Documentation Table of Contents
|* Usage Notes
|BeleniX boots from a CD
and it is pretty much self-explanatory. Nevertheless a few notes will
- When booting up it will ask for 2 bits of input:
Selecting the keyboard layout and selecting whether a XWindows GUI or a
command line mode are preferred.
- After booting it is possible to switch between
command-line and GUI. The command "startgui"
starts the Xserver services and brings up the XFce desktop. The command
"stopgui" will stop the Xserver
service and fall back to command-line mode.
- BeleniX asks for a Username/Password in command-line
login. The default Username is
default password is belenix. The GUI desktop does not
yet ask for username or password.
- BeleniX will automatically mount recognised hard disk
partitions under /mnt. The first FAT partition will be mounted under
/mnt/fat0 and so on. Similarly UFS slices will also be mounted under
/mnt/solaris0..n. This is a recovery feature.
- BeleniX will also try to use a swap slice on the hard
disk if a Solaris partition already exists with swap configured.
- The zoneadm and zonecfg commands in OpenSolaris can
be used to create a new Zone in BeleniX as well. A very simple
supporting Perl script (/usr/bin/createzone) has been provided to
partly fill in the missing functionality that zoneadm depends on.
However this script is beta quality and probably has bugs. For an
intro to creating zones on
Solaris/OpenSolaris by Dennis
Clarke please visit:
In addition the following items apply to BeleniX:
- Creating a zone requires at least 29MB of
diskspace so it cannot be created on the minimal ramdisk or root
filesystem of the LiveCD. A hard disk partition formatted with either
UFS or FAT(pcfs) is required.
- While executing "zoneadm -z <zonename>
install" several error messages may be visible. These can be ignored.
- Support for Network
Profiles exists on BeleniX. To create new profiles or edit
existing ones please look at the files under /etc/netprof. These files
are very simple and self-explanatory. To activate a profile run
/usr/bin/netprof or click on "Network Profiles" from the Panel menu.
- A simple Service Management (SMF) GUI is provided.
Just select "Services" from the pop-up menu. It lists all available
services or daemons and allows to start,stop,view details of the
- A command line audio/volume control tool is provided.
Execute "/usr/foss/bin/audioctl" without any arguments or "man
audioctl" to see the options.
|* Installing BeleniX to
BeleniX 0.3 onwards includes a harddisk installer that makes it easy to
install the LiveCD to harddisk (A manual install used to be quite
cumbersome). To start the installer just execute "hdinstaller" from a terminal
window. This is an interactive Curses based utility that can also be
navigated using the mouse if you are running the GUI Xfce desktop.
WARNING for DeveloperIQ readers. You *Must* refer to this page for
install instructions ***
Hdinstaller is mostly self-explanatory however a few notes are not out
of place here:
- OpenSolaris requires
a primary partition. It cannot
be installed in an extended partition. This is due to a limitation in
the ata driver. This will change in the future. For now you need to
have a free slot in one of the four primary partitions.
- If there is no Solaris2 partition already present
then the installer will run the fdisk utility that will display the
existing partitions and allow you to add or removed partitions. To
create a partition in which BeleniX can be installed you must select
the partition type to be "SOLARIS2" when fdisk displays a list in the
create partition menu.
- OpenSolaris uses it's own subpartitions within a
primary partition. These are officially called "slices". You must have
a root slice or "/". In addition you can have a slice for "/usr",
"/opt", swap and so on. Hdinstaller allows you to create your own
slices or put everything in "/". This is different from the way Linux
handles it's filesystems. Linux uses primary and extended partitions to
store the various filesystems including swap. OpenSolaris uses it's own
definition of slices stored in a Virtual Table of Conents (VTOC) within
one primary partition. The VTOC defines all the individual OpenSolaris
filesystems within the OpenSolaris partition.
- At present the hdinstaller will install GRUB as the
default bootloader (in MBR). If you have other Windows and Linux OSes
installed on the same system then you will need to edit
/boot/grub/menu.lst and add entries to boot the other OSes as well.
This will be made more
flexible in 0.3.1 where option will be provided to install GRUB in
either the MBR or within the Solaris2 partition. In addition we are
looking at adding auto-detection to the installer so that it will be
able to determine the other OSes and automatically add GRUB entries.
- Starting Xfce after
harddisk installation: At present a GUI display manager is not
yet part of the CD image, so to start Xfce you will need to login from
command line and execute "startxfce".
This will change in the next release.
- In addition the installer creates a mountpoint for
"/home" in "/etc/vfstab". Even
then this is not mounted during bootup because /home is actually used
by the automounter to mount home directories via NFS. Please change
this /home entry in /etc/vfstab to /export/home and create the
/export/home directory. This will be fixed in the next release.
BootTime Reductions (Faster Boot)
The following enhancements have been added in an attempt to reduce the
time required to boot from the CD:
- Several unnecessary services have been disabled.
- The initial Perl-Curses based keyboard and desktop
selection UI has been replaced with a similar interface based on dialog
(written in C) which starts much faster.
- Use the "crle" utility to create a runtime linker
cache to speed up shared library resolution by the linker.
- Used a smaller background JPEG for the Xfce desktop.
- Implemented transparent decompression support in
the loopback file module that will decompress data on the fly. The /usr
filesystem on the CDROM is now compressed using zlib level 9
compression. This high level of compression condenses more data in a
smaller amount of space resulting in les seeking of the CDROM head and
transferring of more data per I/O transaction. This greatly reduces
boottime. /usr is not created as an ISO image which is compressed into
a specially formatted file vi a command line tool. This file can be
used by the modified lofi module.
- Used the "-sort" feature of mkisofs to speed up
loading of Xfce and KDE. The iosnoop.d script from DTrace Toolkit was
used to trace I/O during a startup of KDE and Xfce. This gave me a list
of files in the order that they were accessed. I used this list and
generated a sequence of weights for /usr and the files in this specific
list. This list was subsequently passed to "mkisofs -sort". This
resulted in a CDROM layout where KDE file data occupy the innermost
tracks followed by Xfce files and then the rest of the OS files. Data
sitting in the innermost CDROM tracks is physically more condensed than
data on the periphery. So head seeking on the CDROM is less. Also the
file data is presented mostly in the order that they are requrested
which is turn again reduces CDROM head seeking.
- However the previous feature is not yet perfect and
there is scope for more improvement in the file placement optimisation.