The New Solaris Installer

Dave Miner blogged about it a while ago, but I got my first chance to try out the new Solaris Installer this week on my laptop.

I'm a latest-build sort of guy (ask anyone in Sun Labs East: if you want to install Solaris, talk to Steve. Just don't ask me to flash the BIOS on your motherboard!), so I've been using Live Upgrade which lets me keep using my computer while it's being upgraded.

Still, I wanted to see what the new installer was like, and I have to say, without a doubt, that it was the easiest install experience that I've ever had with Solaris. I'm not a really old hand at this: I've only been installing it myself since around build 65 of Solaris 10, but the difference is dramatic.

The user experience folks did a great job on the new installer. The interface is straightforward and the choices were easily understandable (of course, I may be a bit of a bad subject, since I could handle all of the complicated choices in the old installer!) It felt like there were only about three clicks and then the installer ran to completion (which still took a while, but, hey, you can do something else while it's running, eh?)

Aside from the interface, my most favorite thing about the new installer is that it noticed that I had a fair bit of room and set the disk up for Live Upgrade for me. This was always the most annoying part of doing an install: Fiddling around with the partition sizes to make the two root partitions, the swap partition, and an everything-else partition (Seriously, I'm doing this on a computer several orders of magnitude faster than the ones that we used to send men to the moon, do I really need to do the arithmetic on the partition sizes for it?)

Great job installer folk!

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This is Stephen Green's blog. It's about the theory and practice of text search engines, with occasional forays into recommendation and other technologies that can use a good text search engine. Steve is the PI of the Information Retrieval and Machine Learning project in Oracle Labs.

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