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Getting Started With OpenSolaris 2008.11
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Overview of OpenSolaris 2008.11

The OpenSolaris 2008.11 release is an OpenSolaris binary distribution. This release provides a Live CD for x86 platforms. This Live CD includes a basic core operating system and GNOME desktop environment, with the option to install the OpenSolaris operating system from the Live CD. Or, you can mount the OpenSolaris OS on a VirtualBox.

After the OpenSolaris OS has been mounted or installed, additional packages, including developer tools, can be downloaded to the system by using the Image Packaging System (IPS). IPS also enables you to upgrade your entire system. The beadm utility enables you to manage multiple boot environments.

The OpenSolaris 2008.11 release includes new installation features and enhancements, including zones support in the beadm utility, a new automated installer application, and an enhanced distribution constructor. For information, see New Installation Features in OpenSolaris 2008.11.

Live CD and Installer

The Live CD boots to a functional GNOME desktop. The desktop includes Firefox, Thunderbird, and other core applications. nwamd(1M) is enabled to automatically manage your network interfaces.

For a general description of the purpose and function of a Live CD, see What Is a Live CD?

To download the Live CD image, go to the site and select a link to download the current OpenSolaris release.

Note - At this site, you can choose between a complete installation with all available languages, or a “slimmer” installation with selected languages and faster installation time.

Note the following Live CD options:

  • You can choose another language for the Live CD. OpenSolaris has language support for more than 40 languages. Input and output support for these additional languages can be activated on the Live CD as follows:

    1. Log out of the Live CD desktop.

    2. Use the Option button on the login screen to choose a language.

    3. Log in to the Live CD.

  • If you are prompted to log in to the Live CD, both the user name and password are jack.

  • Root login is not enabled either on the Live CD or on the installed system. You must log in as the user that you created during the installation. After you log in, you can then become superuser to configure the system. Because root is a role, open a terminal window and use the su command to assume the role, or the pfexec sh command to run commands in a privileged shell. The root password for the Live CD is opensolaris.

    For further information, see Login and Root Specifications.

  • You can install the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release from the Live CD.

    Start the installer by selecting the Installer icon on the Live CD desktop. The installer enables an initial installation of the CD's contents on an x86 system. The installed root(/) file system is ZFS.

    Caution - The installer can perform an initial installation into a Solaris partition or use an entire disk. The installation overwrites all software and data on the selected target.

    See the installation instructions at Installation Roadmap.

Package Manager (IPS GUI)

The Package Manager is a graphical user interface that enables you to install, update, and manage packages on your installed system. Packages that are not included in the initial installation image can be downloaded after the installation. This Package Manager is the user interface for the Image Packaging System (IPS). The Package Manager is available on the menu bar on the desktop for both the Live CD and the installed OpenSolaris 2008.11 system. On the menu bar, go to System>Administration>Package Manager. Or, select the Get Software icon on the desktop.

For information, see The Package Manager.

Image Packaging System (IPS CLI)

You can use the Package Manager GUI as described previously to easily add, update, and manage packages on your installed system. Or, you can use the Image Packaging System (IPS) command-line interface (CLI) to perform these tasks.

You can select versioned builds of components to manage or create your own custom OpenSolaris distribution. IPS commands access packages from network repositories and install them to your image. Both IPS packages and SVR4 packages are supported.

For instructions about installing developer applications, including developer tools such as NetBeans 6.1,, GlassFish v2 Application Server, and Sun Studio Express 5/08, see the OpenSolaris 2008.11 Developer Environment.

For further information about the IPS CLI, see the OpenSolaris 2008.11 Image Packaging System Guide.

Upgrade Your Installed System

To upgrade from the OpenSolaris 2008.05 release to the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release, you must use a particular procedure described at Updating Your System to OpenSolaris Development Builds.

For information about upgrading the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release, see Upgrading An Image.

Manage Boot Environments

In the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release, you can use the beadm utility to create and manage snapshots and clones of your boot environments. This utility is particularly useful for managing multiple OpenSolaris boot environments on a single system.

For information, see OpenSolaris 2008.11 Managing Boot Environments.

New Installation Features in OpenSolaris 2008.11

The OpenSolaris 2008.11 release includes the following new installation features and enhancements.

  • Zones support in the beadm utility

  • A new automated installer application

  • An enhanced distribution constructor

For information about the beadm utility, see OpenSolaris 2008.11 Managing Boot Environments.

The new automated installer application enables you to install the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release on multiple x86 platforms, using new enhanced and simplified installation tools. The OpenSolaris automated installer is a new enterprise installation technology. The automated installer provides support for network and local installations, where one installation specification can be applied to multiple systems.

For information, see the OpenSolaris 2008.11 Automated Installer Guide.

The distribution constructor is a command-line tool for building preconfigured, bootable OpenSolaris images. In the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release, this tool takes a manifest file as input, and outputs an ISO image that is based on the parameters specified in the manifest. Optionally, a USB image can be created, based on the generated ISO image.

The default ISO image created by the Distribution Constructor is comparable to the Live CD image that is included in the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release. However, you can modify the content of the ISO image, selecting and adding additional packages to the image. And, you can revise the default settings for the resulting booted environment to create a custom, redistributable, ISO or USB image.

For information, see the OpenSolaris 2008.11 Distribution Constructor Guide.

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