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Solaris guidance needed

Hello all --

I've been tasked with deploying heavy-hitter software like Oracle 9i on a new Sun V210.  Right now the box is running Solaris 8.  We've purchased Solaris 9, and one of my preliminary tasks is to get that installed and running.

Here's the problem:  I'm an applications programmer, not an admin.  Sure, I've worked with Solaris, doing mundane-every-day kinda stuff, but I don't know how to tackle these problems -- there's no cd-rom, and none of our X86 machines will read the sparc software so even a network install is out.  There's no video hardware in the box, so the X server won't start.  No X server, no GUI, hence no Oracle Universal Installer, therefore no Oracle.  Need I mention that we have no support contract with Sun (don't ask) and that viddy/cdrom purchases are not going to happen.  I tried RTFM, only 1) I don't have a  printed FM and 2) those I downloaded from Sun are actually inaccurate.

So: I'm not a complete idiot, but damn close to one.        Can anyone reccomend resources for someone who knows *nix system usage in general to ramp up quickly to serious admin tasks?  In particular I'd like an explanation of the Openwin system on Solaris 8 and 9.

Any help is much appreciated...

horace
Friday, July 02, 2004

Would it be possible to rip the CD to an image using one of the X86 boxes, transfer the image to the Solaris box over the network, and mount it there?  Even though the X86 box can't read the sparc file system on the CD, I'd imagine it could still rip the bits...

Joe
Friday, July 02, 2004

Oh...also...it's been a while since I've used a *nix platform, so I could be missing something here, but I'd think your lack of video card problem could be solved by something like XWin32 or another remote desktop solution?

Joe
Friday, July 02, 2004

Possibly, but as a long-term solution that doesn't seem appetizing.  I'd rather the company kick down the corn for the appropiate hardware, but that's just the way I am about these things.  And seriously, if some people knew that the info could be ripped bit-by-bit without the purchase of new hardware, they'd demand it, leaving aside the issue that a few hours of my labor will run them more than the drive.  So let's keep that on the DL!

horace
Friday, July 02, 2004

And, as far as the video is concerned, it should just be a matter of configuring the X server to run without a local card.  I just don't know how to do that and no one can/will tell me.  So I'm trying to figure it out, which is frustrating... but that's the name of the game, ne cest pas?

horace
Friday, July 02, 2004

Put the CD in another box, NFS mount it on the Sun. Set up an X server on the PC. SSH/Telnet into the Sun box, export the DISPLAY variable (set to your your_pc_ip_address:0). Install Oracle that way.

VoidIfRemoved
Friday, July 02, 2004

Well, if you have another Solaris box that DOES have a CD-ROM drive, you can install it remotely (Sun gives instructions here  http://docs.sun.com/db/doc/806-5205/6je7vd612?a=view  ).  If you don't have ANY Solaris boxes with CD-ROM drives, then I'd say lobby to get one - it'll really make your life easier.

As for the video card, that's not so much a big deal - I don't know what state the box is in, but if you can log into it over the network, just export your DISPLAY environment variable and you should be fine.  If you're trying to get it on the network, you can hook a dumb terminal (or just another computer) up to the new server's Serial port and configure for your network through that.  (See http://www.obsolyte.com/sunFAQ/serial/  for tips on how to do this).

Hope this helps some ...

One of the Matts
Friday, July 02, 2004


I think you hook a laptop to the serial port and that's your terminal. 

Perhaps you could download solaris for intel and load a pc with solaris, then you'd have your cdrom.  You might even be able to do a network install then with jumpstart.

Flax, oil, corn, computer programmers - all commodities
Friday, July 02, 2004

To talk to the Sun server you can use null modem cable and hyperterminal.  You can also export DISPLAY if you have a client running X (Like a Mac, Linux, or Cygwin).  The easiest is get another Sun client running and use the drop down to login into the server.  x86 can be a real pain, I never had much luck with it.
Check out some Sun sites like www.sunhelp.org. There plenty out there. 
I was in a similar situation.  I got through all of that with very heavy use of Google...

Bill Rushmore
Saturday, July 03, 2004

1. First thing is to get a telnet or ssh connection running from some other machine on your network to the server you're trying to upgrade. You may not be able to login as root, but you should be able the run "su" to become root once you've logged it.

2. You shouldn't need a video card in the server because the X-window server runs on the display machine; it's the X-window that'll be running on the (physical) server. To get the GUI redirected to the display you need only set (and export) the DISPLAY environment variable in the shell from which you start the application. It can also be useful to start the application "nohup" so that it's in a different process tree from the telnet shell and won't be killed if you drop the telnet connection. You'll also need to enable connections to the X-window server running the display. The simplest way is the run the command "xhosts +", which allows any machine to connect.

3. The simplest way to access the installation CD is probably using NFS. Mount the CD on a remote machine and export the mount point so that it can be remotely mounted (using nfsmount) by the recalcitrant server.

David Roper
Sunday, July 04, 2004

Oops... I see that VoidIfRemoved has said all this already (and much more succinctly). Hope he didn't patent it....!

David Roper
Sunday, July 04, 2004

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