Solaris 10 8/07 install redux

Finally all the necessary circumstances have occurred (including uninterrupted time and enough RAM to support the install, among other things) and I can resume the Solaris 10 install I started back in 2005.

Here's the tale of the tape: The system is my trusty old Ultra 5 "sunny", which I purchased through Sun's employee discount almost 10 years ago: Sparc UltraSPARC-IIi 270 processor, 20G hard drive and 512MB of RAM. Pretty bare bones overall. I could scoop up a cheap and/or powerful desktop or server on Ebay or out of a pile destined for the recycling depot. I have run Solaris 2.6 and Solaris 9 on this hardware and now it's time to see what the latest and greatest Solaris 10 version can do right out of the box.

Also since it's time to upgrade our Solaris certifications to include Solaris 10, I'll need something for study purposes. This entry will serve as a log of sorts. It's not very pretty, it's more of a scratch pad. If you want a more detailed, illustrated how-to, you can refer to Dennis Clarke's Blastwave site "How to Install Solaris 10". His commentary is somewhat acerbic, but Solaris deserves that sometimes. Dennis also gives Solaris credit where it's due so he's fair. The release being installed at that site is update 3 on x86, but it looks pretty much the same from the "Section 3: Basic Configuration Data" on down. You can see some of the screens for options I didn't use here. Also noted are differences in the file system layout screens with info related to x86 fdisk and x86boot partitions.

I used Solaris Download Manager to get the 5 ISO images. That took hours, but included downloading and unzipping each image. The Solaris 10 page does warn to allow sufficient time for downloading, etc., so I was sufficiently warned. I used "Burn4Free" to create the disks.

7:15 am "boot cdrom" from the OK prompt

7:30 am I'm at the "select a language" prompt selecting English and the "Welcome" screen appears to tell me that info will be collected to configure Network, Kerberos, Name Service, NFSv4 Domain; Date and Time; Root Password; Services Profile and Power Management. And away we go . . . .

network connectivity: networked

Use DHCP: hmmm. I could do THAT and get the IP address I've assigned the U5's MAC from the Netgear router. I could also say "No" to DHCP to configure the interface manually. Since I'm curious if I'll be able to get the hme0 interface and the router to autoneg, which has been a problem in past installs, I'll go with DHCP. I can undo this easily later by configuring the proper /etc/hostname.hme0 and /etc/hosts files.

Enable IPv6: not at this time. That is easily configured after the fact if you want to play around with that.

Kerberos: no. I don't have any plans to play around with that now.

NFSv4 Domain name: Always lots of questions and concerns around this option from our customers. Here's what the prompt says:

"NFS version 4 uses a domain name that is automatically derived from the system's naming services. The derived domain name is sufficient for most configurations In a few cases, mounts that cross domain boundaries might cause files to appear to be owned by "nobody" due to the lack of a common domain name."

I'll go with "Use the NFSv4 domain derived by the system" (The other option is: "Specify a different NFSv4 domain.")

Time zone: default is "Geographic Continent/Country/Region". You can also select "Offset from GMT" and "Time Zone file". I'll use the default. This leads to a "tree" where you choose Continents, etc.

Root Password: select and confirm

Enabling Remote Services: Here you decide to only allow "ssh" for remote access to the system (selecting "no" here will do that). The default is "yes", which gives you a the types of remote services as in older Solaris releases. I'm going with the default. The screen also notes that this option is for new installs only, not for upgrades.

Selection Summary: confirm or go back and change/correct.

wait while the system is configured with these selections.

8:00am The install console screen says: identification is complete and the install begins.

Welcome to the Solaris installation. .. . click next

Installer options are now presented. Reboot automatically after software installation? (default is yes). Eject CD/DVD automatically after software installation? (default is yes) Will use the defaults.

Specify Media: cd/dvd is the default which I'll be using. You can also use: NFS; HTTP flash archive; FTP flash archive and local tape flash archive.

System is being initialized. Please wait . . .. (and a percent bar) 8:08 am 12% . . . . . 8:11 am 100% and the license agreement appears.

Select Upgrade or Initial Install: I'm going for broke and starting with a clean slate so "initial install". Upgrade installs can be ugly and there isn't anything on the drive I don't want to recreate anyway.

Default or Custom install: Custom. I always like to see what I'm getting/not getting b/t the 2 options.

Since English is installed by default, I'll select "next" for the "Software Localization" screen.

Locale: "english (POSIX C) (C) already selected.

Do I want "Solaris 10 Extra Value Software"? It only seems to be the Sun validation test suite. I'll pass and save 70MB

Now I can scan for "additional products", but only on a local or NFS filesystem (cd/dvd is grayed out). I'll say "None" which is the default.

"Gathering Solaris Cluster and Package Information"

Ah, here's some really useful screens to capture, the list of Solaris software groups.

Entire Group Plus OEM: Entire Solaris Software Group plus additional hardware drivers, including drivers for hardware not present at the time of installation

Entire Group: The developer Solaris software Group plus additional software needed for servers

Developer Group: End user Software Group plus additional support for software development including libraries, files, man pages and programming tools, but NOT compilers.

End User Group: sofrware recommended for an end users, including CDE and everything in the Core Solaris Software Group.

Core Group: minimum code required to boot and run a networked Solaris system.

Reduced Networking: minimum required software for a system with reduced network support.

I'll go with the default which is Entire Group. I can then drill down and select custom packages. Let's see what that has . . . I'll just look as I don't want to create a software dependency problem as the prompt warns. Ok that was interesting.

Disk selection: I have only one (c0t0d0 bootdisk) Required disk space: 6046MB Selected disk space: 38162MB

Preserve data? no (which is the default)

Gathering Disk Space requirements (another percent bar)

Time to layout some file systems. The system wants to do / 5534MB 2777 Cyls; swap 514MB 258 cyls; /export/home 32117MB 16121 cyls.

I'm going to modify. Here's what I came up with:

/ 17398MB
swap 5000MB
/var 2218MB
/opt 4000MB
/free 7419MB
/export/home 2127MB
(I didn't use slice 6)

Total of 38162MB total capacity is allocated. I ensure that everything was well above the "Min. Size" column.

Ready to Install and a list of all my selections for software groups filesystems and region/system locales appears. Now I select: Install now. It's 8:55am and sounds like a good break for some breakfast.

9:30 am and the system is prompting me for a reboot (after displaying a 90 second "pause" screen). I continue and the system is rebooting.

SunOS release 5.10 Version Generic_120011-14 64 bit
hostname: unknown (guess I still have to fix that in Solaris 10 manually as I did in Solaris 9)
configuring devices
loading smf service descriptions (counts up to 113)
s7, s5 and s4 are clean
creating the rsa and dsa public/private keys
Starting the Common Desktop Environment CDE Version 1.6.3

Specify Media from which you will install Solaris 10 Software 2 for Sparc. I'll go with cd/dvd

Running into a snag. The dreaded "sendmail: unable to qualify my own domain name -- using shortname" and related errors are popping up from the "hostname: unknown" glitch. System seems to be hung. I'll give it some time. It's 9:38am.

just by clicking around the screen, I found the ghost of the "continue" button I wanted. It has prompted me for disk #2 and I'm clicking OK.

can't read disk #2. I'll stop to make another one from the iso image. That one is bad as well. Or not readable for whatever reason. I'm going to go back and say "skip" and see what happens. It is prompting me for disk #3 which appears to be readable as the screen is changing and I can hear the CDROM being read.

"Ready to Install"
Product: Solaris 10 packages (part 3)
Location: /
size: 941.56MB
install now, and another percent bar.

It's now 10:00 am . . . .

10:30am and it's asking for disk #4:
Solaris 10 Packages (part 4) size 557.76MB
Install now and another wait for the bar to progress.

Disk #5. I've had a break and when I return the screen is prompting me for the root password, so I don't know how long Disk #4 took. But it's 11:11 am and I'm going with #5 now. I didn't bother with the Languages CD so this should be it. Part 5 Solais 10 Packages 692.74MB.


The system has rebooted and is starting Solaris. Now I am shaking out various problems:

1. CDE won't start. It apparently is missing the fc-cache packages which are a required dependency. Immediately I think of the disk #2 issues I had at boot. Resolution status is not critical as I intend on putting the monitor I'm currently using as the console away after I have the system installed and running. Then I can use ssh or get a USB to RS-232 adapter to use the serial console from any of my PCs. I'll ignore that for a while.

2. I can insert CDs and cd to /cdrom but ls shows them as empty. I have tried disk #2 and disk #1. I know disk #1 can be read as I installed from it! Resolution status again not critical as I have the system installed and can figure this out later.

3. System still comes up as "unknown". Solaris 10 makes fixing this easy now; just create /etc/nodename and put the name you want in there. Seems to work as now at boot I see: "Hostname: sunny"

4. syslogd complains that line 24: WARNING: loghost could not be resolved

5. sendmail is complaining about it's unqualified hostname and unable to qualify my own domain name.

I know (ok, strongly suspect) #4 and #5 have to do with the DHCP client setup. I'll do some research and testing on install disk #2 and post further results.


When I wrote my install guide I really wanted to engage the newbie. The person that will sit there and wonder what the heck is going on. Let's face it .. the installer in Project Indiana is a rock star in comparison. We all lived with the old installer for a long long time and for me that means Solaris 2.5.1 on x86. No new user should face that alone. So, wait until you see my next install guide.

Posted by Dennis Clarke on January 26, 2008 at 11:44 AM EST #

I started with Solaris 2.6 so you are preachin' to the choir about the installer : )

Thanks for the info.

Posted by ML Starkey on January 27, 2008 at 09:45 AM EST #

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