Tuesday Apr 07, 2009

OpenSolaris: from Build 106 to Build 110

Upgrading from OpenSolaris Build 106 to build 110 was a piece of cake:

Step 1: update your image

#pfexec pkg image-update

1hour and 15 minutes later, you can reboot on the new environment.

Then, after reboot

Step2: reconfigure suspend / resume


Thursday Mar 19, 2009

StarOffice 9 on OpenSolaris 2008-11

I have just finished the StarOffice 9 installation on OpenSolaris 2008-11

I am currently running OpenSolaris 2008-11, build 106.

Here are the steps

1- Download StarOffice from Sun Software Library (Sun employee only)

2- Prepare to install it as root

Allow DISPLAY for root and launch StarOffice installation script

In one terminal :

(first line below, you can't guess it: of course, you have to go and ask for your best OpenSolaris friend)

#svccfg -s svc:/application/x11/x11-server setprop options/tcp_listen = true

#xhost +

In an other terminal

#su root

#DISPLAY=129.x.x.x:0.0 (your IP @ you can get with #ifconfig)

#export DISPLAY

Launch StarOffice script : #/opt/so9.0.1.sh

Ensure that OpenOffice is installed. I don't know why, but even if my StarOffice9 installation script succeeded, afterwards libuno_sal.so.3 was missing. This library was added after OpenOffice installation.

3 - Install the fonts

3-A Download the fonts from Sun Software Library

copy fonts : #cp sun_msfonts.zip /usr/X11/lib/X11/myfonts

3-B unzip:

#cd  /usr/X11/lib/X11/myfonts

#unzip  sun_msfonts.zip

Run spadmin (as regular user): #/opt/staroffice9/program/spadmin and install the new fonts from the menu

Also, if you want to remove from the Gnome menu the Staroffice 8:(thanks to Ian)

System -> Preferences -> Main Menu

Here you are!

What I like in StarOffice Text is the zoom slider at bottom right:

Wednesday Feb 18, 2009

Memory? cpu frequency? architecture? : three on line commands for OpenSolaris

To answer some frequently asked questions about your hardware laptop configuration running OpenSolaris, you may use these commands in a terminal:

Memory size:

#prtconf -pv | grep Memory

Cpu clock frequency:

#kstat -m cpu_info -s current_clock_Hz


#isainfo -x

Monday Dec 15, 2008

A step by step instructions to use a projector with OpenSolaris 2008.11

If you want to use a projector with your OpenSolaris laptop, it's here.

I am running OpenSolaris 2008.11\* on a Toshiba Tecra M3 laptop  equipped with an Nvidia graphic card.

(\* # uname -a returns: SunOS opensolaris 5.11 snv_101b i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris )

1) Before booting your PC, check that LCD + ANALOG RGB is set up in Power On Display line in the BIOS. For my PC, the sequence is Esc + F1 to enter the BIOS.

2) Boot OpenSolaris

3) Go to System -> Preferences -> NVIDIA X Server Settings

4) Connect your external projector.

5) In the NVIDIA menu:

  • move to X Server Display Configuration
  • select Detect Display
  • (click to enlarge)


The external screen is appearing.

6) From the Model selector

  • choose the external Display
  • select configure and put "Twinview".


Then for that display, select the same resolution as your internal screen. Plus select clone for the external screen.


7) Select apply. The X Server restarts and you are done.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

OpenSolaris - Virtual Box - VmWare coexistence

Yesterday, Jérome set up a VmWare ESX on SunFire V20z.

Below a snapshot of OpenSolaris running Windows in xVM VirtualBox.

In this xVM Virtual Box, you run VmWare Infrastructure client to install OpenSolaris. VmWare bare metal running on SunFire V20z.

Thursday Nov 27, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC2 - Suspend Resume - Adding memory

I have upgraded my PC from OpenSolaris 2008.11 snv_101a to snv_101b which is Release Candidate 2

The upgrade ran smoothly, as usual with three commands:

  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ pfexec pkg image-update
  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ pfexec pkg install SUNWipkg
  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ pfexec pkg image-update

When it comes to suspend-resume, it is now running OK for me. Although I had to run these two commands to setup supend-resume:

  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ /usr/sbin/pmconfig
  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ /usr/sbin/svcadm restart hal

You also have to add the line:

S3-support   enable

at the end of file /etc/power.conf

Then, go in the menu System -> Shut Down... and choose Suspend.

You can Resume by connecting your mouse, or pushing the power button.

This morning, I also added 1GB memory into the Toshiba Tecra M3 laptop. This is the exact description I ordered. I ordered it at Offtek company, with the following reference: Fabricant: Toshiba Taille mémoire: 1Go Module Produit: Tecra M3-183. It cost me 15 Euros.

Now I can run xVM Virtual Box without any latency. I have got enough memory:

 Application  Memory in use
 Gnome  44%
+ Thunderbird
 + Firefox 3.0.4
 + OpenOffice 3.0
 + xVM VirtualBox running Windows XP
 83 %

Wednesday Nov 12, 2008

OpenSolaris looks like the growth rings of a cross section cut through the trunk of a tree

OpenSolaris makes me think of the growth rings of the trunk of a cut tree:

A cut tree

Each growth ring representing an update of the operating system. The outside growth rings being the more mature layers.

But the most interesting in this is that you can always roll back to a previous version of your operating environment.

For example, on my desktop i can activate one of the following environment each time i boot. It's a choice that appears in my Grub:

#beadm list : list your operating system environment:

BE            Active Mountpoint Space  Policy Created         
--            ------ ---------- -----  ------ -------         
opensolaris   -      -          9.88M  static 2008-06-05 08:17
opensolaris-1 -      -          12.48M static 2008-06-06 13:59
opensolaris-2 -      -          35.75M static 2008-06-23 14:19
opensolaris-3 -      -          19.13M static 2008-07-23 07:41
opensolaris-4 -      -          28.18M static 2008-08-25 18:02
opensolaris-5 -      -          19.95M static 2008-09-22 15:32
opensolaris-6 -      -          39.28M static 2008-11-06 12:00
opensolaris-7 N      /          42.90M static 2008-11-06 21:41 N means active now
opensolaris-8 R      -          27.92G static 2008-11-10 19:37 R means active on reboot

You can manipulate, test and do whatever you want on an operating system BE (Boot Environment). You always know that you can roll back to an other environment. And safety is not at risk.

But the best is to come. As you are able to update, modify your operating system in a safely manner, you can do the same with your data up to Time Slider.

Time slider is a new OpenSolaris 2008.11 capability  that perform automatic snapshot of your data. For the Mac users, it's the equivalent of Time Machine. For a description of Time Slider, see Erwann's blog.

So, there are growth rings for the Operating System and there are growth rings also for your data. As your system is growing, the footprint of the operating system and the footprint of your data are stored in the memory of the growth rings. This way, you can always rollback to your (glorious) past :=)

Friday Nov 07, 2008

OpenSolaris update from 98 to 100

I just finished the upgrade from OpenSolaris build 98 to build 100.

My first trial went wrong as the pkg image-update get stuck during the update. These two command lines went wrong:

# pfexec pkg refresh
# pfexec pkg image-update

Second trial was OK, but i had to issue the following set of command:

# pfexec pkg refresh
# BUILD=`uname -v | sed s/snv_//`  
# pfexec pkg install SUNWipkg-AT-0.5-DOT-11-0.${BUILD}
# pfexec pkg install entire-AT-0.5-DOT-11-0.${BUILD}
# pfexec pkg image-update

It runs OK without any error. I got the procedure from Jerome blog.

I also removed my old yukonx0 driver with a more stable one, the skge0.  See here for the upgrade

Monday Oct 06, 2008

Sharing files between OpenSolaris and MacOSx

Thanks to James Gosling tip described here, i am able now to share my Photos which are on my OpenSolaris laptop for the iMAC

From the laptop running Solaris, i simply share my photos directory via NFS. Go to  System->Administration ->SharedFolders and add the folder you want to share.

shared folder

Shared folder properties

Then you go to your Mac computer and do this two commands that James Gosling describes on his blog:

#ls /net/

#sudo ln -s /net/   /D

And now you can browse your photos from the MAC with the Finder application.

This way, the iMac which is on the ground level of our house can see the photos which are on my OpenSolaris laptop on the first floor. Photos are going through the ethernet cables which were inserted when we buid our house nearly 10 years ago. Last week, i just add RJ45 connectors at the end of the cables, bought a D-Link switch and put that switch behind my Freebox.

Thanks James!

Monday Sep 22, 2008

OpenSolaris install party @ Toulouse - France

Le groupe d'utilisateur francophone d'OpenSolaris organise une journée de conférences à Labège, à deux pas de Toulouse.

La matinée sera consacrée aux technologies innovantes d'OpenSolaris (Zones, Containers, SRM, ZFS, ...), présentée en français: le meilleur moyen de les découvrir ou approfondir ses connaissances.

L'après-midi fera ensuite la part belle à la Communauté Open Source du système d'exploitation: des acteurs incontournables de quatre distributions d'OpenSolaris partageront leur expérience, en anglais.

Une install party terminera la journée pour mettre la main à la pâte, pour tous ceux qui désirent tester et installer OpenSolaris sur leur portable.

Pour cela, il suffit de s'inscrire gratuitement sur le site:


GUSES @ Toulouse 

Adding memory in the laptop Toshiba Tecra M3

As i am very satisfied with my OpenSolaris on this Toshiba, i decided to upgrade with 1GB of memory. This is the reference i just

order: CORSAIR 1GB DDR2 (SO DIMM) 533Mhz PC2-4200 - VS1GSDS533D2

Kingston ValueRAM SO-DIMM DDR2-SDRAM 512 Mo - KTT533D2/512  is for laptop. (The above in blue was for desktop computer)

You can see if you have room for memory (DIMM) in the laptop with the following command:

#prtdiag -v |more
System Configuration: TOSHIBA TECRA M3
BIOS Configuration: TOSHIBA Version 1.40 11/15/2005

==== Processor Sockets ====================================

Version                          Location Tag
-------------------------------- --------------------------
                                 uFC-PGA Socket

==== Memory Device Sockets ================================

Type        Status Set Device Locator      Bank Locator
----------- ------ --- ------------------- ----------------
SDRAM       empty  -   DIMM 0              CSA 0 & 1
SDRAM       in use -   DIMM 1              CSA 2 & 3

Updating OpenSolaris 2008-05 to build 98

I have just finished the upgrade of OpenSolaris 2008-05 to build 98. The update runs without any problem with the following commands:

#pfexec pkg refresh

#pfexec pkg image-update

checking that SUNWipkg (in /) is up to date

#pfexec pkg image-update

And the result is:

A clone of opensolaris-4 exists and has been updated and activated. On next boot the Boot Environment opensolaris-5 will be mounted on '/'. Reboot when ready to switch to this updated BE.

NOTE: Please review release notes posted at:

dmerle@opensolaris:~/Desktop$ beadm list

BE            Active Active on Mountpoint Space
Name                 reboot               Used
----          ------ --------- ---------- -----
opensolaris   no     no        -          9.84M
opensolaris-1 no     no        -          11.86M
opensolaris-2 no     no        -          32.18M
opensolaris-3 no     no        -          19.03M
opensolaris-4 yes    no        /          18.16M
opensolaris-5 no     yes       -          14.59G

Thursday Jul 24, 2008

Updating OpenSolaris to build 93

For the second time, i have upgraded my OpenSolaris, which was on build 91, to build 93.

In order to do that, i simply follow the procedure indicated here

However, after booting the new environnment, named opensolaris-3, /opt and /etc were missing.

I had to manually mount /opt with the following command:

#pfexec zfs set mountpoint=/opt rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-3/opt 

The benefits of this new release are numerous, but to name the ones that interest me:

  • a new Gnome version 2.22.2
  • an updated pidgin 2.4.2
  • the suspend/resume capability available in the menu (works better, but not completely satisfactory) 

Below is the history of the available environments:

#beadm list
BE            Active Active on Mountpoint Space
Name                 reboot               Used
----          ------ --------- ---------- -----
opensolaris   no     no        -          9.84M
opensolaris-1 no     no        -          11.86M
opensolaris-2 no     no        -          32.18M
opensolaris-3 yes    yes       /          11.10G

This  is the beauty of OpenSolaris: you can always go back to a previous environment!

Monday Jun 23, 2008

Update OpenSolaris 2008.05 to Build 91 in five steps

Here are the four commands i entered in a terminal to update OpenSolaris 2008 to the latest build 91:

# pfexec pkg refresh

# pfexec pkg image-update

(# beadm list)

# pfexec mount -F zfs rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-2 /mnt

# pfexec /mnt/boot/solaris/bin/update_grub -R /mnt

The full procedure is indicated here.

By comparison to Nevada, the Solaris Express Community edition i have been using since build 54 in December 2006, here are some numbers:

 Nevada OpenSolaris 
 Time to upgrade
~ 5 hours
~1hour and 40 minutes
With OpenSolaris, there is always a possibility to roll back
 Time to boot
~ 3 minutes
~ 1 minute
login banner

Isn't it enticing?

Saturday Jun 07, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05: been there, done that

I have switched from Solaris Community express (a.k.a. Nevada build 86) to OpenSolaris 2008.05. It was a difficult decision to take as i was completely satisfied with Nevada and having lived with it since build 54 up to build 86.

But OpenSolaris is the future and the future begins today for me. This post is a step by step howto install OpenSolaris on a laptop. My laptop is a Toshiba Tecra M3, 1 cpu@2,1Ghz with 1GB Ram and 70GB hard disk.

A) Backup your PC.

Backup up took me about 1h 

Here is my checklist: 

  • D partition (D is a common partition between Windows and Solaris)
  • Thunderbird configuration : mail server and port
  • Firefox bookmarks
  • vsftab
  • .bashrc
  • .packingrules
  • /etc/resolv.conf and /etc/nsswitch.conf
  • your vpn configuration : client_backup -i /your_vpn_backup

B) Download OpenSolaris 2008.05

Download site is here.

and burn a CD.

Download and burn took me about 1h15. 

C) Installation

The installation last for me about 1h45 (reboot included) 

Insert the CD and boot over the CD: on my Toshiba, just after power on press the F12 key  and select CD. The CD then goes live and you will be presented with an installation icon: click on it!

The system will try to find a Solaris partition. If it finds a Solaris partition, it will propose you to erase it. The installation is via a GUI and is very simple. 

During the installation, you will be asked to enter a user account: i advise you to create {admin, admin}. This way, it will be easier for you later on to create via the GUI your own user, with specifics you want. For example, i had to create my own userid with uid which is the same (+10) of the one i have on the Swan. Mounting your home directory will be then without trouble.

D) Configuration

D)1) Mount the common partition beween Windows and OpenSolaris 

Add the following line in /etc/vfstab 

/dev/dsk/c4d0p2    -    /D    pcfs    -    yes    - 

D)2) Install the network driver

For my Toshiba Tecra M3, you have to use yukonx0 (yukon_xsol_x86v8.10.4.3.tar.z) (and not skge0 wich failed)

# pkgadd -d . YUKONXsol

By the way, you notice that with Opensolaris, the old packaging system is still compatible 

D)3) Mount your home directory

Add the following line in /etc/vfstab:

sunlyon.france:/export/home3/dmerle    -    /HOME    nfs    no    no    -

D)4) OpenOffice installation

# pfexec pkg install openoffice 

This is really cool! This is the new IPS packaging system: it goes over the network, get your bits and performs the installation. It took me about 20 minutes. 

D)5) vpn installation

Package installation. To get the package, go here and then do a pkgadd:

# pkgadd -d SUNWpunchin-i386.pkg
# pkgadd -d ITpunchin.pkg

Restore your vpn configuration :

# /usr/local/bin/client_restore -i your_backup_directory/punchin.backup

Your vpn will be automatically put in your menu: Applications->Internet->IPsec Punchin VPN

D)6) Projector configuration

The external projector being connected, run the following command:

#xrandr --output VGA-0 --auto

Then you can configure the resolution with the menu : Applications->SystemTools->NVidia server settings

Click on "Detect Displays"

Select clone in one of the option (more here)

D)7) Install frkit, it will silent your PC

Get frkit here, save it and run the script as root. Reboot your PC

D)8) Network configuration

I had some trouble with nwam (Network auto magic). So i disable it and installed Ginet instead.

Nwam desactivation:

#svcadm disable nwam
#svcadm enable network:/default

Get Ginetmenu: see my previous post here

D)7) Update your OS:

#pfexec pkg image-update

It will create for you and alternate boot environment directly on ZFS! On next boot, you can choose the new updated BE. Really cool!!!

E) Opensolaris documentation

It's here.

You are nearly all set.

What is missing for me: i did not succeed to install FreeMind\*, and the suspend resume is not working. I also did not have enough time to install Virtual Box.

\*(For Freemind, i had to modify the freemind.sh script and bluntly set freedir=/opt

But i am quite happy with OpenSolaris. Compiz is integrated, desktop is very nice, ZFS by default, containers, the new system installer and the new package management system (IPS). For those who want support, a support subscription is available.

Friday Nov 02, 2007

Nevada build 76 (OpenSolaris) : been there, done that!

I have just upgraded my Nevada build 68 (OpenSolaris) to Nevada build 76 on my Toshiba Tecra PC and it works! Download is here.

But, to be honest it did not run ok at the fisrt upgrade. OpenSolaris requires sufficient space to upgrade. My / partittion was filled up to 86%, and there was not enough space.

So i went in /var, and then runs  du -ks \* | sort -n (thanks Jérome) and make some house keeping (removing the /core directory)

So what's new with this release:

  • First at boot, a new entry in Grub : Solaris xVM: yeah, cool XEN available on Solaris, ability to run multiple OS, including Windows (but for that one, you need a the latest cpus from Intel or Amd integrating virtualization capabilities (intel VT or Pacifica). I will ask my boss for a new PC as my Tecra does not have such a cpu. By the way, i can add new virtualized OS like Solaris or Suse with command virt-install. But before, read the xVM manual : man xVM
  • a new gnome 2.14
  • nwam : Network auto magic, after boot, the network is automatically discovered and configured
  • i did not have to reinstall my PucnhIn vpn
  • Compiz : if you were using it in build 68, you have to make this symbolic link : ln -s /usr/lib/libwnck-1.so.22 /usr/lib/libwnck-1.so.18 (thanks Erwann)

Go ahead and installs Nevad build 76!




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