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Downloading and Installing OpenSolaris

You can download OpenSolaris version 2008.05, but you might actually save time by getting the DVD ISO, because that might save you from having to install much of the software that otherwise you'll have to install via software update.

Many of the commands in the command summary for new Solaris users with a Linux background should be familiar. For example, ls, mkdir, and cd work in the same way as always. But a lot of commands will be new to you. (This information is up front because you'll need it in a hurry.)

Anybody who has installed Linux successfully can install this version of OpenSolaris. The difference between the OpenSolaris wizard and Linux distribution wizards is about the same level as between Fedora and Debian or Ubuntu—totally routine unless something goes off the rails. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the VMware Server console. Start the Add VM Wizard by opening the localhost tab and clicking the Create a new virtual machine button.
  2. Select Solaris and Solaris 10 as the version. (Not Solaris 10 64-bit, because the Ethernet adapter is not supported in VMware Server.)
  3. Name the VM. (Solaris works.) Just try hard to avoid any names with a space in them.
  4. Select Bridged Networking.
  5. For disk size, I set 16GB, checked split disk into 2G files, and did not check allocate all disk space now. (My HD space is not unlimited.)
  6. After clicking Finish, click the Edit Settings button
  7. Expand the 256M default to 512M+. Click CDROM, select use iso image (unless you burned a distribution CD/DVD and will install from it), and change the CD-ROM location to wherever you put the ISO. (Type the complete path to where the ISO is, or click Browse and go through the filesystem until you find your ISO.) Click OK when you're done.
  8. Return to the Solaris window and click Power on this Virtual Machine.
  9. When you're asked during boot about desktop layout and languages, press the main Enter key on your keyboard—not the one on the numeric keypad—after entering a selection or accepting the default.
  10. Once you're at the desktop, you're using the live CD image. Select the bottom Install Open Solaris icon. The installer will open in a window inside the desktop.
  11. At this point, you're in a regular install session that looks a lot like a Linux distribution install. Accept the defaults except where you have to enter things (such as your username and password, or the root password) or select your time zone. The software will reboot when the installation is complete.
  12. After the installation is complete, go to the VMware Server settings icon , click the Edit Settings (wrench) icon, and restore the CDROM setting to the Auto-Detect default.

Installing the base OS should be a snap for any experienced Linux user. The desktop as installed is a GNOME windowing environment (see Figure 1), which looked so familiar that I spent several seconds thinking I'd installed Ubuntu by mistake.

If you need more detailed instructions, read "HowTo: Installing Solaris 10 on VMware Server."

Figure 1

Figure 1 OpenSolaris desktop.

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