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Solaris Installation Page

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Installation of the Solaris operating system is detailed in the documentation provided by Sun Microsystems.  Here we will present just some highlights

There are several ways to install Solaris. 

Before installation from CD/DVD you can need to collect information about your PC (you may be even send yourself in a email and print it  to document it) including:

As I mentioned above a typical install is from CD or DVD. Some general steps are listed below.

  1. Place the Solaris installation CD in the CD-ROM drive and turn on the computer. If a previous installation of Solaris or SunOS exists on the machine, interrupt the boot process (with STOP+A), specify N for new command mode, and type boot cdrom.
  2. From this point on, you are in the Solaris installation procedure. The three major parts of the installation procedure are:

The first think to decide during the installation is disk partitioning. Do not try to create you own partitions scheme, unless you really understand Solaris. It is important to understand that the second partition in Solaris is a special one and is not created automatically if, for example you specify one partition manually, for example:

overlap c0d0s2

Installation program usually will recommend more or less reasonable number of slices and you can change them and provide explicit size for arch slice. Nothing prevents you cutting just two slices (1 and 2). In this case the space will be utilized much better. For example for an old Ultra 5 box at home you might use the simplest partitioning:

1. / -- 9G

For 20G drive typical on Ultra10 that is used as a home server it might make sense to have separate partitions for major parts of the OS. In this case during reinstallation you can preserve /export/home directory.

  1. / -- 8G  -- it does not make sense to use / less then 1G as root directory sometimes is used for packages installation.
  2. /swap =  size of your RAM
  3. /var --   4G  (var separation is important as it is used in installation of recommended patches. )
  4. /export/home -- everything else

or if you want to control more partitions (and hopefully know the sized of each more precisely)

  1. / -- 1G  -- it does not make sense to use / less then 1G as root directory sometimes is used for packages installation.
  2. /usr -- 6 G
  3. /opt -- 4 G -- you might benefit from linking /usr/local to /opt/sfw
  4. /swap =  size of your RAM
  5. /var --   4G  (var separation is important as it is used in installation of recommended patches. )
  6. /export/home -- everything else

Solaris 9 is not great in finding the default router during the installation and you will be better off specifying it yourself.

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10 steps to install server

January 25th, 2006

This is the steps to setup a CD-less install server if you are using > Solaris 3/05 x86 (or a Solaris x86 with GRUB).

They cleaned up a lot of things with GRUB booting off PXE and it is a lot easier and painless as this example shows. This does not include profiles so you will have to sit in through the install process and answer questions.

It is just a quick and easy way to get Solaris x86 installed on a remote machine without burning CDs.

1. Download ISO images

2. Unzip them, run
lofiadm -a iso_file.iso
for each one

3. mkdir /mnt/disk1 /mnt/disk2 /mnt/disk3 /mnt/disk4

4. mount -F hsfs /dev/lofi/# /mnt/disk#
for each one

/mnt/disk1/Solaris_11/Tools/setup_install_server /path/to/setup/installserver

6. For each CD:
/mnt/disk#/Solaris_11/Tools/add_to_install_server /path/to/setup/installserver

/path/to/setup/installserver/Solaris_11/Tools/add_install_client -d -e client_mac -s install_server_ip:/path/to/setup/installserver i86pc

After this command it will give you information to use for the DHCP server you setup on step #10. If you are familiar with the old x86 network boot, you will notice they dont use SUNW.i86pc anymore and there is a lot less options to add for the DHCP server.

8. share -F nfs -o ro,anon=0 -d "Install Server" /path/to/setup/installserver

9. Run:
and follow the correct IP setup, defaults work great here if using 192.168 network.

10. Add Macro by clicking on Macros then Edit -> Create (Use the information from the add_install_client command to put in the DHCP Macro. It's only 2 options: "BootSrvA" which is the IP address of the install server, and "BootFile" which is the name of the bootfile on the install server.

Tell your client to boot off using PXE!

BigAdmin Feature Article Using Solaris Live Upgrade for the x86 (and SPARC) Platform

It is my hope that this document will encourage more people to use Sun's Solaris Live Upgrade software. Even though I'm writing here about the Solaris Operating System, x86 Platform Edition, the information is applicable to the SPARC Platform Edition as well.

The Solaris Express program is now offered as an option for Sun's customers to gain early access to the next Solaris release. This program is updated every month. We highly encourage people to download and install these early releases so they will have access to new features coming in the Solaris OS.

When we access early releases, we may start running into situations where we have two or three different environments that we might want to either test or develop on. Live Upgrade is a means to boot between these multiple environments. It upgrades the environment so that it will be as close as possible to what existed in the environment you copied from.

The Solaris Interactive Installation -- chapter from the book that looks like a re-write of corresponding chapter of SA-299 manual. In this chapter:

Sys Admin Magazine

Step 3: Installing Solaris 8

Put in the Solaris installation media and boot. The Solaris installation sequence should come right up. Run fdisk to establish partition 2 for Solaris. A catch in this step is the boundary cylinders on the hard drive. Give yourself a couple of cylinders buffer between the end of the your Windows partition and where you start the Solaris partition. Also allow some buffer between the end of your Solaris partition and the start of your Linux partition. I use a rule of thumb of two cylinders on each side. If you don't add this buffer, your installation will fail. Install what you want on partition 2. Note that Solaris will divide partition 2 into partitions 2 and 3 during the install. Late in the install process, you will have a chance to look at the filesystem layout. Partition 2 will be sliced up into / in s0, swap in s1, overlap will be in s2, and /export/home in s7. These four slices are the reason that in Step 2a we added four to several lines. After the Solaris install, Linux will see hda5 as hda9. If you use more than four slices in Solaris, you will have to modify Step 2a as appropriate. Reboot. Study Listing 3 to see what the partition table looks like after the Solaris installation, especially the cylinder buffers around the Solaris partitions.

Guide to armoring Solaris 8

Partitioning and Patching
During the installation process, you will be asked to partition your system. Partitioning helps security in two ways. First, you can protect critical patitions, such as '/' partition, from filling up by creating seperate patitions for logging and mail. Second, partitioning allows you to restrict which partitions have which capabilities, such as making the '/usr' partition, for all the system binaries, read only.

Therefore, I recommend a separate partition for both "/var" and "/usr". "/var" is where all the system and firewall logging and email spoolling goes. By isolating the /var partition, you protect your root partition from overfilling. By isoloating the /usr partition, we can create this read-only, helping to protect system binaries from modification or potential remote exploit. You may want to consider an seperate partition for "/opt' also, as this is where the FW-1 NG binaries will be located.

Firewall-1 NG logs and configuration files are located in "/var/opt/CPfw1-50". Most Solaris systems have two or more drives, such as the Ultra 10 or 2 IDE drives for an x86. If you are not mirroring the second drive, dedicate the drive for all the firewall logs and configs. Once again, this protects all the other partitions from filling up. With such a setup, a 20GB hard drive and 128MB of RAM could look as follows:

/                 - everything else
swap              - 256MB (or traditionally 2x amount of RAM)
/var              - 400MB
/var/opt/CPfw1-50 - 15GB or 2nd drive
/usr              - 500MB (if you want separate ReadOnly partition).

Once the system has rebooted after the installation, be sure to install the Recommended and Security patch cluster from Sun. Also, FW-1 NG requires two additional patches that are not part of the cluster, specifically 108434-02 and 108435-02. You will have to download and install these patches in addition to the patch cluster. Be sure to use your go between box to get the patches, the firewall box should always remain on an isolated network. Patches are CRITICAL to maintaining a secure firewall and should be updated at least once a week. maintains an excellent vulnerability database.

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Sites Solaris 8 Advanced Installation Guide


SecurityFocusJumpStart for Solaris Systems, -- The JumpStart Architecture and Security Scripts (JASS) toolkit provides a Solaris system administrator with an easy to use and easy to implement method of hardening Solaris systems. This toolkit provides the ability to install identical hardened Solaris operating system images to multiple systems.

JumpStart Architecture and Security Scripts for the Solaris Operating Environment - Part 2:
Updated for Toolkit version 0.2
Alex Noordergraaf and Glenn Brunette, Sun Blueprints, November 2000

[JumpStart Architecture and Security Scripts for the Solaris Operating - Part 3:
Updated for Toolkit version 0.2
Alex Noordergraaf and Glenn Brunette, Sun Blueprints, November 2000

jumpstart.txt -- practical instructions with Troubleshooting Tips

#! Most errors occur in the sysidcfg file or the add_install_client. #! syntax.

To avoid troubleshooting headaches, do the following:

  1. # cat /dev/null > /etc/bootparams

  2. Run the add_install_client again

  3. Reboot the client and try again.

#! Common sysidfcg errors occur when network_interface entries #! are not space delimited.

Closely scrutinize the file. One #! typo will abort the entire jumpstart.

Disk partitioning

Solaris x86 - Documents

As you can see in the Customized column below, with my 4-gig drive I transferred 1.4 GB to /opt and about 650 MB to each / and /var which left 250 MB for the /export/home slice.

The Before column below was displayed with the sizes given in Mbytes:

Before (Default) Customized
/ c0d0s0 43 / c0d0s0 700
/usr/openwin c0d0s1 341 /usr/openwin c0d0s1 341
overlap c0d0s2 4102 overlap c0d0s2 4102
/var c0d0s3 30 /var c0d0s3 648
swap c0d0s4 147 swap c0d0s4 147
/opt c0d0s5 25 /opt c0d0s5 1400
/usr c0d0s6 535 /usr c0d0s6 535
/export/home c0d0s7 2977 /export/home c0d0s7 250

Software Components

The Solaris OE software is organized into three components:

To view the names of the cluster configurations, perform the command:

# grep METACLUSTER /var/sadm/system/admin/.clustertoc







The metacluster SUNWCmreq is a hidden metacluster. It allows you to create a minimal core metacluster by de-selecting packages from the core metacluster.

To determine which cluster configuration has been installed on the system, you can use the command:

# cat /var/sadm/system/admin/CLUSTER




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