Virtually the fastest way to try Solaris 11 (and Solaris 10 zones)
By Dave Miner on Nov 17, 2011
If you're looking to try out Solaris 11, there are the standard ISO and USB image downloads on the main page. Those are great if you're looking to install Solaris 11 on hardware, and we hope you will. But if you take the time to look down the page, you'll find a link off to the Oracle Solaris 11 Virtual Machine downloads. There are two downloads there:
- A pre-built Solaris 10 zone
- A pre-built Solaris 11 VM for use with VirtualBox
If you're looking to try Solaris 11 on x86, the second one is what you want. Of course, this assumes you have VirtualBox already (and if you don't, now's the time to try it, it's a terrific free desktop virtualization product). Once you complete the 1.8 GB download, it's a simple matter of unzipping the archive and a few quick clicks in VirtualBox to get a Solaris 11 desktop booted. While it's booting, you'll get to run through the new system configuration tool (that'll be the subject of a future posting here) to configure networking, a user account, and so on.
So what about that pre-built Solaris 10 zone download? It's a really simple way to get yourself acquainted with the Solaris 10 zones feature, which you may well find indispensible in transitioning an existing Solaris 10 infrastructure to Solaris 11. Once you've downloaded the file, it's a self-extracting executable that'll configure the zone for you, all you have to supply is an IP address for the zone. It's really quite slick!
I expect we'll do a lot more pre-built VM's and zones going forward, as that's a big part of being a cloud OS; if there's one that would be really useful for you, let us know.