Pre-work for upcoming Solaris 11 Hands on Workshops

Over the next few weeks, I will be hosting several Solaris 11 hands on workshops. Some of these will be public events at an Oracle office while others will be private sessions for a specific customer. If you are planning on attending any of these sessions, there are a few items of pre-work that will help us get the workshop started on time.

Enable VT-x

If you will be using VirtualBox to run your workshop lab guest, the hardware virtualization feature for your CPU must be enabled. For AMD systems, AMD-V is on by default and there may not be a setting to turn it off. For Intel systems, this is controlled by a BIOS setting, and almost always defaults to disabled. The BIOS setting varies from vendor to vendor, but is generally found in the System or CPU settings. If you don't see it there, try looking in security. If you still can't find it, search for your brand of laptop and "enable vt" using your favorite search engine.

On newer Intel systems, you may be given choices for CPU virtualization (VT-x) and data/IO (VT-d). You only need to enable VT-x. Some laptops will require a complete power cycle after changing this setting, including removing the battery.

If you have a company laptop that does not allow you to change the BIOS settings, you might ask your employer if they can provide you one for the day that is not locked down.

Note: Enabling hardware virtualization is a requirement to complete the workshop.

Download and Install VirtualBox

Since this will be primarily a hands on lab, you are encouraged to bring a laptop. The labs will all be run in a Solaris guest machine, so your laptop will also need a virtualization application, such as VMware or VirtualBox. We recommend VirtualBox and will be supplying the lab materials as a VirtualBox guest appliance. You can download VirtualBox for free at VirtualBox.org. Binaries are available for Windows, MacOS, Solaris and most Linux distributions.

After installing VirtualBox, you should also install the VirtualBox Extensions Pack. These are not required for the lab, but should you continue to use the guest machine after the workshop, you might find some of the features very useful.

Don't Forget Your Power Adapters

Since you will be running Solaris as a guest operating system, your host power management features might not very effective and you may find yourself with a drained battery before the morning is over. Please remember to bring your power adapter and cables. An external mouse, while not required, is generally a welcome device, as you cut and paste text between windows.

That should be about it. Please leave a comment if you have any questions. I am looking forward to seeing you at one of these, or a future Solaris event.

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About

Bob Netherton is a Principal Sales Consultant for the North American Commercial Hardware group, specializing in Solaris, Virtualization and Engineered Systems. Bob is also a contributing author of Solaris 10 Virtualization Essentials.

This blog will contain information about all three, but primarily focused on topics for Solaris system administrators.

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