10 Steps to OpenSolaris Laptop Heaven
If you have recently come into possession of a Laptop onto which to load Solaris then here are my top tips:
Install OpenSolaris. At the time of writing the release is 2009.06, install that, parts of this advice may become obsolete with later releases. Do not install Solaris 10 or even worse Nevada. You should download the live CD and burn it onto a disk boot that and let it install but before you start the install read the next tip.
Before you start the install open a terminal so that you can turn on compression on the root pool once it it created. You have to keep running “zpool list” until you see the pool is created and then run (pfexec zfs set compression=on rpool). You may think that disk is big but after a few months you will be needing every block you can get. Also laptop drives are so slow that compression will probably make things faster.
Before you do anything after installation take a snapshot of the system so you can always go back (pfexec beadm create opensolaris@initialinstall). I really mean this.
Add the extras repository. It contains virtualbox, the flash plugin for firefox, true type fonts and more. All you need is a sun online account. See https://pkg.sun.com/register/ and http://blogs.sun.com/chrisg/entry/installing_support_certificates_in_opensolaris
Decide whether you want to use the development or support repository. If in doubt choose the supported one. Sun employees get access to the support repository. Customers need to get a support contract. (http://www.opensolaris.com/learn/subscriptions/). Then update to the latest bigs (pfexec pkg image-update).
Add any extra packages you need. Since I am now writing this retrospectively there may be things missing. My starting list is:
OpenOffice (pfexec pkg install openoffice)
SunStudio (pfexec pkg install sunstudioexpress)
Netbeans (pfexec pkg install netbeans)
Flash (pkfexec pkg install flash)
Virtualbox (pfexec pkg install virtualbox)
TrueType fonts (pfxec pkg install ttf-fonts-core)
If you are a Sun Employee install the punchin packages so you can access SWAN. I actually rarely use this as I have a Solaris 10 virtualbox image that I use for punchin so I can be both on and off SWAN at the same time but it is good to have the option.
Add you keys to firefox so that you can browse the extras and support repositories from firefox. See http://wikis.sun.com/display/OpenSolarisInfo200906/How+to+Browse+the+Support+and+Extra+Repositories.
Go to Fluendo and get and install the free mp3 decoder. They also sell a complete and legal set of decoders for the major video formats, I have them and have been very happy with them. They allow me to view the videos I have cycling events.
Go to Adobe and get acroread. I live in hope that at some point this will be in a repository either at Sun or one Adobe runs so that it can be installed using the standard pkg commands but until then do it by hand.