type set to ICH9 (bugs #9301, #10327)
  • Mac OS X hosts: adaptions to Mountain Lion
  • Linux Installer: fixes for Gentoo Linux (bug #10642)
  • Linux guests: fixed mouse integration on Fedora 17 guests (bug #2306)
  • Linux Additions: compile fixes for RHEL/CentOS 6.3 (bug #10756)
  • Linux Additions: compile fixes for Linux 3.5-rc1 and Linux 3.6-rc1 (bug #10709)
  • Solaris host: fixed a guru meditation while allocating large pages (bug #10600)
  • Solaris host: fixed possible kernel panics while freeing memory
  • Solaris Installer: fixed missing icon for menu and desktop shortcuts

    The full changelog can be found here.

    You can download binaries for Windows, OS X (Intel Mac), Linux and Solaris hosts at
    http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

    Technocrati Tags:

  • Wednesday Aug 15, 2012

    Pre-work for Upcoming Solaris 11 Boot Camps

    Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting some Solaris 11 hands on workshops. Some of these will be public events at an Oracle office while others will be private sessions for a specific customer.

    The public sessions I'm hosting are

    Note: there is also another identical Solaris 11 session hosted by my colleague, Pavel Anni, in Broomfield, Colorado on August 23.

    If you are planning on attending any of these sessions (including Pavel's), there are several things you can do in advance that will help not only you, but your fellow attendees.

    Enable VT-x or AMD-V on your Laptop

    If you will be using VirtualBox to host your workshop guest image, you need to enable the hardware virtualization feature. This is typically found in your BIOS and where you find the setting varies by laptop manufacturer. If you do not find it in the system or CPU settings, try looking in security. If you are given the choice of VT-x and VT-d, you only need to enable VT-x.

    If you have a company laptop that does not allow you to change the BIOS settings, you might ask your employer if they can provide you one for the day that is not locked down.

    Note: Enabling hardware virtualization is a requirement to complete the workshop.

    Download and Install VirtualBox

    Since this will be primarily a hands on lab, you are encouraged to bring a laptop. The labs will all be run in a Solaris guest machine, so your laptop will also need a virtualization application, such as VMware or VirtualBox. We recommend VirtualBox. You can download a free copy at VirtualBox.org. Binaries are available for Windows, MacOS, Solaris and most Linux distributions.

    After installing VirtualBox, you should also install the VirtualBox Extensions Pack. These are not required for the lab, but should you continue to use the guest machine after the workshop, you might find some of the features very useful.

    Download a Solaris 11 VM Appliance from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN)

    You can download a pre-built Solaris 11 guest image directly from the Oracle Technology Network. Here is a link to the VM download page. Accept the license and download the latest Solaris 11 VirtualBox guest image.

    Once downloaded, you can use the VirtualBox VM import function to create a usable guest. Clicking File -> Import Appliance on the VirtualBox main window will launch the import wizard. Select the file you just downloaded and in a few minutes you will have a bootable Solaris 11 guest. The import process should look something like this.


    Click image to enlarge

    Configure the Solaris Guest

    The first time you boot the Solaris 11 guest, you will be required to complete a short configuration dialog. Once you have specified all of the items on the page, press F2 to advance to the next screen.

    The introduction screen looks like this.



    Click image to enlarge

    On the second page, specify the host name and default network setup. The default name of solaris is used throughout the lab. For the network setup, select Automatic.



    Click image to enlarge

    The next item in the initial system configuration is the timezone. That does not matter for the hands on labs. If you are experiencing poor weather, I have found that setting the system to Aruba time can be helpful.

    The final step is to set the root password and set up the initial user. To stay consistent with the lab handouts, set the root password to oracle2011. The initial user should be specified as lab and its password should be oracle1.



    Click image to enlarge

    Finally, you will be presented a summary screen, which should look something like this. When satisfied, press F2 to complete.



    Click image to enlarge

    The Solaris 11 VM image from the Oracle Technology Network has the VirtualBox Guest Additions already installed. This enables keyboard and mouse integration as well resize/seamless windows.

    Set up a Local Repository

    To complete the zone installation labs in the workshop, you will need to access the Oracle public Solaris 11 repository, which means you also must have wireless network access. This does not always work well in a workshop with 30 or 40 users stressing out the local wireless access point. To make this easier, you can create your own customized package repository in your newly imported Solaris 11 guest. My colleague, Pavel Anni, has supplied this excellent set of instructions on how to do that..

    1. Create a directory or a ZFS file system to hold your local repository.

    # mkdir /repo
    or 
    # zfs create -o mountpoint=/repo -o compress=gzip rpool/repo
    
    2. Create an empty repository in it
    # pkgrepo create /repo
    
    3. Create a text file 'zone-pkgs.txt' with the list of necessary packages. That list should look like this (cut and paste is your best friend).
    
    pkg://solaris/compress/bzip2
    pkg://solaris/compress/gzip
    pkg://solaris/compress/p7zip
    pkg://solaris/compress/unzip
    pkg://solaris/compress/zip
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/SunVTS/SunVTS-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/X/X-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/admin/admin-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/cacao/cacao-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/cde/cde-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/cns/cns-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/dbtg/dbtg-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/desktop/desktop-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/desktop/gnome-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/gfx/gfx-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/install/install-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/ips/ips-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/java/java-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/jdmk/jdmk-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/l10n/l10n-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/ldoms/ldoms-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/man/man-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/nspg/nspg-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/nvidia/nvidia-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/osnet/osnet-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/sfw/sfw-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/sic_team/sic_team-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/solaris_re/solaris_re-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/sunpro/sunpro-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/ub_javavm/ub_javavm-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/userland/userland-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/vpanels/vpanels-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/consolidation/xvm/xvm-incorporation
    pkg://solaris/crypto/ca-certificates
    pkg://solaris/database/sqlite-3
    pkg://solaris/developer/base-developer-utilities
    pkg://solaris/developer/debug/mdb
    pkg://solaris/developer/macro/cpp
    pkg://solaris/diagnostic/cpu-counters
    pkg://solaris/diagnostic/snoop
    pkg://solaris/diagnostic/tcpdump
    pkg://solaris/driver/serial/asy
    pkg://solaris/driver/storage/cmdk
    pkg://solaris/driver/storage/mpt
    pkg://solaris/driver/x11/xsvc
    pkg://solaris/editor/vim/vim-core
    pkg://solaris/entire
    pkg://solaris/group/system/solaris-small-server
    pkg://solaris/library/database/gdbm
    pkg://solaris/library/expat
    pkg://solaris/library/libffi
    pkg://solaris/library/libidn
    pkg://solaris/library/libmilter
    pkg://solaris/library/libtecla
    pkg://solaris/library/libxml2
    pkg://solaris/library/libxslt
    pkg://solaris/library/ncurses
    pkg://solaris/library/nspr
    pkg://solaris/library/perl-5/sun-solaris-512
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/cherrypy-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/lxml-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/m2crypto-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/mako-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/ply-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/pybonjour-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/pycurl-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/pyopenssl-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/python-extra-26
    pkg://solaris/library/python-2/simplejson-26
    pkg://solaris/library/readline
    pkg://solaris/library/security/nss
    pkg://solaris/library/security/openssl
    pkg://solaris/library/security/trousers
    pkg://solaris/library/zlib
    pkg://solaris/media/cdrtools
    pkg://solaris/media/xorriso
    pkg://solaris/naming/ldap
    pkg://solaris/network/bridging
    pkg://solaris/network/dns/bind
    pkg://solaris/network/ipfilter
    pkg://solaris/network/open-fabrics
    pkg://solaris/network/ping
    pkg://solaris/network/rsync
    pkg://solaris/network/ssh
    pkg://solaris/network/ssh/ssh-key
    pkg://solaris/package/pkg
    pkg://solaris/package/pkg/zones-proxy
    pkg://solaris/package/svr4
    pkg://solaris/release/name
    pkg://solaris/release/notices
    pkg://solaris/runtime/perl-512
    pkg://solaris/runtime/python-26
    pkg://solaris/security/nss-utilities
    pkg://solaris/security/sudo
    pkg://solaris/security/tcp-wrapper
    pkg://solaris/service/file-system/nfs
    pkg://solaris/service/network/dns/mdns
    pkg://solaris/service/network/smtp/sendmail
    pkg://solaris/service/network/ssh
    pkg://solaris/service/security/gss
    pkg://solaris/service/security/kerberos-5
    pkg://solaris/shell/bash
    pkg://solaris/shell/ksh
    pkg://solaris/system/boot-environment-utilities
    pkg://solaris/system/boot/wanboot
    pkg://solaris/system/core-os
    pkg://solaris/system/data/terminfo/terminfo-core
    pkg://solaris/system/data/timezone
    pkg://solaris/system/device-administration
    pkg://solaris/system/dtrace
    pkg://solaris/system/dtrace/dtrace-toolkit
    pkg://solaris/system/fault-management
    pkg://solaris/system/fault-management/smtp-notify
    pkg://solaris/system/file-system/autofs
    pkg://solaris/system/file-system/hsfs
    pkg://solaris/system/file-system/nfs
    pkg://solaris/system/file-system/pcfs
    pkg://solaris/system/file-system/udfs
    pkg://solaris/system/file-system/ufs
    pkg://solaris/system/file-system/zfs
    pkg://solaris/system/install
    pkg://solaris/system/install/configuration
    pkg://solaris/system/install/locale
    pkg://solaris/system/kernel
    pkg://solaris/system/kernel/platform
    pkg://solaris/system/kernel/secure-rpc
    pkg://solaris/system/kernel/security/gss
    pkg://solaris/system/library
    pkg://solaris/system/library/boot-management
    pkg://solaris/system/library/c++-runtime
    pkg://solaris/system/library/gcc-3-runtime
    pkg://solaris/system/library/iconv/utf-8
    pkg://solaris/system/library/install
    pkg://solaris/system/library/libpcap
    pkg://solaris/system/library/math
    pkg://solaris/system/library/openmp
    pkg://solaris/system/library/security/gss
    pkg://solaris/system/library/security/gss/diffie-hellman
    pkg://solaris/system/library/security/gss/spnego
    pkg://solaris/system/library/security/libsasl
    pkg://solaris/system/library/security/rpcsec
    pkg://solaris/system/library/storage/libdiskmgt
    pkg://solaris/system/library/storage/scsi-plugins
    pkg://solaris/system/linker
    pkg://solaris/system/locale
    pkg://solaris/system/manual
    pkg://solaris/system/manual/locale
    pkg://solaris/system/network
    pkg://solaris/system/network/nis
    pkg://solaris/system/network/routing
    pkg://solaris/system/prerequisite/gnu
    pkg://solaris/system/resource-mgmt/resource-caps
    pkg://solaris/system/resource-mgmt/resource-pools
    pkg://solaris/system/system-events
    pkg://solaris/system/zones
    pkg://solaris/system/zones/brand/brand-solaris
    pkg://solaris/terminal/luit
    pkg://solaris/terminal/resize
    pkg://solaris/text/doctools
    pkg://solaris/text/doctools/ja
    pkg://solaris/text/groff/groff-core
    pkg://solaris/text/less
    pkg://solaris/text/spelling-utilities
    pkg://solaris/web/curl
    pkg://solaris/web/wget
    pkg://solaris/x11/header/x11-protocols
    pkg://solaris/x11/library/libfontenc
    pkg://solaris/benchmark/iperf
    
    4. Populate your local repository with the required packages. At present, it is not possible to do this in parallel, so the packages much be received on at a time. Depending on your network speed, this step could take 2 to 3 hours.
    # for f in `cat zone-pkgs.txt` ; \ 
    do pkgrecv -s http://pkg.oracle.com/solaris/release -d /repo $f ; \ 
    echo $f ; \ 
    done
    pkgrepo rebuild -s /repo
    
    5. Check if you really have 167 packages (if you have downloaded and installed the archive, it might be more, we have added apache and iperf packages for our demo purposes)
    # pkgrepo info -s file:///repo
    
    6. Set up and enable package repository service in the global zone:
    # svccfg -s application/pkg/server setprop pkg/inst_root=/repo   
    # svcprop -p pkg/inst_root application/pkg/server   (Just checking...)
    # svcadm refresh application/pkg/server 
    # svcadm enable application/pkg/server 
    
    7. Switch repositories (disable the all existing ones and mirrors and enable the local one):
    # pkg set-publisher -G '*' -M '*' -g http://10.0.2.15/ solaris
    
    Note that it should use your global zone's IP address (in this case, provided automatically by VirtualBox). Then all the zones you create will keep this address and be able to install packages from the global zone. It won't work if you set your repository's HTTP address just to http://localhost.

    Download zoneplot

    The zones portion of the hands on lab will make use of two utilities that are not in Solaris. You will need to download both Pavel Anni's zoneplot and Andreas Bernauer's Gnuplot driver utility

    Optional: Return your Solaris publisher to the Oracle default repository

    When you have completed all of the labs, you can restore the original Oracle default repository.
    # pkg set-publisher -G '*' -g http://pkg.oracle.com/solaris/release -P solaris
    
    That should be about it. Please leave a comment if you have any questions. I am looking forward to seeing you at one of these, or a future Solaris event.

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    Friday Jan 13, 2012

    Live Upgrade, /var/tmp and the Ever Growing Boot Environments

    Even if you are a veteran Live Upgrade user, you might be caught by surprise when your new ZFS root pool starts filling up, and you have no idea where the space is going. I tripped over this one while installing different versions of StarOffice and OpenOffice and forgot that they left a rather large parcel behind in /var/tmp. When recently helping a customer through some Live Upgrade issues, I noticed that they were downloading patch clusters into /var/tmp and then I remembered that I used to do that too.

    And then stopped. This is why. What follows has been added to the list of Common Live Upgrade Problems, as Number 3.

    Let's start with a clean installation of Solaris 10 10/09 (u8).

    # df -k /
    Filesystem                       kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    rpool/ROOT/s10x_u8wos_08a      20514816 4277560 13089687    25%    /
    
    
    So far, so good. Solaris is just a bit over 4GB. Another 3GB is used by the swap and dump devices. That should leave plenty of room for half a dozen or so patch cycles (assuming 1GB each) and an upgrade to the next release.

    Now, let's put on the latest recommended patch cluster. Note that I am following the suggestions in my Live Upgrade Survival Guide, installing the prerequisite patches and the LU patch before actually installing the patch cluster.

    # cd /var/tmp
    # wget patchserver:/export/patches/10_x86_Recommended-2012-01-05.zip .
    # unzip -qq 10_x86_Recommended-2012-01-05.zip
    
    # wget patchserver:/export/patches/121431-69.zip
    # unzip 121431-69
    
    # cd 10x_Recommended
    # ./installcluster --apply-prereq --passcode (you can find this in README)
    
    # patchadd -M /var/tmp 121431-69
    
    # lucreate -n s10u8-2012-01-05
    # ./installcluster -d -B s10u8-2012-01-05 --passcode
    
    # luactivate s10u8-2012-01-05
    # init 0
    
    
    After the new boot environment is activated, let's upgrade to the latest release of Solaris 10. In this case, it will be Solaris 10 8/11 (u10).

    Yes, this does seem like an awful lot is happening in a short period of time. I'm trying to demonstrate a situation that really does happen when you forget something as simple as a patch cluster clogging up /var/tmp. Think of this as one of those time lapse video sequences you might see in a nature documentary.

    # pkgrm SUNWluu SUNWlur SUNWlucfg
    # pkgadd -d /cdrom/sol_10_811_x86  SUNWluu SUNWlur SUNWlucfg
    # patchadd -M /var/tmp 121431-69
    
    # lucreate -n s10u10-baseline'
    # echo "autoreg=disable" > /var/tmp/no-autoreg
    # luupgrade -u -s /cdrom/sol_10_811_x86 -k /var/tmp/no-autoreg -n s10u10-baseline
    # luactivate s10u10-baseline
    # init 0
    
    As before, everything went exactly as expected. Or I thought so, until I logged in the first time and checked the free space in the root pool.
    # df -k /
    Filesystem                       kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    rpool/ROOT/s10u10-baseline     20514816 10795038 2432308    82%    /
    
    Where did all of the space go ? Back of the napkin calculations of 4.5GB (s10u8) + 4.5GB (s10u10) + 1GB (patch set) + 3GB (swap and dump) = 13GB. 20GB pool - 13GB used = 7GB free. But there's only 2.4GB free ?

    This is about the time that I smack myself on the forehead and realize that I put the patch cluster in the /var/tmp. Old habits die hard. This is not a problem, I can just delete it, right ?

    Not so fast.

    # du -sh /var/tmp
     5.4G   /var/tmp
    
    # du -sh /var/tmp/10*
     3.8G   /var/tmp/10_x86_Recommended
     1.5G   /var/tmp/10_x86_Recommended-2012-01-05.zip
    
    # rm -rf /var/tmp/10*
    
    # du -sh /var/tmp
     3.4M   /var/tmp
    
    
    Imagine the look on my face when I check the pool free space, expecting to see 7GB.
    # df -k /
    Filesystem                      kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    rpool/ROOT/s10u10-baseline    20514816 5074262 2424603    68%    /
    
    
    We are getting closer. At least my root filesystem size is reasonable (5GB vs 11GB). But the free space hasn't changed at all.

    Once again, I smack myself on the forehead. The patch cluster is also in the other two boot environments. All I have to do is get rid them too, and I'll get my free space back.

    # lumount s10u8-2012-01-05 /mnt
    # rm -rf /mnt/var/tmp/10_x86_Recommended*
    # luumount s10u8-2012-01-05
    
    # lumount s10x_u8wos_08a /mnt
    # rm -rf /mnt/var/tmp/10_x86_Recommended*
    # luumount s10x_u8wos_08a
    
    Surely, that will get my free space reclaimed, right ?
    # df -k /
    Filesystem                    kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    rpool/ROOT/s10u10-baseline  20514816 5074265 2429261    68%    /
    
    
    This is when I smack myself on the forehead for the third time in one afternoon. Just getting rid of them in the boot environments is not sufficient. It would be if I were using UFS as a root filesystem, but lucreate will use the ZFS snapshot and cloning features when used on a ZFS root. So the patch cluster is in the snapshot, and the oldest one at that.

    Let's try this all over again, but this time I will put the patches somewhere else that is not part of a boot environment. If you are thinking of using root's home directory, think again - it is part of the boot environment. If you are running out of ideas, let me suggest that /export/patches might be a good place to put them.

    Doing the exercise again, with the patches in /export/patches, I get similar results (to be expected), but with one significant different.This time the patches are in a shared ZFS dataset (/export) and can be deleted.

    # lustatus
    Boot Environment           Is       Active Active    Can    Copy      
    Name                       Complete Now    On Reboot Delete Status    
    -------------------------- -------- ------ --------- ------ ----------
    s10x_u8wos_08a             yes      no     no        yes    -         
    s10u8-2012-01-05           yes      no     no        yes    -         
    s10u10-baseline            yes      yes    yes       no     -         
    
    # df -k /
    Filesystem                      kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    rpool/ROOT/s10u10-baseline    20514816 5184578 2445140    68%    /
    
    
    # df -k /export
    Filesystem                      kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    rpool/export                  20514816 5606384 2445142    70%    /export
    
    
    This time, when I delete them, the disk space will be reclaimed.
    # rm -rf /export/patches/10_x86_Recommended*
    
    # df -k /
    Filesystem                      kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    rpool/ROOT/s10u10-baseline    20514816 5184578 8048050    40%    /
    
    
    Now, that's more like it. With this free space, I can continue to patch and maintain my system as I had originally planned - estimating a few hundred MB to 1.5GB per patch set.

    The moral to the story is that even if you follow all of the best practices and recommendations, you can still be tripped up by old habits when you don't consider their consequences. And when you do, don't feel bad. Many best practices come from exercises just like this one.

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    Saturday Jan 07, 2012

    Live Upgrade and ZFS Versioning

    Thanks to John Kotches and Craig Bell for bringing this one up in the comments of an earlier article. I've included this in a new update to my Live Upgrade Survival Tips, but though it worthy posting all by itself.

    ZFS pool and file system functionality may be added with a Solaris release. These new capabilities are identified in the ZFS zpool and file system version numbers. To find out what versions you are running, and what capabilities they provide, use the corresponding upgrade -v commands. Yes, it is a bit disconcerting at first, using an upgrade command, not to upgrade, but to determine which features exist.

    Here is an example of each output, for your reference.

    # zpool upgrade -v
    This system is currently running ZFS pool version 31.
    
    The following versions are supported:
    
    VER  DESCRIPTION
    ---  --------------------------------------------------------
     1   Initial ZFS version
     2   Ditto blocks (replicated metadata)
     3   Hot spares and double parity RAID-Z
     4   zpool history
     5   Compression using the gzip algorithm
     6   bootfs pool property
     7   Separate intent log devices
     8   Delegated administration
     9   refquota and refreservation properties
     10  Cache devices
     11  Improved scrub performance
     12  Snapshot properties
     13  snapused property
     14  passthrough-x aclinherit
     15  user/group space accounting
     16  stmf property support
     17  Triple-parity RAID-Z
     18  Snapshot user holds
     19  Log device removal
     20  Compression using zle (zero-length encoding)
     21  Deduplication
     22  Received properties
     23  Slim ZIL
     24  System attributes
     25  Improved scrub stats
     26  Improved snapshot deletion performance
     27  Improved snapshot creation performance
     28  Multiple vdev replacements
     29  RAID-Z/mirror hybrid allocator
     30  Encryption
     31  Improved 'zfs list' performance
    
    For more information on a particular version, including supported releases,
    see the ZFS Administration Guide.
    
    
    # zfs upgrade -v
    The following filesystem versions are supported:
    
    VER  DESCRIPTION
    ---  --------------------------------------------------------
     1   Initial ZFS filesystem version
     2   Enhanced directory entries
     3   Case insensitive and File system unique identifier (FUID)
     4   userquota, groupquota properties
     5   System attributes
    
    For more information on a particular version, including supported releases,
    see the ZFS Administration Guide.
    
    
    In this particular example, the kernel supports up to zpool version 31 and ZFS version 5.

    Where you can run into trouble with this is when you create a pool or file system and then fall back to a boot environment that is older and doesn't support those particular versions. The survival tip is keep your zpool and vfs versions at a level that is compatible with the oldest boot environment that you will ever fall back to. A corollary to this is that you can upgrade your pools and file systems when you have deleted the last boot environment that supports that particular version.

    Your first question is probably, "what versions of ZFS go with the particular Solaris releases ?" Here is a table of Solaris releases since 10/08 (u6) and their corresponding zpool and zfs version numbers.

    Solaris ReleaseZPOOL VersionZFS Version
    Solaris 10 10/08 (u6)103
    Solaris 10 5/09 (u7)103
    Solaris 10 10/09 (u8)154
    Solaris 10 9/10 (u9)224
    Solaris 10 8/11 (u10)295
    Solaris 11 11/11 (ga)335
    Solaris 11.1346

    Note that these versions are for the release as well as if you have patched a system to that same level. In other words, a Solaris 10 10/08 system with the latest recommended patch cluster installed might be at the 8/11 (u10) level. You can always use zpool upgrade -v and zfs upgrade -v to make sure.

    Now you are wondering how you create a pool or file system at a version different than the default for your Solaris release. Fortunately, ZFS is flexible enough to allow us to do exactly that. Here is an example.

    # zpool create testpool testdisk
    
    # zpool get version testpool
    NAME      PROPERTY  VALUE    SOURCE
    testpool  version   31       default
    
    # zfs get version testpool
    NAME      PROPERTY  VALUE    SOURCE
    testpool  version   5        -
    
    
    This pool and associated top level file system can only be accessed on a Solaris 11 system. Let's destroy it and start again, this time making it possible to access it on a Solaris 10 10/09 system (zpool version 15, zfs version 4). We can use the -o version= and -O version= when the pool is created to accomplish this.
    # zpool destroy testpool
    # zpool create -o version=15 -O version=4 testpool testdisk
    # zfs create testpool/data
    
    # zpool get version testpool
    NAME      PROPERTY  VALUE    SOURCE
    testpool  version   15       local
    
    # zfs get -r version testpool
    NAME      PROPERTY  VALUE    SOURCE
    testpool  version   4        -
    testpool/data  version   4        -
    
    
    In this example, we created the pool explicitly at version 15, and using -O to pass zfs file system creation options to the top level dataset, we set that to version 4. To make things easier, new file systems created in this pool will be at version 4, inheriting that from the parent, unless overridden by -o version= at the time the file system is created.

    The last remaining task is to look at how you might upgrade a pool and file system when you have removed an old boot environment. We will go back to our previous example where we have a version 15 pool and 4 dataset. We have removed the Solaris 10 10/09 boot environment and now the oldest is Solaris 10 8/11 (u10). That supports version 29 pools and version 5 file systems. We will use zpool/zfs upgrade -V to set the specific versions to 29 and 5 respectively.

    # zpool upgrade -V 29 testpool
    This system is currently running ZFS pool version 31.
    
    Successfully upgraded 'testpool' from version 15 to version 29
    
    # zpool get version testpool
    NAME      PROPERTY  VALUE    SOURCE
    testpool  version   29       local
    
    # zfs upgrade -V 5 testpool
    1 filesystems upgraded
    
    # zfs get -r version testpool
    testpool       version   5        -
    testpool/data  version   4        -
    
    
    That didn't go quite as expected, or did it ? The pool was upgraded as expected, as was the top level dataset. But testpool/data is still at version 4. It initially inherited that version from the parent when it was created. When using zfs upgrade, only the datasets listed are upgraded. If we wanted the entire pool of file systems to be upgraded, we should have used -r for recursive.
    # zfs upgrade -V 5 -r testpool
    1 filesystems upgraded
    1 filesystems already at this version
    
    # zfs get -r version testpool
    NAME           PROPERTY  VALUE    SOURCE
    testpool       version   5        -
    testpool/data  version   5        -
    
    
    Now, that's more like it.

    For review, the tip is to keep your shared ZFS datasets and pools are the lowest versions supported by the oldest boot environments you plan to use. You can always use upgrade -v to see what versions are available for use, and by using -o version= and -O version, you can create new pools and datasets that are accessible by older boot environments. This last bit can also come in handy if you are moving pools around systems that might be at different versions.

    Thanks again to Craig and John for this great tip.

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    Saturday Jul 09, 2011

    VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 is now available for testing

    The second beta release of VirtualBox 4.1 is now available for download and testing. You can find binaries for your host platform at http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.1.0_BETA2. This release contains several new features which may not be quite complete. Please do not use this on any production systems - it is only for early evaluation and testing.

    VirtualBox 4.1 will be a new major release and includes the following new features.

    • Support for cloning virtual machines
    • Enhanced wizard for creating new virtual disks
    • A new wizard for copying virtual disks
    • Increased the guest memory limit for 64-bit hosts to 1TB
    • Experimental WDDM graphics driver for Windows guests
    • Modules and features in the guest additions now are represented as facilities to have a common interface for frontends.
    • A new networking mode (UDP tunnel) which will allow easy and transparent communication between guests running on different hosts
    In addition to the new features, many bugs in the existing release have been fixed. Please see the VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 1 Announcement for a complete list.

    Some notable fixes since Beta 1 include

  • VMM: fixed a Beta 1 regression which prevented certain guests from booting
  • VMM: better out-of-memory error reporting under certain circumstances
  • GUI: display CPU cap in the VM details page
  • Storage: introduced non-rotational flag for hard disks for optimizing the performance with modern guests (e.g. Windows 7 will not automatically defrag the disk)
  • Floppy: make unmounting a host floppy disk work
  • Solaris hosts: Host-only/Bridged networking fixes
  • Solaris guests: fixed automounting of shared folders
  • Linux installer: fixed compilation of the vboxpci module if DKMS is not installed
  • Windows Installer: fixed automated VBox Python API installation.
  • Experimental support for PCI passthrough (Linux hosts only)

    Please report any problems with the beta release at the VirtualBox Beta Forum. The development team is particularly interested in problems or regressions since the last release (4.0.10).



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  • Wednesday Jul 06, 2011

    VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 1 is now available for testing

    The first beta release of VirtualBox 4.1 is now available for download and testing. You can find binaries for your host platform at http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.1.0_BETA1. This release contains several new features which may not be quite complete. Please do not use this on any production systems - it is only for early evaluation and testing.

    VirtualBox 4.1 will be a new major release and includes the following new features.

    • Support for cloning virtual machines
    • Enhanced wizard for creating new virtual disks
    • A new wizard for copying virtual disks
    • Increased the guest memory limit for 64-bit hosts to 1TB
    • Experimental WDDM graphics driver for Windows guests
    • Modules and features in the guest additions now are represented as facilities to have a common interface for frontends.
    • A new networking mode (UDP tunnel) which will allow easy and transparent communication between guests running on different hosts
    In addition to the new features, many bugs in the existing release have been fixed. Please see the VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 1 Announcement for a complete list.

    Please report any problems with the beta release at the VirtualBox Beta Forum. The development team is particularly interested in problems or regressions since the last release (4.0.10).

    A big thanks to Frank Mehnert for the heads up on this new Beta release.

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    About

    Bob Netherton is a Principal Sales Consultant for the North American Commercial Hardware group, specializing in Solaris, Virtualization and Engineered Systems. Bob is also a contributing author of Solaris 10 Virtualization Essentials.

    This blog will contain information about all three, but primarily focused on topics for Solaris system administrators.

    Please follow me on Twitter Facebook or send me email

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