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Old 07-04-2008, 11:15 AM   #1
shroomy_bee
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Solaris Developer Express 1/08 - filesystem partition & some GRUB questions


More than annoyingly, I wrote this long post here, then my finger almost touched some keyboard button and somehow the whole browser decided to close down.....so excuse any possible clipped tone to this post:

when formatting a new hdd, what's the best filesystem to format to for a Solaris install?

I'd be using Gparted, so preferably a partition type I can do from there.


GRUB:

are the $kernel, $module, $ISADIR (the Unix loaders replacing the multiboot command, if I followed Sun's documentation correctly) specific to Solaris, or are they recognised by GRUB in general?

I'm just wondering if it matters what order I install the OSs in, as I intend to put Solaris on an hdd with some other linux's.

Does Solaris need to be the active boot partition (the MBR equivalent) when it's alongside linux(s)?

and does it make any difference in terms of editing GRUB later, whether Solaris is installed first, or after any linux installs?


======================================


In the Sun pages it says not to install Solaris after any linuxswap partitions - I think it means don't physically place the partition for Solaris after any linuxswaps? Or will Solaris overwrite any existing linuxswap partition, regardless of where it is placed on the hard drive?
 
Old 07-04-2008, 11:30 AM   #2
shroomy_bee
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Forgot one:

64-bit!

I took this to mean: you have a 64-bit CPU, regardless of vendor, so therefore you should be able to install a 64-bit OS....

but there appears to be reference to only AMD 64-bit CPUs, and not to any of Intels?

(similar thing noticed with 64-bit Ubuntu, I was going to install it but it has 'AMD' in its title or description, which I don't have right now - do those 64-bit OSs only work on AMD processors?)
 
Old 07-04-2008, 06:11 PM   #3
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomy_bee View Post
when formatting a new hdd, what's the best filesystem to format to for a Solaris install?
ZFS of course.
Quote:
I'd be using Gparted, so preferably a partition type I can do from there.
Create a Solaris partition with gparted. The installer will take care of laying out filesystems inside it.
Quote:
GRUB:

are the $kernel, $module, $ISADIR (the Unix loaders replacing the multiboot command, if I followed Sun's documentation correctly) specific to Solaris, or are they recognised by GRUB in general?
They are Grub extensions supported only by the Grub bundled with Solaris.
Quote:
I'm just wondering if it matters what order I install the OSs in, as I intend to put Solaris on an hdd with some other linux's.
I always install Solaris last in multiboot configuration although it isn't mandatory. If you install Linux later, make sure it won't touch the MBR.
Quote:
Does Solaris need to be the active boot partition (the MBR equivalent) when it's alongside linux(s)?
Solaris partition being the active one used to be a requirement. I'm not sure it's still the case with recent Solaris builds though but it's quite possible.
Quote:
and does it make any difference in terms of editing GRUB later, whether Solaris is installed first, or after any linux installs?
What matters is to use Solaris grub to boot Solaris as the ones bundled with Linux distributions can't do it.
Quote:
In the Sun pages it says not to install Solaris after any linuxswap partitions - I think it means don't physically place the partition for Solaris after any linuxswaps? Or will Solaris overwrite any existing linuxswap partition, regardless of where it is placed on the hard drive?
The issue is a partition Id clash. If you use a Linux swap partition, just put in in an extended partition and there will be no problem.
Quote:
64-bit!

I took this to mean: you have a 64-bit CPU, regardless of vendor, so therefore you should be able to install a 64-bit OS....

but there appears to be reference to only AMD 64-bit CPUs, and not to any of Intels?

(similar thing noticed with 64-bit Ubuntu, I was going to install it but it has 'AMD' in its title or description, which I don't have right now - do those 64-bit OSs only work on AMD processors?)
Outside Itaniums which are unsupported anyway, 64 bits Intel are using the AMD 64 bit architecture.

Solaris for x86 is a single distribution that supports both 32 and 64 bit kernels which you can choose at boot time. When on 64 bit mode, you can run 32 bit applications.
 
Old 07-05-2008, 05:27 AM   #4
Reisswolf
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Quote:
What matters is to use Solaris grub to boot Solaris as the ones bundled with Linux distributions can't do it.
Well, I don't think that is the case either.

Recently I completely reconfigured my workstation. I got rid of SXDE 01/08 and Fedora 8, and I installed Fedora 9, OpenSolaris and CentOS.

I first installed OpenSolaris, then CentOS, and finally Fedora 9 (which tends to be my main distribution). During Fedora's installation I was asked about Grub's settings. I chose /dev/sda<n> as a partition with an operating system in it (OpenSolaris), and proceeded with the rest of the installation in the same manner as before.

Everything worked. Now, when I boot up, I first see Fedora's Grub list, in which I have also entered the ext3 parition information and kernel location of the CentOS images. There is an entry in Fedora's grub for OpenSolaris, selecting which brings up the OpenSolaris grub screen and causes Solaris to be chainloaded.

When I view grub.conf in Fedora, I see the OpenSolaris entry with "root (hd<n-1>, <m>)" and "chainloader+1" entered as specifications. This brings up OpenSolaris without any problem.

But in the past, when I had manually add those very same lines in Fedora's (and Gentoo's) grub.conf, I was unable to boot into Solaris. The lines entered were exactly the same as those generated by the machine.

Go figure!
 
Old 07-05-2008, 06:41 AM   #5
coolster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre View Post
What matters is to use Solaris grub to boot Solaris as the ones bundled with Linux distributions can't do it.
The issue is a partition Id clash. If you use a Linux swap partition, just put in in an extended partition and there will be no problem.
Complementary to this:
ID Name
82 Solaris x86

82 Linux swap

Solaris creates a single partition with id 0x82, then uses Sun disk labels within the partition to split it further. Starting from 2005, newly installed systems will use 0xbf.
As you can see, the somewhat older Solaris partition id 0x82 has the same id as Linux swap, which might interfere with your partition planning.

Cheers, C
 
Old 07-05-2008, 09:19 AM   #6
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisswolf View Post
Well, I don't think that is the case either.
Booting and chainloading are different tasks. Any grub is normally able to chainload another grub or bootloader but only Solaris enhanced grub is able to boot Solaris thanks to its UFS and ZFS support.
What I commonly do is copying the Linux grub entries to the Solaris menu.lst file.
 
Old 07-06-2008, 11:50 AM   #7
shroomy_bee
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Thanks very much. I looked all over Sun's documents and it never said to use zfs......it does suggest formatting to a linuxswap that can be written over during the install, and at a blog page there (about using Partition Magic, so different set of circumstances anyway) suggested using a FAT16 for the installation to overwrite, as NTFS wouldn't be picked up).

Quote:
But in the past, when I had manually add those very same lines in Fedora's (and Gentoo's) grub.conf, I was unable to boot into Solaris. The lines entered were exactly the same as those generated by the machine.
Were the lines also put into Solaris' GRUB config? - if not, that might be why it couldn't boot. Also, looking over Sun's pages again it'd seem that Solaris does indeed need to be the active partition or it won't load up - if the linux's GRUB menus were showing up first, it suggests one of them is active instead. Not sure what order the Solaris - Fedora - Gentoo install was done in though.

Doing the openSolaris install first means the chainloader in the linux's GRUB entries is going to refer back to the GRUB bootloader in openSolaris - I *think* this is similar to when multibooting with GRUB when a Windows OS is present. The first OS (ie - at the beginning of the hard drives space) gets the 'stage 1' GRUB write in what Windows systems calls the MBR part.

For instance, I got a old drive with two different Windows OSs already on it - one of course being the first one installed, is the one with the MBR and is also active. I wanted to put a linux on it, so instead of just reformatting the whole thing (which I couldn't do the way I wanted anyway, as the 2nd Windows was NTFS inside an extended partition & Gparted doesn't change the extendeds into anything) I overwrote some of the NTFS to ext2 and installed the linux there -

so anyway, in order to leave the first Windows bootable (just for the hey of it) I had to get GRUB to install to the MBR that is already there, which it then chainloads Windows from.

(btw - Puppy 4.00, the linux I installed, makes the above really easy to get done - you do have to pick the right options, but it offers things like 'writing to the MBR' (with appropriate warnings) as an option in a kind of GRUB wizard.)
 
Old 07-06-2008, 01:04 PM   #8
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomy_bee View Post
Thanks very much. I looked all over Sun's documents and it never said to use zfs
Latest Solaris Express releases and installer supports ZFS as root filesystem. I strongly suggest going that way and forget about the old one. Pick the text installer to get that option.
Quote:
......it does suggest formatting to a linuxswap that can be written over during the install, and at a blog page there (about using Partition Magic, so different set of circumstances anyway) suggested using a FAT16 for the installation to overwrite, as NTFS wouldn't be picked up).
Don't confuse formatting and setting a partition id. Solaris will install where you tell it to, just have a primary partition available for it and no primary partition used as linux swap.
 
Old 07-08-2008, 04:53 PM   #9
shroomy_bee
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I believed you about zfs - I had read that is format to use for Solaris in GRUBs pages, but when I went back to their website none of that documentation was there anymore.
I wasn't aware of any older versions of what Sun was saying (about what to format the hdd to).
Just being expansive about what their site said - not doubting your advice.

Not sure what you mean about partition id re: the quote there, but whatever; it makes more sense now anyway. Again, I was just mentioning some things Sun's website did have on it over the last couple of weeks.
 
Old 07-08-2008, 05:57 PM   #10
jlliagre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomy_bee View Post
I believed you about zfs - I had read that is format to use for Solaris in GRUBs pages, but when I went back to their website none of that documentation was there anymore.
Can you provide more details about precisely what URL you were accessing with content that disappeared ?
 
Old 07-10-2008, 08:37 AM   #11
shroomy_bee
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I wish I could.....it wasn't even on this hdd / OS, and may even have been on someone else's computer entirely. I mistakenly said GRUBs pages there; I meant Gparteds documentation,

however I also blundered something else slightly as it wasn't (couldn't have been) zfs the website said to use for Solaris, because Gparted doesn't do zfs; I was thinking of xfs, which it can format to in some circumstances.
So I'm unsure exactly what partition format it said to use for Solaris,

although I presume that if the format is linuxswap then the Solaris install will overwrite that as zfs. It may even be better to leave it unformatted then? if the Solaris install allows any unformatted space to be assigned it.
 
  


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