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|Oracle Solaris 11 Express Distribution Constructor Guide Oracle Solaris 11 Express 11/10|
The distribution constructor is a command-line tool for building preconfigured Oracle Solaris images and Virtual Machine images. The tool takes an XML manifest file as input, and builds an ISO image or Virtual Machine image that is based on the parameters specified in the manifest file. An ISO image is an archive file, also known as a disc image, of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Optionally, a USB image can be created, based on a generated x86 ISO image. Depending on the image configuration, these ISO or USB images can be bootable. They can be installed on a system or run in a live media environment. An ISO image can be burned to a CD or DVD. A USB image can be copied to a flash drive.
Note - The Distribution Constructor creates a USB image that could work in various types of flash memory devices, if those devices have driver support provided by the Oracle Solaris release. The usbcopy utility is the only utility that can be used to copy the USB image into a USB flash drive. This usbcopy utility is available with the Oracle Solaris release.
You can use the distribution constructor to create the following types of Oracle Solaris images.
Oracle Solaris x86 live CD image – Using the distribution constructor, you can create an x86 ISO image, called a live cd or “slim CD” image, that is comparable to the live CD image that's distributed with the Oracle Solaris release. This live CD image boots to a GNOME desktop, where you can explore the Oracle Solaris operating system. From this desktop, you have the option to install the operating system. You can use the distribution constructor to modify the content of this live CD ISO image by adding or removing packages. You can revise the default settings for the resulting booted environment to create a custom ISO image or USB image. See Chapter 2, Design and Build Oracle Solaris Images.
For more information about using the Oracle Solaris x86 live CD, see Getting Started With Oracle Solaris 11 Express .
x86 or SPARC Oracle Solaris text installer image – Using the distribution constructor, you can create an ISO image that can be used to initiate a text installation of the Oracle Solaris operating system for x86 or SPARC machines. This text installer image can be used to install the Oracle Solaris operating system on machines that do not have graphics cards. The text installer does not install a desktop with the operating system. But, you can add packages to the operating system, including packages for a GNOME desktop, after the installation.
For more information about performing a text installation, see Getting Started With Oracle Solaris 11 Express .
x86 or SPARC ISO Image for Automated Installations – The Oracle Solaris release includes the automated installer tool. The automated installer (AI) is used to automate the installation of the Oracle Solaris OS on one or more SPARC and x86 systems over a network. The installations can differ in architecture, packages installed, disk capacity, and other parameters. The automated installer uses a SPARC or x86 AI ISO image to install the Oracle Solaris OS to client systems. You can use the distribution constructor to create a SPARC AI ISO image that can be used to install the Oracle Solaris OS on SPARC clients, or to create an x86 AI ISO image that can be used to install the Oracle Solaris OS on x86 clients.
For information about using the automated installer, see the Oracle Solaris 11 Express Automated Installer Guide .
Note - When using the distribution constructor, you can only create SPARC images on a SPARC system. And, you can only create x86 images on an x86 system. Also, the Oracle Solaris release version on your system must be the same as the release version of the AI images that you use with the distribution constructor.
x86 Oracle Solaris Virtual Machine – You can use the distribution constructor to create a Virtual Machine that's preinstalled with the Oracle Solaris operating system. See Chapter 3, x86: Design and Build a Virtual Machine.