Solaris LiveCD

by Carla Schroder

LiveCDs are the coolest things since microbrews. (Funny how certain "innovative" proprietary software companies never manage to come up with neat stuff like this.) The latest entry in my Cool LiveCDs List is BeleniX, which is OpenSolaris + KDE and XFCE. Solaris can be a bit of a booger to install. BeleniX lets you try it out without installing it to a hard drive, and it also comes with a nice utility for a hard drive installation. Solaris has a lot of advanced stuff you don't find anywhere else, like DTrace and the ZFS filesystem.

This here article which I wrote my own self, and now shamelessly tout, has some good links for getting up and running:
Tip of the Trade: BeleniX

3 Comments

David
2006-12-07 08:14:42
I have installed Solaris versions 2.6, 7, 8 and 10 on Sparc and UltraSparc, and versions 7 and 10 on Intel, and I found the installation procedure to be fairly straightforward and unremarkable. The fact of the matter is that Solaris is designed as a robust server or scientific computing platform, and is designed to be installed on systems that have some amount of planning and purpose. The live CD is useful for confirming device-driver availability and compatibility, as well as for demonstrations and prototyping, but Solaris has never been designed as something to be casually tossed into a spare machine in the corner.
Caitlyn Martin
2006-12-09 11:00:04
Carla, I've got to agree this is very cool. Thanks for posting.


David, I can give you plenty of examples where Solaris installation even on Sun boxes isn't straightforward. Here's an example: I used to support an agency of the (U.S.) federal government. Our security policy demanded that we load the OS and harden the box before putting it on the network. This was circa 2001. Have you ever tried to load a Netra without having it on the network with a CD-ROM drive Sun never intended it to have? It can be done but straightforward is not how I'd describe it, even for an experienced Solaris admin, which I was and am. Sure, Sun never intended for it to be done that way but there are very good security reasons why you don't want an out of the box install on a network with highly secure machines.


Another good reason to have a Solaris live CD: It's a great way to learn Solaris.

Ken
2007-05-02 12:36:52
Installing Solaris on a machine without a CD-ROM is really quite trivial, all you need is to set up is an install server (not a major under-taking, it revolves around the "add_install_server" and "add_install_client" scripts, and is pretty straight-forward, and hasn't changed in the last few years... Now, the original poster indicated that he couldn't put the machine "on the net" until it was hardened - fine, all you need to do in that case is keep both the install server and the machine to have Solaris installed on it on their own "private" network, which could be as simple as a Cat5e crossover cable or 10/100 switch with at least two or more ports...


As for hardening the server, any needed files (patches, updates, etc.) can be stored locally on the install server and accessed over the local network.