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Using Solaris and SPARC Networking and Virtualization

Getting GDM to work on text Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 installs

One of the features of Solaris 11 Express is to install into a ZFS pool, which allows updates to be easily managed using ZFS snapshots and clones. The LiveCD install, however, does not offer the option to save space for another ZFS pool. I prefer to have a separate pool for data, even on my single-disk laptop. The only way to do that as I can tell is to install using the text installer. One side effect of the test installer is that it does not install everything necessary to run a GUI desktop, which is very handy on a laptop.

Thanks to some replies to an internal question I posted, there is a relatively easy way to add the necessary packages to allow GDM and related tools to work. I have used them several times, and this writeup describes them.

The initial text based install put 494 packages on the system.

Solaris 11 Express 2010.11# pkg list | wc -l
495
Solaris 11 Express 2010.11# pkg list | head
NAME (PUBLISHER) VERSION STATE UFOXI
SUNWcs 0.5.11-0.151.0.1 installed -----
SUNWcsd 0.5.11-0.151.0.1 installed -----
archiver/gnu-tar 1.23-0.151.0.1 installed -----
compress/bzip2 1.0.6-0.151.0.1 installed -----
compress/gzip 1.3.5-0.151.0.1 installed -----
compress/p7zip 4.55-0.151.0.1 installed -----
compress/unzip 5.53.7-0.151.0.1 installed -----
compress/zip 2.32-0.151.0.1 installed -----
consolidation/SunVTS/SunVTS-incorporation 0.5.11-0.151.0.1 installed -----

To add the required packages to the system, the slim_install package has to be added. This adds an additional 390 packages to the system.
Solaris 11 Express 2010.11# pkg install slim_install
Packages to install: 390
Create boot environment: No
Services to restart: 10
DOWNLOAD PKGS FILES XFER (MB)
Completed 390/390 42204/42204 410.5/410.5
PHASE ACTIONS
Install Phase 67952/67952
PHASE ITEMS
Package State Update Phase 390/390
Image State Update Phase 2/2

After this, I did a reboot, just to make sure. Then I uninstalled the slim_install package, which removed only that one. The other 389 packages must have been dependencies of slim_install.
Solaris 11 Express 2010.11# pkg uninstall slim_install
Packages to remove: 1
Create boot environment: No
PHASE ACTIONS
Removal Phase 828/828
PHASE ITEMS
Package State Update Phase 1/1
Package Cache Update Phase 1/1
Image State Update Phase 2/2

Once I enable GDM, the screen show action and shortly I have the familiar GUI login prompt.
Solaris 11 Express 2010.11# svcs gdm
STATE STIME FMRI
disabled 12:26:40 svc:/application/graphical-login/gdm:default
Solaris 11 Express 2010.11# svcadm enable gdm
Solaris 11 Express 2010.11# svcs gdm
STATE STIME FMRI
online 12:38:11 svc:/application/graphical-login/gdm:default

I hope this helps others. I certainly know where to look when I have to do this again!

Steffen

[Updated 2010.11.23]

First, I'd like to acknowledge Keith Mitchell who provided me with the suggestion to do the install and uninstall of the slim_install package.

Second, in the process of checking in with Keith, he suggested taking care when doing the above operations while logged in on the console. If you leave yourself logged in at the console when GDM starts, there are small possibilities of certain devices not being configured properly when logging into gnome, due to how logindevperm works. Suggestions include:

svcadm enable gdm && exit

or
svcadm enable gdm; exit

I did this remotely, at least the most recent time, to capture the output for this blog. I did not notice any effects when I had done this the first time on a different system, however, I might have reboot at that point anyway.

Thanks again to Keith for his tips!

Join the discussion

Comments ( 12 )
  • Olive Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Thanks, that is exactly what I was looking for.


  • Michael Ernest Monday, December 6, 2010

    Much appreciated!


  • patrick Friday, December 10, 2010

    thanks!


  • Bryan Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Suggest adding keywords X11 and Xwindows to this so people can find it if they don't know gdm is the display manager. BTW, this was amazingly helpful to me.


  • Jon Strabala Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Why do you need to do "pkg uninstall slim_install", I know it only removes one (1) package but I just want to understand why you do it or think you need to do it ?


  • Joe Sunday, March 27, 2011

    I am trying to install slim_install from a local repository but I am getting this error on all servers - Did anybody have this problem? Thanks in advance

    # pkg install slim_install

    Packages to install: 381

    Create boot environment: No

    Services to restart: 10

    DOWNLOAD PKGS FILES XFER (MB)

    release/getting-started/locale/zh_tw 0/381 5/43594 0.0/451.0

    Errors were encountered while attempting to retrieve package or file data for

    the requested operation.

    Details follow:

    1: http protocol error: code: 404 reason: Not Found

    URL: 'http://192.168.24.10/solaris/file/1/f95abd81b29d84d5f964633d3b636ce5b7a80db4'. #happened 4 times#


  • Joe Monday, March 28, 2011

    I am assuming nobody looks at this page anymore -


  • Steffen Weiberle Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Sorry, Joe. I don't have an answer for you. A list or blog more about installation and updating may have more success.


  • Joe Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Steffen, Thanks for the reply - Can you point me to any blog that discusses installation issues? Thanks


  • ahamd Saturday, February 23, 2013

    hey guys, thanks for the related information , but what am facing that when my server try to access the internet through the company proxy server its require a username and password for accessing , and that I cant handle it unless it was on a GUI ( windows or in Solaris 10 GUI )

    its cant handle the connection because I am not having the right access form my proxy server for credential access


  • ahamd Saturday, February 23, 2013

    hey guys, thanks for the related information , but what am facing that when my server try to access the internet through the company proxy server its require a username and password for accessing , and that I cant handle it unless it was on a GUI ( windows or in Solaris 10 GUI )

    its cant handle the connection because I am not having the right access form my proxy server for credential access


  • guest Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Thanks, It is very helpful to me.


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