After fighting with the shortcomings of OpenSolaris I have decided to install Solaris 10 inside of VirtualBox. Once the installation is complete I will have a running instance of Solaris 10 with a ZFS root file system. This virtual machine will be used to create future articles regarding the magical things you can do with Solaris.
The Solaris 10 installation is straight forward and much like any common Linux distrobution. You are asked a few questions about your system and then presented with an installation type. I chose the entire distrobution option in order to get a graphical desktop on this virtual machine. If this was a production system I would have selected the core installation option which is a much smaller package set. If you do choose the core option for your system you will have to add in additional packages from the installation media if you want to use features such as zones.
The downside to choosing the entire distrobution is the added packages that you most likely won't need or use. These packages then get inherited by zones when you create them. This adds to the package counts for your local zones when they are created. When it is time to perform system patching you will need to account for extra time on systems that have chosen the entire distrobution option. More packages will add to more patches that your system needs to stay up to date and secure. Just some things to think about if you are going to be serious about your Solaris system.
The ZFS root filesystem option must be chosen after booting from the installation media. You will need to specify 3 or 4 for your initial installation choice if you wish to select the ZFS filesystem later on during your system installation. Once completed I will have a virtual machine running Solaris 10 on x86_64 with ZFS. The traditional UFS filesystem will work fine but you will have to setup partitions (slices) for your system. With ZFS the entire disk is allocated to the root pool and can be divided on the fly later on using various system commands to create filesystems under the ZFS root along with other tasks such as applying partition limits.
Oracle now owns the rights to all things SUN. Even the SUN website now redirects to a page containing an oracle header. Oracle has stated they plan to continue investing in Solaris which will most likely "SPARC" growth of this operating system.