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Sorting things out

I'm trying to sort out the offerings for developers on the Solaris OS. I want to download and install Solaris, including what you need to develop on Solaris.  I could get all this internally on Sun's company network, but I want to see this how a customer sees it. 

I found a New to Solaris page, which seems to be what I need to get started.  I'm already registered on SDN, so the next thing I need to do is Get Solaris, but the link sends me to Get Solaris Enterprise System. Hmmmm. What's up with that?  Methinks someone wants me to seriously consider the whole shebang, but I don't really want that.  There's a checklist of things I can download, and Solaris is just one of them. I can just select that, I hope, without being offered supersize fries and a cherry pie to go with it.  It's free, take it take it! Okay, maybe I'll be back later!

Where do I want to install 

I have to decide where I want to install before I go any further.

I have two machines here in my home office.  One's a SunBlade 150 which you can no longer order... (See, employees don't get the hot new machines, just like the cobbler's children going without new shoes.)  But still, I like it since it's plenty fast for most of that I do, and I can tinker with it, unlike a Sun Ray.  My SB150 has Sun's work-from-home setup installed on it, which I do not want to obliterate as part of this experiment. 

So the other choice is to use a two year old Dell Dimension 3000. It has Windows XP on it, which I don't want to get rid of either... yet.  I know you can set up machines to boot Solaris and Windows, so that's what I need to look into first.  But wait!  Can this Dell support Solaris?  I think it's time to consult the hardware compatibility list... And the bad news is that this machine is not listed.  Maybe I will try it anyway and see what happens.

A quick google found a few pages about setting up multiboot with Solaris and XP, but on first glance these are too techy and I am lazy because this is not my primary objective, but a step I must take to get where I want to go.  So I am not interested in all this background info, I just want a cookbook.  Some other hits for "dual boot Solaris XP" are on Sun forums. These people are looking for cookbooks too!  Looks like Sun doesn't provide this, unfortunately.

Dual Boot Solaris Versions on one SPARC

Now I think maybe I should be able to get my SunBlade to dual boot Solaris 9 and Solaris 10.  That would be cool.   I searched on docs.sun.com for dual boot, and didn't find anything.  (We know that the search feature is not great on the doc site, and something is being done about it, coming soon, so I hear.)  I am going to try to find some mention in the Solaris 10 1/06 Release and Installation Collection.

I poked around a bit, eventually coming across this page in the Solaris Live Upgrade manual which has this interesting nugget:

"You can upgrade the Solaris OS by using two upgrade methods: standard and Solaris Live Upgrade. A standard upgrade maintains as many existing configuration parameters as possible of the current Solaris OS. Solaris Live Upgrade creates a copy of the current system. This copy can be upgraded with a standard upgrade. The upgraded Solaris OS can then be switched to become the current system by a simple reboot. If a failure occurs, you can switch back to the original Solaris OS with a reboot. Solaris Live Upgrade enables you to keep your system running while you upgrade and enables you to switch back and forth between Solaris OS releases."

Switch back and forth, yeah that's it!  I want to upgrade my S9 to S10, but still keep my
work-from-home S9 environment with all the tools and stuff.   

Note to self:  Submit RFE for "dual boot" to be added somewhere in install guides so that google and docs.sun.com can find.

On second thought

After further investigation and a little frustration, I have decided not to upgrade to S10 using Live Upgrade.  My S9 system is an unusual setup, with many services disabled for security reasons so that when I am not VPN'd into Sun, my system is impervious to unscrupulous elements on the internet.  There are no developer tools at all either. I don't want to use this as a basis to  upgrade to S10.  This article Using Solaris Live Upgrade for the x86 (and SPARC) Platform convinced me because it says that "(LU) upgrades the environment so that it will be as close as possible to what existed in the environment you copied from."   I don't want my S10 installation to be very much like my S9 installation.
I need the developer distro, and it sounds like I will not get them this way! 

So, now I am going to download Solaris 10, burn some DVDs and later upgrade
my Sun Blade, after backing up everything I really need, of course. 

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