July 14, 2008

Opensolaris adventure, part 1

I have a shiny new Sun X4240 to play with, and I decided that this would be a good candidate for our first OpenSolaris test box. So, I’m going to try setting it up, and blog how I get on here:

Step 0: Racking the box has got marginally easier; it came with a nice screwless rack that installed with much less tearing of flesh than the usual fiddly little bolt thingies.

Step 1: Ilom. Never actually tried configuring one of these before, but it turns out to be pretty simple if you’ve got the right hardware. A laptop with a USB-to-serial connector plugged into the serial port on the back of the server, a copy of TerraTerm, and we’re in. I’ve got an IP address allocated for the ilom, so I just need to configure it.

cd /SP/network
set pendingipaddress={ip}
set pendingipdiscovery=static
set pendingipgateway={gateway ip}
set pendingipnetmask={netmask}
set commitpending=true
cd ../console

hey presto, I can now log into the ilom over ssh, and better still, I can access the GUI console via the ilom’s java console applet thingy.

Step 2: install OpenSolaris

I downloaded the OpenSolaris 05.08 CD image, burned it, and stuck the resulting CD into the X4240. (actually, I did this before configuring the ilom). When I connected to the GUI console, the LiveCD was already booting. I clicked on ‘install’ and answered a few basic questions about timezones, and a default user, and the install started. The only thing I couldn’t see how to do was created a mirrored boot disk; hopefully that’s something I’ll be able to do post-install

I then let the box reboot. Unfortunately this turned out to be a mistake, as it booted back into the LiveCD (guess I wasn’t paying attention enough to switch it at the grub prompt). I ejected the CD and tried to reboot, but the LiveCD doesn’t seem to be able to run reboot once the CD is ejected (maybe it needs to load a binary off the LiveCD!). A swift power cycle from the ILOM fixed that though. The fans whizzed, and in a remarkably short space of time (compared with Solaris 10) I had a login prompt. Enter the user details from the install screen, and I’m in :-)

So, I have a working system. Now I need to configure TCP/IP, fix the unmirrored root disk, and do something with the remaining 10 disks. Then I’ll be finding out how the new pkg system works for installing stuff, and trying out LU to bring the kernel up-to-date with the latest OpenSolaris build.

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