One of the main issues I’ve always had with Solaris is finding packages to install. Back when I used Solaris XDE 9/07, this was much worse than it is today. In OpenSolaris, there is a new technology known as the Image Packaging System (IPS). This finally brings centralized software management capability to Solaris. It’s something many Linux distributions already do, and is basically an expected feature these days.
The default OpenSolaris package repository has a fairly large number of packages, but it seems to be lacking in some areas. The amount of packages in the default repository are growing, but it’s missing things such as MPlayer and other programs. Luckily, there are other IPS repositories that help alleviate this! The following commands can be executed in a terminal to add new repositories to the package manager:
pkg set-authority -O http://blastwave.network.com:10000/ Blastwave
pkg set-authority -O http://pkg.sunfreeware.com:9000/ Companion
Now, whenever you use the
pkg search -r
command, you should be able to search from these repositories and install from them.
Packages from Blastwave will install to the directory /opt/csw and entirely isolate themselves from the rest of the system. It has its own bin directory, etc directory, etc. Make sure you add /opt/csw/bin to your PATH to get these programs to work properly:
You may want to put that in your .bash_profile or .bashrc file in your home directory so it gets loaded all the time.
Other Places for Packages:
Despite the addition of two more repositories, there will be times when the package image we want just doesn’t exist (Wine? Hello, where are you?). Luckily for us, OpenSolaris has pkgadd and friends for “backwards compatibility.” The pkgadd, pkgrm, and other related commands are used to install programs from .pkg files. It used to be the way Solaris handled software installation. There are some other websites that contain various software packages for installation:
A small, but very nice collection of programs, including an up-to-date version of Wine for Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris (make sure to download the proper version!)