Installing and configuring a Solaris JumpStart server

I have setup jumpstart server with  Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 s10s_u10wos_17b SPARC on this weekend.

1. Preparation

Configure some NFS-mountable directories to store the contents of the Solaris installation media and some additional config configuration files:

# mkdir /export/install/
# mkdir /export/

Add the following lines to the /etc/dfs/dfstab file to make these directories shareable:

# vi /etc/dfs/dfstab
share -F nfs -o ro,anon=0 /export/install
share -F nfs -o ro,anon=0 /export/config

Finally to share (and verify) these directories, use the following command:

# shareall

Finally, you will need to mount the CDROM/DVD containing the Solaris media. This should happen automatically as soon as you insert the disc in the drive (if your system has the Solaris Volume Manager running on it) but strangely, it did not for me. I actually had to restart the Volume Manager to get the DVD mounted:

# /etc/init.d/volmgt stop
# /etc/init.d/volmgt start

Now use the mount or df command(s) to verify that the CD/DVD has been mounted. For the record, here is a useful way to determine the device name for your CD/DVD drive:

# ls -al /dev/sr*
xrwxrwx 1 root root 12 May 2 16:42 /dev/sr0 -> dsk/c2t0d0s2
# mount -F hsfs -o ro /dev/dsk/c2t0d0s2 /mnt/cdrom

However, the Solaris 10 DVD contains several UFS slices and cannot be mounted in this way.

2. Installing the Jumpstart Server

Assuming that your CD/DVD has been mounted on /cdrom, here is how to install the core of the config server:

# cd /cdrom/cdrom0/s0/Solaris_10/Tools
# ./setup_install_server /export/install

This will copy the appropriate contents from the CD/DVD to the relevant directories within /export/install/. This part of the process can take some time to complete so be patient.

3. Copying up the config sample configuration files

There are several configuration files within a config server and the Solaris CD contains some samples to get you started. We created a directory for these earlier but must copy them from the CD now:

# cp -r /cdrom/cdrom0/s0/Solaris_10/Misc/config_sample/* /export/config

4. Setting up the config configuration files

As the reference site indicates, there are several files that need to be configured before you can attempt to initiate a network installation from a client, namely:


This file is mandatory and helps to define some rules to specify what (type of) clients are allowed to use this install server and what to do before and after the installation. I created a single rule as follows:

network  XX.XX.XX.0  && arch sparc – profile1 –

which says that only SPARC systems in the XX.XX.XX.0 network are allowed to use this server and when they do, the settings in the myT1000 file should be used to specify how those systems should be configured.


This file specifies how a given system should be configured by allowing you to predefine what type of installation you want, which software packages you want (and do not want) and how to lay out your file systems etc.

Here is the profile file that I used:

install_type initial_install
system_type server
partitioning explicit
filesys c0t0d0s0 20480 /
filesys c0t0d0s1 16384 swap
cluster SUNWCXall

As you can see, I chose the Developer Support software cluster but then requested that several software packages be excluded from it. I chose to remove many more than are shown here but I think you get the point…


This is an optional file that essentially allows you to specify extra settings for your installation. In summary, the more settings you specify here, the less questions you are asked during the network installation and the more automated the process becomes. Here is the sysidcfg file that I used:

network_interface=primary {netmask= default_route= protocol_ipv6=no }

Note: This will set root password to root123 [ root_password=stqy6VcAfLduQ ]

Once you have all of these files in place, you need to verify that they are syntactically correct. This is done using the check tool as follows:

# cd /export/config
# ./check
Validating rules…
Validating profile profile1…
The custom JumpStart configuration is ok.

5. Telling the server about a client

Before you can commence an installation from a client, you need to tell the install server about that client. Since I was not using DHCP and already had a DNS server with a valid entry for my client, this stage was a little easier for me. Of course you also need to ensure that your server is running a TFTP Boot Server.

To tell the server about a client, you need to know the MAC address of the primary network adapter of the client and the intended hostname of the client. Once you know this, use the following command:

# cd /export/install//Solaris_10/Tools
# ./add_install_client -e 11:22:33:44:55:66 -s
server:/export/install/ -c server:/export/config -p server:/export/config qctapp1 sun4v

The name of my client was qctapp1(it was a sun4v system) and as I indicated earlier, the name of my server was server. Clearly, you will need to use your own values for the parameters as well as the correct MAC address. The result of this command is some new files in the TFTP Boot area as well an a new entry in the /etc/ethers file.

# cat /etc/ethers
0:3:ba:8a:c:ed qctapp1

You are now ready to start the installation from the client.

6. Starting the Client Installation

This is actually the simplest part of the exercise and involves one command. However, you do need to ensure that the Network Management port of your client has been configured with a valid IP address. Anyway, to start the client installation, use the following command from the boot prompt of your client:

boot net - install

The system should then start installing the new version of Solaris. It will do things like request an IP address from the network, attempt to configure the network interfaces in the client and ultimately follow pretty much the same procedure as if you were installing from a CD or DVD. The more configuration files you provided on the server, the fewer questions you will be asked during the installation.

When the installation has completed,  you should finally be presented with the console login prompt and, hey presto, you’re done!

Now login with root and root123 as password and change it to your own password.

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