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I have a solaris machine that I am trying to install Perl 5.12 as well as gcc and make to get CPAN working. I downloaded the packages from sun freeware, and was able to install gcc. When I tried to install make however with pkgadd -d make-3.82-sol10-sparc-local it complains that /usr/local is a read only file system with these errors:

WARNING: /usr/local/bin/make not present on Read Only file system.

I then changed the install root path to /opt with:

pkgadd -R /opt -d make-3.82-sol10-sparc-local

This allowed it to install, but I am having problems with perl library path and would just be easier if I could install it in the default location. I am not sure why /usr/local would be read only and am not really a solaris expert. I think it may have something to do with solaris "zones" but I am not sure.

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Is it possible that you're in a solaris sparse zone configured with an inherited /usr directory? if you are, it will show up like /usr - /usr lofs - no ro,nodevices,nosub in the output of mount -p – Tim Kennedy Oct 4 '11 at 20:09

It definitely has to do with zones. As Tim Keneddy already guessed, you are using a sparse non-global zone. /usr is mounted read-only in it by design.

The root cause of this issue is that despite the SVR4 file system standard stating /usr should only contain non local files but OS only files, a common free software convention uses /usr/local as local storage.

The simplest way would be to install your package on the global zone.

If you aren't allowed to do this, you might ask the global zone administrator to add in your zone configuration a read-write lofs mount for /usr/local containing a copy of what was originally there. That would be less clean though.

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