Serving Sun Rays from inside a VirtualBox

Imagine you have some Sun Ray[tm] clients and you'd like to use them with some hardware which doesn't support Solaris. Or maybe you're running OSX, Windows or Ubuntu on some hardware which has some spare cycles but isn't running an OS which is supported by SRSS.

  1. Download a copy of VirtualBox for your operating system.
  2. Download a copy of Solaris 10 which is supported by SRSS3 and SRSS4.
  3. Download a copy of Sun Ray Server Software. I used SRSS 4.0 09/07. Note:Some GNU/Linux distributions are also supported, and SRSS can be forced to work with some unsupported Linux distributions and versions of OpenSolaris. But I'll stick with Solaris 10u5, it's reasonably lightweight and solid.
  4. For Solaris Nevada build 85 I ran
    /usr/sbin/ifconfig -a
    to get the name of the network interface and make sure networking is working.
  5. Launch VirtualBox.
  6. Use New to Create a virtual machine.
  7. Go to settings and network for this virtual machine and set the networking Attached to: Host Interface and type the interface name from the ifconfig -a you just ran. Note:I found that using this "Host Interface" setting requires that you launch VirtualBox as root, though I'm sure there is a better way using RDAP profiles or something.
  8. Boot your VirtualBox and navigate to your Solaris 10 media. Install Solaris 10 (arguably the most challenging step, S10 installs are ugly and slow compared to any of the more recent OpenSolaris distributions.
  9. Login to your new Solaris 10 virtual machine.
  10. Make sure networking is working and that the virtual machine knows its own hostname.
  11. Get or set the virtual host's IP address {it will be used later}
  12. Copy the Sun Ray software into the virtual host environment. You may find that the virtual host can't ping its "Dom 0" parent, so copy to another machine or download SRSS from within the virtual host.
  13. Unpack the Sun Ray software and run
    utinstall
    . I usually go with all defaults but I leave the DHCP server turned off since there is usually a DHCP server on my network.
  14. Configure the Sun Ray server:
    /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utadm -c
    /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utadm -A 192.168.1.0  # {allows you to server Sun Ray over this network }
    /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utadm -L on           # {enable LAN connection from Sun Ray}
    /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utadm -n              # {bring server online}
    /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utrestart
    
    
  15. Now connect your Sun Ray client to the network or if you're already connected to another Sun Ray server, do this:
    /opt/SUNWut/sbin/utswitch -h {your VirtualHost's IP address"
    
Once you have the environment set up. You can shutdown (or better yet, snapshot) the VirtualBox environment and next time you start it, run:
 
VBoxHeadless -startvm {your vmname}
You can also access this headless virtualbox by using rdesktop:

rdesktop {parent host's IP}

It seemed to me that the responsiveness of the JDS desktop environment on the remote Sun Ray client was at least as good as the performance of the VirtualBox display on the local laptop.
Limitations: This does not allow you to display the MS Windows or Ubuntu environment on the Sun Ray client. For that you're better off running rdesktop on a real (not virtualized) Sun Ray server and running Windows in headless mode inside the VirtualBox.
Comments:

and when is s10u5 available to the general public? its almost an hour of patching nowadays even with bundles for my fresh u4 systems!

Posted by Andy on April 03, 2008 at 02:48 PM GMT+00:00 #

I should have said a "pre-release s10u5 build" . We're past the S10u5 beta so you'll have to wait for the full product release. Sorry. The above procedure should work just as well on other S10u4 which was released last autumn.

Posted by bnitz on April 04, 2008 at 03:45 AM GMT+00:00 #

[Trackback] I got inspired by this blog and did some experiments. Serving Sun Rays from inside a VirtualBox I have VirtualBox installed on Linux. One of my guest is Solaris 10 image migrated from VMware, named "Sol10 VMware". It isn't "Rem...

Posted by Let the Sunshine In on April 10, 2008 at 08:37 PM GMT+00:00 #

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