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Tips on deploying and managing Oracle Solaris, especially in clouds

Getting Started with Oracle Solaris 11.4 on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

Dave Miner
Sr. Principal Software Engineer
With today's release of Oracle Solaris 11.4, we're making pre-built images available for use in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).  The images aren't part of the official OCI image catalog at this time, but using them is easy, just follow these steps, which are the same as in my previous post on the 11.4 beta images.
  1. Login to your OCI console and select Compute->Custom Images from the main menu, this will display the Images page.
  2. Press the blue Import Image button.  This will display the Import Image dialog.
  3. In the dialog, select a compartment into which the image will be imported, and enter a name, such as "Solaris 11.4".  Select Linux for the operating system since OCI doesn't yet know about Solaris and that will avoid any special handling that OCI has for Windows images.  At this point, choose which image you wish to import:
  • Bare Metal: Copy this link and paste it into the Object Storage URL field.  Select QCOW2 as the Image Type, and Native Mode as the Launch Mode. Enter any tags you wish to apply, and then press Import Image.
  • Virtual Machine: Copy this link and paste it into the Object Storage URL field.  Select VMDK as the Image Type, and Emulated Mode as the Launch Mode.  Enter any tags you wish to apply, and then press Import Image.

It'll take a few minutes for OCI to copy the image from object storage into your tenant's image repository.  Once that's complete, you can launch an instance using the image.  First, one tip: if you've imported the Bare Metal image, you should go to its Image Details page and press the Edit Details button.  In the Edit Image Details dialog that comes up, there's a Compatible Shapes list.  You'll find that all of the shapes have a blue checkmark.  You should uncheck all of the VM shapes and then Save the image.  The reason is that Solaris is not capable of booting in OCI's native virtual machine shapes at this time and this will prevent anyone who uses that image from inadvertently launching a VM that won't be accessible.  We're working on running Solaris under OCI's native VM technology, but since it's not ready yet, we've made the emulated mode image available for now.

When creating an instance, select Custom Image as the boot volume type and select the image you've imported along with a compatible shape.  You'll need to supply an ssh key in order to login to the instance once it's started; when creating a VM, it's necessary to click the Show Advanced Options link to access the SSH Keys settings.

After you start an instance, login using ssh opc@<instance ip>.  The image contains a relatively minimal Solaris installation suitable for bootstrapping into a cloud environment - this is the solaris-cloud-guest group package.  You'll likely need to install more software to do anything beyond some simple exploration; to add more Solaris packages, just use the pkg command to install from the Solaris release repository.

Now that you've got an instance running, there's a lot more you can do with it, including saving any modifications you make as a new Custom Image of your own that you can then redeploy directly to a new instance (note, though, that at this point a modified bare metal image will only be deployable to bare metal, and a VM image will only be deployable to a VM).  Leave a comment here, post on the Solaris 11 community forum, or catch me @dave_miner on Twitter if you have topic suggestions or questions.  And of course check out my previous post on automatically configuring Solaris guests in OCI.

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