C H A P T E R  1


About Installing an Operating System on Your Sun Fire Server

There are several supported operating system (OS) distributions and several ways to install each. This document is intended only as a general guide that refers you to detailed procedures. For instructions on installing the Windows Server 2003 and 2008 OS onto a Sun Fire X4140, X4240, or X4440 server, see the Sun Fire X4140, X4240, and X4440 Windows Operating System Installation Guide (820-2399).

Note - If you use the Sun StorageTek SAS RAID HBA, your server’s BIOS will not see any disks until you configure them with an Adaptec utility. See How to Make Your Server’s BIOS See Your Disks If You Use the Sun StorageTek SAS RAID HBA


Supported Operating Systems

Solaris 10 10/08 is pre-installed on your Sun Fire X4140, X4240, or X4440 server. You may also install the following 64-bit Linux or VMware operating systems:

Installation Prerequisites

You must complete the following prerequisite steps before you can begin installing an OS.

1. Install the server hardware.

2. Configure the service processor.

3. Gather needed information, such as IP address and netmask.

4. (Linux only) Create a Driver CD or use the Suntrademark Installation Assistant (recommended procedure). See the documentation for your particular Linux OS, or see Chapter 2 for information about the Sun Installation Assistant (SIA).

Note - If you install a Linux OS by using the SIA (see Chapter 2), which is the recommended procedure, you do not need to create a driver CD.

Installation Instructions

Chapter 4 (RHEL), Chapter 3 (SLES), Chapter 7 (VMware), and Chapter 5 (Solaris) provide all the information you need to manually install these operating systems.

For all supported Linux operating systems, you can use SIA described in Chapter 2. The SIA simplifies installation and handles the acquisition and installation of the appropriate drivers automatically. If you choose to install a Linux OS manually (see Chapters 4 and 3), you must obtain and install the drivers yourself.

If you use SIA to install Linux, you do not need to refer to Chapter 4 (RHEL) or Chapter 3 (SLES).

Related Documentation

TABLE 1-1 Related Documentation

Solaris 10 Installation Guide: Network-Based Installations


Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration Guide


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Installation and Administration Guide - on the first installation CD under the docu directory as the file sles-admin.pdf, or see SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 10 Administration Guide


Installation and Upgrade Guide for VMware Infrastructure


Sun Integrated Lights Out Manager 2.0 User’s Guide


Installing an OS on the Server

Before installing an OS on the server, review the following sections for an understanding of the decision-making process.

Things You Must Decide

You must decide the following:

1. Which of the supported operating systems will you install?

2. Will the server will be configured for diskless booting?

3. Which installation method will you use?

4. Will you need to update the operating system and drivers?

In general, you need to perform updates once the operating system has been installed. For information about updates, see the appropriate chapter that corresponds to the OS you will install.

Available installation methods and their compatible operating systems are listed below.



Red Hat



Preinstalled on disk





Install using Sun Installation Assistant





Install from distribution media (CD/DVD) on the server using a locally attached CD/DVD drive





Install from distribution media (CD/DVD) via keyboard, video and mouse switch (KVMS)





Install from network using Preboot Execution Environment (PXE)





Note - KVMS is a method of using keyboard, video, mouse, and storage devices connected to a remote machine as if they were connected to the local machine. The Sun Fire X4140, X4240, and X4440 servers support industry-standard KVMS with devices connected to it through a USB port or the Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) Remote Console application. For information about setting up USB connections to your system, see your server hardware documentation. For more information about setting up a remote KVMS connection to your server with the ILOM Remote Console application, see the Sun Integrated Lights Out Manager 2.0 User's Guide (820-1188).

What to Do Next

You should also gather the installation, administration, and configuration documentation distributed with the OS. These documents generally accompany the distribution media as printed manuals or are included as PDF files on the medium itself. In many cases, the latest versions of such documents are also available from the web site of the OS vendor.

The chapters in this guide provide detailed installation information. For relevant procedures, see the appropriate chapter of this guide for your particular OS:

For Windows installation, refer to the Sun Fire X4140, X4240, and X4440 Windows Operating System Installation Guide (820-2399).