Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Solaris on a Laptop

Every so often, things go without a hitch.

Today I got a laptop to look at. It's an old Dell D600, and the requirement was to have something looking like our production Unix environment on it. One of my colleagues had already stuck a Solaris DVD and got Solaris installed, and then handed it over.

First job was to get the network working. That's easy - off to the Broadcom download site to pick up the BCME driver. (Oddly, it's in the server section of the downloads.) That installed, I was on the wired network.

Next for wireless. A quick look and this machine seemed to have a Broadcom 4320 wireless chip. So off to the OpenSolaris Laptop Community, and it looks as though I need the ndis wrapper. With that and the windows driver I downloaded from Dell, I just followed the instructions. OK, ifconfig brings up the wireless.

That's a bit crude, and it would be nice to avoid too much CLI intervention. Enter wificonfig and Inetmenu and we're all set. Having given the laptop user the 'Ginetmenu' and 'Primary Administrator' profiles, it's as easy as firing up inetmenu and selecting from the list.

And both wireless and wired networks work (almost) flawlessly.

I didn't have a chance to look at wpa support, which would be needed some of the time. But I was mightily impressed by how easily everything I did try worked out.