The text installer can install Oracle Solaris on an entire disk or on a partition.
This section provides partitioning guidelines. You can perform the partition before installing, or during the installation process itself through the installer's interactive installation option.
Partitioning used to be a solution to make a system accommodate multiple operating systems. Each partition would contain an operating system, and you can boot the system from the partition that runs your preferred OS.
Advances in virtualization technology offer alternatives to partitioning for this purpose. With virtualization, a single system acts as a host on which you configure guests or virtual machines. You can configure these guests to use different versions of Oracle Solaris or other supported operating systems. The software manages the resources, including disk space, that you allot for these guests, and you do not need to manually create partitions yourself.
For example, through Oracle Solaris zones, a system running Oracle Solaris 11 functions as the global zone on which you can create local zones and kernel zones. See the Oracle Solaris zones documentation in the library of your operating system's version at https://docs.oracle.com/en/operating-systems/solaris.html
Oracle's VirtualBox is another feature rich virtualization product applicable for use at home or in an enterprise environment. VirtualBox runs on Oracle Solaris, Linux, OS X, and Windows. Thus, VirtualBox can make your system accommodate multiple operating systems. See https://www.virtualbox.org.
For more information about Oracle's virtualization offerings, see https://docs.oracle.com/en/virtualization/.
If you want to manually partition your system's disks, use the guidelines in this section. The text installer can perform partitions, but you can also use commercial products or open-source tools. Remember to back up your system prior to partitioning the hard drive.
When installing Oracle Solaris from the text installer image, you can use the entire disk or a partition for the operating system.
On an x86 based system, you can select, create, or modify partitions during a text installation. The installer uses GPT formatting when installing onto a whole disk or an unformatted disk.
Existing GPT partitions or DOS partitions are retained by default and displayed by the installer. Thus, you can select to use an existing partition instead of creating new ones. Logical partitions are displayed in the disk layout order within the extended partition on which they are created.
You can install Oracle Solaris only on an Oracle Solaris partition. That installation partition can either be a physical partition or a logical partition within an extended partition.
Only one partition is used. If multiple Oracle Solaris GPT partitions are on the disk, then the installer by default chooses the first suitable Oracle Solaris GPT partition as the installation target.
You can specify partitions to be performed during installation. During that process, the entire disk layout is overwritten if any of the following is true:
The disk table cannot be read.
In this case, proposed partitioning information is displayed.
The disk was not previously partitioned.
You select the entire disk for the installation.
By default, the installation process overwrites only the target Oracle Solaris partition. Other existing partitions remain unchanged provided that you did not specify them to be modified.
On x86 platforms, screen entries enable you to specify partition instructions. The screens might also provide the minimum and recommended minimum sizes for installing the software.
The following partition-related options are available:
For text installations on the SPARC platform, you can modify VTOC slices during the installation. For text installations on the x86 platform, you can modify a slice within a partition if that partition has not already been modified during the installation.
When setting up VTOC slices, keep the following in mind:
The installer displays the existing slices. The slices are displayed in the order in which they are laid out. The current size and maximum available size for each slice are also displayed.
Oracle Solaris must be installed in a ZFS root pool. By default, the slice that contains the root pool is labeled rpool by the installer. If you want to install the operating system on a slice that does not contain the root pool, change the type for that slice to rpool in the installer. During the installation, a ZFS root pool will be created on that slice.
The size of a slice can be increased up to the maximum available size. To make more space available, you can change the type of an adjoining slice to Unused, thereby making its space available to adjacent slices.
If the slice is not explicitly altered, the content of the slice is preserved during the installation.
The following table describes the options for modifying slices during a text installation.