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Option 1: Install software from OpenIndiana repositories via IPS

OpenIndiana uses the same package management system, IPS, as Oracle Solaris 11, and Oracle is thus far continuing Sun's practice of providing well written manuals:

The command line package manager is pkg(5).

Package management is done with super-user privileges (when running as a normal user with rights to elevate, prepend sudo or pfexec to the commands below).

Set a remote repository:

Search for a package (in remote repositories):

Install a package:

The above is the "native" OpenIndiana package management, but some packages may be missing or outdated.

Option 2: Install software from SmartOS repositories via pkgin

All illumos-based operating systems, like OmniOS, OpenIndiana and SmartOS can use the repository from Joyent/SmartOS. Its main advantage is that you find there a lot of very up to date packages.

A list of available software: in folder  (or

If you want to install software via pkgin (installs every package to /opt), you need to (console as root):

  1. add /opt/local/{s,}bin where all software is installed to your PATH (in your shell, maybe save to your .profile):

  2. install the bootstrap-loader: (use the loader according to your repository, see

  3. update the repository database:

  4. install the needed package, for example – Apache 2.4.6:

    or, just for newest 2.4:

For more information see:

Option 3: Compile yourself

You need a compiler like gcc; download the sources, switch to the folder with your sources (make the content of your sourcefolder executable recursively) and compile via:

You might want to first look into ./configure --help to see what options are available for building the software – quite often, some features useful for you might notbe a general choice enabled by default, or might require other dependency software to be available first in binary or source form, in order to compile.

  1. Jun 24, 2011


    Brilliant :|

    1. Jul 18, 2011


      In case of no info at any point of this document, please refer to the FreeBSD handbook instead, I suppose...?

  2. Aug 05, 2011


    guys, seriously, are you joking?

  3. Aug 26, 2011


    The project is what, 12 months old now, and still basically no documentation? Come on guys, how do you expect people to use this OS at all without even basic documentation on installation, pkg management etc.?

  4. Sep 05, 2011


    Many irrelevant complaints, I'm following the oracle's manual and it works, I think by now there are priorities other than write again something that is already explained. If a linux newbie like me can follow it, I'm pretty sure you guys can too.

    1. Sep 12, 2011


      Documentation such as a manual is essential in not just learning from, it tells everyone where the product is in the scheme of things. Referring to Oracle for documentation relating to OI just makes one have less confidence with OI itself. Look at the FreeBSD site documentation levels are really good and gives people confidence to try FreeBSD and its derivatives.

  5. Sep 18, 2011


    Documentation would be the same as Solaris 10 as these os are based on that product. Search Oracle for Solaris documentation.

  6. Feb 23, 2012

    Is anyone opposed to at least posting the man page up here? That seems to be the best 'help'. I'll take a look at what the freebsd guys have for package management.

    1. May 01, 2012

      FreeBSD is pretty much a source-based OS and it has the ports tree to compile software from (/usr/ports/)

      Installing, upgrading, recompiling ports using different make arguments can be done via various "port" management tools such as sys-mgmt/portmaster (that is a port itself which needs to be installed first).

      One can also install binary packages via the current pkg_add(1) interface (part of the base system).

      Currently a new package manager called pkgng is in development and is in its beta stage.

  7. Nov 20, 2013

    I'm using IPS to install software from the global zone in a local zone. For example:

    # pkg -R /zones/local/root install nano

    Because the SmartOS repo has more actual packages I want to use pkgin. What's the best practise to install software inside a zone? Do I have to install pkgin in every zone or is it possible to install packages from the global zone?

    1. Dec 15, 2013

      pkgin inside a zone

      Maybe there is another/better solution for this, but here is how I got it to work.

      root@global:~# pkg -R /zones/zone1/root install nano
      root@global:~# zlogin zone1

      root@zone1:~# nano /etc/resolv.conf
      domain domain.tld
      search domain.tld
      nameserver 192.168.XXX.XXX
      root@zone1:~# cp /etc/nsswitch.dns /etc/nsswitch.conf
      root@zone1:~# export PATH=/opt/local/sbin:/opt/local/bin:$PATH
      root@zone1:~# cd /
      root@zone1:/# curl -k | gzcat | tar -xf -
      root@zone1:/# mkdir -p /var/db/pkgin
      root@zone1:/# pkgin update