Solaris 10 Installation Guide for IBM BladeCenter Servers

Booting and Installing a System From the Network

This section describes how to boot a system and install the Solaris OS from the network by using PXE.

The open source GNU GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB) has been implemented in the Solaris OS on x86 based systems, starting with the Solaris 10 1/06 release. GRUB is responsible for loading a boot archive, which contains the kernel modules and configuration files, into the system's memory. The Solaris kernel starts based on the contents of the in-memory boot archive. The kernel then begins the Solaris installation program. The most notable change is the replacement of the Device Configuration Assistant with the GRUB menu. The GRUB menu is displayed when you boot a system. From this menu, you can select an OS instance to install by using the up and down arrow keys. If you do not make a selection, the default OS instance is booted and installed.

As a part of this functionality, systems must have a minimum of 256 MB of RAM available for booting and installing the Solaris OS.

Note –

Some versions of PXE firmware cannot boot the Solaris OS. A system with these versions can read the PXE network bootstrap program from a boot server, but the bootstrap does not transmit packets. To avoid this problem, upgrade the PXE firmware on the network adapter. Obtain firmware upgrade information from the adapter manufacturer's web site. Refer to the elxl(7D) and the iprb(7D) man pages for more information.

ProcedureHow to Boot a Client Over the Network

To install the system over the network, you must instruct the client system to boot over the network. Enable network boot on the client system by using the BIOS setup program in the system BIOS, the network adapter BIOS, or both. On some systems, you must also adjust the boot device priority list so that network boot is attempted before booting from other devices. See the manufacturer's documentation for each setup program, or watch for setup program instructions during boot.

Note –

Starting with the Solaris 10 1/06 OS, GRUB based booting has been implemented on x86 based systems. This procedure includes information for booting a client over the network with GRUB. The most notable change is the replacement of the Device Configuration Assistant with the GRUB menu when a system is booted. For additional information about GRUB, see Chapter 11, GRUB Based Booting (Tasks), in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration.

Before You Begin

This procedure assumes that you have completed the following tasks:

  1. Turn on the system.

  2. Type the appropriate keystroke combination to enter the system BIOS.

    Some PXE-capable network adapters have a feature that enables PXE boot if you type a particular keystroke in response to a brief boot-time prompt.

  3. In the system BIOS, instruct the system to boot from the network.

    See your hardware documentation for information about how to set the boot priority in the BIOS.

  4. Exit the BIOS.

    The system boots from the network. The GRUB menu is displayed.

    Note –

    The GRUB menu that is displayed on your system might vary from the following example, depending on the configuration of your network installation server.

    GNU GRUB version 0.95 (631K lower / 2095488K upper memory)
    | Solaris 11 /sol_11_x86                                                  |
    |                                                                         |
    |                                                                         |
    Use the ^ and v keys to select which entry is highlighted.
    Press enter to boot the selected OS, 'e' to edit the
    commands before booting, or 'c' for a command-line.
  5. Select the appropriate installation option.

    • To install the Solaris OS from the network, select the appropriate Solaris entry on the menu, then press Enter.

      Select this entry if you want to install from the network installation server that you set up in How to Create an Installation Server With x86 CD Media or How to Create an Installation Server With x86 DVD Media.

    • To install the Solaris OS from the network with specific boot arguments, follow these steps.

      You might need to set specific boot arguments if you want to modify the device configuration during the installation, and did not set these boot arguments previously with the add_install_client command as described in How to Add Systems to Be Installed From the Network With add_install_client.

      1. On the GRUB menu, select the installation option that you want to edit, then press e.

      2. Edit the command to add the boot arguments or options you want to use.

        The command syntax for the Grub edit menu is as follows:

        grub edit>kernel /image-directory/multiboot[kernel-name] install
        [url|ask] [-B prop=value[,prop=value]...] install_media=media-type

        For example:

        kernel /I86pc.Solaris_11/multiboot kernel/unix -B install_media=
        module /platform/i86pc/boot_archive

        Specifies the kernel to boot.


        Prompts the user for configuration information.


        Boots the system in single-user mode.


        Specifies a reconfiguration boot. The system probes all attached hardware devices and then assigns nodes in the file system to represent only those devices that are actually found.


        Boots the system with verbose messages enabled.


        Does not boot in clustered mode.


        Boots the system with the kernel debugger enabled.

        -m smf-options

        Controls the boot behavior of the Service Management Facility (SMF). Included are two categories of options, recovery options and messages options.

        -i altinit

        Specifies an alternative executable as the primordial process. altinit is a valid path to an executable.

        -B prop=value[,prop=value]...

        Is parsed by the multiboot program. The multiboot program then translates the argument into properties.

      3. To return to the GRUB menu, press Esc.

        The GRUB menu is displayed.

      4. To begin the installation, type b in the GRUB menu.

    The Solaris installation program checks the default boot disk for installation requirements of the system. If the program cannot detect the system configuration, the program prompts you for any missing information.

    When the check is completed, the installation selection screen is displayed.

  6. Select an installation type.

    The installation selection screen displays the following options:

          Select the type of installation you want to perform:
             1 Solaris Interactive
             2 Custom JumpStart
             3 Solaris Interactive Text (Desktop session)
             4 Solaris Interactive Text (Console session)
             5 Apply driver updates
             6 Single user shell
             Enter the number of your choice followed by the <ENTER> key.
             Alternatively, enter custom boot arguments directly.
             If you wait 30 seconds without typing anything,
             an interactive installation will be started.
    • To install the Solaris OS, choose from the following options:

      • To install with the Solaris interactive installation GUI, type 1, then press Enter.

      • To install with the interactive text installer in a desktop session, type 3, then press Enter.

        Select this installation type to override the default GUI installer and run the text installer.

      • To install with the interactive text installer in a console session, type 4, then press Enter.

        Select this installation type to override the default GUI installer and run the text installer.

      If are performing an unattended custom JumpStart installation (option 2), see the Solaris 10 Installation Guide: Custom JumpStart and Advanced Installations additional instructions.

      The system configures the devices and interfaces, and searches for configuration files. The kdmconfig utility detects the drivers that are necessary to configure the keyboard, display, and mouse on your system. The installation program begins. Go to Step 7 to continue the installation.

    • If you need to perform system administration tasks before the installation, choose from the following options:

      • To update drivers or install an installation time update (ITU), insert the update media, type 5, then press Enter.

        You might need to update drivers or install an ITU to enable the Solaris OS to run on your system. Follow the instructions for your driver update or ITU to install the update.

      • To perform system administration tasks, type 6, then press Enter.

        You might want to launch a single-user shell if you need to perform any system administration tasks on your system before you install the software. For information about system administration tasks you can perform prior to installation, see System Administration Guide: Basic Administration.

      After you perform these system administration tasks, the previous list of installation options is displayed. Select the appropriate option to continue the installation.

  7. If you are prompted, answer the system configuration questions.

    • If you preconfigured all of the system information, the installation program does not prompt you to specify any configuration information. See Preconfiguring With the sysidcfg File for more information.

    If you are using the installation GUI, after you confirm the system configuration information, the Welcome to Solaris dialog box appears.

  8. After the system boots and installs over the network, instruct the system to boot from the disk drive on subsequent boots.

Next Steps

If you plan to install multiple operating systems on your machine, you need to instruct the GRUB boot loader to recognize these operating systems in order to boot. For more information, see GRUB Based Booting (Overview) in System Administration Guide: Basic Administration.