Last month I tried installing OpenSolaris 2008-11, but did not succeed in getting networking working. Today I noticed that OpenSolaris 2009-06 was just released. I really would like to use Solaris at home. I use it at work and have gotten attached to its quirks. So I downloaded the iso and burned an install CD.
Installation was quicker and smoother on my machine than with 2008-11 (specs: AMD64 Sempron, VIA VT6xxx motherboard with onboard VT6102 Rhine II NIC, NVidia GeForce 6200 with 256 MB memory, a 160 GB hard disk, and 1 GB of RAM).
However - yet again - the installer did not install the correct driver for my VT6102 network card. Fortunately, the install CD - which doubled as a live CD - had a handy little widget which reported the state of all hardware and informed me that the drivers for my card were not available. This was information I did not have when I encountered the same problem with 2008-11.
Googling (on another machine with a working connection) brought me to this very useful page with unofficial drivers for various Solaris versions. This is what I did:
- Downloaded the file vfe-2.6.4.tar.gz, and copied it using a usb stick to my Solaris machine.
- Unpacked the file in a temporary directory
elliott@horza:~$ cd vfe-2.6.4
elliott@horza:~$ mv Makefile Makefile.old
elliott@horza:~$ cp Makefile.amd64_gcc Makefile
elliott@horza:~$ make install
elliott@horza:~$ vim /etc/hostsHere I added the line xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx vfe, where the x’s weere a rough guess as to the IP my DHCP server would supply once the network interface was up and running. My internal network does not use static IP’s, the main router assigns dynamic IP’s which overrides the value in this file anyway.
elliott@horza:~$ devfsadm -i vfeThis command failed with the message “Failed to attach vfe driver”
elliott@horza:~$ touch /etc/hostname.vfe0
elliott@horza:~$ touch /etc/dhcp.vfe0
I then rebooted the workstation. After rebooting the network notifier widget notified me that network interface vfe0 was up and running, and I was able to access the internet.
Next step: installing Flash. From http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/?promoid=BUIGP I downloaded the player, unzipped and untarred it, and copied (as root) the file
/usr/lib/firefox/plugins/. After restarting firefox, Flash worked fine. A visit to Youtube verified that both sound and video were working fine.
The installer had set the size of my swap partition at 512 MB, in my opinion far too little especially in combination with Firefox usage. A little googling turned up http://www.crypticide.com/dropsafe/article/2649, which had a solution that worked for me:
zfs set volsize=3G rpool/swap, followed by a reboot.
OpenSolaris has a package manager very similar to Ubuntu’s synaptic package manager, with a reasonable number of rather developer-centric packages available. I got the packages I’m used to on most systems (gcc, ocaml, wxwindows etc), and am now a fairly happy puppy.
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