Solaris Transition Guide

What to Do Before You Install Solaris Software

Converting a SunOS release 4 system to the Solaris 7 software involves more than just running the Solaris installation program and loading the software. Usually, there is data on the SunOS release 4 system that needs to be transferred to a Solaris 7 system. This data may be full file systems, such as /home, or locally customized system files, such as /etc/hosts or /etc/passwd.

No matter how you plan to handle the data transfer, you should back up all disk partitions by doing full dumps before you begin the installation process. Because the device naming conventions are different in the Solaris 7 operating environment, you might inadvertently choose the wrong disk when you install the Solaris 7 software. Backing up the file systems before you begin the installation procedure offers some protection should this occur. For information about device naming conventions, see "Device Naming Conventions".

Note about file system formats:

Saving Disk Partition Information

Before you begin the installation process, you should print a copy of the system's existing disk partitions. It can serve as a reference for many decisions that are made about configuring the Solaris 7 system. The following procedure is one way to obtain the disk partition information.

  1. Obtain the names of the disks attached to the system.

    To obtain the names of the disks attached to the system, use the format(8) command.

  2. Save the disk partition information.

    To obtain the partition information encoded on each disk, use the dkinfo(8) command. You can pipe the output to a printer or to a file that you can save to another system.

    Note -

    Using the previous command provides you with information only on the configured partitions. All nonconfigured partitions are displayed with the message: "No such device or address."

Saving File System Information

The mappings between file system names (for example, /usr, /home) and device names (for example, /dev/sd0g) reside in the configuration file /etc/fstab. Before proceeding, you should make a printed copy of the /etc/fstab file to help you construct the Solaris 7 file.

Saving Metadevice Configuration Information

Use this section only if you are upgrading a system running the SPARCserverTM Manager or Solstice DiskSuite unbundled products. (These products are used to mirror, concatenate, or stripe multiple disks.)

To upgrade your system without this product, you have to modify your multiple-partition configurations to use single partitions. In particular, a concatenated or striped file system must be reorganized onto a single disk, and partitions and mirrors can no longer be used.

If the system is running SPARCserver Manager or Solstice DiskSuite utilities, you should save the metadevice configuration information before installing Solaris 7 software. This enables you to recover the state of the metadevices when you install Solaris 7 software, and serves as a reference as you construct the list of disks attached to your system.

  1. Use the metastat(8) command to save information, as in the following example.

    # /etc/metastat -p | lpr
  2. Save the output of the metadb(8) command.

    For example.

    # /etc/metadb -i | lpr

    The output of metadb tells you the state of the database configuration information. This information is necessary to reconstruct the state databases if you reinstall the Solstice DiskSuite product.

Determining What To Back Up

You should create a list of the SunOS release 4 files and file systems that you want to back up and restore after installing Solaris 7 software.

Making a List of System Components to Back Up

Make a list of all the system components in the existing SunOS release 4 environment and decide which are critical to the user's system. Consider:

Making a List of Files and File Systems to Back Up

Use the following guidelines to make the list of file systems to save:

Making a List of SunOS System Configuration Files to Back Up

There are a number of SunOS release 4 system configuration files that can be merged or converted for the Solaris platform. Use the example list that follows to help select the system configuration files you want to back up.

Note -

The list contains suggestions. You should study the items in the list carefully and add or delete files depending on the configuration at your site. For example, if you have special files in directories from third-party software vendors, you may need to save them.

If the system is a NIS master server, you should save all the files that reside in the NIS master directory (for example, /etc). Additionally, save any other master files that you added to NIS. Examples of files to back up include:

Determining Disk Space Requirements

Make a list of how much disk space each file system that you want to move to the Solaris 7 upgrade uses. Refer to this list when installing the Solaris 7 software, since you can partition disk space for your SunOS release 4 file systems when running the Solaris 7 installation program.

Deciding the Order of Installation for Networks

If you are converting a network of SunOS release 4 systems to the Solaris 7 software, decide the order of the systems to convert so that you do not inconvenience for the users. For example, you might want to convert all client systems before you convert any servers. The first system you convert should be a standalone system with a locally attached CD-ROM drive.

For a while, you will probably manage a network consisting of both SunOS release 4 and Solaris 7 systems, and part of your planning should involve determining priorities. For example, you may want to convert one domain and use it for system administration testing and for porting internally developed applications before you convert the entire network environment.