Tuesday Dec 20, 2011

How low can we go ? (Minimised install of Solaris 11)

I wondered how little we can actually install as a starting point for building a minimised system. The new IPS package system makes this much easier and makes it work in a supportable way without all the pit falls of patches and packages we had previously.

For Solaris 11 I believe the currently smallest configuration we recommend is the solaris-small-server group package.

Note the following is not intended to imply this is a supported configuration and is illustrative only of a short amount of investigative work.

First lets look at a zone (it is easier since there are no driver issues to deal with): I discovered it is possible to get a 'working' zone by choosing a single package to install in the zone AI manifest and that package is: pkg:/package/pkg

That resulted in 175M being reported as being transferred by pkg. Which results in 255M on disk of which about 55M is /var/pkg. I had 140 'real' packages (ie excluding the incorporations). We have 71 online SMF services (nothing in maintenance) with 96 known SMF services. Around 23 processes are running (excluding the ps I used to check this and the shell I was logged in on).

I have discovered some potential packaging that could result in this being a little bit smaller but not much unless a break up of pkg:/system/core-os was done.

Now onto the bare metal install case. This was a little harder and I've not gotten it to where I wanted yet.

Ignoring drivers the only thing I needed on an x86 system was: pkg:/package/pkg and pkg:/system/boot/grub

Which is good and not really different from the zones case. However that won't produce a bootable system - even though it produces one that will install!

To get it to boot I took the list of all the network and storage drivers from the solaris-small-server group package.  I removed all the wlan drivers and also any drivers I knew to be SPARC only.   My list of packages in the AI manifest had 113 driver packages in it. That got me a bootable system, though not one minimized with respect to drivers.

We have a few more processes in the global zone (again ignoring the ps and my shell) this time I counted 32.  This came from 89 online services. Again ignoring the incorporation packages  I had 161 packages installed of which 73 were in the pkg:/driver namespace.

The disk space footprint is much bigger at total of 730M - but remember I've likely installed drivers that I might not need. This time /var/pkg is 174M of that.


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DarrenMoffat

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