Virtually the fastest way to try Solaris 11 (and Solaris 10 zones)

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:

  1. A pre-built Solaris 10 zone
  2. 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.


Will you (and/or the other two co-authors) be planning to write an update of the OpenSolaris Bible?

Posted by W. Wayne Liauh on November 17, 2011 at 02:31 PM EST #

Love the new OS, hate all the "cloud" marketing BS. Larry was publicly rubbishing the whole "cloud" notion even after he got his grubby mitts on Sun, which just goes to show he'll jump on any old buzzword if he thinks it'll embiggen his yacht fund.

Posted by Conor on November 18, 2011 at 12:49 AM EST #

I initially tried to use the manual network settings (using NAT) in the vm, which failed to ping the gateway. I read a lot of docs and modified a lot of stuff but didn't work. ifconfig -a showed both loopback and net0 UP with correct settings. Also, svcs -a |grep network seemed to be OK (but I might be wrong about that, donno...). What I AM sure about is that I did provide the correct IP/subnet/gateway. Some insight into the manual network settings would be really handy. Also, the VM failed to reboot, showing that some repository was corrupted. Anyway, retried installing using the auto (DHCP) settings and that worked.

Posted by Roy on November 18, 2011 at 02:32 AM EST #

Something to simulate ALOM inside virtual box would be gr8! :)

Posted by Roy on November 18, 2011 at 02:34 AM EST #

@Wayne: AFAIK no update to OpenSolaris Bible is planned at this time. Nick and Jerry have moved on to other things and I'm overloaded already. Wiley may have another author signed to do an update, but I haven't heard anything.

@Roy: I don't often use manual network setup with VirtualBox, but when I do I usually am using bridged or host-only network config in VB. I seem to recall that a NAT guest is expected to use DHCP so that VB can tell you what address it's prepared to translate, but may be wrong about that. The reboot failure is worrisome, was it the SMF repository by chance? Regarding an ALOM simulator, I'm not sure I quite understand what you're looking for. You can use RDP to remotely access VM's, does that provide what you need?

Posted by Dave Miner on November 18, 2011 at 06:18 AM EST #

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I'm the architect for Solaris deployment and system management, with a lot of background in networking on the side. I spend a lot of my time currently operating Solaris Engineering's OpenStack cloud. I am co-author of the OpenSolaris Bible (Wiley, 2009). I also play a lot of golf.


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