Making Solaris Packages from Commercial Software

Creating a managed infrastructure can go pretty slowly when you’re beset with a combination of bare competence and a work schedule that’s overrun with non-infrastructural tasks. So yes, it’s been just under a year since I wrote up how to make Debian packages from commercial software. On to getting similar capabilities out of the Solaris systems.

The packages

I already use Blastwave and pkg-get to install third-party free software applications, so I figured it would be easiest to use the same tools on my packaging. So for a first example, I installed Maple 11.00 manually into /opt/maple/11 on a Solaris 10 system. Then I made a temporary working folder and build folder, made an opt folder there, and moved the maple folder from the regular opt to my build folder’s opt. I also made a usr/local/bin in my build folder, and made relative symlinks from the main Maple executables to their assumed homes in usr/local/bin. The abridged results from the temporary working folder looked like this:

# pwd
# ls -l
total 6
drwxr-xr-x   4 root     root         512 May 22 09:27 build
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root          41 May 21 17:59 copyright
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root           0 May 22 09:36 depend
-rw-r--r--   1 root     root         143 May 22 09:35 pkginfo
# cat copyright
Copyright MapleSoft, All Rights Reserved
# cat pkginfo
DESC=Interactive computer algebra system
# ls -al build/opt/maple/11
total 504
drwxrwxr-x  17 root     other        512 May 22 08:43 .
drwxrwxr-x   3 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 ..
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 afm
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 bin
drwxr-xr-x   3 root     other       2048 May 22 08:42 bin.SUN_SPARC_SOLARIS
drwxr-xr-x   9 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 data
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 etc
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other       3072 May 22 08:42 examples
drwxr-xr-x   3 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 extern
-rw-r--r--   1 root     other     153861 May 21 14:12 Install.html
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other       1536 May 22 08:42 java
drwxrwxr-x   7 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 jre.SUN_SPARC_SOLARIS
drwxr-xr-x   4 root     other       1536 May 22 08:43 lib
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other        512 May 22 08:43 license
drwxr-xr-x   3 root     other        512 May 22 08:43 man
-rw-rw-r--   1 root     other      60064 May 21 14:15 Maple_11_InstallLog.log
-rw-r--r--   1 root     other      10285 May 21 14:12 readme.txt
drwxr-xr-x   6 root     other        512 May 22 08:43 samples
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other        512 May 22 08:43 test
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     other        512 May 22 08:42 X11_defaults
# ls -al build/usr/local/bin
total 10
drwxr-xr-x   2 root     root         512 May 22 08:56 .
drwxr-xr-x   3 root     root         512 May 22 08:47 ..
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root          31 May 22 08:55 maple11 -> ../../../opt/maple/11/bin/maple
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root          30 May 22 08:56 mint11 -> ../../../opt/maple/11/bin/mint
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root          32 May 22 08:55 xmaple11 -> ../../../opt/maple/11/bin/xmaple

Now, given that folder structure, I could adapt Blastwave’s package creation instructions to create some workable Solaris packages:

# (echo "i pkginfo"; echo "i copyright" ; echo "i depend" ; cd build ; find . | pkgproto ) > prototype
# pkgmk -b / -a `uname -p`
# filename=maple11-11.00-SunOS`uname -r`-`uname -p`.pkg
# pkgtrans -s /var/spool/pkg /root/$filename MAPLmaple11
# cd /root
# gzip $filename

Once mkpkg is all done with its work, I have a valid maple11-11.00-SunOS5.10-sparc.pkg.gz Solaris package in my /root folder. After testing it with regular pkgadd, I’m ready to put it into a private pkg-get repository.

The pkg-get repository

Compared to a Debian repository, a pkg-get repository is pretty simple. From the top-level folder in the repository on the ftp server:

# find sparc -print

A pkg-get repository’s top-level folders are named by processor type, i.e., the results of uname -p. Each processor type folder contains folders for each OS release level (from uname -r). Each release level folder contains packages for that CPU and OS, plus a descriptions and a catalog file.

The catalog file is created with Phil Brown’s makecontents script. It could potentially handle creating the descriptions, file, too, but I guess he never needed them. But the pkg-get script I got from definitely wants a descriptions file, so I’ll need to create that, too.

The way I’m creating the descriptions file is with the following script (on a Debian ftp server, so there may be some GNU-isms or bash-isms in the following code):

for name in sparc i386; do
    if [ -d $name ]; then
        cd $name
        for version in 5*; do
            if [ -d $version ]; then
                cd $version
                for package in *.gz; do
                    name=`grep $package catalog | awk '{print $1}'`
                    echo -ne "$name - "
                    zcat $package | head | strings | grep DESC= | cut -d= -f2-
                done > descriptions
                cd ..
        cd ..

which leaves me with a catalog file containing (so far, since I’ve only made one package):

maple11 11.00 MAPLmaple11 maple11-11.00-SunOS5.10-sparc.pkg.gz

and a descriptions file containing:

maple11 - Interactive computer algebra system

And now I can install them on a second host that’s never seen Maple installed before with:

pkg-get -s ftp://host/path/to/repository/ -U ; pkg-get -s ftp://host/path/to/repository/ install maple11

and afterwards get:

# which maple11
# maple11
    |\\^/|     Maple 11 (SUN SPARC SOLARIS)
._|\\|   |/|_. Copyright (c) Maplesoft, a division of Waterloo Maple Inc. 2007
 \\  MAPLE  /  All rights reserved. Maple is a trademark of
 <____ ____>  Waterloo Maple Inc.
      |       Type ? for help.
> quit
bytes used=412112, alloc=393144, time=0.07

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  2. Hi!
    I am a a mature IT person learning Solaris 10 (admin exams shortly..gulp)

    As I have advanced in IT and Networking I find my IT pals think I am speaking Uranian..or Zoggian from the planet Zog.

    I was a little worried about this but I am reassured by reading this blog, it is simply that the deeper you look the vaster the complexity. Rather like the deep space telescope that tracked one black area in the night skyrecently that turned to be “full of stars…” (Quoting Arthur C. Clarke)

    I barely understand what Puppet does, but I have spent a week on php recently and get the idea. I can see the cost savings for multinationals. I have downloaded sucessfully Sol 10 version.

    As people more advanced than I, how much more overall complexity can I expect in my studies? Lets say your telescope has a better magnification than mine-can you see an end?!

    I did some basic programming in Basic in 1988, later MSVC++.

    The idea of package management is conceptually straight forward but the differing installations and patch revisions frighten one!

    Thanks in advance, at my age one must start to limit the focus to an area likely to return benefits.
    I am unemployed at the moment!

    Secondly, I am increasingly of the opinion that Linux is much inferior as it is not as well supported, although I am now taking my Solaris studies across to Linux for employment purposes.

    I guess you are too busy! but a bit of general stuff can lighten the brow?

    Hope everyone starts talking the same language and makes up a good service.

    You don’t need me to point out the ironies of this argument, essentially about code/language/communication! And the likely remedies…

    I admire your achievments and pains.

    Rich K

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