Tip

Solaris Web services security: Install and configure a very basic operating system

The first step in configuring a secure Web services host is to install a minimum operating system configuration. While the installation and configuration is taking place, the system is not connected to any network. This prevents a malicious intruder from gaining access and corrupting the software base before it is secure.

Install a Minimal Operating System

To reduce the complexity and points of entry into the Web services host, do not install a graphical user interface. Instead, select the Core cluster and use the Customize to add SPARCompilers Bundled libC Cfront version (SUNWlibCf). Expand System and Network Administration and add System & Network Administration Framework (SUNWadmfw) and System administration core libraries (SUNWadmc). Finally, add terminal emulation support with Terminal Information (SUNWter).

Install the Recommended Patch Cluster

The latest consolidated patch file can be found at the Sunsolve web site (

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http://sunsolve.sun.com/). Note that the recommended minimal operating system configuration does not include all components covered by the recommended patch cluster. Patches in the cluster that affect components not installed will fail to install and will display an error code of 8. Do showrev –p to see what patches have been installed. Print a copy of this information and save it for future reference.


In this 12-part tip Unix expert Gary Smith breaks down the process of building and maintaining a highly secure Web services architecture on the Solaris platform.

Table of contents:
Part 1: Isolate the Web services host server
Part 2: Install and configure a very basic operating system
Part 3: Force the use of su to gain root access
Part 4: Disable trusted host relationships and create a warning banner
Part 5: Configuring user accounts
Part 6: Disabling and removing unnecessary accounts
Part 7: Configure network access control
Part 8: Configure network services
Part 9: Install OpenSSH, disable NFS and reboot
Part 10: Set file permissions
Part 11: Test the configuration
Part 12: Conclusion

This was first published in October 2002

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