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