Beginning with OpenSolaris b134 it is now possible to do a text-based installation. Some of the main differences between the new text-based installation and the LiveCD-based installation are:
- The text-based installation supports serial console.
- The text-based installation performs a minimal installation. X11, GNOME and many other packages will not be installed by default, but can be installed later on by following instructions from Text Installer b134-based project gate images.
- The text-based installation offers more installation options, like installing into a whole disk, a partition or a slice within a Solaris2 partition. Again, this can be achieved by following instructions from Text Installer b134-based project gate images.
Being able to install OpenSolaris into a slice within a partition can be useful. For example, my OpenSolaris box has 1x2TB disk and 3×1.5TB disks. I want one ZFS pool to span 4×1.5TB slices (across the 4 drives) and the ZFS root pool on the remaining space in the 2TB disk. With the LiveCD it requires a lot of hacking as described in HP Proliant DL180 G6 and ZFS (part V). With the text-based installation it is straightforward and it does not require booting a Linux distribution to modify the partition table, or from an OpenSolaris LiveCD to adjust the slices.