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Old 08-27-2004, 04:51 AM   #1
d1s4st3r
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Install Solaris 9 x86 on a particular partition


Hi guys,
I'm a computer science student and I use Sun Solaris 9 on x86 and SPARC machines in my University for learning purposes.
I'm longing to understand much more about this interesting Unix system, and the best way is to install it on my machine at home... don't you think?!?
So I just downloaded the two Solaris 9 x86 ISOs ("sol-9-u6-x86-v1.iso" and "sol-9-u6-x86-v2.iso") from the Sun's website and burned them under Linux.
Now, I have two harddisks partitioned and configured (under Linux) like this:


Primary Master (80 GB)
--------
Part[1] (40 GB): Windows 2000 (NTFS)
Part[2] (20 GB): Shared data (FAT32)
Part[3] (18 GB): Linux backup (ext2)
Part[4] (690 MB): Shared swap

Primary Slave (160 GB)
--------
Part[1] (70 GB): Linux (ext3)
Part[2] (30 GB): FreeBSD (ufs)
Part[3] (20 GB): Solaris (ufs) (marked as "Solaris boot" (hex code: BE) by Linux's cfdisk)
Part[4] (42 GB): Linux misc stuff (ext3)


The only empty partition is the Solaris' one (/dev/hdb3 under Linux), made a few time ago for other operating systems to try out.
Well, I immediatly booted up first Solaris CD and let the installation begin...
After some steps, the installation tool ("Solaris Interactive" installation) found an "x86boot" disk (or partition?!?) on "c0d1p3" (I thought "controller 0, disk 1, partition 3"... uhm... it sounds right...!) and asked me to keep it or not for future installation. I said 'yes'.
After some other steps, it founds my two harddisks (the first one with about 640 MB of free space left, the other one (the one I want to install Solaris on) with 0 MB free).
Even if the installer needed about 2 GB of Minimum Space Required, I selected the second disk (the 160 GB one) and went on. But when I was asked to make the "Solaris fdisk partition", I felt sick because I saw that Solaris would like to occupy my *ENTIRE* disk, not the only 20 GB partition reserved to it. I read the help menues and everything around, then I sadly got out of the installer because I didn't know what to do and I don't want Solaris to destroy my other three partitions and all my poor data!!!
What can I do to install Solaris *ONLY* on the third partition of the primary slave disk, maintaining all the rest of the system *UNCHANGED* and *UNTOUCHED*?!?
No problems when I installed FreeBSD (that uses slices and labels), but this is the very first time I tried to install Solaris and I don't know what to do now.
Well... uh... and what can I do if I would like to have Solaris using my "Shared swap" partition (on primay master disk) instead of creating a new reserved swap partition for it? Swap is a virtual filesystem created on the go, and I'd like to have the same swap partition used by all my OSes (Win2k, Linux and FreeBSD already use it all together).
I'm not afraid to install Solaris, and I'm strongly decided to install it.
I only need a little help because I really don't know what to do at this step!!!

Thank you so much guys for helping me if you can!!!
Bye!
 
Old 08-27-2004, 01:14 PM   #2
jlliagre
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Remove first the partition your reserve to Solaris.
Solaris want either to install on previously unallocated space or to the whole disk overwriting everything there ...
 
Old 08-28-2004, 02:22 AM   #3
jlliagre
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One more answer: once you'll have Solaris installed, it would be no problem to use the disk one shared swap, as long as it is on a primary partition.
Just add it to the /etc/vfstab file.
In that case, you can either define a very small or no swap slice at all on the solaris partition.
 
Old 09-27-2004, 03:21 PM   #4
OsamaBinLogin
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yep, good old Solaris X86 install. I ran into this problem with Sol 8 and, since the x86 was rejuvinated, I figured that maybe they'd cleaned up their act dramatically and, sortof, did like Linux and made it so you could use logical partitions and you could put it where you want it.

But no.

(correction: the following is only true if you boot "Solaris 9 Install". See posts below.)

The game works like this: the Solaris x86 installer wants 2 partitions: a small boot partition first, and then the big partition immediately after. And, what the Solaris installer wants, it gets. It takes whatever you have, carves out the two partitions with a chisel, P1 and P2, and erases to the end of the disk. (More precisely, eliminates partitions to the end of the disk.)

I have coaxed it into taking a disk that already had WinMe installed in partition P1, and NOT completely erasing that one partition, and then putting the boot in p2 and solaris in P3. I think that is a special case for windows only, for partition 1 only. And I think you do it by just having windows installed there, then you install Solaris.

I also read an article a few years ago in SysAdmin magazine, where this guy installed Solaris, then went back and re-formed the partitions as they existed before Solaris blew them away, and surprise he got Linux back that was in one of them. You have to copy down the exact numbers, and I forgot which partitioning programs he used.

The boot partition I believe is type BE or EB or something, and the Solaris partition is type 82, which exactly overlaps with Linux swap, so, you have to be very careful installing Linux later so your solaris isn't blown away. The Solaris partition is further divided with the Solaris slice system, which is similar but incompatible to the BSD slice system. As usual, docs and messages use the words partition and slice somewhat randomly, the cylinder and track arithmetic and numbers does not agree with what you know from Linux, MSDos or BSD partition systems. Good luck.

So I think the big picture looks like this: if you are multiboot installing, install in this order:
1) windows, partition P1 only, optional.
2) solaris, in the physical partitions they end up in, optional.
3) Then do what you can with the partitions that are left.

At any rate, backup everything in the disk(s) that the Solaris installer knows about because 80% chance you'll lose it all. If you're not careful, 99% chance.
(end of corrected section that's not necessarily true.)

I also recommend NOT doing things in this order:
1) install OS A.
2) move in, set prefs, get comfy, put in files you want to keep.
3) install OS B.
4) move in, set prefs, get comfy, put in files you want to keep.
5) repeat...

NO NO NO. Do it in this order:
0) Eliminate all the partitions on your disk.
1) install OS A. Bare minimum.
2) install OS B. Bare minimum.
3) Install OS C. Bare minimum.
4) Make sure they all work again, and the bootloader, or your floppies, can boot each, etc. If not, write a 10 page essay about what you did wrong, try again and go to step 1.

Don't waste a lot of time customizing each one cuz you'll probably end up blowing it away - just install enough so you know what it needs, how many gigs, which partition program, etc. As you iterate, you can experiment with different partition schemes at relatively low risk. Or even different X window settings, and mess with it till it breaks. Remember it's getting blown away anyway.

Once you get them all to coexist, only then move in. And then, never run the partition program again. Or if so, just to change a partition type.

Last edited by OsamaBinLogin; 09-28-2004 at 12:44 PM.
 
Old 09-27-2004, 09:08 PM   #5
2damncommon
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I did not require a "Solaris boot partition" for my install.
Mark the Solaris partition as Linux Swap and follow the instructions.
 
Old 09-28-2004, 12:41 PM   #6
OsamaBinLogin
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yep, only need 1 partition

> I did not require a "Solaris boot partition" for my install.
> Mark the Solaris partition as Linux Swap and follow the instructions.

yes, indeed! I stand corrected. After posting that, I went and found this website, highly recommended.

http://multiboot.solaris-x86.org

This guy has more info than you probably want to know, or, well, maybe not. It's well organized so you can find what you don't know that you need to know.

In fact, if you boot directly the "Solaris 9 Software, 1 of 2" CD, you skip over some junk in the installer that demands certain partitioning. And you go through a part of the installer that's a bit ugly, but far better if you are multi-booting. Well, I guess it's all ugly.

First you take your target partition and mark it type x82 which is "Solaris" but unfortunately also "Linux Swap". You might want to take preexisting linux swap partitions and temporarily re-type them as some other code, if they are physical partitions - it doesn't know about logical partitions. And, again, Solaris must be on a physical partition. You need no "solaris boot" partition, the solaris partition becomes active and boots and there you are.

Silly me! I thought to Install Solaris, I should boot off the CD that says "Solaris 9 Installation". I forgot who I was dealing with. Gee is there any actual Sun docs that tell you this? unlikely.
 
Old 09-29-2004, 01:55 AM   #7
jlliagre
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Quote:
Silly me! I thought to Install Solaris, I should boot off the CD that says "Solaris 9 Installation". I forgot who I was dealing with. Gee is there any actual Sun docs that tell you this? unlikely.
There are at many ways of installing Solaris 9, one of them really being using the "Solaris 9 Installation CD" (Web Start Installation), another using CD 1 (suninstall).

All of this is described in the "Solaris 9 Installation Guide".

http://docs.sun.com/db/doc/817-5768/6ml70g5hc?a=view
 
Old 09-29-2004, 12:48 PM   #8
OsamaBinLogin
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I guess you're right. There it is, in SOL_9_904_DOC_1O/Solaris_9_Doc/common/ SUNWinab/reloc/sun_docs/C/solaris_9/ SUNWinab/SPARCINSTALL/p4.html, towards the bottom of the page, plain as day.

Maybe I missed it cuz I didn't read any of that. There's 30,452 files on the first doc CD, conveniently organized into 1,960 directories. Scanning through the html files, I see the same tedious sentences, repeated over and over again. But that sentence only occurs once.

Actually, what it says is that you can get to the DCE by booting the DVD, Installation, or 1 of 2 CD. Doesn't say, hey you can do the whole install by completely blowing off the first CD. Heck, I know that you can get to the DCE without any CDs after you install it, my old Sol 8 install boots into that every time. Not complete, not clear. And not the crucial, unobvious information that I need.

Then there's the small yellow booklet that came with the media kit, "Start Here". I did read that one. Two pages. It has Step 3, Choose Media. Four paragraphs:

1) If network...
2) the DVD = sum of many of the CDs
3) Use Web Start
4) "Select either the Solaris DVD or the Solaris Installation CD."
 
Old 09-29-2004, 03:13 PM   #9
jlliagre
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I understand your frustration not having been able to achieve your installation without the help of internet users/web sites and I wouldn't argue the fact that there is plenty (too much?) of Sun's documentation, that there is some redundancy in it and that finding something is not always as easy as it should, but:

there are 13 top collections of documentation for Solaris 9, one of which being "Solaris 9 9/04 Release and Installation Collection", in that collection, there are 5 documents, one of which being "Solaris Installation Guide". I think there are adequate collection and title names to look for information in your case.

"Chapter 3 Choosing a Solaris Installation Method" describes seven distinct ways to install Solaris.

You are right telling that the small booklet only promotes the web start way, but this is aimed to "simple installations", where solaris is going to be the only O/S on the system, and it works with no problem in that case, and not only in that case, but I agree and understand it is not simple if you want to have solaris coexists with other O/Ss in the same disk.

What you need is one of the "expert mode" kind of installation which is described in the documents I point to you:

http://docs.sun.com/db/doc/817-5768/6ml70g5lh?a=view

I agree too that the installer looks outdated and ugly, but it's no surprise to me as most of the Solaris installations are actually made automatically using the jumpstart technology, so the professional admins do not care that much the interactive install interface.
This is changing as now , and specially on intel architecture, users are used to run linux distributions installers that are years behind in ease of use and efficency, so we just can expect Solaris' installer to improve.
 
  


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