I decided to take a look at Catalyst on Solaris. Having done a bit of work with it on Mac OSX, I discovered it wasn't that easy to get going on Solaris with the stock Perl. Even using cat-install from ShadowCat didn't render the easy result I'd experienced using MacPorts. After a few hours battling with CPAN, I've managed to come up with this list of modules to get Catalyst up and running.

The reader should note this was done on Solaris 10 update 6, on x86 hardware (well, in VMware actually).

I came across an intriguing problem today whilst trying to rebuild a server. The server was physically located somewhere I couldn't utilise a boot server, so I decided to quickly throw together a WAN Boot server (which I won't go into here, but see ref [1] below).

Having already taken a flash archive (flar) of a Solaris 10 update 6 system the intention was to install this using WAN Boot onto a fresh system, with ZFS root. The first time I ran the install, it failed with a core dump in pfinstall. A bit of digging around [2] showed that the cause of my problem was the lack of support for flash installs and ZFS root. The only option with WAN Boot though is flash.

Hmm. So, I wondered if it would be possible to do the flash install over WAN boot to a standard UFS filesystem, then migrate it to ZFS. The answer is yes! [3]

With the target system having two disks, I did a flar install to one of the disks, then created a zpool with the other disk in when the system had booted (first of all I made sure the disk had a VTOC label rather than an EFI label, using 'format -e').

Once I had my zpool, I then did a LiveUpgrade of the system to the ZFS root as per the documentation in reference [3] below.

When the machine had booted from the new ZFS rooted boot environment (BE) I removed the previous BE with ludelete, formatted the first drive again to ensure it contained a VTOC label, then added it to the zpool with 'zpool attach rpool c1t0d0s0 c1t1d0s0'. Oh, I had a weird problem here with adding the disk to the pool. ZFS kept complaining "cannot attach c1t1d0s0 to c1t0d0s0: device is too small", which I knew was impossible as they were the same type of disk. A quick "prtvtoc /dev/rdsk/c1t0d0s0 | fmthard -s - /dev/rdsk/c1t1d0s0" fixed this and the zpool attach worked just fine.

Sorted. System installed over WAN Boot and converted to ZFS root.


[1] Guide to WAN Boot

[2] ZFS root doesn't support Flash install

[3] Migrating a UFS root to a ZFS root


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