Installing Solaris 8 to dual boot with Linux on x86
Here's a log of what I had to do:
I have yet to get networking going, but at least everything boots,
and Linux still works.
- Insert CD-ROM. Reboot as many times as it takes for the
boot to make it past the 'Cannot find boot.bin' error
(my media appears to be damaged; probably my fault). Took me 8 tries.
- The install fails quickly if I tell it the computer has a network
card, so lie and say it's non-networked.
- Choose manual disk layout. After struggling with the
mysterious user interface, discover that it doesn't support
extended partitions. Reboot to Linux and run gnu parted to
resize the extended partition to give back the unused
space at the end so Solaris can create a primary partition with it.
Happily, Red Hat 7.3 installs gnu parted by default, and since I
was just manipulating free disk space, I could do it with the OS running
and all partitions mounted. Lucky me.
- Reboot with Solaris cd-rom many times until it gets past the 'Cannot
find boot.bin' error.
- Install Solaris normally, preserving other operating systems.
- Reboot. Nice Solaris boot menu supposedly lets me reboot to either
Linux or Solaris, but when I pick Linux, it says 'bad signature'.
- On a working computer, read
- Boot with Red Hat 7.3 cdrom, choose rescue mode.
I did 'chroot /mnt/sysimage' as it suggested, not sure that's truly needed.
- Add an entry for Solaris in /etc/grub.conf (I installed
Solaris in the 3rd primary partition on the first disk, hence hd0,2):
- Re-install grub's MBR according to the
it's something like
(grub) root (hd0,0)
(grub) setup (hd0)
- My network card is an RTL-8139; sees that Sun doesn't support that,
even though on Linux it's common and well-supported.
A good place to look for tips is Usenet's alt.solaris.x86 and comp.unix.solaris,
searchable via the excellent
That pointed me to Realtek's site, which has a Solaris driver
for at least one flavor of this card. No idea if it works.
I can see why Sun is giving up on Solaris x86; the driver support issue
is obviously difficult for them, and if Linux does such a better job,
nobody's going to bother with Solaris.