Wednesday Nov 07, 2007

OpenSolaris Developer Preview / Indiana on MacBook

I installed the last week the OpenSolaris Developer Preview / Indiana inside Paralles Desktop 3.0 running on MacBook Pro laptop (see my post concerning installing SXCE for details about setting up the virtual machine).

Booting the LiveCD went very well and the auto-login worked for me. I booted the system from real CD not just an iso image and I was quite impressed by the speed of the boot process. Then I started the actual installation and again, everything went smooth.

The last thing I had to do was to install the network drivers. This required mounting the /Library/Parallels/Tools/vmtools.iso (set the vmtools.iso at the Edit/Virtual Machine.../CD/DVD-ROM Options/Image File and reboot the virtual machine). The device driver is located at /media/PRTOOLS/Drivers/Network/RTL8029/SOLARIS. The recommended method to install the driver is to use the script. However, this script builds the driver from source code and since the Indiana preview does not contain C compiler this method did not work. So, I read the README.txt,, unpacked the sources and found that the binaries are also provided. I looked also in the makefiles to find out details about installing the driver and here are the steps, which worked for me:

  • Use prtconf to verify that the RTL8029 card is recognized, look for pci10ec,8029 under pci, instance #0.
  • Log as a root.
  • unzip and untar the ni0.8.11.tar: # gunzip ni0.8.11.tgz; tar xvf ni0.8.11.tar
  • Use script (part of the unpacked sources) to add the new driver to the system.
  • Install the driver binaries to the /kernel/drv directory -- invoke the following commands from the directory with unpacked sources:
    • # /usr/sbin/install -f /kernel/drv -m 755 -u root -g sys i386/dp8390
    • # /usr/sbin/install -f /kernel/drv -m 755 -u root -g sys i386/ni
  • Wait a few seconds and the Network Auto-Magic magically picks the driver up, plumbs the interface and starts DHCP for you.

Saturday Nov 03, 2007

October's CZOSUG Meetings -- #19 and #20

After a few months pause two CZOSUG meetings were organized in October -- CZOSUG BootCamp (October 20th) and the first CZOSUG meeting in Brno (October 23rd).

The all-day BootCamp focused on application tuning and debugging on OpenSolaris and many people from Solaris RPE team presented there (big thanks to Peter Harvey, Milos Muzik, Vita Batrla, Sasa Nedvedicky, Pavel Filipensky, and Zdenek Kotala). Thanks also to Faculty of Mathematics and Physisc, Charles University for hosting this event.

The CZOSUG #20 run at Masaryk University, Faculty of Informatics. I had there a presentation about "Introduction to OpenSolaris" (slides are in Czech) followed by very nice demo of DTrace, ZFS and BrandZ delivered by Milan Jurik. Thanks to Roumen for organizing this event. The CZOSUG meeting followed a CZJUG meeting, so we (the OpenSolaris community) were able to leverage the contacts Rouman has from his for as NetBeans evangelist.

Tuesday Sep 18, 2007

Solaris on MacBook -- Going Native

After I installed SXCE on MacBook Pro using Parallels I ended up with resolution 1024 x 768 points. This is nice but native resolution of the 15 inches MacBook Pro laptop is 1440 x 900 pixels, so the next step was to make the SXCE use the native resolution for SXDE in full screen mode.

I found two useful links -- one at Parallels Forum and another at DraginFly site, which helped me to get the native resolution. Here are the steps I followed:

  • Log as super user and copy file /etc/X11/.xorg.conf to file /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  • Edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf as the following:
    • In the section "Monitor" add rows:
      HorizSync 31.5 - 100.0
      VertRefresh 59.0 - 75.0
      Option "dpms"
      Modeline "1440x900" 108.84 1440 1472 1800 1912 900 918 927 946
    • In the section "Screen" add row: DefaultDepth 24
    • For each subsection "Display" you want to use in the section "Screen" add a new resolution "1440x900" at the begin in the Modes line. For example:
      Modes "1440x900" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
    • Reboot.

Tuesday Jul 17, 2007

Solaris, MacBook and Parallels

I recently switched from Ferrari 3400 laptop to MacBook Pro. After I got familiar with Mac OS X (one of the first tasks was to find Terminal ;-) ) I started to play with Parallels Desktop for Mac in order to be able to install Solaris.

Parallels is easy to install but there is not actually too much information at their web site how to set up the virtual machine for Solaris installation. After a some searching I found very useful blog entry Getting Solaris 10 working in Paralles by Martin MC Brown. I did not use Solaris 10 but Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE, Nevada, build 68). The virtual machine has the following parameters:

OS TypeSolaris
OS VersionSolaris 10
Main memory1024 MB
Video memory16 MB
1 x HDD, size25600 MB
1 x CD/DVD ROMImage file with SXCE image
2 x Serial portEmulation / Use output file
Network adapterBridged Ethernet / Default Adapter

Set Options/Booting/Boot Sequence to boot from CD-ROM at first and the SXDE installation can start. I choose the "Solaris Express" option at the begin because I wanted to use this machine to compile ON/Nevada from the sources later on (Solaris Express Developer Edition installs Sun Studio 12 while Sun Studio 11 is recommended for building ON/Nevada).

The installation went on without any problems. The only thing to really decide was the slice layout. I used a simple one -- slice 0 for /, slice 1 for swap, slice 2 is the overlay, and slice 3 for /data).

When the Solaris Express booted first time I logged as a root using Failsafe Session and created /root directory and set it as home directory for the super user (edit the file /etc/passwd. This way all the Gnome stuff generated for root goes to the /root directory and /does not get polluted.

The next step was to install driver for the Realtek 8029(AS) network adapter provided by the Parallels virtual machine. As Martin MC Brown's blog says, the driver is located on vmtools.iso CD image located inside /Library/Parallels/Tools directory. So, I shut down the Solaris Express, stopped the virtual machine, set the vmtools.iso at the CD/DVD-ROM Options/Image File, and booted the Solaris Express again.

The vmtools.iso gets automatically mounted and inside /media/PRTOOLS/Drivers/Network/RTL8029/SOLARIS is located device driver for the Realtek network adapter. I installed the driver using the script and choose to get the IP address using DHCP. After another reboot I get assigned DHCP address from my home DHCP server and another (virtual) machine appeared on the network!

After getting the network up an running I set up ZFS pool. I used slice 3 (/dev/dsk/c0d0s3), which was originally mounted as UFS file system (under /data in my case). Here are the steps to convert this slice to ZFS pool:

  • umount /data
  • Edit /etc/vfstab and remove (mark as a comment) the line, specifying how the /dev/dsk/c0d0s3 should be mounted.
  • Create the ZFS pool: zpool create -f mypool /dev/dsk/c0d0s3 (the -f parameter forces to overwrite the existing UFS file system.
  • Check the ZFS pool: zfs list

Once the ZFS pool is set then actual file systems can be created inside it. One of the obvious choices would file system for /export/home. This can be achieved in two simple commands, for example:

  • zfs create mypool/home
  • zfs set mountpoint="/export/home" mypool/home

And this is all folks :-) -- the Solaris Express, Comunity Edition is ready for the game!

Sunday Jul 15, 2007

Add More Software from Blastwave

Blastwave provides very useful set of packages for Solaris, so I quite often use this site. Setting up Blastwave is quite easy and the HOWTO section at Blastwave is definitely the best source for information. Here are the simplified steps:
  • Go to Blastwave HOWTO. Download and install the pkg-get package.
  • Edit the /opt/csw/etc/pkg-get.conf file -- add there the mirror closest to you and set http_proxy or ftp_proxy if needed. Since I am based in Czech Republic I typically use mirror at Silicon Hill (
  • Install wget from Blastwave: pkg-get -i wget
  • It is not a bad idea to use "more automation", so pkgadd will not ask all the dependency questions, the trick is as the following: cp -p /var/pkg-get/admin-fullauto /var/pkg-get/admin
  • And finally, I can install my favorite text editor :-) ! pkg-get -i gvim

Thursday Apr 12, 2007

Solaris Installation Notes -- Distributions

Thanks to OpenSolaris there are now multiple distributions to choose from:

  • If you are OpenSolaris newbie it is not a bad idea to start with OpenSolaris Starter Kit.
  • Choose Solaris 10 if you want to use the most stable Solaris release.
  • Solaris Express, Community Edition is for people who want the latest Nevada builds.
  • There is a new program -- Solaris Express, Developer Edition, which focuses on developers. This release installs also the developer tools -- Sun Studio.
  • Nexenta is a distribution for people who like Debian packaging tools, Ubuntu look and feel and Solaris cutting edge features and stability.
  • BeleniX is a great LiveCD distribution.
  • Schillix was the first OpenSolaris distribution, which came out just three days after official OpenSolaris launch.
  • MarTux is a distribution, which focuses on the Sparc platform.
  • Singanix is a new distribution focusing on servers.

Saturday Mar 31, 2007

Solaris Installation Notes -- Hardware

Time to time people ask me what HW to choose for Solaris and about Solaris installation in general. I am not an expert in this area but I played with Solaris installation several times recently, so I got some experience and I have some useful information to write about.

There are a lot of myths and prejudices concerning hardware supported by Solaris. I hear quite often that Solaris does not run on such a such HW configurations. This is typically not entirely true. Solaris runs on a lot of HW configurations but it may happen that a specific device is not supported. So, for example, you can end up without sound card support but Solaris will run on your machine. Here is a list of useful links:

Tuesday Mar 13, 2007

Three CZOSUG meetings ...

... I missed and did not blog about -- time goes so fast these days. Darren Reed talked about upcoming changes in Solaris Networking at CZOSUG #14 and his presentation was recorded.

CZOSUG #15 was a preparation for the first OpenSolaris Developer Conference in Berlin. Zdenek Kotala presented about PostgreSQL on Solaris and Martin Man presented about Nexenta.

And yes, I met Moinak Ghosh, author of BeleniX while he was in Prague and presented at CZOSUG #16. Note, that author of the first OpenSolaris based distribution, Jörg Schilling visited Prague a year ago and presented about SchilliX.

An update for Joe: The presentations are linked from the CZOSUG web page.

Tuesday Nov 28, 2006

Setting up a USB Printer for Solaris 10

A few month ago I set up an HP usb printer on Solaris 10. It was not a difficult task but finding out how to do it took some time. Here is the approach, which worked very well for me:

  1. Connect the printer, check /var/adm/messages
  2. /dev/usb/printer0 device should get created automatically, supposing this the first usb printer connected to your computer
  3. Add the printer:
    • A generic command: $ lpadmin -p your_printer_name -v /dev/usb/printer0 -o banner=never
    • Command specific for HP930C: $ lpadmin -p your_printer_name> -o banner=never -v /dev/usb/printer0 -T PS -I postscript -m standard_foomatic -n /root/HP-DeskJet_930C-hpijs.ppd
    The PPD files can be found at: /usr/lib/lp/model/ppd/system/foomatic/HP
  4. Start LP service: $ /usr/lib/lpsched; but wait SMF is available, so use: $ svcadm enable application/print/server
  5. enable(1) the printer: $ /usr/bin/enable your_printer_name
  6. Let the printer accept(1M) jobs: $ /usr/sbin/accept your_printer_name
  7. To check what is going on use lpstat(1): $ lpstat -a or $ lpstat -r
  8. Add filter for text file: $ lpfilter -f a2ps -F /etc/lp/fd/a2ps.fd
Check the following links if you want to learn more:

Thursday Nov 23, 2006

Solaris and OpenSolaris Learning Resources

I had recently a presentation at University Day in Prague about OpenSolaris. During preparation of this presentation I collected several useful links with various resources for people interested in learning OpenSolaris (or lecturing about it). So, here you go:

Wednesday Nov 22, 2006

Sun Tech Days 2006 in Prague

Sun Tech Days in Prague were held from November 14 to November 16, 2006. They included also OpenSolaris Day on November 14 and University Day on November 16. All these events represented great opportunity to meet with many of our colleagues from Sun as well as with many people outside Sun.

Engineers from the New Solaris group (and especially from the Solaris RPE organization) prepared four booths with demos concerning OpenSolaris Installation, DTrace, BrandZ and SunRay:

Besides this several people from our team also participated at the HR booth:

The 12th CZOSUG meeting was held at the end of the OpenSolaris Day and Martin Cerveny presented about status of the project.

We managed also to get created USB memory sticks with OpenSolaris logo and LiveUSB BeleniX on it. Having a live OpenSolaris distribution on such a small device is really cool!

And yes, Jim Mauro signed my copy of the Solaris Internals book :-) !

Thursday Oct 26, 2006

Xen BootCamp aka CZOSUG #11

The second CZOSUG all day event is over and we are already looking for the next meeting, which be very likely held at Sun Tech Days in Prague.

The Xen BootCamp hosted eight interesting talks dealing with both theoretical and practical aspects of Xen on Solaris and Linux. As a bonus, Johannes Schindelin from QEMU project had a very good presentation about this about this Xen alternative.

Four engineers from Solaris RPE organizations in Czech and UK had the following presentations and demos:

Michal Svamberk had an excellent presentation (including demos) about usage of Xen at the University of West Bohemia. Marek Pasovsky talked about Xen in web hosting environment. Milan Vaclavik had an ad-hoc talk about usage of Xen in students laboratories at Czech Technical University.

AVC Sillicon Hill recoreded all talks and they will be available at AVC home page -- thanks!

Thanks to all who organized, presented and attended the BootCamp and also special thanks to Martin Man who moderated this event.

Tuesday Jun 27, 2006

What I Missed to Blog About...

This time I can say only -- yes, I missed to blog about quite a few cool events. So, here is the list in brief:

  • now belongs to CZOSUG community!
  • CZOSUG #7 on April 11 -- Lubos Kosco and Martin Man presented about Sun Grid Engine; Frank Hofmann presented about "How to write filesystem driver for Solaris"
  • CZOSUG #8 on May 3 -- Tomas Heran presented about SMF; Vladimir Kotal and Milan Jurik presented about binary packages for OpenSolaris

  • I handed over the role of CZOSUG coordinator from Sun in Czech to Milan Jurik and Martin Man -- thanks guys for taking over!
  • CZOSUG #9 on June 13 -- completely devoted to localization -- three presentations about localization of OpenSolaris, Ubuntu, and Gnome
  • OpenSolaris celebrated the first anniversary on June 14 -- congratulations!
    Fast, Safe, Open, Free!
    Open for business. Open for me! » Learn More
  • Everyone is welcome to join the informal anniversary meeting at Dobra trefa on June 28.)

Sunday Mar 26, 2006

CZOSUG #6: BootCamp

On March 11 (yes on Saturday) we had an all day event -- CZOSUG BootCamp. The BootCamp had two main themes -- OpenSolaris / Solaris installation and administration and Device Drivers development. The event was held at premises of Faculty of Mathematics and Physisc, Charles University in Prague at Mala Strana. I would like to thank to management of the faculty for cooperation and providing the space as well as to Martin Decky (Second Vicepresident of Academic Senate) for help with organization.

The main speaker was Martin Cerveny (coordinator of CZOSUG) -- he covered both the initial Solaris installation and administration topic as well as the device drivers development. Vita Batrla presented about driver for CDMA modem developed using ugen driver and Milan Jurik presented a few slides about USB in general.

In parallel with the presentation track people from OPG (Operating Platforms Group) in Prague prepared and run OpenSolaris Install-fest. The lecture room at Charles University had its own network, so we could "steel" it and put there Solaris install server. At the end seven people tried to install Solaris and five succeeded. Vlada Kotal run the very practical presentation about the installation and post-installation steps while other people from OPG helped the attendees with the actual installation.

Petr Sumbera took pictures from this event -- see his blog or pictures at flicker.

Wednesday Mar 01, 2006

CZOSUG #5: OpenSolaris Project Overview

It is more than one week ageo we had CZOSUG meeting #5.

I did not have time to post this message earlier because our team moved to a new office and I was rather busy with packing and worrying if everything goes well (and I am very happy now beacuse the move was very smooth and all our servers survived :-) !), check also Pavel Suk's blog about Prague.

So, now back to the 'open business' -- the meeting was held the last Tuesday (February 21). Martin Cerveny had very interesting presentation about current status of the OpenSolaris project and we also discussed the plans for CZOSUG #6 -- "CZOSUG BootCamp - OS Installation and Device Drivers Development".

Here are a few pictures, the last one (unfortunately quite bad one :-( ) shows Quake running on Solaris ;-) on Martin's laptop:


The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.


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