revisiting Solaris 11 Automatic Installer without DHCP

A while ago I blogged about my experience with the new automatic installer in Solaris 11 and my special setup in which I refused to use a DHCP service because DHCP is simply something we do not use in our datacenter. That particular blog post has been one of my most popular (by visits) so this must be something that other admins experience aswell.

One of the issues I came across was that while you can easily specify IP, gateway and installation server on the commandline without DHCP, the install will break at a point where it needs to install some packages from ‘’ but could not resolve that name due to a lack of DNS servers being set up. I described a rather tedious workaround in that post but came up with something a little better today.

We can simply add the IP address for that server to the /etc/hosts file before it gets accessed and this will let the installer continue quite nicely. In order to do this we need to logon to the system (The password for the root user is ‘solaris’ at this stage) before it tries to download additional packages and set the entry. So when you see this message, logon and issue the ‘echo’ command like this:

Automated Installation started
The progress of the Automated Installation will be output to the console
Detailed logging is in the logfile at /system/volatile/install_log
Press RETURN to get a login prompt at any time.

solaris console login: root
Mar 28 09:27:41 solaris login: ROOT LOGIN /dev/console
Oracle Corporation      SunOS 5.11      11.0    November 2011
root@solaris:~# echo "" >> /etc/hosts
root@solaris:~# logout

And that was that. I received yet another error that started like this:

09:28:55        solaris
09:28:55            origin:
09:29:50    Error occurred during execution of 'generated-transfer-1164-1' checkpoint.
09:29:50    Failed Checkpoints:
09:29:50        generated-transfer-1164-1
09:29:50    Checkpoint execution error:
09:29:50        No solution was found to satisfy constraints
09:29:50        maintained incorporations: None
09:29:51        Plan Creation: dependency error(s) in proposed packages:
09:29:51          No suitable version of required package pkg://solaris/group/feature/storage-server@0.5.11,5.11- found:
09:29:51            Reject:  pkg://solaris/group/feature/storage-server@0.5.11,5.11-
09:29:51            Reason:  All versions matching 'group' dependency pkg:/system/file-system/nfs are rejected
09:29:51              Reject:  pkg://solaris/system/file-system/nfs@0.5.11,5.11-
09:29:51                       pkg://solaris/system/file-system/nfs@0.5.11,5.11-
09:29:51                       pkg://solaris/system/file-system/nfs@0.5.11,5.11-
09:29:51              Reason:  Excluded by proposed incorporation 'consolidation/osnet/osnet-incorporation'
09:29:51              Reject:  pkg://solaris/system/file-system/nfs@0.5.11,5.11-
09:29:51              Reason:  Installed version in root image is too old for origin dependency %s

This is due to my AI environment being way old. I did not recreate this since the last time I played with this. The simple solution to this is to delete and re-create the AI service like this:

sol11-install ~ # installadm delete-service s11-sparc -r

WARNING: The service you are deleting, or a dependent alias, is
the alias for the default sparc service. Without the 'default-sparc'
service, sparc clients will fail to boot unless explicitly
assigned to a service using the create-client command.

Are you sure you want to delete this alias? [y/N]: y
Stopping the service default-sparc
Stopping the service s11-sparc
The installadm SMF service is being taken offline.
The installadm SMF service is no longer online because the last
install service has been disabled or deleted.
sol11-install ~ # installadm create-service -a sparc -n s11-sparc

Creating service from: pkg:/install-image/solaris-auto-install
OK to use default image path: /export/auto_install/s11-sparc? [y/N]: y
DOWNLOAD                                PKGS         FILES    XFER (MB)   SPEED
Completed                                1/1         45/45  272.0/272.0  406k/s

PHASE                                          ITEMS
Installing new actions                       188/188
Updating package state database                 Done 
Updating image state                            Done 
Creating fast lookup database                   Done 
Reading search index                            Done 
Updating search index                            1/1 

Creating sparc service: s11-sparc

Image path: /export/auto_install/s11-sparc

Service discovery fallback mechanism set up
Creating SPARC configuration file
Refreshing install services

Creating default-sparc alias

Service discovery fallback mechanism set up
Creating SPARC configuration file
No local DHCP configuration found. This service is the default
alias for all SPARC clients. If not already in place, the following should
be added to the DHCP configuration:
Boot file:

Refreshing install services

One thought on “revisiting Solaris 11 Automatic Installer without DHCP

  1. Pingback: Solaris 11 network install without DHCP | portrix systems

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