How-To: Installing Solaris with PXE/DHCP

Next Solaris Express build will probably contain one of the long awaited features: Solaris NewBoot architecture for x86 systems. Among other boot architecture improvements, NewBoot introduces GRUB with ufs support, and a pxegrub for PXE booting. Casper Dik describes it here: The End Of Realmode Boot.

In this entry I’ll try and explain how to set up an install server to allow you do a network install of Solaris with PXE.

Solaris PXE/DHCP server howto

The procedure described below describes steps necessary for PXE booting and installing a client with Grub bootloader, which is the default one in Solaris since Nevada b14. Obviously, the very first requirement is that you absolutely must have a PXE-enabled network card installed in the client machine you’re about to install.

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Using Solaris 10 as DHCP client

Today I just wanted to document here the quickest and easiest way of setting your Solaris box as a DHCP client.

1. Create the /etc/hostname. file

For instance:

solaris# touch /etc/hostname.skge0

2. Create the /etc/dhcp. file

It can be an empty file, but you can also use it to specify how long ifconfig should be waiting for a DHCP-server reply before giving up and continuing with Solaris boot.

solaris# cat /etc/dhcp.skge0
wait 60

3. Specify your  system name

It has to be specified in /etc/nodename. This name is going to be used as your hostname in case your DHCP-server does not return your hostname in reply to your DHCP-request.

THat’s all. Reboot your system, and it all should work! Enjoy! 🙂