Tuesday Nov 23, 2010

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!

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