SUMMARY: Trying to install OpenWindows

From: Dan Penrod (
Date: Thu Jul 22 1993 - 09:15:13 CDT

Hey all:

Here's my summary posting for my problem trying to install OpenWindows using
the add_services utility. I got a lot of really interesting responses. The
one I ended up using wasn't a Sun-Manager reply but direct support from Sun.
This second support technician said "You should NEVER MODIFY the /etc/install/
media_file.sun4.sun4c.sunos.4.1.3 file!" We found that the utility was having
trouble tar'ing because it OVERWROTE MY /ETC/BIN/TAR FILE SO IT HAD A FILE
LENGTH OF ZERO!!! WOW!! I had to copy tar from another Sparc on the network.
Next thing he pointed out was that I should choose the [add new release] option
instead of the [edit existing release] option even though I was in fact editing
my existing release. Don't ask me why; just know it made a difference! It
worked! The technician said that the utility is good for adding small things
like games and demos but not for big things like OpenWindows.

I liked the suggestion from Keith Abbey. He says you can use the utility
/usr/etc/install/extract_files instead which is apparently less buggy.
A lot of people suggested variations on untar'ing the files manually; not
for the meak at heart and strongly discouraged by Sun Support.

Thank you Sun Managers. Hope these replies help others..
Here is the original question and unedited replys...

>Hey all:
>I'm trying to install OpenWindows from my Solaris 1.1 cd. I have been trying
>to use /user/etc/install/add_serices to get the job done. When I run the
>utility and select the services that I want installed it apparently goes out
>to cd to extract some tar files. This is where I get the error:
> Release media volume -1 mounted
> Please mount release media volume 1
>I called Sun. The guy I talked to said I need to modify a volume parameter
>in the file /etc/install/media_file.sun4.sun4c.sunos.4.1.3
>I changed the parameter from a value of -1 to 1, as instructed and reran
>add_services. It failed again. When I double checked my change to the
>parameter file (media_file.sun4.sun4c.sun0s.4.1.3) my update had been changed
>back to -1. I tried this several times and confirmed that my save had taken
>effect but each time it appears add_services is setting the parameter back.
>I called Sun back and told them. They never got back to me with an answer.
>Has anyone else experienced this weirdness? This poor users sparc station
>has been down for days and I really need to get it up right away!
>Thanks in advance. I'll summarize.


>If add_services builds a script in /var/tmp, and then executes this
>script, you should be able to run the script manually / modify it.
>That's what I have done with cdm-based installations sometimes.
>You could just boot from the CDROM and go through the installation script
>and only select Openwin stuff! I have done it that way.
>Alternatively, you could mount the cdrom as a read-only filesystem and
>untar the related files by hand. I've also done that, but you'll need
>to find exactly which ones are relevant to OW3. It may be obvious, or SUN
>may know. Come to think of it - many people on this list kmow!
>While you are fixing it, add it to the /etc/exports fiel on another machine and>mount it on this one - that will get them going.
> The best way to do this is to use the command
>/usr/etc/install/extract_files. This utility allows you
>to select any of the installable "packages" which can be
>installed. I believe the syntax is something like:
> /usr/etc/install/extract_files sr0 OpenWindows_User -a sun4c -r 4_1_3
>If you type in the command without any arguments, a help file will be
>Hi Dan, I had a similar problem when running an upgrade.
>I had to edit the media_file.sun4.sun4c.sunos.4.1.3 and
>the appl_media_file.sun4.sunos.4.1.3 and insure the
>mf_load=yes on the mf_name=OpenWindows_* or all the
>openwindow loades that you require.
>Hope this can help.
>There's obviously something wrong in one of the /etc/install files
>so to make things short the openwin media is in the format of a compressed
>tar file. You should be able to mount the cd, move to the proper directory
>and the use an uncompress *** | tar xvf - to unload the openwin files.
>Then just run the install script in the openwin/lib directory, that's
>Incidentally, until you succeed in this you can have this user running
>ow 3.0 nfs-mounted via symlink from someone else's workstation.
>I have seen this problem before. I have done exactly what you have done.
>I believe that there is some kind of bug with installing from cdrom using
>scripts in /usr/etc/install. I have editted /etc/install/media_file.sun4*
>and saved the file. I saved the file without exiting the editor. It worked
>for me then. Try it out and see what happens.
>It's about as easy to do by hand, as with the menu system. Just "cd"
>around on the CD-ROM; you'll find a tar file to extract with a name
>matching the package ("cd /usr" before doing the extract).

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