OpenSolaris – Desktop Experience – Part 1


Few days back I installed OpenSolaris 2008.11 on my aging IBM R50e Thinkpad. My previous experience with OpenSolaris Solaris Express builds were not that great from desktop point of view. Primary problem being no support for the Intel Pro Wireless adapter IPW2200B/G and the multimedia support. This time LFY distributed a live CD of OpenSolaris 2008.11, so I thought of trying my hands on it. Immediately after booting I was impressed with the desktop which came up and reminded me of my first Ubuntu experience. A quick glance at the top-right panel and I saw two network interfaces iwi0 and iprb0. Hmmm, so it picked up both my network interfaces. Its a pity that unlike last time, I do not have a wireless network to connect to, but I was able to see the list of all networks which could be found. The overall interface looked good and quite similar to Ubuntu, so it was familiar to me.

Adobe Flash Support

Adding Adobe flash support to OpenSolaris was quite easy. Visit to the website and click on the Download button to download the Flash Player. After the download finishes, use the following commands to install it:

$ tar -xvjf flash_player_10_solaris_x86.tar.bz2 
$ pfexec cp flash_player_10_solaris_r22_87_x86/  /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/

Restart the browser and visit any flash based website to verify.

Playing MP3 Songs

Like many linux distributions, Rhythmbox was not able to play MP3 files because of lack of suitable codec. I had in the past used Fluendo MP3 Decoder. Its free, but you need to register to download it. After downloading:

$ tar -xvjf fluendo-mp3-7.solaris-intel.tar.bz2
$ pfexec cp codecs/ /usr/lib/gstreamer-0.10/

That’s it, start Rhythmbox and it can play MP3 songs.

Additional Package Repositories

There are several additional repositories which can be added to the package manager.

Adding Secure Sun OpenSolaris Extra Repository

Visit the webpage This service is for registered users only. Registration is free of cost. Fortunately I am a registered user, so I just logged on and generated a key and certificate pair for myself. I next followed the instructions on the page and downloaded the key and certificate to my local machine and carried out the following commands:

$ pfexec mkdir -m 0755 -p /var/pkg/ssl
$ pfexec cp -i OpenSolaris_extras.key.pem /var/pkg/ssl/
$ pfexec cp -i OpenSolaris_extras.certificate.pem  /var/pkg/ssl/
$ pfexec pkg set-authority -k /var/pkg/ssl/OpenSolaris_extras.key.pem -c /var/pkg/ssl/OpenSolaris_extras.certificate.pem -O extra
$ pkg authority
AUTHORITY                           URL (preferred)

To see a list of all packages provided by the new authority,

$ pkg list -a 'pkg://extra/*'

Adding Few Other Repositories

The other non-https respositories can be added as:

$ pfexec pkg set-authority -O
$ pfexec pkg set-authority -O
$ pfexec pkg set-authority -O

Finally my list of registered repositories are:

$ pkg authority
AUTHORITY                           URL           (preferred)     

Stay tuned for the next part.

This entry was posted in Solaris/AIX/HP-UX, Tips/Code Snippets and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply