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The Solaris Interactive Installation

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Solaris 9 Installation—An Overview
  • The Solaris WebStart Installation Method
  • JumpStart Installation
  • The Solaris SunInstall Installation
  • WebStart Flash Installation
  • Live Upgrade
  • Summary

Solaris 9 Installation—An Overview

The Solaris 9 OE offers a variety of installation procedures, such as WebStart, Custom JumpStart, Solaris SunInstall, WebStart Flash, Factory JumpStart, and Live Upgrade.

  • WebStart—The WebStart installation bundles all necessary software components as a single entity, enabling network administrators to use a familiar Web interface to install Solaris.

  • Custom JumpStart—Use CLI to run the Custom JumpStart installation method. By using this method, you can install many systems simultaneously. This method requires you to have the knowledge of shell scripting and the JumpStart system. You can write scripts to perform installation tasks. You can create profiles for all the systems on which you want to install/upgrade Solaris. The profiles define specific software installation requirements. This method is not suitable for installing one or two systems, in terms of time and feasibility. It is effective only in mass rollouts.

  • Factory JumpStart—The Factory JumpStart installation method installs software components based on the configuration of your system. You are not prompted for any information. It starts the installation procedure as soon as you insert the Solaris 9 DVD or the Solaris 1 of 2 CD.

  • Solaris SunInstall—Use CLI to run the Solaris SunInstall installation program. This installation program guides you step by step through installing or upgrading to Solaris 9.

  • WebStart Flash—The WebStart Flash installation helps you use the same software and configuration to install several systems simultaneously. The installation is based on the configuration of the master system that the WebStart Flash installation uses.

  • Live Upgrade—This method is used for upgrading and not for installation. You can upgrade a running version of Solaris without halting your system in most cases. This method saves downtime for production servers.

Each installation procedure has different features that are designed for specific installation requirements and environments.

The following are the new features introduced in the Solaris 9 installation package:

  • Solaris WebStart Enhanced Installation CD—The Solaris 9 Installation CD provides a graphical, wizard-based software application to install Solaris. Following are the new features introduced in Solaris WebStart installation method.

    • Solaris WebStart is modified to use the sysidcfg file.

    • You have the option to automatically reboot the system after the installation is complete.

    • You can preserve your existing file system during upgrade.

    • The new WebStart Wizard SDK 3.0.1 can be installed using the WebStart installation program. This wizard simplifies the installation tasks and the administration of native Solaris, Java, and the new Java applications. In addition, developers can use this wizard to co-package both Solaris and MS Window versions of their applications.

  • Custom JumpStart—This installation program has the following new and enhanced features.

    • Provides options to specify the location of the configuration used to perform the installation.

    • The NOWIN option can be used to specify that the Custom JumpStart program does not use the X Window System, which shortens the time for installation.

    • You can upgrade mirrors with JumpStart that you must have created earlier with Solaris Volume Manager.

    • The installation program attempts to find your default router.

    • Attempts to automatically find LDAP server in addition to NIS, NIS+, and DNS server.

  • Option to Duplicate Current Running Boot Environment—As the original boot environment continues to run, you can upgrade your ODS on the duplicated boot environment. After the reboot, your new upgrade boot environment becomes your active boot partition.

  • DNS Support in System Identification—DNS is added to the list of name services that are configured through the system identification utilities.

  • IPv6 Support—Solaris supports IPv6, which provides increased IP address space, among other additions and improvements over Ipv4. IPv6 improves Internet security by using a simplified header format and enhances the authentication mechanism. The installation program allows you to configure both IPv6 and IPv4.

Planning Your Installation

Before installing Solaris, determine whether you are going to perform a fresh installation or upgrade from an existing version. Based on what your objective is, you should plan your installation accordingly. The following sections present the key planning tips.

Disk Space

Plan your disk space in advance. This should be in accordance with your installation need. Check what extra software you will install. The following are some important things to keep in mind while planning your disk space:

  • If you plan to install any third-party software, check the disk space requirement for all the software that you plan to install.

  • Plan your swap space partition. It should be at least 512MB and is usually the double of RAM. Please note that this can be larger depending on your requirements.

  • If you plan to support printing, mail, and crash dump features, then you should double the space allocation for your /var file system.

  • Consider how much space you would allocate to the users' home directory. For example, if there are 10 users and you plan to give 300MB to each user, then you should provide an additional 3GB disk space to the /export file system.

  • For any extra language support, plan to add additional disk space.

  • Determine the minimum requirement for the software group that you plan to install. Table 3.1 provides information on disk space requirements for each software group.

  • Table 3.1 Disk Space Requirements for Various Software Groups

    Software Group

    Minimum Requirement

    Entire Solaris Software Group Plus OEM Support

    2.4 GB

    Entire Solaris Software Group

    2.3 GB

    Developer Solaris Software Group

    1.9 GB

    End User Solaris Software Group

    1.6 GB

  • You can install Solaris from a local media or from the network. Choose how you would carry out your installation/upgrade. If you plan to install from the network, ensure that the remote server is accessible over the network and that enough bandwidth is available (at least 10Mbps) .

Pre-Installation Information

Ensure the availability of resources and decide on the following pre-installation information. Note that the following options appear during the installation procedure. It is advisable that you be ready with all the necessary information before you perform the installation.

  • Network Support—Determine the network support for your Solaris system. Solaris can be installed in a network environment or as a standalone system.

  • DHCP—Verify whether there is a DHCP server on the network, which would automatically configure the IP Address and netmask for your system.

  • Hostname—Determine the hostname for the system. The hostname uniquely identifies a host on a local area network.

  • IP Address—If you do not have a DHCP server, you need to specify an IP address. An IP address is a unique 32-bit number assigned to a computer on the network.

  • The Subnet Mask—Ensure that the network in which the Solaris system will participate is in a Class A, Class B, or Class C network. In addition, determine whether the network is subnetted. In this case, you would be required to calculate the netmask for that subnet.

  • IPv6—Determine whether the Solaris system will support only Ipv4 or Ipv4 and Ipv6. IPv6 is a recent version of the Internet protocol.

  • Kerberos Security—Kerberos is a network authentication system. The Kerberos authentication option may be used with many network services, such as NFS. If you choose to enable Kerberos security, then you also need to input values for the following components.

    • Default realm

    • Abdministration Server

    • First KDC (Kerberos server)

    • Additional KDCs (optional)

  • Name Service—Determine which naming service your system will use. The available options are

    • LDAP

    • NIS+

    • NIS

    • DNS

    • None

    → To learn more about all the above naming services, see "Configuring Network and Naming Services."

  • Domain Name—The domain name is the name given to a domain, which typically encompasses a group of hosts. You need to decide whether your system uses the domain name service or not. If a domain name service is used, determine the type of name service for the environment.

  • NIS+ and NIS—The installation program gives you the option of specifying the NIS/NIS+ servers or finding these servers for you. If you choose to specify this information yourself, you would be required to key in the server's IP address and the server hostname.

  • DNS—Specify the IP address for the DNS server. You have to enter at least one IP address. Note that the installation program lets you enter three DNS addresses. In addition, you can also choose the sequence in which your search query should do a name lookup.

  • LDAP—To configure the LDAP settings you need to specify the following settings for your LDAP profile:

    • Profile NAME

    • Profile Server

    • IP Address of Profile Server

  • Default Router—Specify the IP address of the gateway your system will be using. The installation program can find it for you. However, if you choose to specify it manually, you are required to key in the IP address for your default router.

  • Time Zone—In the Time Zone option, specify the time zone settings based on the geographic location. You can also select the Offset from GMT option or specify a time zone file (if there are any on your network). The purpose for all three options is the same. It just depends on what method you choose. For example, if you specify a time zone in the time zone file for a mass rollout, you can avoid setting the timezone for each machine.

  • Locales—Based on your geographic location, you can specify support for the appropriate locale. You can choose your local language, which can be used for user interaction during installation.

  • → To learn more about the languages supported by Solaris, see "GUI in Solaris."

  • Power Management—You can preconfigure Power Management depending upon the type of installation that you are performing. For example, if you use a custom JumpStart installation, you can preconfigure the Power Management information by using a finish script to create an /autoshutdown or /noautoshutdown file on the system. When the system reboots, the /autoshutdown file enables Power Management and the /noautoshutdown file disables Power Management.

  • Proxy Server Configuration—During the installation procedure, you may have to configure your proxy server. Note that this choice would appear only if you were using the Solaris WebStart program. When this choice appears, you need to specify whether your system is directly connected to the Internet or you will be using a proxy server to connect to the Internet. If you choose to use the proxy server, then you have to specify your proxy server's hostname and port number. Note that unless a port is assigned a specific number, the port number is normally 80.

  • Automatic Reboot—You have the option to specify the mode, automatic or manual, in which you want your system to reboot after the installation is complete.

  • Eject Installation CD/DVD—The Eject installation option enables you to specify whether the CD/DVD ROM drive should eject automatically after the installation is complete or you would eject it manually.

  • Software Group—Solaris 9 is shipped with different software groups. During the installation, you need to specify which software group you want to install. The choices of software groups are as follows:

    • Entire Plus OEM—Installs all the components plus the OEM support. It requires maximum hard disk capacity.

    • Entire—Installs all the components barring the OEM support.

    • Developer—Installs core components, as well as end user and the developer system support.

    • End User—Installs core components and the end user system support.

    • Core—This is also known as minimum installation. It installs minimal components necessary to run the OS only.

  • Custom Package Installation—Solaris installation program lets you customize your package installation. You can add and remove additional packages according to your specifications. Before you remove any package, you must ensure that no other package is dependent on this package to run. Removing package requires you to have thorough knowledge of Solaris software functionalities.

  • 64-bit support—Specify whether you want to install support to run 64-bit applications.

  • Choose Installation Disk—Here you are required to specify the target disk where your installation files are to reside.

  • Preserve Existing Data—Because you might have some data existing already on your target disk, the installation program asks whether you want to preserve your data or not. If you choose to preserve it, then the installation program does not overwrite your existing data.

  • Auto File Systems—Here you are asked to specify whether you want the installation program to lay an auto file system on your disk or you want to set it up manually. If you choose to set up the file system manually, you are required to provide file system configuration. Table 3.2 depicts the partitions in a typical Solaris file system.

  • Table 3.2 Directories in the Solaris File System




    Contains the kernel and device drivers.


    Contains the commands and programs for system-level usage and administration.


    Contains system log files and spooling files.


    Contains users' home directories.


    Contains optional third-party software and applications.


    Contains virtual memory space that improves performance by moving the unused segments of programs (or data) from memory to disk.


    Contains information on all active processes.


    Contains temporary files that are deleted on booting the system.

  • Mounting Remote File System—The installation program asks you to specify whether you want to mount a remote file system. If you choose to mount the remote file system, you are required to specify the IP address of the remote host, name of the remote file system you want to mount, and the local mount point.


This pre-installation information is specific to the Solaris SunInstall installation program. Don't use it as a guideline for installing other programs.

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