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Installing Oracle® Solaris 11.3 Systems

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Updated: April 2019
 
 

Partitioning Your System

This section provides guidelines for partitioning a system prior to installation or during an interactive installation.

The installer uses GPT formatting when installing onto a whole disk or an unformatted disk. However, existing GPT partitions or DOS partitions are retained by default and displayed by the installer, so you can retain and install into an existing partition.


Note -  See SPARC: GPT Labeled Disk Support for more information about applying GPT-aware firmware on supported SPARC based systems.

This section also describes how to set up Solaris VTOC slices.

Guidelines for Partitioning a System Prior To Installation


Caution

Caution  -  Remember to back up your system prior to partitioning the hard drive.


When installing Oracle Solaris from the Live Media ISO image or from the text installer image, you can use the entire disk or you can install the operating system on a partition. In addition, on a SPARC client, the text installer can install on a slice.

You can create a partition for installing Oracle Solaris prior to installation using commercial products or open-source tools. Or, you can create a partition during the Oracle Solaris installation. On x86 based systems, the Oracle Solaris installers use GRUB 2, which supports booting multiple operating systems on one or more drives. After partitioning and installing the various operating systems, you can deploy any of them by selecting the appropriate menu entry in the GRUB 2 menu at boot time.

For more information about GRUB 2, see Introducing GRUB 2 in Booting and Shutting Down Oracle Solaris 11.3 Systems.


Note -  If you create Linux-swap partitions, note that Linux-swap uses the same partition ID that Oracle Solaris uses. During the installation, in the disk partitioning step, you can change the Linux-swap partition to an Oracle Solaris partition.

Guidelines for Partitioning a System During an Interactive Installation

On an x86 based system, you can select, create, or modify partitions during a GUI installation or a text installation. The installer uses GPT formatting when installing onto a whole disk or an unformatted disk. However, existing GPT partitions or DOS partitions are retained by default and displayed by the installer, so you can retain and install into an existing partition. In addition, for the text installer only, you can select, create, or modify VTOC slices during an interactive installation.

    When installing Oracle Solaris, note the following important information about disk partitioning:

  • Note the following partitioning specifications:

    • If the disk contains existing DOS partitions, up to four DOS primary partitions are displayed. If a DOS extended partition exists, its logical partitions are also displayed in the disk layout order within the extended partition. Only one Solaris partition is allowed, and that Solaris partition must be used for the installation. The Solaris partition can be a logical partition within an extended partition.

    • If the disk contains existing GPT partitions, the GPT partitions are displayed. Up to seven GPT partitions are supported. You can create one or more Solaris partitions during the installation, but you must choose one Solaris partition as the installation target. If there are multiple, existing Solaris GPT partitions, the first suitable Solaris GPT partition will be chosen by default as the installation target.

  • The Oracle Solaris installation overwrites the whole disk layout if any of the following is true:

    • The disk table cannot be read.

    • The disk was not previously partitioned.

    • You select the entire disk for the installation.

  • If there is an existing Oracle Solaris partition and you make no modifications to any of the other existing partitions, the installation default overwrites the Oracle Solaris partition only. That partition can be a logical partition within an existing extended partition. Other existing partitions are not changed.

  • A Solaris partition must be used for the installation.

  • Changes you make to disk partitioning or slices are not implemented until you finish making the installer panel selections and the installation begins. At any point prior to the installation, you can cancel your changes and restore the original settings.

  • If the existing partition table cannot be read, proposed partitioning information is displayed.


    Caution

    Caution  -  In this case, all of the existing data on the disk is destroyed during the installation.


  • During the installation, if you select the Partition the Disk option, the panel displays the existing partitions for the selected disk in the same order that they are laid out on the disk. Unused disk space is displayed for these partitions. The partition type, current size, and maximum available disk space for each partition are also displayed. If an extended partition exists, its logical partitions are also displayed in the disk layout order within the extended partition.

  • Disks or partitions that do not have enough space for a successful installation are labeled as such.

x86: Setting Up Partitions During an Interactive Installation

For installations on the x86 platform, you can make changes to disk partitioning by directly editing the entries in the installation screens. As you proceed through the installation, the minimum and recommended minimum sizes for installing the software are also displayed.

The following table describes the disk partitioning options. Use this table to help you determine which option best suits your needs.

Table 3  Options for Partitioning a Disk During an Interactive Installation
Partitioning Option
Description and User Action (if required)
Use the existing Solaris partition.
This option installs the Oracle Solaris operating system on the existing Solaris partition using its current size. Select the Partition a Disk option. No other changes are required.
If no Solaris partition exists, you must create a new Solaris partition.
If there is currently no existing Solaris partition on the system, you must create a new Solaris partition by selecting a primary partition or a logical partition and then changing its type to Solaris. During an installation, this modification erases the existing partition contents.
Increase the space that is allocated to a Solaris partition and install on that partition.
If enough disk space is available, you can increase the size that is allocated to a Solaris partition before installing the software on that partition. The available space contains any contiguous unused space before or after the selected partition. If you enlarge the partition, unused space after the partition is used first. Then, unused space before the partition is used, which changes the starting cylinder of the selected partition.
Install the Oracle Solaris operating system on a different Solaris partition.
You can install the operating system on a different Solaris partition. Select another partition and change its type to Solaris. During an installation, this modification erases the existing partition contents for both the previous Solaris partition and the new Solaris partition.

Note -  If the system has existing DOS partitions, only one Solaris partition is allowed. You must first change the existing Solaris partition type to Unused before you create a new Solaris partition.

Create a new Solaris partition within an extended partition.
You can create a new Solaris partition within an extended partition. Change the partition type to Extended. You can resize the extended partition and then change one of the logical partitions in the extended partition to a Solaris partition. Also, you can enlarge the logical partition up to the size of the extended partition that contains that logical partition.

Note -  If the system has existing DOS partitions, only one Solaris partition is allowed. You must first change the existing Solaris partition type to Unused before you create a Solaris partition within an extended partition.

Delete an existing partition.
You can delete an existing partition by changing its type to Unused. During an installation, the partition is destroyed and its space is made available when resizing adjacent partitions.

Setting Up VTOC Slices During a Text Installation

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.


    Note -  Because only one ZFS pool can be named rpool, if a pool named rpool is already on the device, the installer will name any new pool using the format rpool#.
  • 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.

Table 4  Options for Modifying VTOC Slices During a Text Installation
Option
Description and User Action (if required)
Use an existing slice
This option installs the Oracle Solaris operating system on an existing VTOC slice using its current size. Select the target slice, then change its type to rpool.
Resize a slice
You can change the size only of a newly created rpool slice. Type the new size in the field.
Create a new slice
Select an unused slice and change its type. For example, change Unused to rpool.
Delete an existing slice
Change the slice type to Unused. During the installation, the slice is destroyed and its space is made available for resizing adjacent slices.