How to install OmniOS ce

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In this article I will show you how to install OmniOS Community Edition on VirtualBox. OmniOS is a distribution (as different linux distributions but) of illumos, which is based on OpenSolaris from Sun Microsystems.

I’m using VirtualBox for this tutorial, but you will get better results using server systems for OmniOS.

You can download from here: I’m using the ISO CD image.

Create a VM

Choose a good name (i.e. Omnios), and the type should be Solaris 11:

Creating a VM to install omnios

The amount of RAM and hard disk size depends on the hardware available you have. The more, the better.

Follow the wizard and before you start the VM go to Settings → Storage and mount the iso file:

Then you can start the virtual machine and do the installation.

Install OmniOS

Launch the virtual machine, a boot screen appears:

OmniOS bootscreen

Now follow the instructions on the screen, the install process it’s pretty similar to every other OS.
First, choose your keyboard layout:

my keyboard is in spanish

Secondly, the installer menu appears, if you don’t have experience choose the first option:

OmniOS installer
This VM have only one hard disk

The laptop where I’m running VirtualBox is old and slow that’s why on the next screen I’ll choose to NOT use compression, but the recommended value is using.

change the options with enter. Default values are just fine

Then the installer will ask for a hostname and the timezone of your system (it was too fast and I didn’t take screenshots).

This take like a minute, maybe less

Wait until the installation is complete and when get back to the main menu choose reboot. Don’t forget to remove the CD ISO image!.

Post installation tasks

Root password

Initially, the root user is created with a blank password, that way is trivial to login the system physically and impossible remotely. The first thing to do then, is to create a password for root, with the passwd command as on other unixes:

# passwd


The network isn’t set yet. For this tutorial I’m using DHCP, at the end of the article will be a link to the documentation.

To identify the network card name run:

# dladm show-phys

Now create an ip interface and an address from dhcp. Change e1000g0 to your network card name:

# ipadm create-if e1000g0
# ipadm create-addr -T dhcp e1000g0/v4
# ipadm show-addr
configuring the network


Run the following to configure the name resolution:

# echo 'nameserver' >> /etc/resolv.conf
# cp /etc/nsswitch.conf{,.bak}
# cp /etc/nsswitch.{dns,conf}

Change the google dns to your network’s dns.


Working with root could be dangerous. For example: once I wrote an script that do a couple of things including deleting files, my then boss run it and end up with all his local and mounted filesystem (including remote nfs and smb) deleted because he run the script and went away while the destruction was in process. That wouldn’t happened if he where working with a regular user rather than root.

On OmniOS the home directory is not writable, you need to append the following to /etc/auto_home before the creation of users:

*  localhost:/export/home/&

and reload the autofs service:

# svcadm refresh autofs

Now you can create an user and a password for that user:

# useradd -b /export/home user1
# passwd user1
creating a user and loggin in with that user

Software management

Omnios use the pkg command which is similar in it’s functions to apt or yum. The main commands are:

pkg list

List all installed packages.

pkg info <package>

show information about a <package>

pkg search <text>

Search for a package.

pkg install <package>

Installs a package, sometimes the command will help you with the correct and complete package name, for example:

Installing Midnight Commander filemanager

Links to documentation

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Gonzalo Rivero
Gonzalo Rivero
I am Gonzalo, I live in Salta, a city located in the NW of Argentina. I play the guitar and a little harmonica. I also like to bike.



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