Sunday, October 22, 2006

Installing Solaris - Halfway There...

In the last post when I said "I took the full version home and decided to install NexentaOS", I wasn't telling the whole truth. You could say that I was telling as much of the truth as any politician would; I took the full version of Open Solaris ON (Consolidation 46) home and then went through the long, slow process of installing that.

Why do I say long and slow? Well, for those of you have never installed a Solaris consolidation, if you do so by CDs you get to wait for about 5 CDs worth of data to be copied to your hard disk. It's painfully slow, dull and boring and renders your computer utterly useless.

In fact, I blame it on Solaris that I finally went and bought a DVD reader!

After at least 45 minutes, I had Solaris installed. Given that the NexentaOS LiveCD gave me network, I kind of assumed that Solaris itself would also give me some type of network. Sure enough, Solaris installed, my Gnome problem mysteriously disappeared (i.e. my computer actually booted into the JDS properly) and I lacked network.

Herein lay a problem, remembering that:
  1. I had never successfully managed a Solaris installation in my life
  2. I only had access to readonly fixed media (no floppy drives, no CD/DVD burners)
  3. I had no flash memory devices of any description
Consequently, although I found the Via Rhine II drivers:
  1. I needed the network enabled to transfer the drivers
  2. To enable the network I needed the drivers
I toyed with the idea of using the NexentaOS Live CD to transfer the drivers. This idea didn't work primarily because I had no idea, at the time, how Solaris named its disk slices. To me, the name:
  1. /devices/pci\@0\,0/pci-ide\@11\,1/ide\@0/cmdk\@0\,0:a
...was simply unguessable [that incidentally is the second slice in the first partition of the master device on my primary IDE channel].

Therefore, after all that time, I thought: stuff this, I'll use NexentaOS.

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