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Re-installing Solaris

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Operating Systems Solaris Re-installing Solaris
# 1  
Old 08-02-2010
Re-installing Solaris

I am a Windows admin but we require the use of at least one SUN for an application that cannot be installed on Windows. We've had two SUN Netra X1 boxes for some time that have seen some use, but I'm told the newest version of the application cannot be installed on the version of Solaris that is running on these.

A UNIX guru was ostensibly going to help with the OS reinstall and advised that we get a Serial->ethernet device connected to the LOM port. I have done this and can get to a console prompt remotely using the device on one of the servers (I get no response from the other server for no readily apparent reason, but thats a concern for another day).

The help reinstalling has not materialized so I figured I would try to determine how to do it myself. I can get to a console prompt and log into the machine via the LOM port using the remote serial device (or I could connect locally if need be) but I'm not sure how to start a fresh install of the OS. The Netra X1 has no CD/DVD drive and my assumption is that by connecting via serial I would be able to somehow use either the CD on the client with which I connect or some sort of network install. Am I on the right track? I'm really just guessing given what the local UNIX expert (who is no longer available) told me to do.

Also, are there any considerations prior to reinstalling that are UNIX-specific? License keys or such? There is nothing application-wise that needs to be retained but I'm unsure if there is anything specific to the OS that I wouldn't want to just blithely remove. Can I just download an OS CD from and reinstall?
# 2  
Old 08-02-2010
If it is your first time you see unix systems, I suggest to not install it because unix is completely different world then windows.

In regard on installation of solaris in machine with no cd-rom, there is plenty of possibilities e.g. JumpStart, liveUSB (if you have USB ports).

I would recommend you install via liveUSB method. Downolad iso image from and create liveUSB.
Here you have tutorial for liveUSB :
How to create and use Live USB - FedoraProject

If you already create liveUSB, you can install Solaris.
Here you have tutorial for installation of Solaris10
How to Install Solaris 10

In regard on subscription, up to couple months ago before sun joined oracle, policy was like this (now changed) :
- you can download solaris for free but patches not packages were payed
- in regard to have patches support, you had to regisdter your solaris on and pay for subscription

Patches (SunSolve) :

Pakcages (SunFreeware) :
Sunfreeware - Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for Sun Microsystem's Solaris

KnowHow (BigAdmin):
Oracle - BigAdmin System Administration Portal
This User Gave Thanks to presul For This Post:
# 3  
Old 08-02-2010
I would like to not be installing, but unfortunately have no real choice. Is there no way to do this from console? I have a fully functioning remote console session and can log in using putty (this is a viable replacement for hypterterminal right?) over a virtual COM port. In addition, I can also log in using SSH. I had hoped this would allow me to work on installing (which I imagine will take several attempts) without having to drive to the server, which is a sizable if not impractical distance away.

As far as patches/subscriptions, this is a test/demo server on a private network only accessible by VPN. Thus far it has been used only for internal testing purposes although we do eventually intend to use it to demo the application for prospective clients. At any rate, the utmost security and newest patches are not really a concern and the immediate goal is just to get something up and running. If a downloaded ISO of an install CD from can do that I'll be happy. My only real concern is that I re-install over the server and then learn a month from now that there was some unknown Solaris product key buried in a file somewhere that I have irrevocably destroyed.
# 4  
Old 08-02-2010
There no such thing like solaris key. You register at and pay for subscription to receive latest security patches and other patches for Solaris operating system. You get some id at and then you can download those patches. Without this you have unsecure and unstable version which might work properly but doesn't have to.
First install Sol10 on the machine and then check whether it works properly (doesn't hangs and etc). If it does, it ok.

Docs for machine you mentiod above :
You connect with HyperTerm from Windows (use RollOverCable) to Serial port B.
See page 17 and 23.

Then connect Serial A to ethernet switch and config this port from session to Serial A to either receive address by DHCP or set it statically.

THen you can connect to ALOM via SerialA port by using ssh or telnet or http browser by IP.

Then from ALOM you have to access OpenBoot PROM (ok prompt)
see page 34, how to get there and set env variables to boot server.
OpenBootPROM is like BIOS in x86 platform.

If you have up and running Solaris on that machine and access to ssh or telnet session the best way to reinstall would be liveUpgrade. There is plenty info about liveUpgrade mechanism on the

Unless you need clean installation of Sol on that machine you need then use JumpStart mechanism. Also docs on BigAdmin.
This User Gave Thanks to presul For This Post:
# 5  
Old 08-02-2010
I agree with Presul. If you can log into the system and have sufficient resources, perform a LiveUpgrade.
# 6  
Old 08-02-2010
I can get to the 'lom' and 'ok' prompt remotely (again, via the intermediary of a serial->ethernet device attached to the lom port). I'm not sure if this helps, but I think it was the original idea our UNIX guy had for remotely reinstalling.

My assumption is that the liveUpgrade process was not viable (not my project originally and I'm just going by what others say). I've put in a query to people who are rarely available to see if there is something preventing us from using an upgrade. If its just something they didn't consider, what resources do i need that might not be available? The machine has an internet connection through NAT if thats what I need. I've still got some problem with name resolution: after changing the nameserver in resolv.conf, I can resolve names properly with nslookup but the names do not resolve properly if I try to ping. Otherwise, the connection seems to work fine (I can ping e.g. google by IP after looking it up with nslookup).

Assuming an upgrade isn't viable, I'll probably try the liveUSB method. Do I specifically need fedora to prep the USB drive or can I just use the Ubuntu virtual machine I already have?
# 7  
Old 08-03-2010
Install over LAN, dump content of DVD and export it over NFS

Or perform a JumpStart installation using FLASH(TM) archive Smilie

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