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Option 1: Installing software from OpenIndiana repositories via IPS

OpenIndiana uses the Image Packaging System - IPS, pkg(5) , the same package management system as Oracle Solaris 11.
Oracle is continuing practice of providing well written manuals:

To find more information on IPS/ pkg(5), using man command, use:

$ man -s 5 pkg

The command line package manager command is 'pkg'.
To find more information about pkg(1) , using man command, use:

$ man pkg

In IPS parlance, we are talking about adding publishers in place of term repositories.
Package management is performed using accounts with elevated Role Based Access Control (RBAC) privileges (using pfexec or sudo before commands shown below).

Adding publisher

$ pfexec bash
# pkg set-publisher -g repository_url repository_name

Replacing publisher

# pkg set-publisher -G old_repository_url -g new_repository_url repository_name

Replacing publisher - example

# pkg set-publisher \
-G \

Listing publishers configured on the local system:

# pkg publisher
PUBLISHER                   TYPE     STATUS P LOCATION             origin   online F
hipster-encumbered          origin   online F

'OpenIndiana hipster' repositories (as of February, 2017)

openindiana.org primary package repository
hipster-encumbered encumbered license packages
localhostoih party Spec Files Extra (SFE) packages

Syntax for searching remotely for IPS packages

# pkg search -rp package_name

Syntax for installing an IPS package

# pkg install package_name

Syntax for upgrading a package

# pkg update package_name

Upgrading all the packages on the system, with linked image Solaris Zones. (-r) and verbose output (-v)

# pkg update -v -r

Option pkg -r updates all Solaris Zones , if not issued, thay are kept unupdated untill -r command is issued on update or they are updated separately.


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):

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

    :; curl | gtar -zxpf - -C /  
  3. update the repository database:

    :; pkgin -y update
  4. install the needed package, for example – Apache 2.4.6:

    :; pkgin -y install apache-2.4.6 

    or, just for newest 2.4:

    :; pkgin -y install apache-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:

:; cd /sourcefolder
:; ./configure
:; make
:; make install

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.

For building software from NetBSD pkgsrc from sources, see page: pkgsrc in OI .

Option 4: Build software using oi-userland

For contributing to oi-userland, see page: Building with oi-userland


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  1. Anonymous

    Brilliant :|

    1. Anonymous

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

  2. Anonymous

    guys, seriously, are you joking?

  3. Anonymous

    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. Anonymous

    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. Anonymous

      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. Anonymous

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

  6. 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. 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. 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. 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