Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Building illumos-gate on AWS (2019 version)

I've covered building illumos on AWS before, but the instructions there are a bit out of date. Of course, these will become outdated too, in time, but should still be useful.

First spin up an EC2 instance, the AMI you want to use for this is "Tribblix-m20.5", ami-7cf2181b in London. (If you want to use a different region, then you'll have to copy the AMI.)

For instance size, try an m4.2xlarge - a t2.micro really won't cut it, you won't even be able to install the packages. With an m4.2xlarge you're looking at 30-45 minutes to build illumos, depending on whether debug is enabled.

Add an external EBS device of at least 8G, there isn't enough space on the AMI's root partition to handle the build. When you add it, attach it at /dev/sdf (there's no real reason for this, but that will match the zpool create below).

Once it's booted up (I assume you know about security groups and keypairs, so you can ssh in as root), then the first thing you need to do is update the image:

zap refresh
zap update-overlay -a

Install the illumos-build overlay and tweak the install

zap install-overlay illumos-build
rm -f /usr/bin/cpp
cd /usr/bin ; ln -s ../gnu/bin/xgettext gxgettext

Create a user and a storage pool for them to use

zpool create -O compression=lz4 illumos c2t5d0
useradd -g staff -d /illumos -s /bin/bash illumos
chown illumos /illumos
passwd illumos

Log in as illumos, and clone the gate. What I do here is have a reference copy of the gate, and then I can clone that very quickly locally every time I want to do a build.

mkdir ${HOME}/Illumos-reference
cd ${HOME}/Illumos-reference
git clone

If you want to create omnitribblix too

git clone

Clone the relevant Tribblix repo

mkdir ${HOME}/Tribblix
cd ${HOME}/Tribblix
git clone

The scripts need to know where the Tribblix repo(s) are checked out

export THOME=${HOME}/Tribblix
Create a build area with the gate checked out

mkdir ${HOME}/Illumos
cd ${HOME}/Illumos
git clone ${HOME}/Illumos-reference/illumos-gate

and if you want to build omnitribblix too

git clone ${HOME}/Illumos-reference/illumos-omnios omnitribblix

You need the closed tarballs

wget -c \ \

Right, you're now ready to do a build.

cd illumos-gate

For a release build:

${THOME}/tribblix-build/illumos/releasebuild m20.6

For a debug build with a gcc7 shadow


For a debug build without the gcc7 shadow

${THOME}/tribblix-build/illumos/debugbuild -q
For omnitribblix, which assumes (and requires) that you've done a vanilla gate build first

cd ${HOME}/Illumos/omnitribblix
${THOME}/tribblix-build/illumos/omnibuild m20lx.6
And there you have it, you should have a beautiful cleanly built gate.

This differs from my previous recipe in a couple of key ways:
  1. I no longer require you to build in a zone, although I would still recommend doing so if you want to use the system for other things. But as this is an AWS instance, we can dedicate it to gate building
  2. It's far more scripted. If you want to see what it's really doing, look inside the releasebuild, debugbuild, and omnibuild scripts.
 Next time, I'll cover how the files from the build are converted into packages.

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