Friday Feb 05, 2010

Building latest PostgreSQL on OpenSolaris

I am moving my PostgreSQL on OpenSolaris realted entries to a new external blog. Since it is not part of my $dayjob anymore. Hope you update your bookmarks too.

Read  "Building latest PostgreSQL CVS Head on OpenSolaris".

Wednesday Jan 13, 2010

New Year, New Role and New Build

Happy New Year. Its a new year and I have started a new role in Applications Integration Engineering which is part of the Sun Storage 7000 - Unified Storage Systems group. AIE's main charter is to integrate ISV products with Sun Storage 7000 family. I hope to continue working with databases and other applications and specially how it interacts and integrates with the FISHworks based products. Years ago, interestingly, I don't think I would have recommended NFS to be used with any database application. But looks like it is now way more stabilized in its current form. Then there is also iSCSI. But there is yet another way to connect to these systems soon which I think is more attractive to me and maybe even other database folks at large. More about that when time is right.

 Anyway with the new role, I thought it was time to update my existing OpenSolaris (b128a) to the latest OpenSolaris build 130. I must admit this has been the first OpenSolaris upgrade which was not as smooth as expected. First things first I got hit with bug with the naming of /dev repository. I first heard about the bug from George Drapeau but even though I worked around it I could still not upgrade to the latest build.  Then I heard from Mandy about the problem that if I had ever installed from /contrib repository I could still not upgrade to the latest build with the changed /dev name. I uninstalled all the software from /contrib and crossing my fingers the pkg image-update command still failed. Of course I then realized I probably had couple of packages from the /pending repository and even the Sun /extra repository. Uninstalling all the extra software was not fun but still the darn thing did not upgrade. Finally gave up and read about this forced upgrade using -f  as follows

# pkg image-update -f

and it worked. It started downloading the updates and finally created a new boot environment with the new build.

However the reboot to the new environment just stuck at the graphical boot with the orange bar going from left to right. After 5 minutes I killed the power and rebooted and this time used "e" on the grub menu and deleted the splashfile, foreground and background lines and changed the kernel boot line from console=graphics to console=text and pressed "b" to boot using the modified grub entry. I figured out that the X server refused to start. Cutting a long story short (it actually took me almost a day) to figure a simple solution, re-move my custom /etc/X11/xorg.conf (which I was forced to create few upgrades (b111a)  ago) so the X server can use its new defaults to start without any problems.

Of course that worked till I got the login and when I entered my login information, I ended with a white screen. Arrg yet another bug. Reading the mailing list got the following solution

$ pfexec /usr/sbin/unlink /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/GL
$ pfexec ln -s ../../../../../var/run/opengl/server /usr/lib/xorg/modules/extensions/GL

With the above changes, finally rebooting the desktop into fresh working build 130 of OpenSolaris and I was ready to try out the new Thunderbird 3.0 and Firefox 3.5. Of course AWN (the mac like dock) worked for most part but the dock preferences refused to start. I did file a bug and it seems that it will be fixed in b131 but the quick fix is to edit

/usr/bin/awn-manager and replace the first line




and that should allow you to see your AWN dock preferences once again.

If you ask me was it worth all the pain to upgrade to this new version. My simple answer is yes

Few thing fixed for me:

  • The new login screen is much nicer (in last few builds I could hardly read what I was typing in the login name text field on a widescreen monitor.
  • On build 128a I saw that the screen saver unlock screen was taking a long time to respond which seems to have gone away with this build.
  • I like the full text search capabilities of Thunderbird 3.0

Of course your reasons may be different then mine to upgrade and who knows build 131 might be out soon in next week or two then it probably might be a smoother upgrade if you can wait for it. (I can't.)

Tuesday Jun 02, 2009

Minimal OpenSolaris 2009.06 Appliance Image for VirtualBox 2.2.4

With the release of the OpenSolaris 2009.06, I thought it is time to update the Minimal OpenSolaris 2008.11  Appliance OVF image that I had created earlier. The script has been updated to create minimal OpenSolaris 2009.06 Appliance images for VirtualBox. 

How to use the OVF image?

  • Download VirtualBox 2.2.4 and install it on your host platform.
  • Download the OpenSolaris 2009.06 App OVF image zip file and then unzip it.
  • Fire up Virtualbox GUI and  use menu item VirtualBox->File->Import Appliance to import the image (using the  OSOL200906App.ovf file ) into a new VirtualBox VM
  • Start the newly created VM and in few minutes you will be  ready to login into OpenSolaris 2009.06 kernel.The preset login information is user: root with password: opensolaris.

Comments welcome.

Wednesday Apr 15, 2009

Lessons with OpenSolaris Appliances

Going through the comments for Minimal OpenSolaris Appliance entry,  I thought I will go over the problems I encountered when I was working on the script and what I think we can do to improve OpenSolaris in those areas.

1. Setting up the disk

This is probably the first thing that most appliance creators will have to do is to format a new media before it is usable by OpenSolaris. Now to make a disk usable by OpenSolaris (on x86/x64 platforms) two things needs to be done, one a primary Solaris partition needs to be created using fdisk and then a regular Solaris VTOC needs to be initialized on the Solaris partition. While the experience is bit easier with the interactive option of the commands, putting it in a script can be challenging.

Fortunately fdisk has -B option. From the man page:

         Default to one Solaris partition  that  uses  the  whole
         disk. On an x86 machine, if the disk is larger than 2 TB
         (terabytes), the default size of the  Solaris  partition
         will be limited to 2 TB.

Hence I could use the following easily in my script:

fdisk -n -B /dev/rdsk/${INSTALLDISK}p0

Unfortunately I saw no such option for fmthard. Infact it made it more difficult since you need to enter the geometry information of the target disk. I took the easy way out by finding the same for the default VirtualBox disk size which is 16GB and using it as follows:

fmthard -d 0:2:00:48195:33447330 /dev/rdsk/${INSTALLDISK}p0

There are some scripting ways to work this around as Vikram Datta commented on my earlier entry:

  SecCnt=`prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/${INSTALLDISK}p0 | awk '/sectors\\/cylinder/ { print $2 }'`
  LastSect=`prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/${INSTALLDISK}p0 | awk '$1 == "2" { print $5 }'` 
  LastSect=`expr $LastSect - $SecCnt` 
  fmthard -d 0:2:00:${SecCnt}:${LastSect} /dev/rdsk/${INSTALLDISK}p0 

But I think it should be as easy as  fdisk.. i.e. doing the following:

fmthard -B /dev/rdsk/${INSTALLDISK}p0

Hence I have filed a new RFE 6829475. I think this RFE is useful not just for my script but in general helps improve usability of the command to a new learner of OpenSolaris.

2. Setting up the ZPool

The next step of creating zpool for the root device was pretty straight forward

zpool create -f rpool ${INSTALLDISK}s0
zfs set compression=on rpool 
zfs create -o mountpoint=legacy rpool/ROOT
zfs create -o mountpoint=$PKG_IMAGE rpool/ROOT/VOSApp
zfs create -V 128M rpool/swap
zfs create -V 16M rpool/dump
zfs create rpool/ROOT/VOSApp/opt
zfs create rpool/ROOT/VOSApp/var
zfs create rpool/export
zpool set bootfs=rpool/ROOT/VOSApp rpool

Here I took liberty of separating out /opt /var into separate dataset so that I can enable zfs snapshots just for "optional" and "variable" data of the applications. This is a point of view of deployment. Your view may be different here.

3. Setting up the packages from OpenSolaris repository

The next step on how to use OpenSolaris repository to install the pacakges. Alex Eremin had great pointers on his blog that I adapted . The initial setup can be easily done by exporting the PKG_IMAGE environment variable to the directory where you are currently mounting the zpool and then using pkg image-create command.

pkg image-create -f -F -a $PKG_IMAGE
pkg refresh

Then  I played with the package list over and over again to get a minimal size with most network adapter drivers to get on the internet and all required pacakges to allow "pkg" command to work. Of course this is the piece that took me quite a bit of trial and error to figure out the right mix of pacakges so OpenSolaris does boot up successfully and allow "pkg" to run successfully.

pkg install SUNWcsd 
pkg install SUNWcs 
pkg install SUNWcar SUNWcakr SUNWkvm SUNWos86r SUNWrmodr \\
 SUNWpsdcr SUNWpsdir SUNWcnetr SUNWesu SUNWkey SUNWnfsckr \\
 SUNWnfsc SUNWgss SUNWgssc SUNWbip SUNWbash SUNWloc SUNWsshcu \\
 SUNWsshd SUNWssh SUNWtoo SUNWzfskr SUNWipf SUNWintgige SUNWipkg \\
 SUNWadmr SUNWadmap SUNWPython SUNWperl584core SUNWgrub SUNWxcu6\\
 SUNWxcu4 SUNWgawk SUNWgtar SUNWgnu-coreutils SUNWscp SUNWfmd \\
 SUNWxge SUNWbge SUNWnge SUNWrge SUNWrtls \\
 SUNWixgb SUNWchxge SUNWzfs-auto-snapshot SUNWsolnm

I did realize one thing.. Loading one package at a time with pkg is awfully slow. By putting all the packages within one line (except for SUNWcsd and SUNWcs) I could cut down the time from hours to minutes. This was my "Eureka" moment when I could install the packages to a bare-metal .. well a bare-virtualbox VDI within 10 minutes.

4. Setting up the SMF Database on the system

cp $PKG_IMAGE/lib/svc/seed/global.db $PKG_IMAGE/etc/svc/repository.db
chmod 0600 $PKG_IMAGE/etc/svc/repository.db
chown root:sys $PKG_IMAGE/etc/svc/repository.db
# setup smf profiles
ln -s ns_files.xml $PKG_IMAGE/var/svc/profile/name_service.xml
ln -s generic_limited_net.xml $PKG_IMAGE/var/svc/profile/generic.xml
ln -s inetd_generic.xml $PKG_IMAGE/var/svc/profile/inetd_services.xml
ln -s platform_none.xml $PKG_IMAGE/var/svc/profile/platform.xml
# Set the environment variables for svccfg.
${SVCCFG} import ${PKG_IMAGE}/var/svc/manifest/milestone/sysconfig.xml 

Again this is one area I think OpenSolaris can improve a bit. It does some amount of research (google, Alex Eremin) before understanding how to set it up properly. (But then I am not a kernel engineer.)

5. Other Miscellaneous but important stuff to get a bootable system

The following are basically hacks in some ways to get to a bootable system. 

# Set TimeZone 
echo $HOSTNAME > $PKG_IMAGE/etc/nodename 
# configure our new /etc/vfstab
printf "rpool/ROOT/VOSApp -\\t/\\t\\tzfs\\t-\\tno\\t-\\n" >> $PKG_IMAGE/etc/vfstab
printf "/dev/zvol/dsk/rpool/swap\\t-\\t-\\t\\tswap\\t-\\tno\\t-\\n" >> $PKG_IMAGE/etc/vfstab
chmod a+r $PKG_IMAGE/etc/vfstab
# turn off root as a role
printf "/\^root::::type=role;\\ns/\^root::::type=role;/root::::/\\nw" |\\
ed -s $PKG_IMAGE/etc/user_attr
# Edit etc/ssh/sshd_config to allow ssh to root account
printf "/\^PermitRootLogin no\\ns/\^PermitRootLogin no/PermitRootLogin yes/\\nw" |\\
ed -s ${PKG_IMAGE}/etc/ssh/sshd_config 
# Generate ssh keys
ssh-keygen -t dsa -f $PKG_IMAGE/etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key -N ''
ssh-keygen -t rsa -f $PKG_IMAGE/etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key -N ''

6. Finally the boot archive and  grub

# configure /dev in the new image
devfsadm -R $PKG_IMAGE
bootadm update-archive -R $PKG_IMAGE
$PKG_IMAGE/boot/solaris/bin/update_grub -R $PKG_IMAGE
# For zfs root, menu.lst has moved to /rpool/boot/grub/menu.lst. # 
# create the new real grub menu
cat <⁞<-EOF > /rpool/boot/grub/menu.lst
default 0
timeout 10
splashimage /boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz
title  Appliance based on OpenSolaris 2008.11 
findroot (pool_rpool,0,a)
bootfs rpool/ROOT/VOSApp
kernel\\$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/\\$ISADIR/unix  -B \\$ZFS-BOOTFS
module\\$ /platform/i86pc/\\$ISADIR/boot_archive
# make the grub menu files readable by everyone.
chmod a+r $PKG_IMAGE/boot/grub/menu.lst
chmod a+r /rpool/boot/grub/menu.lst
# setup /etc/bootsign so that grub can find this zpool
dir -p /rpool/etc>
echo pool_rpool > /rpool/etc/bootsign
zfs set mountpoint=/ rpool/ROOT/VOSApp
zfs set compression=off rpool 

Hope this makes it easier for  someone thinking of making their own appliances based on OpenSolaris.

NOTE: There was fair number of people who did download the images. I did accidently lose the OpenSolaris image once after it was downloaded 75 times.  But you can track the images directly at

Thursday Apr 09, 2009

Minimal OpenSolaris Appliance OVF image for VirtualBox 2.2

One of the things that I always miss in OpenSolaris is text install and the primary reason for using this is in VirtualBox where I want to install just enough OpenSolaris to do a particular task with it like Database Server, Drupal, Java Application Server, etc (but more server like tasks). I really don't need GNOME or any other desktop utilities and it is primary a waste of space if I really have to do it for multiple VMs.

I have created a new OVF image which is less than 270MB size and can be used to play with the OpenSolaris kernel in VirtualBox 2.2 and if you like it can install the rest of the OpenSolaris Desktop to get to the default full blown installation of OpenSolaris 2008.11

Download the OpenSolaris App OVF image, unzip it and just use VirtualBox->File->Import Appliance to import the image into a new VirtualBox VM and you are ready to boot into OpenSolaris kernel. The preset login information is user: root with password: opensolaris.

TIP: If you like this minimal install and would like to try out the full fledge Desktop install just execute the following command

# pkg install slim_install

This will take a long time since it installs packages of another 600MB on top of the installation. But it will be pretty much the same set of packages that comes with OpenSolaris 2008.11 CD.  (Actually I expected "# pkg install entire" to do the intended task but unfortunately it just installed "entire" and not its dependencies. Must be a bug somewhere with "entire". )

 If you are interested in your own custom OVF image, here is how I have created the image:

  • For the time being this requires the  OpenSolaris 2008.11 CD image (650+ MB) only to execute my script which is about 5KB.
  • Download Virtualbox and install it
  • Create a New Virtual Box VM with following parameters in the Wizard Screen
    • Call it  My OpenSolaris Appliance
    • Select OS Type "OpenSolaris" 
    • Base Memory  768MB or increase it to 1GB if you can spare your RAM for it
    • Create a New Dynamic Expanding Image with exactly 16.00 GB (Any other size may not work)
  • Once the VM is created, immediately  click the blue Network link and modify it to select a "Bridged Network"  (in the setup make sure it is connected to the active host interface - wired or wireless depending on the host system)
  • Also Click the CD-ROM image and point it to the osol-200811.iso image that you downloaded earlier
  • Boot up the VM and select the first LiveCD option in the Grub Menu options
  • Select through the defaults to get the full Gnome Desktop
  • Open Firefox in the VM and make  sure your VM  has internet access
  • Open a terminal window and execute the following commands in sequence
    • wget ""
    • time pfexec sh -x
    • pfexec halt
  • At this point stop the VM and disconnect the CD image connected to the VM and use VirtualBox->File->Export Appliance Wizard to export the image
It takes about 12 minutes to create an image of about 270MB using the above steps with a decent internet connection and decent desktop.

If you want to own customized Image, take a look at and and create your own versions of it for say Drupal, Ruby, Glassfish, etc.

Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

Quest for OpenSolaris based Appliance

Recently I burned a copy of OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC1 and used it with Songbird (using pkg install SUNWsongbird)  and Fluendo MP3 Decoder (which is free for OpenSolaris),  Flash and soon I had a setup in my bedroom which I love to call OpenSolaris Home Theatre Edition that I used to listen to my songs collection and watch online shows that I controlled via Remote Desktop  which to me was a serious contender to those Media Centers out there. 

However I realized that while I wanted to "Pump it up" for my personal usage, I really wanted to "Strip it Down" for business usage. What I meant is in order for someone to try it out with say another Open Source Software it is easier now to say try that Open Source Software pre-installed on OpenSolaris in a Virtualbox Image. However I found it very hard to do it in practice.

Say for example I want to get somebody to try out the latest version of MySQL on OpenSolaris. The easiest thing is to give them a VDI image of preinstalled version of MySQL 5.1 RC  running on OpenSolaris that somebody just double clicks and boom a virutalbox instance starts up with MySQL ready to deliver.

However there is a problem with that theory. The VDI image of OpenSolaris fresh install in a virtualbox instance is about 2.5 - 3 GB. Of course adding MySQL on top of it won't drastically increase the size but I still have a problem with the base size itself. Since the only way that this can work is to use some sort of Peer to Peer File Sharing technology as hosting and hoping people will download this DVD Size downloads without any problems is like going at 10:00am for a Thanksgiving Deal at a store that opens at 6:00am with less than 20 SKU available (Tough Luck!!).

Anyway I started dissecting on how to reduce the size of the VDI image. There are few tricks provided by Virtualbox itself to release zero'ed out sectors using

VBoxManage modifyvdi VDINAME compact

However trying this out on a VDI holding OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC1 candidate did not really help.

The next thing I tried was to list out all the packages that are installed using

pkg list

There are about 550 packages installed as reported by that list. I tried  removing many of the non-essential desktop things (Aha who needs Xorg, Gnome, Firefox, Thunderbird) and reduced it to less than 400 packages. However even with that the VDI images is still not much smaller than 2.5GB. I tried the trick of cloning the disk to another VDI via ZFS replace thinking it will get rid of all the freed up space obtained by removing all the packages but the resulting new VDI image was still 2.5GB.

Looking at ZFS list output I found that for my virtualbox instance with 512MB I have three main zfs file systems defined which gives me the approximate 2.5GB usage.

rpool/ROOT/opensolaris- The legacy mount which is root (/) which is about 1.3 GB

rpool/dump which is about 512MB

rpool/swap which is again about 512MB

Now the goal is to reduce the VDI size without creating complications for the end user trying out the VDI and also still have the capability of going back to the fully installed version of OpenSolaris.

Hence the quest still continues..

Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

Make Open Source Project "runs best" on OpenSolaris

Often people ask me what I do for a living and my short answer is "We make applications run best on Solaris". However it is generally not clear to many people what "run best" on Solaris or now OpenSolaris really means. Majority of the people think it is all about performance since it can be a measured quantity for an action "runs" in terms of "how fast". Well that is just one part of the job. Runs best actually means multiple thing. Lets take an example to see how it means multiple thing.

Consider a Business problem that can be solved by using a solution based on IT. Well the first thing most people will do is find the right piece of software that solves the business problem. Lets call it the BusinessApp. Now BusinessApp is what now drives the foodchain for the Techical Architect to see how that BusinessApp can be deployed to acheive the goal. Let's assume a simple scenario that the BusinessApp requires a DatabaseApp and both of them running on some OperatingSystem running on SomeHardware.

Let's recap the components

  1. BusinessApp (for example: Openbravo ERP)
  2. DatabaseApp (for example: PostgreSQL)
  3. OperatingSystem (for example: OpenSolaris)
  4. SomeHardware (for example: Intel Xeon Quad Core based system)

So the question is what really features are more appealing to the Technical Architect:

  1. It should work - No brainer
  2. It should be easy to integrate the components and deploy it
  3. It should be easy to maintain
  4. It should perform meeting a minimum user expectations on how long to wait
  5. It should scale with the increase in the number of users

So "run bests" means all of the above in tandem. The priorities may differ slightly depending on the Technical Architect but most of them will agree the initial thing is to meet the first three steps before you go for a pilot to test the performance out.

 So how do we achieve "runs best" on OpenSolaris

  1. First of all we identify that the individual components (say PostgreSQL, Openbravo, etc) works on OpenSolaris which is what most people mean when they say "Oh! it works", "Oh! Its supported" in ascending order of deep support of components in the stack.
  2. The "Easy to integrate/deploy" is often missed out however it is quite important for the "First User Experience of a deployer" who often makes recommendations on what's easy to do. For example to use Openbravo on OpenSolaris you need PostgreSQL, Tomcat, Ant, JDK and integrate them together before you can deploy the Openbravo ERP application on OpenSolaris. Most of the time you need a tight integration to "Ease" the pains which generally to many are more critical than the performance problems itself. This is mainly resolved by having documentation and/or  good scripts which makes sure that the dependent and other components are preinstalled and a great installer to integrate all of them together. Remember pkg(5) doesn't do all we want, it installs the components we still need to have good scripts to integrate all the components together to act as a single integrated application. That's an effort which has the biggest return on investment since many people find this step as make or break to continue with the effort of seeing the feasability of whether deployment is possible or not.
  3. Yet another thing which is important but often sidelined is  "Easy to Maintain". For example starting Openbravo requires that PostgreSQL server is running and then also Tomcat is running. Instead of making a user run different scripts, a well written SMF Manifest makes it easy to start and stop the service on OpenSolaris which can be made practically hands free and start and stop along with the database. Otherthing which really helps "Easy to Maintain" are the new ZFS snapshot features which in the next release of OpenSolaris (2008.11) will include Time Slider which can be tweaked to make sure that the app and all its related components have consistent snapshots which means you always have a good and working version to revert back in case a bad thing happens.
  4. This one is the most popular of all "It Performs Great!". Of course it doesnt perform all by itself. Every Technical Architect knows that its best to do their own performance test if their name is going to be tied to solution. DTrace on OpenSolaris is exactly an aid in those scenarios to help resolve the problems many times before it occurs in Production. And fortunately even when the problem does make it to the production system also.
  5. Of course no solution is complete if the scaling process is not thought out before. These are the what-if scenarios. What if instead of 50 regular users, I get 30,000 users because an email from HR was fired to input all the vacation days in the system before the end of the day. Such scenarios are unfortunately more common than not.

Again all this is part of the job to make an OpenSource project for that matter any project run best on OpenSolaris

Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

Replacing Boot Disk which is running OpenSolaris

Recently my boot disk of my workstation which is running OpenSolaris 2008.05 started giving me media errors. Just for the record the errors looked like this:

 WARNING: /pci@5,0/pci1022,7450@4/pci108e,534d@4,1/sd@0,0 (sd2):
     Error for Command: read(10)                Error Level: Retryable
       Requested Block: 4213122                   Error Block: 4213126
       Vendor: FUJITSU                            Serial Number: AAG0P5300991
       Sense Key: Media_Error
       ASC: 0x11 (read retries exhausted), ASCQ: 0x1, FRU: 0x0
 WARNING: /pci@5,0/pci1022,7450@4/pci108e,534d@4,1/sd@0,0 (sd2):
    Error for Command: read(10)                Error Level: Retryable
       Requested Block: 4213122                   Error Block: 4213126
       Vendor: FUJITSU                            Serial Number: AAG0P5300991
       Sense Key: Media_Error
       ASC: 0x11 (read retries exhausted), ASCQ: 0x1, FRU: 0x0

I did not want to wait till the whole disk died so I started thinking about replacing the disk. I talked to our local lab manager to get a replacement disk and within couple of day he came back with a replacement disk. So with a replacement disk in my hand and the boot disk which is my primary drive in the system I went on a strategy to figure out how to change the disk without really re-installing the system.

First of all I am using an EOL product called Sun Java Workstation W2100z. Fortunately it has extra disk slots in it. Halting OpenSolaris 2008.05 I opened the system without a screw driver (it has twist screws) and I inserted my new disk into one of the available disk slot  and it already had ribbon cables and power supply for it. Booted up OpenSolaris and I could see the disks. Great now what.

My primary plan was to clone the disk exactly to be similar to my boot disk so here are my steps to make it look like it

 # format
Searching for disks...done

       0. c5t0d0 <DEFAULT cyl 17879 alt 2 hd 255 sec 63>
       1. c6t0d0 <DEFAULT cyl 17846 alt 2 hd 255 sec 63>
Specify disk (enter its number): 0
selecting c5t0d0
[disk formatted]
/dev/dsk/c5t0d0s0 is part of active ZFS pool rpool. Please see zpool(1M).
/dev/dsk/c5t0d0s1 is currently used by swap. Please see swap(1M).
format> par
partition> name
Enter table name (remember quotes): "myroot"
partition> pr
Current partition table (myroot):
Total disk cylinders available: 17879 + 2 (reserved cylinders)

Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders         Size            Blocks
  0       root    wm     262 - 17878      134.95GB    (17617/0/0) 283017105
  1       swap    wu       1 -   261        2.00GB    (261/0/0)     4192965
  2     backup    wu       0 - 17878      136.96GB    (17879/0/0) 287226135
  3 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  4 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  5 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  6 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  7 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  8       boot    wu       0 -     0        7.84MB    (1/0/0)         16065
  9 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0

partition> quit
format> disk
       0. c5t0d0 <DEFAULT cyl 17879 alt 2 hd 255 sec 63>
       1. c6t0d0 <DEFAULT cyl 17846 alt 2 hd 255 sec 63>
Specify disk (enter its number)[1]: 1
selecting c6t0d0
[disk formatted]
format> ver
WARNING - This disk may be in use by an application that has
      modified the fdisk table. Ensure that this disk is
      not currently in use before proceeding to use fdisk.
format> fdisk
No fdisk table exists. The default partition for the disk is:

  a 100% "SOLARIS System" partition

Type "y" to accept the default partition,  otherwise type "n" to edit the
 partition table.
format> par
partition> pr
Current partition table (original):
Total disk cylinders available: 17846 + 2 (reserved cylinders)

Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders         Size            Blocks
  0 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  1 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  2     backup    wu       0 - 17845      136.71GB    (17846/0/0) 286695990
  3 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  4 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  5 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  6 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  7 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  8       boot    wu       0 -     0        7.84MB    (1/0/0)         16065
  9 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0


Unfortunately since somehow my cylinder counts were different I could not use select to choose the layout of "myroot" and hence had to set the layout manually to be similar to my boot disk.

partition> 0
Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders         Size            Blocks
  0 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0

Enter partition id tag[unassigned]:
Enter partition permission flags[wm]:
Enter new starting cyl[0]: 262
Enter partition size[0b, 0c, 262e, 0.00mb, 0.00gb]: 17845e
partition> 1
Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders         Size            Blocks
  1 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0

Enter partition id tag[unassigned]:
Enter partition permission flags[wm]:
Enter new starting cyl[0]: 1
Enter partition size[0b, 0c, 1e, 0.00mb, 0.00gb]: 261e
partition> pr
Current partition table (unnamed):
Total disk cylinders available: 17846 + 2 (reserved cylinders)

Part      Tag    Flag     Cylinders         Size            Blocks
  0 unassigned    wm     262 - 17845      134.70GB    (17584/0/0) 282486960
  1 unassigned    wm       1 -   261        2.00GB    (261/0/0)     4192965
  2     backup    wu       0 - 17845      136.71GB    (17846/0/0) 286695990
  3 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  4 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  5 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  6 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  7 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0
  8       boot    wu       0 -     0        7.84MB    (1/0/0)         16065
  9 unassigned    wm       0                0         (0/0/0)             0

partition> lab
Ready to label disk, continue? y


Now my disk layout looks like my boot disk image. Now I need to tell ZFS to move to the new disk. I wasn't comfortable doing all this in GUI so I reverted to the character mode by issuing the following command

# svcadm disable gdm

 In the character login mode,  I used the following step to move the ZFS rpool to the new disk

# zpool replace rpool c5t0d0s0 c6t0d0s0

(Sometimes you may have to use force flag if you have some some data already on c6t0d0s0

# zpool replace -f rpool c5t0d0s0 c6t0d0s0

The command did look like it returned quite quickly but it then I found it spawns a background task to start moving the pool to the new system.  I observed it by using

# zpool iostat -v

to see the IOs happening from the old disk to the new

and also

# zpool status -v

Once it successfully completed replacing the disk which could take a while, then I  made sure the swap location is also moved to the new disk in /etc/vfstab

# vi /etc/vfstab

(replace c5t0d0s1 to c6t0d0s1)

Now to make sure Grub is also available on the new disk and it knows where the new ZFS Root drive will be located:

# cd /boot/grub

# installgrub stage1 stage2 /dev/rdsk/c6t0d0s0

Final step before rebooting the operating system, I made sure the mini-root is updated with the new information

# bootadm update-archive

 And now I rebooted the system. Here is where there is a bit of timing issue since I need to press F2 to get into the boot menu and select the other disk to boot from in the CMOS menu. Booting into the other hard disk and seeing a working grub menu gave me a positive feeling that things are going right.  Selecting the OpenSolaris installation started booting Solaris again. Since I had disabled the GUI login, it took me to the login prompt. Login using my primary id and  then "su" into root shell

I checked using zpool status -v and "swap -l" to verify that rpool and swap are pointing to the new disk. Once I was satisfied, I  enabled GUI login as follows:

# svcadm enable gdm; exit

( Note as soon as you enable GUI via gdm it starts X windows and leave your shell hanging logged in. Hence I had  the extra ";exit" to  immediately exit after starting the GUI. )

Then I took the system down again to remove my dying disk from it and sent it back to my lab manager.

Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

Openbravo ERP On OpenSolaris 2008.05

How to install Openbravo ERP on OpenSolaris 2008.05

Or it should read how to setup an ERP System quickly for your enterprise using PostgreSQL. 

What you need:

  • A x86 or x64 based server running OpenSolaris 2008.05
  • Fast access to Internet

Preparing OpenSolaris 2008.05 to be Openbravo ready:

Let's start from the point where you have already installed OpenSolaris 2008.05 configured to access the internet.

Requirements for Openbravo:

  • JDK
  • ANT
  • Tomcat
  • PostgreSQL 
Before executing the binary you need to install the following packages on  OpenSolaris 2008.05.

# pkg install SUNWj6dev

# pkg install SUNWant

# pkg install SUNWtcat

# pkg install SUNWpostgr-82-server

# pkg install SUNWpostgr-82-client

# pkg install SUNWpostgr-82-jdbc

# pkg install SUNWpostgr-82-server-data-root

# svccfg import /var/svc/manifest/application/database/postgresql.xml

# svcadm enable svc:/application/database/postgresql:version_82

To improve data loading speed during installation, you might want to edit /var/postgres/8.2/data/postgresql.conf and increase checkpoint_segments=16  and if you have 1GB RAM or more, increase shared_buffers = 128MB and wal_buffers=512kB. Restart PostgreSQL as follows:

# svcadm restart svc:/application/database/postgresql:version_82

Make sure that your newly installed tomcat setup has a valid server.xml file or copy it from an example file included. 

# cp /var/apache/tomcat/conf/server.xml-example /var/apache/tomcat/conf/server.xml

Installing Openbravo ERP 2.40Beta on OpenSolaris : 

Go to the download page of OpenBravo ERP

Select the version (I selected 2.40Beta) and download the installation binary of OpenBravo ERP for Solaris 10 (INTEL).

 $ pfexec ./OpenbravoERP_2.40beta-solaris-intel-installer.bin

Here is my quick cheat sheet of answers for the questions that OpenBravo installation GUI asks:

  • /opt/OpenbravoERP
  • /opt/OpenbravoERP/AppsOpenbravo/attachments
  • Complete
  • Standard
  • /usr/jdk/latest
  • /usr/bin/ant 
  • /var/apache/tomcat
  • PostgreSQL
  • /usr/postgres/8.2/bin
  • localhost     5432
  • (Enter password for postgres user as "postgres" twice)
  • openbravo    tad     (Enter password for tad user  twice)
  • Context name: openbravo
  • Date format: DD MM YYYY, Date Separator -, Time format 24h, Time Separator :
  • Demo data: Y or N depending on your preferences

After the information the installation GUI takes quite a bit of time to complete specially if you select to load the demo data. (Hope you made changes to PostgreSQL before to tune this loading.)

Once the installation completes  start tomcat as follows

# /usr/apache/tomcat/bin/

And then open a browser and go to


If you see the login screen if everything goes right !. Use Openbravo as username and openbravo (all lower case) as password to login and set it up for your business.

More help on installation is available on their wiki site


Jignesh Shah is Principal Software Engineer in Application Integration Engineering, Oracle Corporation. AIE enables integration of ISV products including Oracle with Unified Storage Systems. You can also follow me on my blog


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