Indiana Preview 2 now playing

The second preview of Indiana was pushed out for download about 15 hours ago as I write this.  As those who are following closely know, we'd actually made a testing image available via Bittorrent a couple of weeks ago in order to broaden the testing exposure.  This time the image actually got some professional and community testing, as opposed to Preview 1, which basically had about 1 hour of some of us trying to boot it on every machine we could get our hands on.  Thanks to those who took the time to test it!

The announcement has the general highlights and links off to all of the bugs we've fixed.  From an installation point of view, the changes in this preview are mostly under the hood.  The most notable ones include:

  • Most visibly, at least to those who encountered it, we fixed the bug that prevented you from using 'v' in the passwords of the root user and the user created during installation.
  • A better PATH and MANPATH for the user account created at installation.
  • The ZFS dataset hierarchy has been renamed and reorganized a little, it is now similar to what will be used in the ZFS boot/install project that'll be added to Nevada and Solaris 10.  For the preview, you'll now see the root dataset named rpool/ROOT/preview2. In the same vein, we now take a snapshot of all of the datasets at installation (snapshot name is @install) so that it's easy to tell what's been changed, and to get back to the start state of the system should that be needed for some reason.
  • /boot/grub/menu.lst now points you off to the "real" menu, which is at /rpool/boot/grub/menu.lst.
  • The introduction of pkg verify pointed out some errors in the installation code, primarily around zero-length files, which we've fixed.  A verification after installation will show some issues with modes of Python compiled files, but otherwise it'll be quite clean.
I've been running this on my laptop and desktop for a week now, and I've had no issues.  If you're feeling adventurous, a couple of things I've done on my laptop.

First, I'm running with a compressed root.  The installer doesn't support this right now, but you can easily fire up a terminal window and, once the installer's created the data sets, do a zfs set compression=on rpool/ROOT/preview2 and all of the installed software will be in compressed data sets. You need to do this quickly in order to get as much compressed as possible, since anything copied onto the data sets before the compression is enabled will not be compressed. After adding OpenOffice and a lot of other packages, I'm at 1.94 GB for the root dataset, with compression ratios reported at 1.8x or so.

The second thing is running Preview 2 as an xVM dom0.  Three steps for this:
  1. pkg install SUNWvirtinst SUNWurlgrabber SUNWlibvirt SUNWxvmhvm SUNWxvmdom SUNWxvm
  2. Manually edit /rpool/boot/grub/menu.lst and add the xVM entry. The normal method for doing this is bootadm -m upgrade, but it doesn't work for Indiana because of the menu being moved for ZFS root.  The entry should look like
  3. title OpenSolaris xVM
    kernel$ /boot/$ISADIR/xen.gz
    module$ /platform/i86xpv/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
    /platform/i86xpv/kernel/$ISADIR/unix -B $ZFS-BOOTFS
    module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
  4. Run the following commands to update the sysevent registrations so that you can install domU's (fixing this is bug 509):
  5. pfexec syseventadm add -c EC_xendev /usr/lib/xen/scripts/xpvd-event \\
     'action=$subclass' 'domain=$domain' 'vdev=$vdev' \\
    'device=$device' 'devclass=$devclass' 'febe=$fob'
    pfexec syseventadm add -c EC_xpvsys /usr/lib/xen/scripts/xpvsys-event \\
    'subclass=$subclass' 'shutdown=$shutdown'

If you do give Indiana a spin, please report any bugs you find at

root@gaia # pkg install SUWNvirtinst SUNWurlgrabber SUNWlibvirt SUNWxvmhvm SUNWxvmdom SUNWxvm
pkg: no package matching 'SUWNvirtinst' could be found in current catalog
suggest relaxing pattern, refreshing and/or examining catalogs
install failed: Unable to assemble image plan

Posted by Florin on February 15, 2008 at 12:51 PM EST #

Well, as soon as I post, I notice the transliteration in the package name. D'oh!

Posted by Florin on February 15, 2008 at 12:52 PM EST #

hey, I'm running it right now. Works nice. :)

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on February 17, 2008 at 03:35 AM EST #

Thanks for pointing that typo out, Florin, I've fixed it. Not sure what happened as I could swear that was a cut & paste from one of my systems where I actually did this.

Posted by Dave Miner on February 19, 2008 at 01:56 AM EST #

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I'm the architect for Solaris installation, with a lot of background in networking and system management. I also play a lot of golf.


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