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OpenSolaris 2008.11 Distribution Constructor Guide
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Editing the Manifest File

The XML manifest file provides the distribution constructor with a blueprint that specifies the contents and parameters of the new ISO image. To view a complete manifest file, see Manifest File.

After you have installed the distribution constructor application, the default manifest file is located at /usr/share/distro_const/slim_cd/slim_cd.xml.

The minimal edits to the default manifest file are as follows:

  1. If you want to change the default repository, specify another source IPS repository.

  2. Specify a valid build area.

You do not need to change any of the other default values in the manifest file.

The following table summaries the key sections in the manifest file and provides further instructions about how to customize these sections.

Table 2-1 Primary Manifest Sections

Section XML Tags

Description of Required Manual Edits

<distribution name="OpenSolaris">

Provides a name for the distribution.

Optionally, you can type a unique name for your distribution.


The default setting enables checkpointing when you create the image.


Specifies the location of the IPS repository. The constructor accesses the repository and retrieves packages for the image. The default repository location is

If you do not want to use the repository, modify this location to point to the repository of your choice.


Lists the packages to be included in the image.

If you have packages that you want to add to the basic image, add your packages in this field, one package per line.


Lists the files and directories to be included in the boot root for this image. Files or directories that need to be excluded are specified with the base_exclude tag.

Note - Modifying the boot root contents might cause the system to fail to boot.


Specifies the area where the image will be created. You must confirm that the package image area is valid for your system and revise as needed.

If you want to use checkpointing, you must specify a ZFS dataset, or a mount point that correlates to a ZFS dataset, as your build area. If the ZFS dataset does not exist, it will be created. The zpool that you specify, however, must already exist.

Note - If the specified ZFS dataset is a sub-dataset of an existing dataset, the existing ZFS dataset must have compression disabled.

If you do not want to use checkpointing, you can use either a regular mount point or a ZFS or UFS file system.

Note - After an image is created, you have the following structure.

  • <build_area>/build_data/pkg_image – Package image area.

  • <build_area>/build_data/bootroot – Boot root build area.

  • <build_area>/build_data/tmp – Temporary directory used by constructor and finalizer scripts.

  • <build_area>/media – Area where the output images are placed.

  • <build_area>/logs – Area that holds log files which record the steps executed by the application and the output from all commands.

    The “simple” log, named simple-log-YYYY-MM-DD-HH-Mi-SS, contains only errors. The “detail” log, named detail-log-YYYY-MM-DD-HH-Mi-SS, contains informational output and errors. The console echos information in the “simple” log file.


This section specifies the finalizer scripts to invoke and how to call them.

You do not need to edit this section unless you add finalizer scripts, or you change the name or the argslist of existing scripts.


Specifies additional parameters needed by processes such as the finalizer scripts.

You do not need to edit the key-value pairs.

Specifies additional parameters needed by the distribution constructor or by the finalizer scripts.

You do not need to edit the key-value pairs except to add new ones that will be recognized by new or customized finalizer scripts.

You can either use the default manifest file, or you can copy it and create a custom manifest with a new file name. You will reference the manifest by name when you use the distro_const command to create an image.

If the default scripts do not leave the build_area as you need it, you can create your own scripts to make further modifications. If you do create new scripts, you'll need to update the script references in the finalizer section of the manifest file.

Note - Always backup the original manifest file and the default scripts before copying them. Your custom scripts are not supported.

When you have completed your revisions to the manifest file and, optionally, customized the finalizer scripts, you can proceed with running the distro_const utility to create an image.

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