JumpStart is an installation technology that allows a group of systems to be installed concurrently, using a standard file system layout and software package selection. For sites with hundreds of systems that are maintained by a small group of staff, it is the ideal tool for upgrading or reinstalling systems. For example, when a staff member leaves, his or her workstation can be simply reinstalled by using JumpStart, rather than assuming that no system software was modified or that a Trojan horse was not installed. By enforcing a standard operating environment (SOE), there is no need to individually configure every system that needs to be installed, greatly reducing the administrative burden on system administrators.

When using JumpStart on a large number of clients, installation can be expedited by using a sysidcfg file, which defines a number of standard parameters for installation. The sysidcfg file can contain configuration entries for the following properties:

  • Current date and time

  • DHCP server IP address

  • Local domain name

  • Graphics card

  • Local hostname

  • Local IP address

  • IPv6 support

  • Locale

  • Security policy

  • Monitor type

  • DNS server

  • NIS/NIS+ server

  • LDAP server

  • Netmask

  • Network interface

  • Pointing device

  • Power management

  • Root password

  • Security policy

  • Terminal type

  • Time zone

The following is a sample sysidcfg file:

network_interface=le0 {netmask= protocol_ipv6=yes}
name_service=NIS {domain_name=cassowary.net name_server=nis(}

Here, we can see that the system locale has been set to standard U.S. English, the time zone set to the U.S. East coast, the time server set to, and the network interface running IPv6 is set to /dev/le0. While the default terminal and root password are also set, the name service and security policy have not been set, because these might change from system to system. In addition, the name service selected is NIS, with the NIS server set to nis.cassowary.net ( More details on JumpStart are given in Chapter 30.

Part I: Solaris 9 Operating Environment, Exam I