Link to home
Start Free TrialLog in
Avatar of janhoedt

asked on

ZFS: Solaris on Microserver


I want to dual boot ESXi (usb stick)/Solaris. I changed the boot order so now it should boot from an SSD after install.
 I mapped the live iso Oracle via RAC, this way I don't need to plugin an usb key-which I do have succesfully made btw, but as last resort).

The screens just stays black with a white cursor. Not sure if it does do anything. Not a lot of ways to find out either. Any idea if it's normal in this setup (waiting for 15 minutes now).

User generated image

-blinking speed of cursor varies, so maybe it does do something ...?
-drive is mapped from within vm which is close to the NAS (on which the iso is), so network speed should be ok (would it need to fully download the iso, didn't think it would)?

Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Flag of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland image

why do you want to dual boot? ESXi & Solaris?

I would test if you can boot a normal OS ISO in this way. e.g. Windows OS Bootable CDROM, if you can, clearly Oracle Solaris is not bootable in this fashion.
Avatar of janhoedt


Dual boot to have option to boot into esx and do testing with vm solaris.
I booted from USB with solaris now (made with tool you suggested), GRUB is showing and cursor blinks but not much happens for 10 minutes now ....
be careful, that you do not end up with ESX or Solaris over writing a non OS disk.
Doesn t matter, they are all empty.
More important: I cannot seem to install. Either on bare metal (cursor blinks) or vm (cannot map drives behind lsi).
Any further idea on this?
does not boot from cdrom?

does not boot from usb?

remove gskill ram?
There is no cdrom, that s why I use usb. Boots from usb but stays blinking on grub.
Remove ram? Why, nothing is wrong with ram itself.
we do not have any issues here installing from USB, but we are not using 16GB in our Solaris SANs only ESXi!
we have no issues booting from USB and installing.
And you created it with the tool you mentioned? Will try to do it again.
Will try again then. Or could it be because of rac I m using to install? Probably not.
Exactly the same with feeshly created usb. Directly connected to server (no rac): GRUB showing with blinking cursor. Nothing happens.

Please advise.
very odd, not in the office, so cannot get to the lab, to conduct tests.

its possible the Oracle Solaris build has changed, usb tool does not work anymore, or solaris build is not compatible with your hardware.
It would be a really big help if you could test on your lab! If it works for you, not for me we can find differencs which lead to root cause (just as octopus cable).
Note: not sure what they mean with "Download - From this site ( Please rename to "" )"
Works fine without any rename.
thats irrelevant, to the issue unless the usb image has now changed and is incompatible.
Strange thing is that usb key is always made within seconds ... and empty when checking within windows. Could be normal since format (ext4 or specific solaris format?) isn't recognized but still.
If anybody could give me input he/she can boot succesfully with usb stick cretated solaris 11 and the mentioned tool ....
that was the tool we used successfully, in the past. note the past, with usb image downloaded in the past, that tool has not been updated since 2009.

if its created in seconds its failed, it takes at least 10-15mins to prepare
But it said successfull at the end. Last time creating took ore time. Maybe I need another tool to make the usb then.
I could try rufus,, but what filetype I should take, ntfs/fat32?
you could try that tool.

the filetype is probably based on iso size
Ok, I ll do that. Other option is to use a cloning tool and try to clone from mounted iso to usb (f.e. Poweriso).
Doesn't work with Rufus, it doesn't want to make the usb with the Oracle ISO.
Trying with poweriso now.
VM doesn't want to boot from USB also, it says I have to format it if I want to use it.
Booted microserver with usb,  the same: blinking cursor only. Drives me nuts.
When you yanked the USB stick you changed the device names.  A USB "speaks" SCSI protocol so if you had a USB stick before then it was probably /dev/sda, so it might have mapped the root partition to /dev/sdb.

But with the USB taken out, then /dev/sdb got remapped to /dev/sda, which is no longer there.  That is most likely root cause.

I can't tell you how to fix it, because using ZFS and solaris under ESX is frankly, nuts, because it hurts performance and you lose many of the advantages and entire point of using ZFS by using it in a virtual environment.  Only exception is a test system or one where you don't care about ZFS as much as having a test system for software development/compatibility purposes.

But this may help
>I can't tell you how to fix it, because using ZFS and solaris under ESX is frankly, nuts
? I m not doing that. I m trying to install solaris on bare metal, just as you suggested and just as I mentioned in this ticket.
If somebody could try installing Oracle Solaris11 from usb and tell me if it works, then I know it s a problem related to my config.
as I said We will do this later when back in the office!
Ok, thanks! Merry Christmas btw :-)
okay, as promised dropped by the office, and popped into one of the labs to test.

the latest sol-11_1-live.x86.usb download we cannot get the OsolLiveUSB003 tool to create a bootable usb flash drive.

we checked our bootable Oracle Solaris USB flash drive, and it still boots a HP ProLiant Microserver.

It helps you by confirming this tool no longer works with the latest ISO from Oracle, but highlights that only an ISO (for VM) or bootable cdrom of the ISO, will boot a server.

So I would look at alternate means to boot your server.
Great! Helps a lot indeed! I ll have to buy a dvd/cd rom player then. Would an external dvd writer be recognized (then the money isn t fully wasted for only installation Solaris).
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Flag of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland image

Link to home
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
Attached a basic Samsung external dvd-writer and booted with Solaris. Looks like it's working!
Seemed to be installed, but when I reboot, blinking cursor is there again ... and nothing happens.
No lsi raid to configure, right? Tried to get in lsi bios to check (ctrl + c), it says invoking bios but doesn t do it (ends up on blinking cursor screen).
Please advise!
Tried to get in lsi bios to check (ctrl + c), it says invoking bios but doesn t do it (ends up on blinking cursor screen).

That's the BIOS BUG! That I mentioned, I think trying to get into LSI BIOS.

Clearly, GRUB is not installed correctly.
I knew that was the bug, but I thought I should eventually get into it (after a few tries?), but I cannot. So I don t need to check or configure anything in it?
Everything went fine during install, no errors + I installed to ssd of 60 gb without any problem (it suggested to use 2nd ssd of 60 gb, I took first, it suggested to make partitions, I choose option to take full disk).
I could reinstall but don t see where the error/faulty install could be.
Please advise, you would try reinstall, hanccocka?
Ok, thanks for quick reply.
Meanwhile I'm trying to install Nexenta, just to see where it gets me.
Interesting: it gives me the option to install OS to 2 disks (mirrored I guess) at once. During install, I see two blue leds of Sharkoon (in which ssd's 60 GB to which I'm installing) flashing at the same time, cool :-)
I'll keep you updated.
It boots into Nexenta (and two leds of ssd's are flashing so fault redundant at once)! Wow, I'm a happy man :-)
I'll stick to Nexenta for now. When I can make this working correctly, I might spend some time in the future with Solaris :-)
No problems, very little difference, and Nexenta is easier to manage for the "layman"