Each OpenSolaris release is a free binary distribution that can be redistributed.
Explore an OpenSolaris environment on a Live CD.
Each OpenSolaris release provides a Live CD for x86 platforms. This Live CD includes a basic, core OpenSolaris operating system, and the GNOME desktop environment. You can explore the OpenSolaris operating system from this Live CD without actually installing it on your system.
Note - A minimum of 512 Mbytes of memory is required to run the Live CD and the GUI installer.
See Exploring the OpenSolaris Live CD.
Install the OpenSolaris operating system on your system.
You can install the current OpenSolaris release on your system from the OpenSolaris Live CD. Or, you can download a bootable image of the OpenSolaris operating system and run it in a virtual machine on your system. An image is a collection of software in a package that comprises an entire operating system in one file. An image is bootable and usable for installations.
See Installation Roadmap.
Add and update software on your system.
After the OpenSolaris operating system is running on your system, additional software packages, including developer tools, can be downloaded to your system by using the Image Packaging System (IPS). IPS accesses software packages from network repositories and installs them.
The Image Packaging System offers both the Package Manager GUI and command-line utilities, such as the pkg command, to install and manage the software packages on your installed system. The Package Manager is a graphical user interface (GUI) for IPS that enables you to easily install, update, and manage software packages.
For both the Live CD and an installed OpenSolaris system, Package Manager can be started from the desktop's Main Menubar by selecting System > Administration > Package Manager. On an installed OpenSolaris system, you can also start the application by clicking the Package Manager icon that is located on the desktop.
Use Package Manager or the IPS command-line utilities to:
Add new packages to your system from network repositories.
Update the existing packages individually on your system.
Update all of the packages on your system at once.
Select a build version with components for managing or creating your own custom OpenSolaris image.
For information about using the Image Packaging System and Package Manager, see Getting Additional Software. See, also the pkg(1) man page.
Upgrade your OpenSolaris operating system.
To upgrade an existing OpenSolaris release to the OpenSolaris 2009.06 release, see Upgrading to the Next OpenSolaris Release.
Create and manage multiple boot environments on your system.
A boot environment is a bootable instance of an OpenSolaris operating system image, plus any other application software packages installed into that image. You can maintain multiple boot environments on your system, and each boot environment could have different software versions installed.
With multiple boot environments, the process of updating software becomes a low risk operation, because you can create backup boot environments before making any software updates to your system. If necessary, you have the option of booting a backup boot environment.
See Managing Multiple Boot Environments on Your System.
Set up a customized application development environment on your system.
The OpenSolaris software offers complete support for developing and deploying applications. Tools that are required for application development are available for download and installation through Package Manager. You can easily download and install tools, such as Sun Studio compilers, debuggers, performance analyzers, NetBeansTM, source code management, and the make utility.
You can also download and install Web Stack development tools, such as Apache web server, Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP), Lighttpd web server, and the Squid caching proxy.
See Setting Up Your Application Development Environment.
Install custom OpenSolaris images on multiple client systems.
System administrators can use the automated installer tool that is available with OpenSolaris releases to provide simplified setup and configuration for multiple installations of the OpenSolaris operating system.
The automated installer enables system administrators to create an installation service that provides blueprints for specific x86 based, and starting with OpenSolaris 2009.06 release, SPARC based installations. This installation service includes a web server, which stores a list of manifest files with installation specifications that have been made available by the administrator.
To locate an installation blueprint that matches the client's system specifications, clients can contact the web server and review the available services by using associated manifest files. When a matching blueprint or manifest file is found, the service installs the client with the OpenSolaris release, according to the specifications that are in the manifest file.
See the Automated Installer Guide.
Build a custom, OpenSolaris image that can be redistributed.
System administrators and operating system developers can use the distribution constructor tool that is available with OpenSolaris releases to build preconfigured, bootable OpenSolaris images. This tool takes an XML manifest file as input, and then builds an ISO image based on the parameters that are specified in the manifest file. Or, a USB image can be created, based on a generated ISO image. These images can then be distributed to contacts and customers.
An ISO image or a USB image is a collection of software that comprises an entire operating system in a single file. These images are bootable and are usable for installations, for creating a bootable CD or DVD, and for other purposes. An ISO image can be made available for distribution from the Internet. A USB image can be copied to a USB flash drive.
See Distribution Constructor Guide.