Indiana: VESA if you need it

Over the past week, as we kept reassembling the distro constructor, image packaging, and slim install, we tested installs on a bunch of laptops. This manual operation let me rehearse how to get things working if the Preview LiveCD doesn’t have a graphics driver that will work. So: here’s the VESA workaround.

  1. Boot text mode. One of the non-default lines in the GRUB menu should say “text”—pick that one.
  2. Login as jack. User is “jack”, password is “jack”.
  3. Generate a representative xorg.conf. Become root and have Xorg generate an initial configuration. The root password is “opensolaris”. (Enjoy that `root`’s default shell is ‘bash’ for a bit.)
    $ su

/usr/X11/bin/Xorg -configure

… This procedure should create

  1. Change the driver. As root, you’ll continue by editing that file in vi(1). Search for the Device section, and modify the Driver line to

    Driver  “vesa”

  2. Make it go. Stay root and hand-launch GNOME.

    # /usr/X11/bin/xinit /usr/bin/dbus-launch gnome-session –
    /usr/X11/bin/Xorg -config /jack/ :0

  3. Launch the installer. Bring up a terminal, and invoke the installer, by typing install-lan &.

If your install fails, please file a bug report at If it succeeds, but graphics doesn’t work, you can follow the same steps, but you’ll have to edit the GRUB entry. (Roughly, type ‘e’, add “-s” to the end of the line with kernel/unix, and log in with the new root password you set during install. I haven’t tested this portion—let me know if it fails.)

Last night, I had to do this for my trusty VAIO T370P, but tonight it’s fine:


Please let us know how it goes.

[ T: OpenSolaris Solaris indiana pkg ]