Tuesday Apr 29, 2014

New in IPS Documentation for Oracle Solaris 11.2

Documentation of the Image Packaging System on docs.oracle.com is in three books. All three books contain new information for the Oracle Solaris 11.2 release.

See also Tim Foster's Web Log


  • New pkg/mirror service
  • New pkg/depot service
  • New chapter about web server configuration, including a new section about configuring https access
  • New pkgrecv --clone option
  • New pkg install and pkg update troubleshooting section
  • New chapter about updating an image
  • New options for pkg subcommands:
    • -r: perform operation recursively on specified non-global zones
    • --sync-actuators: do not return until all actuators have finished
    • --ignore-missing: when updating or uninstalling, ignore packages that are not installed
  • New pkg exact-install command
  • New file attribute for setting system attributes

Copying and Creating Package Repositories in Oracle Solaris 11.2

Chapter 1, "Image Packaging System Package Repositories"
- New section about best practices

Chapter 2, "Copying IPS Package Repositories"
- Copying from a zip file (see also Release Engineering's blog) or iso file
- Using the pkgrecv command
- Using the new pkg/mirror service to automatically periodically update a repository

Chapter 3, "Providing Access To Your Repository"
- Using a ZFS share
- Using the pkg/server service

Chapter 4, "Maintaining Your Local IPS Package Repository"
- New repository update procedure
- Using the pkgrecv --clone option to clone a repository
- Using the new pkg/depot service to serve multiple repositories from a single location

Chapter 5, "Running the Depot Server Behind a Web Server"
- Caching, load balancing
- New section about configuring HTTPS repository access

Adding and Updating Software in Oracle Solaris 11.2

Chapter 1, "Introduction to the Image Packaging System"
- Incorporations and group packages, FMRIs, images

Chapter 2, "Getting Information About Software Packages"
- Packages that can be installed
- Package descriptions, licenses, dependencies, dependents
- Searching for packages

Chapter 3, "Installing and Updating Software Packages"
- New options for pkg subcommands regarding non-global zones, SMF actuators, and ignoring missing packages in a pkg update or uninstall
- New pkg exact-install command (see also Bart's blog)
- Updated information about non-global zones

Chapter 4, "Updating or Upgrading an Oracle Solaris Image"
- Ways to control the version to which to upgrade, including creating a custom incorporation package

Chapter 5, "Configuring Installed Images"
- Configuring publishers
- Variants and facets
- Freezing
- Incorporation constraints
- Mediations
- Groups

Appendix A, "Troubleshooting Package Installation and Update"
- All new - Begins with steps you should always do and then is organized by error message

Appendix B, "IPS Graphical User Interfaces"
- Package Manager and Package Update

Packaging and Delivering Software With the Image Packaging System in Oracle Solaris 11.2

Chapter 1, "IPS Design Goals, Concepts, and Terminology"
- General information about software self-assembly and package lifecycle
- Definitions, package components
- New file attribute, sysattr, for setting system attributes

Chapter 2, "Packaging Software With IPS"
- Updated procedures for publishing and delivering your package

Chapter 3, "Installing, Removing, and Updating Software Packages"
- How this works in the Image Packaging System

Chapter 4, "Specifying Package Dependencies"
- New firmware value for the fmri attribute of the origin dependency for specifying driver firmware compatibility

Chapter 5, "Allowing Variations"
- Variants and facets

Chapter 6, "Modifying Package Manifests Programmatically"
- Using pkgmogrify

Chapter 7, "Automating System Change as Part of Package Installation"
- Specifying actuators on package actions
- Delivering SMF services in IPS packages
- New or updated examples of a run-once service and a self-assembly service

Chapter 8, "Advanced Topics For Package Updating"
- Renaming, merging, splitting, obsoleting packages
- New or updated examples of preserving editable packaged content, preserving unpackaged content, sharing content across boot environments, overlaying files, and delivering a mediation

Chapter 9, "Signing IPS Packages"

Chapter 10, "Handling Non-Global Zones"

Chapter 11, "Modifying Published Packages"

Appendix A, "Classifying Packages"

Appendix B, "How IPS Is Used To Package the Oracle Solaris OS"


Saturday Apr 19, 2014

The Technical Details: April 29 Oracle Solaris 11.2 Launch

You may have already heard that we're going to hold the Oracle Solaris 11.2 launch in New York City in a few days, and that there will also be a live webcast of the event.

One of the things that the webcast will feature that won't be part of the live event will be additional technical presentations where Solaris engineers will go into more detail about some of the new features that are being added. VP for Solaris core engineering Markus Flierl gives a quick rundown:

If this sounds interesting to you, you should register now. The event starts at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT, with Mark Hurd and John Fowler. Markus then moves on to the more technical part of the in-person event, which will then be followed by the web-only deep-dive presentations.

During the live event, we'll have engineering folks and others on Twitter, tracking hashtag #solaris (apologies in advance to Stanislaw Lem fans).

Webcast: Announcing Oracle Solaris 11.2
Tuesday April 29, 2014
1 PM (ET) / 10:00am (PT)

Friday Jan 10, 2014

Next OTN Virtual Sysadmin Day: January 28th, 2014

Glynn Foster notes that another OTN Virtual Sysadmin Day is coming up in just a couple of weeks, and talks about what's in store for the Oracle Solaris 11 track.

If you're not familiar with these, they're half-day, online, proctored hands-on labs, so you can learn more about various system administration technologies. They're also free--but you do need to register, and there's also some prep work to be done ahead of the event, so take a look at Glynn's blog post, and sign up today.

Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Building a "developer cloud" with Oracle Solaris 11

Orgad Kimchi describes how the new cloud technologies built into Oracle Solaris 11 can be used to build a virtualized "developer cloud."

By the way, this is the story of the "Oracle Solaris Remote Lab," an Oracle PartnerNetwork resource for developers which you'll be hearing more about.

After you read this, check out Orgad's earlier posts on other aspects of Solaris and virtualization.

Friday Feb 22, 2013

Security Experts Spill the Beans on Oracle Solaris 11.1

There have been several recent blog posts about new security / crypto features in Oracle Solaris 11.1:

Glenn Faden has written on a few topics:

Dan Anderson writes about SPARC T4 Digest and Crypto Optimizations.

Darren Moffat shows how to run up a quick Python script to generate a crypt_sha256 hash from the command line.

Monday Feb 11, 2013

Oracle Solaris 11.1: Compliance Reporting with SCAP

Not "scap"; SCAPDarren Moffat writes about the new security compliance framework added in Oracle Solaris 11.1, the emerging Security Content Automation Protocol.

"One of the important parts is the OVAL (Open Vulnerability Assessment Language) standard [which] allows us to write a checkable security policy and verify it against running systems."

[Read More]

Friday Feb 08, 2013

Oracle Solaris 10 1/13: Improved Secure File Copy Performance

We released Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 today, and one of the things we mentioned was performance improvements.

On the Oracle Performance and Best Practices blog, there's a discussion of one of those improvements:

"Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 enabling a TCP receive window size up to 1 MB has up to 8 times faster transfer times over the latency range 50 - 200 msec compared to the previous Oracle Solaris 10 8/11."

This improved performance capability was previously introduced in Oracle Solaris 11.

[Read More]

Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11 pkg fix

Bob Netherton explains why Solaris 11 pkg fix is his new friend.

"So far so good. Then comes an oops... This is where you generally say a few things to yourself, and then promise to quit deleting configuration files and directories when you don't know what you are doing. Then you recall that the new Solaris 11 packaging system has some ability to correct common mistakes (like the one I just made)."

[Read More]

Thursday Oct 25, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11.1

Jeff Victor writes a brief note about what he likes about Oracle Solaris 11.1 (which just became available for download today).

Tuesday Oct 16, 2012

Using Ops Center to Provision Solaris using a Card-Based NIC

Scott Dickson writes:  "Here's what I want to do:  I have a Sun Fire T2000 server with a Quad-GbE nxge card installed.  The only network is connected to port 2 on that card rather than the built-in network interfaces.  I want to install Solaris on it across the network, either Solaris 10 or Solaris 11."

See what he did, using Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c.

[Read More]

Monday Jun 25, 2012

Oracle Solaris Live Chat This Wednesday (June 27, 8-11A PT)

One of the more popular features of last April's Oracle Solaris Online Forum was the Q&A session that ran along with it, so we've decided to do a dedicated chat event.

We'll have senior engineers Bart Smaalders, Dave Miner, Nicolas Droux, David Comay, Darren Moffat and others ready to answer questions.

Register today; we hope you can join us.

Friday Apr 27, 2012

Liveinstall Solaris 11 from Solaris 10

10 to 11 live install process illustrationIsaac Rozenfeld discusses a new how-to article: getting existing Solaris 10 systems to Solaris 11 with the virtues of a Live Upgrade methodology.

[Read More]

Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

Solaris Online Forum tomorrow, 9 AM PT

You may have noticed over to the right, there's that red box mentioning the Solaris online forum coming up tomorrow.

 There's still time to register; we'll have Markus Flierl, the head of Solaris core engineering, discussing what's been going on since the launch last November, plus two of his senior engineers, Dan Price and Bart Smaalders, who will be giving their point of view on not only what's cool in Solaris 11 today, but what they're working on for future updates.

Plus, we'll have a live Q&A running throughout the forum, so you can ask questions directly to various Solaris engineers.

 You can find out more on the other blog,  or just go straight to the registration page.

Tuesday Mar 27, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11 Cheat Sheet

Need to quickly know, or be reminded about, how to create network configuration profiles in Oracle Solaris 11 ?
How to configure VLANS ?
How to manipulate Zones ?
How to use ZFS shadow migration ?

To have those answers, and many more, neatly in front of you, we created this cheat sheet (pdf).

Originally developed by Joerg Moellenkamp, the author of the very popular blog c0t0d0s0.org, and of the "Less Known Solaris Features", some more people at Oracle jumped in and added more and more very useful commands to it.

And it may keep evolving, so keep checking !

The link to it can also be found on our new Oracle Solaris Evaluation page.

Friday Mar 16, 2012

Great Solaris 10 features paving the way to Solaris 11

Karoly Vegh writes on the Oracle Systems Blog Austria about what you can do with Solaris 10 today that will get you ready for Solaris 11.

Even today, many people still use Solaris 10 as if it were a patch update to Solaris 8 or 9, missing out on the power behind Live Upgrade, Zones, resource management, and ZFS. Learning more about these will help set your feet on the road to the even more sophisticated capabilities of Oracle Solaris 11.

[Read More]


The Observatory is a blog for users of Oracle Solaris. Tune in here for tips, tricks and more as we explore the Solaris operating system from Oracle.


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