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Installing Solaris 8

Solaris 8 can be installed in four ways. Two of the methods are interactive: The Solaris Interactive Installation program (SunInstall) and Solaris Web Start are covered in this chapter. The other two methods are automatic: JumpStart and Custom JumpStart. These methods are objectives for Exam CX-310-012 and are covered in Chapter 21, "Over-the-Network Installation and JumpStart."

SunInstall, an interactive Open Windows installation program, can be used to install the Solaris 8 software but it does not support installation of copackaged software. You can install any copackaged software using its provided installation program after you finish installing the Solaris 8 software.

Web Start enables you to install Solaris 8 by using a Web browser–like interface instead of the Open Windows interface SunInstall uses. By default, all Solaris and copackaged software is installed; however, this default can be changed so that you can select specific software.

By default, Web Start sets up the system disks, including the root and swap partitions. It also enables you to change the size of the system partitions and provides access to the Layout File Systems utility to set up other disks. The /opt partition is created automatically for copackaged software. With Web Start, you can also create additional partitions and file systems.

Hardware Requirements

Solaris 8 can be installed on Sun SPARC platforms and Intel x86 or compatible platforms. The hardware requirements for both are similar.

Solaris 8 on SPARC Hardware

Solaris 8 can be installed on most sun4c, sun4u, and sun4m platform groups. Consult the Solaris 8 Sun Hardware Platform Guide to determine whether a particular platform is supported along with other devices and peripherals, such as disk drives, CD-ROM drives, tape drives, floppy disk drives, small computer system interface (SCSI)/Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) host adapters, graphic accelerators, network interfaces, and keyboard/mouse components.


You can use the Solaris 8 installation programs to install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Solaris operating system. The 64-bit version is selected by default when you install on Sun UltraSPARC systems, but you can choose the 32-bit version instead. However, you might need to upgrade the Flash PROM on some UltraSPARC sun4u platforms to provide 64-bit support. The Solaris 8 Sun Hardware Platform Guide supplies information on determining whether the Flash PROM for a particular system must be upgraded and provides a procedure for updating the Flash PROM.

Solaris 8 requires a minimum of 64MB of memory. The recommended space for the End-User System is 1.6GB of hard disk space. For the largest software group (Entire Distribution Plus OEM with 64-bit support), 2.4GB of hard disk space is required. Either a CD-ROM drive or the appropriate environment for a network installation is required.

Solaris 8 on Intel Hardware

Solaris 8 can be installed on most Pentium or better Intel-compatible CPUs, including AMD and Cyrix processors. Consult the Solaris 8 (Intel Platform Edition) Hardware Compatibility List to determine whether a particular CPU is supported along with other devices and peripherals, such as system buses, disk drives, CD-ROM drives, tape drives, floppy disk drives, SCSI/PCI host adapters, graphic accelerators, network interfaces, and keyboard/mouse components. If the system does not have a CD-ROM drive or cannot be booted from the CD-ROM drive, a floppy disk drive is required.

The memory and storage requirements for Intel hardware are identical to those for SPARC hardware: a minimum of 64MB of memory, 1.6GB of hard disk space for the End-User System with 32-bit support, and 2.4GB of hard disk space for the Entire Distribution. Either a CD-ROM drive or the appropriate environment for a network installation is required.

Installing Solaris 8 on a New System by Using Web Start

If you're installing Solaris 8 on a single new system, the preferred installation method is to install from a local CD-ROM drive by using Web Start. (Over-the-network installation is described briefly later in this chapter and in more detail in Chapter 21, "Over-the-Network Installation and JumpStart.") Solaris Web Start can be accessed with a command-line interface or a graphical user interface (GUI).

The installation is divided logically into three phases:

  • Preparation

  • Configuration

  • Software installation


The following list summarizes the preparation steps for installing Solaris 8 on a SPARC or Intel-compatible platform from a local CD-ROM drive:

  1. Verify that the system hardware is supported. For a SPARC system, see the Solaris 8 Sun Platform Guide. For an Intel-compatible system, see the Solaris 8 (Intel Platform Edition) Hardware Compatibility List.

  2. If the system is networked (will be attached to a network), decide whether Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) will be used. If not, determine the hostname, IP address, and subnet mask information.

  3. Determine the domain name. If a name service is used, determine the server hostname and IP address. The name service choices are Domain Name System (DNS), Network Information Service (NIS), or Network Information Service Plus (NIS+).

  4. Determine the disk space required by selecting a software group (End-User, Developer, Entire Distribution, or Entire Distribution Plus OEM) and identifying additional software and space for home directories.

  5. Determine the language used to install Solaris.

  6. Insert the appropriate Solaris 8 Installation CD-ROM (English or Multilingual) into the CD-ROM drive. For Intel-compatibles that cannot boot from the CD-ROM drive, insert the Solaris 8 Device Configuration Assistant floppy disk in the floppy disk drive.

  7. Boot the system by turning the power on.

  8. For Intel-compatible systems, the Device Configuration Assistant runs to identify the hardware configuration.

  9. If you're using the Multilingual CD-ROM, the Web Start Installer prompts you for the language to use during the install. Select the appropriate language.

  10. For SPARC platforms, the Installer prompts you to select Initial Install or Upgrade. Select Initial Install.

  11. For Intel-compatible platforms, if an appropriate partition for Solaris is not located, a utility similar to the MS-DOS FDISK program executes to define a partition.

  12. The Installer prompts you to confirm reformatting of the default disk, requests a size for the swap space, and confirms that the swap space can be located at the beginning of the disk (or prompts for a starting location if the swap space can't be located). The Installer copies the mini-root and platform-specific files to the disk and then reboots the system.

  13. For SPARC platforms, the Web Start GUI starts automatically after the system boots.

  14. For Intel-compatible platforms, the Installer prompts you for a window configuration (video card and monitor) and tests it to be certain the configuration is correct. Without a proper configuration, the GUI and Solaris Desktop cannot be displayed. After a few seconds, the Web Start GUI starts.

The install process continues with the configuration phase.


Use the following steps in the Web Start GUI to collect the necessary configuration information. In this sequence of windows, the next window is typically displayed after you supply the required information in the current window and click the Next button:

  1. The Welcome window is displayed.

  2. In the Network Connectivity window, select Networked. (If you do not know the network configuration, contact your network administrator.)

  3. In the DHCP window, select Yes to enable DHCP; otherwise, select No. If DHCP is not being used, do the following:

    • In the Host Name screen, enter the name of the host in the dialog box.

    • In the IP Address screen, enter the IP address of the system name in the dialog box.

    • In the Netmask screen, enter the subnet mask in the dialog box.

  4. In the IPv6 screen, select Yes to enable IPv6; otherwise, select No.

  5. In the Name Service screen, select NIS+, NIS, DNS, or None. If you select a name service, do the following:

    • In the Domain Name screen, enter the domain name in the dialog box.

    • If you selected NIS or NIS+, in the Name Server screen, select Find One or Specify One. If you select Specify One, the Name Server Information screen opens, in which you specify the server hostname and IP address.

    • If you selected DNS, in the DNS Server Address screen, enter up to three IP addresses for DNS servers in the dialog boxes. In the DNS Search List screen, enter up to six domains to be searched to resolve a DNS query in the dialog boxes. If none is identified, only the domain specified for the system will be searched.

  6. In the Time Zone screen, select how to specify the time zone: Geographic Region, Offset From GMT, or Time Zone File. Depending on which selection you make, do the following:

    • If you select Geographic Region, the Geographic Region screen opens. Select a region or country and an associated time zone.

    • If you select Offset From GMT, the Offset From GMT window opens. Drag the slide bar until the window displays the correct number of hours (plus or minus) the time zone differs from GMT.

    • If you select Time Zone File, the Time Zone File window opens. Enter the name of the time zone file (typically /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo).

  7. In the Date And Time window, enter the year, month, day, hour, and minute in the appropriate dialog boxes.

  8. In the Root Password window, enter the password for the root account.

  9. In the Power Management window, select whether power management should be turned on or off and whether the selection should be prompted at each reboot.

  10. In the Proxy Server Configuration window, select Direct Connection To The Internet or Use Proxy Configuration and enter the proxy server's hostname and port number.

  11. The Confirm Information window summarizes your selections. Either click Confirm to continue with the software installation phase, or click Back to change one or more selections.

The install process continues with the software installation phase.

Software Installation

Use the following steps in the Web Start GUI to install the Solaris 8 software on a networked SPARC or Intel-compatible system with a local CD-ROM drive. In this sequence of windows, the next window is typically displayed after you provide the required information in the current window and click the Next button:

  1. In the Welcome window, click Next. The Installation CD is ejected.

  2. In the Insert CD window, click OK after inserting the Solaris 8 Software 1 of 2 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive.

  3. In the Select Type Of Install window, select Default Install or Custom Install. If you select Default Install, skip steps 4 through 10; the installation continues with step 11.

  4. In the Select Software Localizations window, select software localization based on geographic region.

  5. In the Select System Locale window, select the initial locale.

  6. In the Select Products window, select any additional products (such as the AnswerBook2) that should be installed.

  7. In the Additional Products window, select None if no other products are to be installed at this time, or select one of the following:

    • If you select Product CD, the Solaris 8 Software CD-ROM is ejected and the Insert CD dialog box is displayed. Click OK after inserting a product CD-ROM to be scanned. The Scanning CD window is displayed. After the CD-ROM has been scanned, the Select Products window is displayed; it lists the software products found on the CD-ROM. Select the products to install. Eject the Product CD-ROM, insert the Solaris 8 software CD-ROM, and click OK.

    • If you select Kiosk Download, the Scanning Download window is displayed. After Web Start scans the Kiosk download directory (/webstart/kiosk/download), the Select Products window is displayed; it lists the software products found in the download directory. Select the products to install and click OK.

    • If you select Local Or Network File System, the Specify Network File System Path window is displayed. Enter the correct path to additional products that should be installed. After Web Start scans the specified path, the Select Products window is displayed; it lists the software products found. Select the products to install and click OK.

  8. In the Select Solaris Cluster Configuration window, select the software group.

  9. In the Disk Selection window, select one or more disks to be used for the Solaris 8 software.

  10. The Lay Out File Systems window shows a default file system layout. To modify the layout, highlight a listed disk/file system entry and click Modify. A Disk dialog box opens in which you can assign the file systems on the disk to different slices and/or modify the size of each file system. Click Apply to save the configuration and return to the Lay Out File Systems window. Click Next when you've finished modifying the layout.

  11. The Ready To Install window summarizes your selections. Click Install Now to start the installation or Back to change one or more selections.

  12. The Installing window displays messages and progress bars to show the status of the software installation. When the installation of the Solaris 8 Software 1 of 2 CD-ROM is completed, the CD-ROM is ejected.

  13. The Installation Summary window displays the status of the installation. To view additional information, click Details.

  14. If you select additional products, the Specify Media window opens, in which you can select either CD or Network File System as a source:

    • If you select CD, the Insert CD dialog box is displayed. Click OK after inserting a product CD-ROM. The Reading CD, Launching Installer, Extracting, and Installing windows are displayed.

    • If you select Network File System, the Specify Network File System Path window is displayed. Enter the correct path to additional products that should be installed. The Launching Installer, Extracting, and Installing windows are displayed.

  15. In the Reboot window, click Reboot Now to reboot the system.

After the system reboots, log in as the root account and select OpenWindows or CDE as a desktop for the account. You've now completed the Solaris 8 installation for a networked standalone system by using Web Start.

Upgrading an Existing Solaris System

Upgrading a system enables you to merge the existing system configuration with the new Solaris 8 operating system. However, planning and occasional manual intervention are necessary for a successful upgrade.


SunInstall and Custom JumpStart (see Chapter 21) can be used to upgrade a system. Web Start and the standard JumpStart cannot be used to upgrade an existing system with an earlier version of Solaris (Solaris 7 or earlier).

Before the Upgrade

You should complete a number of tasks before you upgrade your system:

  1. Check the latest Solaris 8 Release Notes to determine whether any Solaris 8 changes or enhancements affect the current operation. This information includes software no longer provided with Solaris or patches you need to install.

  2. Verify that the hardware is supported as described in the preparation phase of the Web Start installation.

  3. Install Solaris by using a CD-ROM or via the network. Depending on the method, verify the proper operation of the CD-ROM drive or network connectivity.

  4. Some Sun applications, such as DiskSuite, cannot be upgraded automatically. Manual configuration changes are required before the software can be used. Check the documentation provided with the applications.

  5. If any third-party software is installed on the system, check with the software manufacturer to verify that the software will run on Solaris 8. You might need to purchase new versions of third-party software.

  6. Back up the existing system. If the upgrade fails, you might need to restore to the existing system until the reasons for failure can be determined and resolved.

  7. Collect any configuration information you might be prompted for during the upgrade, such as hostname, network interface, IP address, subnet mask, and domain name. You can avoid having to respond to prompts during installation by preconfiguring system configuration information (as explained in the "Preconfiguring System Configuration Information" section later in this chapter).

  8. Set up a backup medium for possible use during the upgrade. If disk space needs to be reallocated, you need to copy file systems to a backup medium and then reload them after the space on the system disks has been adjusted. Local devices, such as unused system disks, tape, or floppy disks, as well as remote file systems can be used for the backup medium.

  9. If you're using the Solaris 8 distribution CD, insert it in the system's CD-ROM drive. For x86 platforms that cannot be booted from the CD-ROM drive, insert the Device Configuration Assistant floppy disk into the A: drive. If you're installing over the network, set up an install server and possibly a boot server.

  10. Reboot the system.

During the Upgrade

If the current layout of the system disks does not provide enough space for the upgrade, SunInstall uses the auto-layout feature to reallocate disk space as required. If the auto-layout fails or you want to use a different layout, you must manually specify the disk layout.

If the system configuration information was not preconfigured, you need to supply the correct information when prompted.

After the Upgrade

Merging the existing system configuration with the Solaris 8 operating system might not be completely successful, and you may need to do some manual cleanup. Check the /a/var/sadm/system/data/upgrade_clean file to determine any configuration problems that need to be reviewed and possibly modified before the system can be rebooted.

After resolving any cleanup issues, reboot the system.

Preconfiguring System Configuration Information

You can preconfigure the system configuration information required for installation in two ways:

  • Name service method—This method adds the system information to an available name service (NIS or NIS+). During installation, the information is retrieved from the name service and used to configure the system. This is the recommended method for SPARC installations.

  • Sysidcfg file method—This method creates a file named sysidcfg that contains the configuration information. The file must conform to a defined format (keywords and syntax). The file must be available on a local drive, and the local floppy disk drive on the remote drive must be accessible via the network.

Over-the-Network Installation

Typically, a system is installed with the Solaris 8 distribution CD using a local CD-ROM drive. However, software can be installed over the network if these systems are set up:

  • Install server—A server created by copying the contents of the Solaris 8 distribution CD to its disk drive or that has the distribution CD available in its CD-ROM drive.

  • Boot server—A server used for booting clients located on a different subnet than the install server. The boot server should be located on the same subnet as the clients.

You set up systems to be installed over the network by using Solstice Host Manager to add (preconfigure) information about the systems to NIS/NIS+ or by adding the information to configuration files of an install server or a boot server.

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