Preinstallation Planning

Preinstallation Planning

The basic process of installing Solaris remains the same, regardless of the installation method selected. A number of planning tasks must be performed prior to installation. These tasks include:

  • Choosing the appropriate installation method from the Web Start Wizard, JumpStart, suninstall, and Live Upgrade.

  • Deciding whether or not to upgrade an existing installation or install the operating system cleanly. If your system is currently running Solaris 2.6, 7, or 8, an upgrade can be performed. If your system is running Solaris 2.5.1 or earlier, or if it is not running Solaris at all, you need to perform an initial installation. An upgrade preserves many of the system settings from a previous installation, and generally takes less time to complete than a completely new install. If an upgrade is being performed, the current system should be backed up by using ufsdump or something similar so that it can be restored in the event of an upgrade failure.

  • Analyzing your existing hardware devices to determine whether or not Solaris 9 will run on your system without an upgrade. For example, Solaris 8 on SPARC would run with only 64MB RAM, but at least 96MB of RAM is required to run Solaris 9. To perform an upgrade installation, extra RAM would need to be added to an existing Solaris 8 system with only 64MB RAM.

  • Determining whether your storage devices have sufficient capacity to install Solaris 9 and all required third-party applications. A complete Solaris 9 installation requires 2.4GB of disk space, if OEM support is included, and 2.3GB if OEM support is excluded. A Developer installation requires at least 1.9GB, while the End User installation requires 1.6GB. In addition, an amount of swap space equivalent to twice your physical memory should be factored into the sum, along with third-party and user disk space requirements. This is not a requirement, but a sound practice.

  • Choosing an appropriate installation medium. Possibilities include a JumpStart, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or net-based installation from a remotely mounted CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. For large organizations, it’s often convenient to set up a single network server with an NFS-exported DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive that is publicly available for mounting. In addition, large organizations might also choose a customized JumpStart installation, which also requires network access to a centralized boot server. Smaller organizations will almost certainly use a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive attached to the local system to be installed.

  • Gathering all of the necessary system configuration information. This includes the system hostname, IP address, subnet mask, name service type, name server IP address, default router IP address, time zone, locale, and proxy server IP address. These values, and when they are required, will be discussed next.

By undertaking a comprehensive preinstallation review, a successful installation can be assured. In addition to making decisions about the installation type and gathering basic system data, it’s important to understand the network context in which the system will operate. The network context can be defined by answering several key questions:

  • Will the system be networked? If so, you will need an IP address, subnet mask, and default router (unless the system itself is intended to be a router).

  • Will the system use the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol? If so, you will not need to supply an IP address, as a lease over an IP address will automatically be granted to you at boot time.

  • Will the system use IPv6, the newest version of the Internet Protocol?

  • Will the system form part of a Kerberos v5 realm, to allow centralized authentication? If so, you will need the name of the realm, the administration server’s IP address, and the address of the primary KDC.

  • Will the system use the Domain Name Service (DNS)? If so, you will need the IP address of a primary and secondary DNS server, which is authoritative for the local domain.

  • Will the system use Network Information Service (NIS) or NIS+? If so, the IP address or the hostname of the local NIS or NIS+ server will need to be supplied.

  • Will the system make use of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) for centralized authentication and authorization? If so, you will need to supply the profile server’s IP address or hostname.

  • Will the system use a proxy server to access the Internet? If so, the IP address or hostname of the proxy server will be required.

Answers to these questions will be required to completely configure the system during installation.

Disk Space Planning

The question of how much disk space you require to install Solaris 9 can only be answered by examining the purpose of the server. For a SPARC system, with 512MB RAM, a complete installation will require 2.6GB for software and 1024MB for swap, as well as space for user data and applications. Extra disk space must be set aside for special features, such as internationalization, and an estimate needs to be made of the size of print and mail spooling directories which lie under /var. Although the default size of /var is usually small in the installation program, mail and print servers will need to increase this, by allowing for a reasonable allocation of spooling space per user.

Caution 

Since a full /var file system caused by a large print job can affect other tasks such as mail, it’s important to overestimate rather than underestimate the size of /var.

In terms of applications, an Oracle database server, for example, will require at least 1–2GB of disk space, for software packages, mount points, and table data. For a development system with multiple users, a projection based on the maximum quota for each user should be computed. For example, if 50 users are allowed 100MB disk space each, then at least of 5GB of disk space must be available for their exclusive use—as a rule, if users have quotas imposed on them, they should always be guaranteed access to that space. If data on a server is mission critical, consideration should be given to installing some volume management software, as described in Chapter 21.

In terms of specific layouts, the typical file system layout for a SPARC architecture system follows a set of customary, although not required, disk slice allocations. Slice 0 holds the root partition, while slice 1 is allocated to swap space. For systems with changing virtual memory requirements, it might be better to use a swap file on the file system, rather than allocating an entire slice for swap. Slice 2 often refers to the entire disk, while /export on slice 3 traditionally holds older versions of the operating system, which are used by client systems with lower performance (for example, Classic or LX systems that use the trivial FTP daemon, tftpd, to download their operating system upon boot). These systems may also use slice 4 as exported swap space. Export may also be used for file sharing using the Network File System (NFS). Slice 5 holds the /opt file system, which is the default location under Solaris 9 for local packages installed using the pkgadd command. Under earlier versions of Solaris, the /usr/local file system held local packages, and this convention is still used by many sites. The system package file system /usr is usually located on slice 6, while /export/home usually contains user home directories on slice 7. Again, earlier systems located user home directories under /home, but because this is used by the automounter program in Solaris 9, some contention can be expected.

The typical file system layout for an Intel architecture system also follows a set of customary, although not required, disk slice allocations. Slice 0 again holds the root partition, while slice 1 is also allocated to swap space. Slice 2 continues to refer to the entire disk, while /export on slice 3 again holds older versions of the operating system, which are used by client systems, and slice 4 contains exported swap space for these clients. The local package file system /opt is still located on slice 5, and the system package file system /usr is again located on slice 6. Slice 7 contains the user home directories on /export/home. However, the two extra slices serve very different purposes: boot information for Solaris is located on slice 8, and is known as the “boot slice,” while slice 9 provides space for alternative disk blocks, and is known as the “alternative slice.”

Device Names

Among the most challenging aspects of understanding Solaris hardware are the device names and references used by Solaris to manage devices. Solaris uses a very specific set of naming conventions to associate physical devices with instance names on the operating system. In addition, devices can also be referred to by their device name, which is associated with a device file created in the /dev directory after configuration. For example, a hard disk may have the physical device name/pci@1f,0/pci@1,1/ide@3/dad@0,0, which is associated with the device file /dev/dsk/c0t0d0. The benefit of the more complex Solaris device names and physical device references is that it is easy to interpret the characteristics of each device by looking at its name. For the disk example given above, we can see that the IDE hard drive is located on a PCI bus at target 0. When we view the amount of free disk space on the system, for example, it is easy to identify slices on the same disk by looking at the device name:

# df -k
Filesystem            kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
/proc                      0       0       0     0%    /proc
/dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0    1982988  615991 1307508    33%    /
fd                         0       0       0     0%    /dev/fd
/dev/dsk/c0t0d0s3    1487119  357511 1070124    26%    /usr
swap                  182040     416  181624     1%    /tmp

Here, we can see that /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 and /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s3 are slice 0 and slice 3 of the disk /dev/dsk/c0t0d0. If you’re ever unsure of which physical disk is associated with a specific disk device name, the format command will tell you:

# format
Searching for disks...done
AVAILABLE DISK SELECTIONS:
0. c1t3d0 <<SUN2.1G cyl 2733 alt 2 hd 19 sec 80>>
          /pci@1f,0/pci@1/scsi@1/sd@3,0

Here, we can see that physical device /pci@1f,0/pci@1/scsi@1/sd@3,0 is matched with the disk device /dev/dsk/c1t3d0. In addition, a list of mappings between physical devices to instance names is always kept in the /etc/path_to_inst file. More information on device naming conventions can be found in Chapter 18.

SPARC Preinstallation

Prior to installing or upgrading Solaris on a SPARC system, it is suggested that a few basic checks of the system be performed, to obtain data necessary for installation (such as the device name of the boot disk) and to verify that all system components are functional. The three most commonly performed tasks are checking network connectivity, checking the disks that have been detected on the SCSI bus, and reviewing how much memory is installed.

If you are booting over a network, or if your system needs to access a DNS, NIS/NIS+, Kerberos, or LDAP server, and you want support for these services to be installed, your network connection will need to be operational. In order to ensure that packets are being sent and received to your system, you can use the watch-net command:

ok watch-net
Internal Loopback test - succeeded
External Loopback test - succeeded
Looking for Ethernet packets.
‘.’ is a good packet. ‘X’ is a bad packet.
Type any key to stop
......X.........XXXX.....….XX............

If a large number of packets are showing as bad, then you should check for hardware errors on your network cable, and/or use a packet analyzer to determine if there is a structural fault on the local area network. In order to check whether or not all of the disk devices attached to the system have been correctly detected, you can use the probe- scsi command to print a list of available devices.

Intel Preinstallation

To install Solaris Intel, the first step is to switch on the system and insert the Solaris 9 Installation CD-ROM into the drive. If you have a high-resolution graphics monitor attached to the system, the GUI-based Configuration Assistant will start. Alternatively, if you are using a low-resolution terminal to connect, the Configuration Assistant will be text-based.

After the BIOS messages have been displayed, the following message will be displayed:

SunOS Secondary Boot
Solaris Intel Platform Edition Booting System
Running Configuration Assistant...

The Configuration Assistant is responsible for performing a number of preinstallation tasks, and must be executed prior to the Web Start Wizard or any other installation program. At the opening screen, simply press F2 to proceed with the installation, unless you are performing an upgrade.

The first task performed by the Configuration Assistant is determining the bus types supported by your system, and collecting data about the devices installed in your system. During this process, the following message will be displayed on your screen:

Determining bus types and gathering hardware configuration data ...

After all of the devices have been discovered by scanning, a list of identified devices is printed on the screen:

The following devices have been identified on this system. To identify 
devices not on this list or to modify device characteristics, choose Device 
Task. Platform types may be included in this list.

     ISA: Floppy disk controller
     ISA: IDE controller
     ISA: IDE controller
     ISA: Motherboard
     ISA: PS/2 Mouse
     ISA: PnP bios: 16550-compatible serial controller
     ISA: PnP bios: 8514-compatible display controller
     ISA: PnP bios: Audio device
     ISA: System keyboard (US-English)

If you are satisfied that the devices required for installation have been correctly detected (for example, video card and RAM size), you may press F2 again to proceed with booting. Alternatively, you may perform several other tasks on this screen, including:

  • Viewing and editing devices

  • Setting the keyboard type

  • Saving the current configuration

  • Deleting a saved configuration

  • Setting the default console device

If your system does not already have a UFS file system installed, or if it is a completely new system, you will need to use fdisk to create new partitions at this point so that your system may be installed. However, if you have an existing Linux system that you wish to dual boot with Solaris, you must ensure that the Linux swap partition is not confused with a Solaris UFS device, because they have the same type within fdisk. You should be able to distinguish Linux swap partitions by their maximum size (127MB). The following page will be displayed during booting and prior to the execution of fdisk:

<<<<<< Current Boot Parameters >>>>>>
Boot path: /pci@1,0/pci-ide@6,1/ide@2/sd@1,0:a
Boot args: kernel/unix
<<<<<< Starting Installation >>>>>>
SunOS Release 5.9 Version Generic 32-bit
Copyright 1983-2001 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Configuring /dev and /devices
Using RPC Bootparams for network configuration information.
Solaris Web Start installer
English has been selected as the language in which to perform the install.
Starting the Web Start Solaris installer
Solaris installer is searching the system’s hard disks for a
location to place the Solaris installer software.
No suitable Solaris fdisk partition was found.
Solaris Installer needs to create a Solaris fdisk partition
on your root disk, c0d0, that is at least 395 MB.
WARNING: All information on the disk will be lost.
May the Solaris Installer create a Solaris fdisk [y,n,?]

You should heed the warning that all data will be lost if you choose to overwrite it with fdisk.

Disk Partitions

If you consent to using fdisk, you will see a screen similar to the following:

Total disk size is 2048 cylinders
Cylinder size is 4032 (512 byte) blocks
Cylinders
Partition  Status  Type  Start  End  Length  %
=========  ======  ====  =====  ==== ======  ===
1                  UNIX   0     1023  1024   50
2                  DOS    1024  2047  1024   50
SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. Create a partition
2. Specify the active partition
3. Delete a partition
4. Exit (update disk configuration and exit)
5. Cancel (exit without updating disk configuration)
Enter Selection:

In this example, we can see that there are two existing partitions occupying 1,204 cylinders each. Partition 1 is a UNIX partition (perhaps from SCO UNIX), while partition 2 is an MS-DOS partition. If we want to use the entire disk for Solaris, we would need to select option 3 on this menu twice, to delete each existing partition in turn. Alternatively, if we wished to retain the UNIX partition but delete the MS-DOS partition, we would use option 3 only once, and select partition 2 for deletion.

After you have freed up space, if necessary, you will be required to select option 1 to create a partition. You will then be required to select option A from the following menu to create a Solaris partition:

Select the partition type to create:
1=SOLARIS 2=UNIX 3=PCIXOS 4=Other
5=DOS12 6=DOS16 7=DOSEXT 8=DOSBIG
A=x86 Boot B=Diagnostic 0=Exit?

Note that it is not possible to run Solaris from a non-UFS partition; however, it is possible to mount non-Solaris file systems after the system has been installed. Next, you need to specify the size of the partition, in either the number of cylinders or the percentage of the disk to be used. In this example, we would enter either 100% or 2048 cylinders:

Specify the percentage of disk to use for this partition
(or type "c" to specify the size in cylinders).

Next, you will need to indicate whether or not the target partition is going to be activated. This means that the system will attempt to boot the default operating system loader from this partition. If you are going to use the Solaris boot manager, you may activate this partition. However, if you are using Boot Magic or LILO to manage existing Microsoft Windows or Linux partitions, and you wish to continue using either of these systems, you should answer no.

After you have created the partition, the fdisk menu will be updated and displayed as follows:

2 Active x86 Boot 8 16 9 1
Total disk size is 2048 cylinders
Cylinder size is 4032 (512 byte) blocks
Cylinders
Partition  Status  Type       Start  End  Length  %
=========  ======  =========  =====  ==== ======  ===
2          Active   x86 Boot   0     2047 2048    100
SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. Create a partition
2. Specify the active partition
3. Delete a partition
4. Exit (update disk configuration and exit)
5. Cancel (exit without updating disk configuration)
Enter Selection:

At this point, you should select option 4. You will then be prompted with the following message:

No suitable Solaris fdisk partition was found.
Solaris Installer needs to create a Solaris fdisk partition
on your root disk, c0d0, that is at least 395 MB.
WARNING: All information on the disk will be lost.
May the Solaris Installer create a Solaris fdisk [y,n,?]

Since you’ve just created the appropriate partition using fdisk, you should type n here. You will then see the following message:

To restart the installation, run /sbin/cd0_install.

After restarting the installer, you will see the formatting display shown in the next section.

Disk Formatting and Virtual Memory

If your system already has a UFS partition, or if you have just created one, you will see a screen similar to the following:

<<<<<< Current Boot Parameters >>>>>>
Boot path: /pci@1,0/pci-ide@6,1/ide@2/sd@1,0:a
Boot args: kernel/unix
<<<<<< Starting Installation >>>>>>
SunOS Release 5.9 Version Generic 32-bit
Copyright 1983-2001 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Configuring /dev and /devices
Using RPC Bootparams for network configuration information.
Solaris Web Start installer
English has been selected as the language in which to perform the install.
Starting the Web Start Solaris installer
Solaris installer is searching the system’s hard disks for a
location to place the Solaris installer software.
The default root disk is /dev/dsk/c0d0.
The Solaris installer needs to format
/dev/dsk/c0d0 to install Solaris.
WARNING: ALL INFORMATION ON THE DISK WILL BE ERASED!
Do you want to format /dev/dsk/c0d0? [y,n,?,q]

At this point, you simply enter y, and the disk will be formatted as required, so that new partitions may be created. You will then be prompted to enter the size of the swap partition:

NOTE: The swap size cannot be changed during filesystem layout.
Enter a swap partition size between 384MB and 1865MB, default = 512MB [?]

You will then be asked to confirm that the swap slice can be installed at the beginning of the partition:

The Installer prefers that the swap slice is at the beginning of the
disk. This will allow the most flexible filesystem partitioning later in the 
installation.
Can the swap slice start at the beginning of the disk [y,n,?,q]

After creating the swap partition, the other slices can be created on the target disk, since the installation program requires a UFS file system to install correctly. However, the system must first be rebooted clean to perform the layout:

The Solaris installer will use disk slice, /dev/dsk/c0d0s1.
After files are copied, the system will automatically reboot, and
installation will continue.
Please Wait...
Copying mini-root to local disk....done.
Copying platform specific files....done.
Preparing to reboot and continue installation.
Need to reboot to continue the installation
Please remove the boot media (floppy or cdrom) and press Enter
Note: If the boot media is cdrom, you must wait for the system
to reset in order to eject.

After you press the ENTER key, you will see the standard Solaris shutdown messages, including:

Syncing file systems... 49 done
rebooting...

Boot Manager

After ejecting the installation CD-ROM from your drive, you will see the standard Solaris boot manager menu:

SunOS - Intel Platform Edition Primary Boot Subsystem
Current Disk Partition Information
Part#   Status  Type      Start  Length
=======================================
1       Active  X86 BOOT  0      2048
Please select the partition you wish to boot:

After you enter 1 and hit the ENTER key, you will see the following message:

SunOS Secondary Boot
Solaris Intel Platform Edition Booting System
Running Configuration Assistant...
Autobooting from boot path: /pci@1,0/pci-ide@6,1/ide@2/sd@1,0:a
If the system hardware has changed, or to boot from a different
device, interrupt the autoboot process by pressing ESC.

A few seconds later, the boot interpreter is initialized:

Initializing system
Please wait...
<<<<<< Current Boot Parameters >>>>>>
Boot path: /pci@0,0/pci-ide@7,1/ata@1/cmdk@0,0:b
Boot args:
Type b [file-name] [boot-flags] <<ENTER>> to boot with options
or i <<ENTER>> to enter boot interpreter
or <<ENTER>> to boot with defaults
<<<<<< timeout in 5 seconds >>>>>>
Select (b)oot or (i)nterpreter:
SunOS Release 5.9 Version Generic 32-bit
Copyright 1983-2001 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Configuring /dev and /devices
Using RPC Bootparams for network configuration information.

Next, you will need to use kdmconfig to set up your graphics card and monitor, so that the Web Start Wizard can display its windows correctly. To start kdmconfig, press F2, after which you will be taken to the kdmconfig introduction screen. After pressing F2 again, you will be asked to perform the kdmconfig view/edit system, configuration window. Here, you can make changes to the settings detected for your system. If your system is listed on the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), you won’t have any problems with hardware detection.



Part I: Solaris 9 Operating Environment, Exam I
 
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