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Solaris on VMware: Custom JumpStart  

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Solaris has been installed completely and is running well, I hope. Hoewever, you may like to change some details to fit your personal needs. Here is a collection of tuning suggestions.

Time Zone and UTC

I don't know which time zone you live in and so I decided to select Europe/Berlin or US/Pacific for the system time (depending on keyboard layout). If you want to change this, you must edit the variable TZ in the file /etc/default/init. Choose the value according to one of the time zone file names in the directory /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo/, for example Iran or US/Mountain. If you don't know how to use a UNIX editor, try this (as root):

# cd /etc/default/
# mv init init.ORIG
# cat init.ORIG | sed 's%TZ=US/Pacific%TZ=US/Mountain%' > init

As it is true for any proper operating system, the hardware clock of a Solaris Sparc computer is running in Univeral Time Coordinated (UTC) instead of the local time zone. Unfortunately, to be compatible with broken systems never designed to be part of a network Sun decided to run the hardware clock in local time mode in the x86 version of Solaris by default. Inside it is running UTC, of course. But there is a cron job which checks the CMOS clock once per night and turns it one hour forward or backward, if needed.

This is not a big problem normaly, but in case of my JumpStart it is. Because I don't know your time zone, I can't calculate the offset to UTC for you. Instead, my virtual machines are prepared to have their CMOS clock running at UTC. Also during the JumpStart Solaris has been advised to not change the hardware clock (by running rtc -z UTC). Now that you changed the system's time zone, the time should run correctly already. So there is no reason for you to think about this.

But in case you want the normal Solaris behavior, you can switch back to the original state by configuring the real time clock according to your time zone. Just run

# rtc -z CET


# rtc -z US/Pacific

or whatever. Rebooting the machine is recommended.


The DNS name resolution is working for hosts known to the name server only. This might not be true for your VMware host. This way you can notify your Solaris machine:

# echo " "                   >> /etc/inet/hosts
# echo " colin"   >> /etc/inet/hosts

This is not the host's IP address in my real LAN, but in the VMware NAT network my Solaris guest is running in. Now I can reach my host's SSH server.


You may add the new user zaphod to the system:

# groupadd -g 1234 zaphod
# useradd -g 1234 -u 1234 -s /usr/bin/bash -d /export/home/zaphod -m zaphod
64 blocks
# passwd zaphod
New Password: ++++++++
Re-enter new Password: ++++++++
passwd: password successfully changed for zaphod

In case you want to delete the user vmware which has been added during the JumpStart:

# userdel -r vmware
# groupdel vmware