Creating a bootable OpenSolaris USB thumb drive

This past week, I had the need to install opensolaris on a host using a USB thumb drive. To create a bootable USB drive, I first needed to snag the distribution constructor tools via mercurial (I ran these commands from an OpenSolaris host):

$ pkg install SUNWmercurial

$ hg clone ssh://

The caiman slim source Mercurial repository contains a script named usbcopy, which you can use to copy a USB image from the genunix site to your USB drive:

$ usbcopy /nfs/images/osol-0811.usb

Found the following USB devices:
0: /dev/rdsk/c9t0d0p0 7.6 GB Patriot Memory PMAP
Enter the number of your choice: 0

WARNING: All data on your USB storage will be lost.
Are you sure you want to install to
Patriot Memory PMAP, 7600 MB at /dev/rdsk/c9t0d0p0 ? (y/n) y
Copying and verifying image to USB device
Finished 824 MB in 336 seconds (2.4MB/s)
0 block(s) re-written due to verification failure
Installing grub to USB device /dev/rdsk/c9t0d0s0
Completed copy to USB

After the image was copied, I plugged the drive into my machine and it booted to the opensolaris desktop without issue. From there I did an install and everything appears to be working flawlessly! Nice.

This article was posted by Matty on 2010-03-07 10:13:00 -0400 -0400