Installing Solaris Over The Network

  Featured Article on SunHelpDesk
  Author: John Richardson
  Date: Oct 19, 2000

Typically, most Solaris installations use the system's internal cdrom. However, there are times when you will need to install over the network. For instance, you do not have an external cdrom, and need to install Solaris on a Netra T1 that is not equipped with an internal cdrom.

Alternatively, you may want to setup a Jumpstart server in which you can limit the interaction needed to complete the installation. Jumpstart servers are relatively complex to setup, and are typically used in a large environment where multiple systems need to be installed identically.

This document details the steps needed for a simple network installation of Solaris on the same subnet. The examples use Solaris 8 as a reference. Refer to the "Advanced Installation Guide" that accompanies your installation media for more details.


Create Install Server

An Install Server must be created by copying the Solaris 8 CD images to its hard drive.

Insert the CD labeled Solaris 8 software 1 of 2 into the CDRom drive

Volume manager automatically mounts the cdrom. Otherwise mount manually.

Make a directory where the Solaris images will be stored. Be sure that there is enough space to allocate to the CD images

# mkdir /var/Solaris8

Change directories to the Tools directory

# cd /cdrom/sol_8_sparc/s0/Solaris_8/Tools

Copy the image from the CD to the install directory

# ./setup_install_server /var/Solaris8

Eject the CD. Insert CD labeled Solaris 8 Software 2 of 2 into the cdrom drive

Volume manager automatically mounts the cdrom

Change directories to the Tools directory

# CD /cdrom/sol_8_sparc_2/Solaris_8/Tools

Copy the image from the CD to the install directory.

# ./add_to_install_server /var/Solaris8

Configure System to be Installed over Network

Be sure to collect the following information on the new system:

Create entry in /etc/ethers. If /etc/ethers does not exist, then create it with the following entry. You must remove the leading zeros in the ethernet address

8:0:20:c2:36:68 sun-001

Update /etc/hosts file with the ip address for the new server sun-001

Verify that /etc/nsswitch.conf is using the /etc/bootparams file

bootparams: files

Change directory to the Tools directory on the Install Server

# CD /var/Solaris8/Solaris_8/Tools

Add the new server using the add_install_client utility. Note that sun-001 is the server name and sun4u is the appropriate platform group for the Netra T1.

# ./add_install_client sun-001 sun4u


saving original /etc/dfs/dfstab in /etc/dfs/dfstab.orig
Adding "share -F nfs -o ro,anon=0 /var/Solaris8" to /etc/dfs/dfstab
making /tftpboot
enabling tftp in /etc/inetd.conf
starting rarpd starting bootparamd
starting nfsd's starting nfs mountd
updating /etc/bootparams
copying inetboot to /tftpboot

Install Solaris 8 on New System

At the system OK prompt:

boot net


Platform Groups

System Platform Group
Intel Architecture i86pc
SPARCserver 1000 sun4d
SPARCcenter 2000 sun4d
SPARCstation 5 sun4m
SPARCstation 10 sun4m
SPARCstation 10SX sun4m
SPARCstation20 sun4m
SPARCstation LX sun4m
SPARCstation LX+


SPARCclassic sun4m
SPARCclassic X sun4m
SPARCstation 4 sun4m
Ultra 1 systems sun4u
Sun Enterprise 1 system sun4u
Ultra 30 sun4u
Ultra 2 sun4u
Enterprise 2 sun4u
Enterprise 150 sun4u
Ultra 450 sun4u
Enterprise 450 sun4u
Enterprise 3000, 3500, 4500, 4000, 4500, 5000, 5500, 6000, 6500, 10000 sun4u
Ultra 5 sun4u
Ultra 10 sun4u
Ultra 60 sun4u
Ultra 80 sun4u
Netra T1 sun4u