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Old 01-15-2007, 03:09 PM   #1
luis14
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Solaris 10 11/06 install questions


I would like to attempt an install of Solaris 10 11/06 on my Dell Dimension 8400.

Currently I triple boot Debian Etch, Ubuntu and Windows XP on 2 80GB SATA Drives. Drive sda contains the XP install the two linux root partitions, a Fat32 partition, and linux swap partition. Drive sdb has an NTFS page/swap partition and the rest is shared /home for Debian and Ubuntu using ext3 fs.

My plan is to wipe the 6.85GB Ubuntu install at dev sda1 and install Solaris there.
My questions are:

Can I use the existing Linux swap for the Solaris install?

Does Solaris install Grub during setup and will it detect my other OSs'?

I have read some of the documentation at Sun but am not finding/understanding the answers there.
Any triple boot stratagies appreciated. Thank You!

Last edited by luis14; 01-15-2007 at 05:41 PM.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 03:58 PM   #2
Randux
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I can't answer most of these questions because I'm new to Solaris also. One thing is for sure, it will use Grub and I don't think it finds the other systems but I can't remember for sure. I am booting Solaris, Slackware, and FreeBSD on this box and I had to update the menu.lst in /boot/grub manually inside Solaris.

Grub has some nice features but it's a pain in the ass to have to boot Solaris to save the config. Maybe I'm missing something here. I keep a lilo.conf on my Slackware machine so I can boot everything else no matter what. I'm not convinced of the stability of Solaris on x86 in a multiboot scenario yet. Sometimes it doesn't seem to want to come up.

I hope Solaris will offer a config or someone will figure out how to just install a 2nd level boot loader in the Solaris superblock so it can be booted with the owner's choice of lilo, grub etc.

Last edited by Randux; 01-15-2007 at 04:00 PM.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:11 PM   #3
luis14
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Quote:
my father Chief John Standing Hair was an electrician
LOL
Thanks for the response Randux, but didn't get that far. For my disks to be recognized requires a bios switch of the AHCI controller, I'd have to preform the switch each time I booted back into XP or Etch, for me not practical on a multi-boot machine. I'm going to do some further study, maybe try on a different machine.

Last edited by luis14; 01-15-2007 at 10:12 PM.
 
Old 01-16-2007, 09:18 AM   #4
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randux
One thing is for sure, it will use Grub and I don't think it finds the other systems but I can't remember for sure.
It does detect Windows partitions, and add them to the boot menu.
Quote:
I am booting Solaris, Slackware, and FreeBSD on this box and I had to update the menu.lst in /boot/grub manually inside Solaris.
But it doesn't detect Linux partitions ...
Quote:
Grub has some nice features but it's a pain in the ass to have to boot Solaris to save the config. Maybe I'm missing something here.
The data being stored on ufs, you obviously need to boot an O/S able to mount it read-write, nothing different than what Linux requires when grub is used, I believe.
Quote:
I keep a lilo.conf on my Slackware machine so I can boot everything else no matter what. I'm not convinced of the stability of Solaris on x86 in a multiboot scenario yet. Sometimes it doesn't seem to want to come up.

I hope Solaris will offer a config or someone will figure out how to just install a 2nd level boot loader in the Solaris superblock so it can be booted with the owner's choice of lilo, grub etc.
that would be a good contribution to the OpenSolaris project.
 
Old 01-18-2007, 08:14 AM   #5
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre
It does detect Windows partitions, and add them to the boot menu.
But it doesn't detect Linux partitions ...
It would be nice if there was a way to generate the config for any other possible systems, even if it just displayed the disklabel and/or partition table and gave the user an option to add entries manually, which is perfectly acceptable. Otherwise he will get a surprise when he reboots because the installation doesn't seem to offer and option not to overwrite the MBR. But it would be even better if the installer would give an option not to install grub in the MBR and just install grub as the 2nd stage loader in the Solaris UFS superblock.

You can certainly boot almost anything from grub's command line but the problem is if Solaris breaks (happened to me a few times already because I don't have experience with it) then you can't get to the grub menu.lst which resides on the Solaris filesystem. Then it's time for a live CD because the Solaris installer CD doesn't give you an option to edit grub's menu. Linux makes things easier simply because it has support for more filesystems and if you use grub or lilo from there you have more chance of being able to manage the booting of all your other OS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre
The data being stored on ufs, you obviously need to boot an O/S able to mount it read-write, nothing different than what Linux requires when grub is used, I believe.
That's true and it's one of my objections to grub. Since grub obviously has access to the filesystem why isn't the a way (or is there?) to update menu.lst from grub's command line and save it back? It's really a complaint about grub but the combination of the Solaris installer grabbing the MBR for himself (like Winbloze) and not having a way to update the menu.lst until after the nasty surprise of seeing whatever bootloader the guy had in his MBR before now disappeared, is not a good one.

Back to Luis, what about installing Solaris as a virtual machine under QEMU from one of your other hosts? This will avoid a lot of configuration problems while you decide if and how you want to install Solaris for real. I didn't know anybody paid attention to the sigs

I'm not really sure why you're having trouble multibooting or why you need to switch your BIOS. I boot many different OS from two SATA drives on this box and there is a guy Saikiee who boots 150 OS on one PC. Surely we can fix this

Last edited by Randux; 01-18-2007 at 08:15 AM.
 
Old 01-18-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
jlliagre
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When I add Solaris to a machine with Linux already installed, I simply copy the Linux menu.lst entries from the Linux boot directory to the Solaris one. I never had trouble from that point.

I'm less familiar with Lilo, as it is too Linux centric.

About the ability to update the menu.lst from grub, I suspect the reason is grub has read access to ext2fs, ufs and others, but not write access.
 
Old 01-19-2007, 07:12 PM   #7
luis14
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Quote:
I'm not really sure why you're having trouble multibooting
Some kernels don't recognize the integrated hard drive controller options in my Dimension 8400, requiring me to run ATA mode rather than the AHCI mode my other OSs were installed and operate in.
Quote:
what about installing Solaris as a virtual machine under QEMU from one of your other hosts?
That option had slipped my mind - going to give that a try with VMware Server.

Last edited by luis14; 01-19-2007 at 07:15 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2007, 02:33 AM   #8
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luis14
Some kernels don't recognize the integrated hard drive controller options in my Dimension 8400, requiring me to run ATA mode rather than the AHCI mode my other OSs were installed and operate in.
Latest Solaris Express (not sure about Solaris 10 update 3) support AHCI SATA:

http://blogs.sun.com/pawelblog/date/20070111

Last edited by jlliagre; 01-20-2007 at 02:34 AM.
 
Old 01-20-2007, 11:56 AM   #9
saikee
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Randux,

I don't know what is your desire with the Grub in Solaris.

You can ask Slackware's Lilo to boot Solaris or ask Solaris Grub to boot Slackware. It works both way if you allow their boot loaders to boot each other.

Does it really matter to you that you see Grub momentarily before Solaris in the former and see Lilo momentarily before Slackware in the latter?

I disallowed Solaris to place its Grub in the MBR and so it put Grub inside its root partition, thereby making itself chainloadable by any other boot loader.

Seeing your displeasure I then tied to make Yoper to boot Solaris because it has Lilo 22.5.9. I asked Lilo to include Solaris in exactly the same way Lilo boots a MS system. My Solaris is in hdd1 and so these two line in Yoper's /etc/lilo.conf
Code:
other=/dev/hdd1
label="Solaris"
boots up Solaris's Grub and then hitting enter for the first choice gets me into Solaris.

I have tried to use Solaris Grub to boot "manually" back to Yoper which is in hda16 by commands
Code:
root (hd0,15)
chainloader +1
boot
My Yoper in hda16 has been made chainloadable by a previous Lilo command
Code:
lilo -b /dev/hda16
To me one can put either Solaris or any Linux in the MBR and every system can multi-boot all the rest.

May be you dislike using one boot loader to boot another but that is the only way forward is the boot loader of one system cannot read the filing system of another system. I bet you have no misgiving of doing the same thing with a MS system, but you seem unhappy if it is a Solaris.
 
Old 01-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #10
Randux
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I can't remember how Solaris set up Grub because I have done a lot with boot testing on that box since then. But one thing I do know it did not give me any option to put Grub in the mbr or not. It overwrote the mbr without asking. That is problem #1.

Problem #2 is that when I removed grub from the mbr and used Lilo to boot everything it seemed like Solaris had installed Grub in the Solaris superblock with two options, one to boot normal Solaris and the other to boot in single-user mode (or recovery mode or something). So even if I set up Lilo to boot Solaris as a normal chainloaded OS, it doesn't not work like other normal chainloaded OS because I get a grub menu with two choices (yes I can remove choices or add them here) and it seems stupid to use Lilo to boot Grub. Maybe we can set up Grub to immediately boot Solaris in normal mode without waiting. That would be the best choice except what happens if someone ever needs that special mode? Since Grub's menu.lst is in the broken Solaris machine you can't get to it from outside.

I don't care about what MS does because I don't use it

The problem is not using one bootloader to use another. It's an installer that overwrites a preexisting setup without permission or warning and that doesn't have a seamless 2nd stage boot loader option.

Last edited by Randux; 01-20-2007 at 05:15 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2007, 07:10 PM   #11
saikee
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Randux,

Can you boot to Solaris Grub?

If you can just boot up Solaris to alter its menu.lst with vi.

Solaris cannot even be booted by Linux's Grub directly and because it requires a sub-slice alphabet "a" as the 3rd parameter.

Linux Grub can only call the 1st partition of 1st disk as (hd0,0), as Grub always counts from zero.

Solaris Grub has an additional ability to get inside the subslices with Solaris partition like (hd0,0,a)

If a Linux Grub cannot boot up Solaris directly there is a bit fantasy to expect Lilo can do better. Therefore accepting Lilo booting Solaris Grub first and then let this special Grub to boot up Solaris is the only way forward.

You can ask Solaris Grub to "default" to the 1st choice and reduce the "timeout" to 0 to avoid seeing its Grub, exactly the same manner you use the "default" and timeout statements with Lilo.
 
Old 01-21-2007, 04:07 PM   #12
Randux
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That's the right idea but it still doesn't solve the problems I mentioned. Thanks for the info.
 
Old 01-30-2007, 03:44 PM   #13
KenJennings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saikee
... Solaris cannot even be booted by Linux's Grub directly and because it requires a sub-slice alphabet "a" as the 3rd parameter.

Linux Grub can only call the 1st partition of 1st disk as (hd0,0), as Grub always counts from zero.

Solaris Grub has an additional ability to get inside the subslices with Solaris partition like (hd0,0,a) ...
This thread is interesting. I've meant to add BSD to one of my linux systems for a long time. I also have a copy of Solaris coming to me in the mail.

So far I figure this is what I should do if I want to install all three at the same time:
1) install linux first with a separate /boot partition
2) leave empty partitions for the other OSs,
3) install BSD,
4) then install Solaris,
5) let the Solaris grub overwite grub's config in /boot, then edit it menu.lst, so it will boot all the other OSs.

( ? )

I assume if I were to add Windows XP to this I should start with Windows installed, or install it before Linux.
 
Old 01-30-2007, 03:53 PM   #14
jlliagre
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That looks reasonable.

I also plan to do the same kind of triple (actually quadruple with XP) boot installation soon.

Keep us informed of your success or failure ...
 
Old 01-30-2007, 04:04 PM   #15
saikee
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May I sell the most lethal booting weapon in the world to you guys - The bootable Grub floppy?

Just follow Chapter 3.1 of the Grub Manual. It involves only dd stage1 and stage2 files to a floppy. Its usage has been documented in the last link of my signature.

I recommend it because

(1) Grub is unattached to any OS.
(2) You can use it to boot any system of Dos, Windows (Vista included of course), Linux, BSD and Solaris.
(3) You don't have to rely on the MBR
(4) It seldom hangs and has a host of other commands like displaying the partitions of every hard disk, display any boot configuration file, hide partitions, swap disk order on-the-fly........
(5) You can use it to boot a Linux that hasn't got a boot loader inside.

You you haven't got a floppy drive you can burn a Grub bootable CD to do the same thing. The Link I mentioned aabove has listed two methods to create such a bootable Grub CD.

Get a Grub floppy and leave all your booting problems behind for good.

Last edited by saikee; 01-30-2007 at 04:08 PM.
 
  


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