Thursday May 15, 2008

Install IPS

For those who want to test out the new OpenSolaris Image Packaging System (IPS) but does not want to install the Indiana builds, here's how you can compile and build the IPS package, SUNWipkg and install it on a Nevada build. Not sure if it'll work on Solaris, do inform me if you know.
$ hg clone ssh://anon@hg.opensolaris.org/hg/pkg/gate/
or download source code at: http://src.opensolaris.org/source/xref/pkg/gate/src/
# make
# make install
cd ../SUNWipkg/../
pkgadd -d . SUNWipkg
Also, you can find instructions on how to create your own IPS repository here: http://blogs.sun.com/migi/entry/create_your_own_opensolaris_ips2

Tuesday May 13, 2008

OpenSolaris on USB

The Distribution Constructor project includes a few very useful scripts to make the latest OpenSolaris LiveCD build bootable on a USB drive. To get these scripts, download the source by following the instructions here, and naturally, you can only use them on a OpenSolaris build.

Once you got the source, cd to the tools directory and you'll find the usbgen and usbcopy scripts. The usbgen script will convert the OpenSolaris ISO image to a UFS image and modify the GRUB entries.

$ ./usbgen os200805.iso os200805.usb /tmp

Then use the usbcopy script to copy the image to your USB stick.

$ ./usbcopy os200805.usb

This script will format your USB drive, copy the USB content and install GRUB. Once complete, you're good to go! Reboot your system and set your BIOS to allow booting from USB. I used a 2GB USB stick on my Acer laptop and the OpenSolaris boot up in less than a minute and I believe it should be much faster than booting from the CD/DVD. However, the session is not persistent so any configuration and data will be gone once you reboot. I'm now trying to see how I can modify it to have session persistence. Someone has already come up with a script to add this, I will try it soon.

http://blogs.sun.com/anilg/entry/session_persistance_on_indiana_rc2

Thursday May 08, 2008

Mini Solaris on USB

Recently I've been playing around with bootable Solaris on a USB stick. We have a BioLiveCD project and booting from the CD is painfully slow, so I'm exploring having the BioLiveCD on a USB stick. I have played around with Milax which is very slim distro based on Nevada... just around 100MB, and boot up real fast too. Now I'm trying to customize the distro, e.g. adding and removing some of the applications, but encountered some problems so far. I'm using some of the nice scripts from the Distribution Constructor, which is meant for creating your own OpenSolaris distros based on Indiana. With the new OpenSolaris release and Distribution Constructor, it should be easy to create a slim distro that is bootable from USB. However I don't have the time to test it yet.

Here are some of the useful links that I'm found so far:
\* http://blogs.sun.com/jtc/entry/modifying_and_respinning_a_bootable
\* http://solaristhings.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-small-can-you-make-open-solaris.html
\* http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/content/submitted/boot_usb_flash.jsp

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Melvin Koh

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