Previous Page
Next Page

Methods of Installing the Solaris 10 Software

You can use one of seven methods to install the Solaris software:

  • Solaris Interactive installation using the graphical user interface (GUI)

  • Solaris Interactive installation using the command line interface (CLI)

  • Solaris JumpStart

  • Solaris Custom JumpStart

  • Solaris Flash Archives

  • Solaris WAN Boot Installation

  • Solaris Upgrade Method

Each of these is discussed in the following sections.

Solaris Interactive Installation

The Solaris Interactive Installation program, suninstall, guides you step by step through installing the Solaris software. You'll be allowed to do a complete installation/reinstallation, perform an upgrade, or install a Solaris Flash archive. I like to refer to this installation as the conventional interactive installation. If you've installed previous versions of Solaris, this is the original interactive installation. With this installation, you need to know more about Solaris and other software products before installing them. The Interactive program does not allow you to install all of the software (Solaris software and copackaged software) at once; it installs only the SunOS software. After you install the Solaris software, you must install the other copackaged software by using the copackaged installation programs.

If your system does not have a directly attached CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, you can specify a drive that is attached to another system. The only requirement is that both systems must be attached to the same subnet.


JumpStart provides the capability to install Solaris on a new system by inserting the CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive and turning on power to the system. No interaction is required. The software components installed are specified by a default profile that is selected based on the model and disk size of the system.

All new SPARC-based systems have the JumpStart software (a preinstalled boot image) preinstalled on the boot disk. You can install the JumpStart software on existing systems by using the re-preinstall command.

Custom JumpStart

The Custom JumpStart method, formerly called autoinstall, allows you to automaticallyand identicallyinstall many systems with the same configuration without having to configure each of them individually. Custom JumpStart requires upfront setup of configuration files before the systems can be installed, but it's the most cost effective way to automatically install Solaris software for a large installation. Custom JumpStart provides the best solution for performing hands-off installation across the network.


JumpStart Configuration on New Systems On a new system, the installation software is specified by a default profile based on the system's model and the size of its disks; you don't have a choice of the software to be installed. Make sure this JumpStart configuration is suited to your environment. The system loads the end-user distribution group and sets up minimal swap space. Slices and their sizes are set up by using default parameters that might not be suitable for the applications you plan to install.

When might you want to use JumpStart? For example, suppose you need to install the Solaris software on 50 systems. Of these 50 systems to be installed, 25 are in engineering as standalone systems with the entire distribution software group, and 25 are in the IT group with the developer distribution software group. JumpStart enables you to set up a configuration file for each department and install the operating system on all the systems. This process facilitates the installation by automating it, ensuring consistency between systems and saving you time and effort.

Exam Alert

JumpStart Exam Objective Custom JumpStart is an objective on the CX-310-202 exam and is described in detail in Chapter 13, "Solaris Zones." However, there are a couple of basic questions about Custom JumpStart on the CX-310-200 exam which you need to know, such as

  • Why would you use JumpStart over another type of installation such as Web Start Flash or interactive?

  • Which installation method is designed to allow hands off installation across the network?

Solaris Flash Archives

The Solaris Flash Archive installation enables you to use a single reference installation (Flash Archive) of the Solaris OE on a system, which is called the master system. After installing the operating system onto the master system, you can add or delete software and modify system configuration information as necessary. You then create a flash archive from this master system and can use this archive to replicate that installation on a number of systems, which are called clone machines. Then, you can replicate that installation on a number of systems, which are called clone systems.

You can also replicate (clone) systems with a Solaris Flash initial installation that overwrites all files on the system or with a Solaris Flash update that only includes the differences between two system images. A differential update changes only the files that are specified and is restricted to systems that contain software consistent with the old master image.

You may also be wondering what makes Web Start Flash different from custom JumpStart.

When you use any of the Solaris installation methods and you do not select to install a Solaris Flash archive, the installation method installs each Solaris package individually. The package-based installation method is time consuming because the installation method must extract each individual package from the installation media and then update the package map for each package. A Flash archive installs Solaris onto your system much faster because it is simply copying an image onto your drive and does not install the operating system package by package.

If you have many different Solaris configurations that you want to install on your systems, you need a Solaris Flash archive for each configuration. Solaris Flash archives are large files and require a significant amount of disk space. Also, after you create a Solaris Flash archive, you cannot change the archive. If you have many different installation configurations or if you want the flexibility to change your installation configuration, you might consider using the custom JumpStart installation method.

Custom JumpStart employs a command-line installation method that enables you to automatically install or upgrade several systems, based on profiles that you create. Custom Jumpstart can be configured to install Solaris from a Solaris Flash archive. The JumpStart configuration files define specific software installation requirements. You can also incorporate shell scripts to include preinstallation and postinstallation tasks. This is not a capability within the Solaris Flash archive.

If you have multiple systems to install, the custom JumpStart installation method might be the most efficient way for you to install your systems. However, if you plan to install only a few systems, the custom JumpStart installation method is less efficient. This is because the creation of a custom JumpStart environment and its associated configuration files is very time consuming.

WAN Boot

The WAN boot installation method enables you to boot and install software over a wide area network (WAN) by using HTTP. Utilizing the WAN boot method of installation, you can install the Solaris OS on SPARC-based systems over a wide area network. WAN boot can be used with security features to protect data confidentiality and installation image integrity.

The WAN boot installation method enables you to transmit an encrypted Solaris Flash archive over a WAN to a remote SPARC-based client. The WAN boot programs then install the client system by performing a custom JumpStart installation.

WAN boot is an advanced installation method and is covered in Chapter 13.

Solaris Live Upgrade

Solaris Live Upgrade allows you to create a copy of the current operating environment and upgrade the copy while the system is running in the original environment. Solaris Live Upgrade utilizes Solaris Volume Manager (SVM) to create a mirror of the OS (SVM is covered in Chapter 10). Once complete, you'll reboot to the upgraded version of the OS. If problems are encountered with the upgrade, you can boot back to the previous version, significantly reducing any downtime. For example, let's say that you are upgrading the OS using the Upgrade option in the interactive installation. If the power failed halfway through the upgrade and the system was powered off, your operating system would be incomplete and you would be unable to boot. Using Live Upgrade, because you're upgrading a copy of the OS, you simply boot to the original version of the OS and start over.

To perform a live upgrade, the SUNWlur and SUNWluu software packages must be installed. The packages are installed with the entire distribution software group in Solaris 10; however, the system you are upgrading is probably running an older version of the OS, therefore, you'll need to install the Solaris 10 Live Upgrade packages on your current OS. The release of the Solaris Live Upgrade packages must match the release of the OS you are upgrading to. For example, if your current OS is the Solaris 8 release and you want to upgrade to the Solaris 10 release, you need to install the Solaris Live Upgrade packages from the Solaris 10 release. Solaris versions 7, 8, 9, or 10 can be upgraded to the most recent version of Solaris 10 using Live Upgrade.

Exam Alert

Performing a live upgrade is beyond the scope of this chapter and is not covered in detail on the exam. For the exam, you'll need to describe a Solaris Live Upgrade and understand how it differs from the other installation methods, including a Solaris Interactive upgrade.

Previous Page
Next Page