Running OpenSolaris 2008.05 under VirtualBox on OS X Leopard

I finally had time to work with VirtualBox (VBox) on my Macbook Pro the other day and since I ran into a couple snags I thought I'd post a short blog entry that provides some of the details. But first here are two other blogs that helped:

I've tested VBox with the newly released OpenSolaris 2008.05 as well as Solaris 10 Update 5 and both run well.

Here are some notes that may help:

  • If you read Alan's and Rodney's blog entries first, note that there is no need to install a newer network driver with VirtualBox 1.6. All you need to do is set the network device to "Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (NAT)". Also don't be caught by the mistake I made and try using ping to test the network connection. The VBox documentation clearly states that ICMP through the VBox virtual network stack is unreliable.
  • If you want a higher res screen, the default in VBox is 1024x768, before starting the VirtualBox guest run:

    VBoxManage setextradata "Solaris 10" "CustomVideoMode1" "1280x10240x24"

    Where "Solaris 10" is the name of VBox vm and I'd recommend bumping the video memory to at least 64MB. I had to do this for each vm I created.

    Note that the xorg.conf that Alan provides on his blog currently causes X to crash on the latest Nevada and OpenSolaris. I'm currently trying to figure out why.

  • Set the network device emulation to "Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (NAT)"
  • If you are installing Solaris for the first time, be sure to link or mount the Solaris iso image as the CDROM
  • Start the VM and run through the standard Solaris install.
  • On Solaris 10:
    • start a terminal session (not CDE or Gnome)
    • disable CDE with "/usr/dt/bin/dtconfig -d"
    • enable gnome desktop login (this gives you Xorg X11 server) with "svcadm enable gdm2-login"
    • if you want a higher resolution desktop, use the VBoxManage command above and install the attached xorg.conf into /etc/X11/xorg.conf (remember this bombs terribly on Nevada/OpenSolaris) and log out and back in to restart X

      So far I've tested X and networking with OpenSolaris 2008.05 and Solaris 10 U5.

      As proof and from the sick puppy category, here is a screen shot off my Macbook Pro 17 with OpenSolaris running in one VBox instance and Solaris 10 U5 installing in another (click the picture for a full sized version):

Comments:

Dana, thanks for your post. After switching to the Intel driver NWAM was able to correctly plumb e1000g0. Only problem I'm having, and I saw the same thing with WinXP is that DNS resolution doesn't work for me unless I hard code real DNS server IP. The 10.0.2.3 proxy that is provided automatically doesn't work for me.

Thanks again,

Michael

Posted by Michael OConnor on May 15, 2008 at 07:07 AM EDT #

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Don't ya just love toys and taking them apart to see how they work? To me it doesn't matter if it's an iPod, a laptop, or the biggest baddest thing a company makes. And nothing makes me more happy than showing how easy it is to develop stuff on Oracle Solaris.

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