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Installing the Solaris 10 Operating Environment

The computer must meet the following requirements before you can install Solaris 10 using the interactive installation method:

  • The system must have a minimum of 128MB of RAM (256MB is recommended). Sufficient memory requirements are determined by several factors, including the number of active users and applications you plan to run.

  • The media is distributed on CD-ROM and DVD only, so a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM is required either locally or on the network. You can use all of the Solaris installation methods to install the system from a networked CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.

  • A minimum of 2GB of disk space is required. See the next section for disk space requirements for the specific Solaris software you plan to install. Also, remember to add disk space to support your environment's swap space requirements.

  • When upgrading the operating system, you must have an empty 512MB slice on the disk. The swap slice is preferred, but you can use any slice that will not be used in the upgrade such as root (/), user, var, and opt.

  • The system must be a SPARC (sun4u or sun4m) or supported x86/x64-based system.

Be familiar with the following software terms:

  • Software Package A collection of files and directories in a defined format.

  • Software Group Software packages are grouped into software groups, which are logical collections of software packages. Sometimes these groups are referred to as clusters.

For SPARC systems, software groups are grouped into six configuration groups to make the software installation process easier. These five configuration groups are reduced networking support, core system support, end-user support, developer system support, entire distribution, and entire distribution plus OEM system support.

You can use one of seven methods to install the Solaris software: interactive using a GUI, interactive using the command line, JumpStart, custom JumpStart, Flash Archive, WAN Boot, or Solaris Upgrade.

You have two upgrade options available. One upgrade option is available in the interactive installation if you are currently running Solaris 2.6, 7, 8, or 9 and you want to upgrade to Solaris 10. The other upgrade option is the Solaris Live upgrade, which enables an upgrade to be installed while the operating system is running and can significantly reduce the downtime associated with an upgrade. As described in Chapter 2, both upgrade options preserve most customizations you made in the previous version of Solaris.

During the installation, Solaris allocates disk space into separate file systems. By default, the interactive installation program (suninstall) sets up the root (/) and swap partitions. It's typical to add additional file systems. The following is a typical partitioning scheme for a system with a single disk drive:

  • root (/) and /usr Solaris normally creates two partitions for itself: root (/) and /usr. The installation program determines how much space you need. Most of the files in these two partitions are static. If the root (/) file system fills up, the system will not operate properly.

  • swap This area on the disk doesn't have files in it. In Unix you're allowed to have more programs running than will fit into the physical memory. The pieces that aren't currently needed in memory are transferred into swap to free up physical memory for other active processes.

  • /export/home On a single-disk system, everything not in root (/), /usr, or swap should go into a separate partition. /export/home is where you would put user home directories and user-created files.

  • /var (optional) Solaris uses this area for system log files, print spoolers, and email.

  • /opt (optional) By default, the Solaris installation program loads optional software packages here. Also, third-party applications are usually loaded into /opt.

Tools for Managing Software

Solaris provides tools for adding and removing software from a system. Those tools are described in Table 5.

Table 5. Tools for Managing Software



Managing Software from the Command Line


Adds software packages to the system.


Removes software packages from the system.


Checks the accuracy of a software package installation.


Displays software package information.


Stores answers in a response file so that they can be supplied automatically during an installation.


Displays package parameter values.

Managing Software from the Graphical User Interface

Solaris Product Registry

Manages all of your Solaris software.

Web Start installer

Invokes a Web Start install wizard.

Software Patches

Another system administration task is managing system software patches. A patch is a fix to a reported software problem. Sun will ship several software patches to customers so that problems can be resolved before the next release of software. The existing software is derived from a specified package format that conforms to the ABI.

Patches are identified by unique alphanumeric strings. The patch base code comes first, then a hyphen, and then a number that represents the patch revision number. For example, patch 110453-01 is a Solaris patch to correct a known problem.

You might want to know more about patches that have previously been installed. Table 6 shows commands that provide useful information about patches already installed on a system.

Table 6. Helpful Commands for Patch Administration



showrev -p

Shows all patches applied to a system.

pkgparam <pkgid> PATCHLIST

Shows all patches applied to the package identified by <pkgid>.

pkgparam <pkgid> PATCH INFO <patch-number>

Shows the installation date and name of the host from which the patch was applied. <pkgid> is the name of the package (for example, SUNWadmap), and <patch-number> is the specific patch number.

patchadd -R <client_root_path> -p

Shows all patches applied to a client, from the server's console.

patchadd -p

Shows all patches applied to a system.

patchrm <patchname>

Removes a specified patch. <patchname> is the name of the patch to be removed.


A tool for managing patches.

Patch Tool

Solaris Management Console Tool for managing patches.

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