Monday, December 12, 2011

Notes on upgrading to Solaris 11

This is just a posting about the snags I encountered while upgrading from Solaris 11 Express to Solaris 11 11/11. The biggest problem that I encountered is that I simply could not upgrade using the package upgrade utility. It would install everything fine, but once rebooted grub would complain about a missing kernel (which has a Xen label buried in it). So I decided to try to use Oracle Solaris 11 11/11 Automated Installer. That would be mistake number 2.

The automated installer not only blew away all my partitions, but, I discovered painfully, is missing more than half the packages needed to get X running (note to Oracle: I hate you). My first thought was to download the repo images on the download page and the missing binaries would be on there. No go.

The solution to getting X working on Solaris is making sure your network connection works (at least the automated installer got the config files right - mostly) and using pkg list -a. You will need to install practically everything remotely related to X including the themes and the display drivers (why does an over the wire automated installer NOT do this for me?) before you can get X working. Once you've got the X working you can then leisurely install any and all remaining packages using the graphical installer.

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