Tips from the Trenches

A collection of hints and tips for the Solaris and illumos Systems Administrator.

Some comments on aspects of ZFS such as compression and deduplication.
It turns out that Recursive zfs send and receive isn't quite as simple and obvious as you would like. so here's a bit more detail.
Managing Zones and containers
Zones behind zones and Zones beside zones
Using Crossbow network virtualization.
Simple Zone Architecture
A brief discussion of how to build zones for ease of deployment, backup, and cloning.
Limiting cpu usage by a zone.
A brief discussion of using the dedicated-cpu and capped-cpu settings.
Solaris Containers and Shared Memory
Want to configure shared memory settings in Solaris containers? Here's how.
Preconfiguring Containers with sysidcfg
The extra steps you'll need to be able to configure Solaris 8 and 9 containers automatically.
Zones, multiple interfaces, and routing
How to set up routing on a Solaris 10 system with zones on different subnets.
Controlling the Install Footprint
Rather than minimizing the installed files, perhaps you ought to think about minimizing installed services instead.
Notifications from SMF (and FMA)
How to set up SMF and FMA to email you when there's a problem, and how it doesn't quite work.
Setting up Logical Domains
A short series: Part 1 covers the server side, and Part 2 considers the guest.
Software verification of SVR4 packages with pkgchk
Covers basic usage and a neat trick to verify against the originally intended state of the package rather than the current state.
Mangling the contents file for fun and profit
SVR4 packaging metadata is just plain text files, here I show one example of how to modify them by hand to solve a thorny problem.
Vendor Stack vs build your own
Should you use the software components provided by your OS vendor, or take control of the process and build your own?
Building current gcc on Solaris 10
While Solaris 10 comes with a copy of gcc, it's quite old. It's quite useful to have a newer version around, and this explains how to get it installed.
A bigger hammer than svcadm
Or, how to kill off all the processes associated with an SMF service when svcadm refuses to cooperate.
The Oracle Hardware Management Pack
An extremely useful, but largely unknown, utility that's very useful on modern Oracle servers.
Cache batteries on Sun 25xx arrays
You don't need to actually replace cache batteries just because you've owned them for a year or two.
Compressing Backup Catalogs
Forget about getting NetBackup to compress its catalog, and get ZFS (or any other compressing filesystem) to do the job instead.
Solaris Link Aggregation
A simple walkthrough on using dladm to aggregate several physical network links.
Making scp go a little quicker
A little hint to make your scp file transfers go quicker.

Old tips

The following tips are getting old - they may refer to old versions, no longer be necessary, or to hardware that's no longer available. However, they may still be relevant if you have to deal with old hardware or software.

22 July 2009
Some notes on installing Xfce on Solaris 10 (refers to Xfce 4.6, which is old).
17 Jan 2006
Some notes on availability
16 Jan 2006
Some raid notes
13 Jan 2006
3320 quickstart
12 Jan 2006
mpxio quickstart
11 Jan 2006
3510 quickstart
28 Nov 2005
A brief intro to Projects and Resource Pools.
12 Jun 2005
Setting up an install server from iso images
21 Mar 2005
Moving up from installation minimalism
18 Mar 2005
Installation minimalism updated
10 Feb 2005
Setting up Postfix under SMF
1 Dec 2004
Some performance notes
23 Nov 2004
Zone minimalism

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