Wednesday Apr 18, 2007

2007-04-19 Security Link Of The Day

One of the great, obvious, simple ideas which went into Solaris 10 was the Reduced Networking Cluster; after fragmenting and massaging the core Solaris packages a bit, it became possible to offer a clean, minimal, even spartan installation of Solaris, a lightweight foundation upon which software could be added as and when only necessary, leading to a very tiny and yet supported machine configuration.

A colleague recently asked me for more information about the Reduced Networking Cluster, and frankly I was stumped, and then Glenn Brunette piped up that he'd written all about it back in 2004:-

The topic for this article is the Solaris 10 Reduced Networking Software Group (also commonly known as the Solaris 10 Reduced Networking Meta Cluster). This software group is new and joins the five existing software groups available in Solaris today: Core, End User, Developer, Entire and Entire + OEM software groups. The Reduced Networking Software Group is positioned as a subset of Core and represents the smallest amount of Solaris that can or should be installed and have a working and supported system. Note that for support reasons, it is not advised to remove packages installed by the Reduced Networking Software Group.

To install the Reduced Networking Software Group, simply select it from the list when doing a graphical installation. If you are using JumpStart, then you should use the cluster keyword with the new value SUNWCrnet. The following is a sample JumpStart profile that uses the Reduced Networking Software Group. This profile was also used to build the system used as an example in this article.

[...]

Yes, it's true - the size of this installation is just a little over 150-Mbytes. Note that this size is based on the build of Solaris 10 that I was using and will certainly change before Solaris 10 is finalized, but I did want to mention it as an example of how small a Solaris installation can be.

...etc; it's quite a long article but worthwhile, since it's one of the sadly few documents which look at this feature from an architectural perspective.

So, folks, if you are into Minimized Solaris Configurations, you want to start with "SUNWCrnet". Less really is more, and it costs you nothing. :-)

-Alec

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