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This laptop is a delightful little machine, and borders on being a “netbook” though it has better specs than what would normally be called a netbook. Last night, I overwrote my Solaris 2008 install (of no more than a week or two) with the very latest Solaris 2009.

Since I had problems with running the LiveCD with a full X display, I opted for the text console and began the installation from there. Installing from text mode is simple, but mostly undocumented:

  1. Find an X server to use. There are nice X servers out there, not to mention the ones included with every UNIX and Linux installation. I use the Xming server for Windows.
  2. Boot the OpenSolaris LiveCD into text mode.
  3. Configure the OpenSolaris client to use the remote X server display. This could be as simple as logging in as root (password opensolaris) and setting the DISPLAY variable. This, of course, is not secure: to be secure, log in as root, start the ssh server, and log in over the network using the command ssh -X.
  4. Start the install process. This involves the code: pfexec /usr/bin/gui-install. After this, the GUI install process should appear on the remote display and the expected install process can begin.

Installing OpenSolaris this way onto the HP nc4010 was smooth, and the environment works well and is clean. There is a lack of official applications, but this may be expected, though disappointing: open source focus on OpenSolaris is not what it is for FreeBSD or for Linux.

The machine has a 1.7GHz Pentium M and 1Gb of main memory; this seems sufficient – so far. This machine is likely to become my secondary: the primary is Linux Mint – with all of the applications that a Debian/Ubuntu derivative can count on.

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