[OpenIndiana-discuss] Enhancement to IPS (pkg)??

Joshua M. Clulow josh at sysmgr.org
Mon Oct 25 04:58:07 UTC 2010

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 3:20 PM, Sunay Tripathi
<tripathi.sunay at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I also don't think that the only "commercial viability" of OpenIndiana
>> will come from being to upgrade existing Solaris 10 installs.  Surely
>> we want it to be commercially viable for free-standing new deployments
>> as well -- a goal which is not, as far as I can tell, insurmountably
>> distant.
> I am all for new installed base. All the power to you. I am being
> sincere here and not sarcastic. But can you explain what you are
> doing to achieve that? New features, new deployment model, or
> something else? Would appreciate a meaningful response instead of
> more chest thumping.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have all (or indeed many) of
the answers.  My small and recent contribution is trying to make some
kind of AI process available to people who don't already have an OI
infrastructure -- which I assume is still most people!

> The mirror code that we wrote actually still depends on the origin
> server being available. It was a mirror for data only. Maybe something
> changed in last few months but quick look at the putbacks don't
> show any explicit putback addressing this. Is this something you
> fixed personally or is fixed in OI? I would love to try this out.

This appears to be an issue of terminology.  When I (and many others)
talk about mirroring I guess we mean re-creating our own independent
origin depot rather than using pkg's inbuilt "mirror" functionality
which appears to be of somewhat questionable value.

The files in here ...
... coupled with the OI rsync service for the depot allow the creation
of a complete and up-to-date mirror in the traditional sense (i.e. a
free-standing copy) rather than in the pkg(5)-specific sense which
means just the file/ data and not the manifests.

>> You can absolutely do this today.  OpenIndiana provides a full copy of
>> both "/dev" (current OI packages) and "/legacy" (a mirror of the
>> OpenSolaris "/dev" repo).  If you download these and run a local
>> pkg.depotd then you can install without the Internet.  It also turns
>> out that you can download both of these and merely run an Apache
>> server with a few ksh scripts (as I described in my blog entry) to
>> provide the same functionality.
> So you would expect people to write their own script to achieve this.

Well, no, I actually provide the ksh scripts and the canned responses
and even the Apache VirtualHost snippets required to make it work.
It's also just a rough draft for the minimisation of the footprint
required to run an AI server.

> Why would you not allow the pkg system to do it for you with a simple
> command? Running pkg.depotd is for developer and not end users in my
> opinion.

Well, if you want to run pkg.depotd (as I would suggest that you
probably do if you're running OS or OI) then that's fine -- there's an
SMF service that you can point at your tarball+rsynced repository
tree.  It's described in the OI wiki and other available literature.
This task is arguably less complicated than extracting the Solaris 10
media and invoking the Jumpstart setup scripts.

> I was just trying
> to steer you towards making it easy for people who don't have your
> skill set to actually be able to run Solaris.

To be fair, historically Jumpstart has been complicated and brittle
and a steep learning curve for new users.  Bolt-on scripts and
toolsets like SUNWjet have sprung up to try and make it easier to
install and run Solaris over the network.

If you're an "end user" with a workstation I would really just expect
you to use the Live DVD installer.  If you're somewhere between end
user and developer -- e.g. a sysadmin with a lot of boxes to look
after -- then I would hope that the instructions I put together aren't
too complicated.  It's all interim stuff anyway, but I aim in the
future to ensure that we never depend on the user/sysadmin/etc having
an existing OI install to make more OI installs.

Joshua M. Clulow
UNIX Admin/Developer

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