Skype 1.4 on Solaris in a Ubuntu BrandZ zone!

At last! I got it working!

Since Solaris Express Developer Edition build 72 (you might have to wait for build 72 to be published), we have experimental support for Linux kernel 2.6 in a BrandZ zone!

Instructions on how to install are here...

What I did was install Ubuntu on a separate machine. Configured the repositories for Skype and Medibuntu. Installed Skype and Google Earth... then did the tar cjf from / as documented in the installation instructions for Linux 2.6 BrandZ zones... and created my zone and installed it from the .tar.gz archive on my Nevada b72 system.

When I did the zoneadm install, I got a bunch of error messages at the end... but despite that, network which was configured as DHCP in Ubuntu picks up the address I hard coded when creating the BrandZ zone (and store in /etc/zones/ubuntu.xml - my zone configuration file).

Note... I had to enable sshd in the Ubuntu zone for this to work.

And despite that, I can't just ssh into the zone... bash starts up when I do so... but doesn't give me the prompt... But I can ssh -X MyZone /command/to/run and run any X11 command...

So what I now do is run ssh -X MyZone /usr/bin/skype and I get Skype up and running.

Note that Skype 1.4 uses only ALSA and BrandZ only maps OSS... so no audio yet. :( But I can chat nicely

Skype 1.3 uses OSS... And with that one, in the Ubuntu branded zone, I get proper Audio!

We are making progress!




I got Skype 1.4 working with Centos 3.8 on a Linux 2.4 brandz. It involves some compiling though. You can almost get the sound working if you install the alsa-oss plugin.

Posted by Doug Scott on September 13, 2007 at 06:23 AM CEST #

alsa-oss plugin? What is that? Where can I get it?

Posted by Gilles Gravier on September 13, 2007 at 06:58 AM CEST #

apart from the fact that b72 itself is not installable from DVD (with ata drive), it's nice to finally have 2.6 kernel support in brandz

Posted by mark on September 13, 2007 at 07:16 AM CEST #

Hum... Skype 1.4 doesn't work with alsa-oss

Running aoss skype doens't help with sound. I still get error messages for Sound... no useful diagnostics... but a window from Skype saying error with sound.


Posted by Gilles Gravier on September 13, 2007 at 07:27 AM CEST #

There's a couple of hints for getting skype going with sound at:

Posted by Mads on September 13, 2007 at 07:28 AM CEST #

Yes... Skype 1.3 is easy in BrandZ. Works in CentOS with kernel 2.4 and Ubuntu with kernel 2.6. Skype 1.3 can do ALSA or OSS...

It's Skype 1.4 that only does ALSA which is hard...


Posted by Gilles Gravier on September 13, 2007 at 07:33 AM CEST #

I haven't tried yet, but there is a possibility that the alsa-pulseaudio plugin -> pulseaudio server on Solaris host might work. Though I think it might be easier to get the alsa-oss plugin working. I got distracted looking at this when I realised that I could port alsa-libs and the alsa-plugins to solaris :)

Posted by Doug Scott on September 13, 2007 at 07:44 AM CEST #

Great work to hear that 2.6 support is coming
A work around for the ssh you could try is:
create an ssh key, so you dont get a prompt for the password

I have the same problem with my debian zone, but if i use the ssh-key i get a prompt to use
i dont have ubuntu running so i cannot confirm that this will work
greetz Leon

Posted by Leon on September 13, 2007 at 08:16 AM CEST #

@Doug: Nice to read about your pointer to pulseaudio. If someone likes to try: See

And the repository for the compile-enviroment is described here:

Posted by Thomas Wagner on September 13, 2007 at 08:42 AM CEST #


I should try ssh-key ... but since my aim is to, in any case, directly launch an X app... I'm happy with my current workaround. :)


Posted by Gilles Gravier on September 13, 2007 at 09:09 AM CEST #

Imagine if QEMU could be used in a zone? Such that you could run x86 linux on Solaris sparc?

Posted by Peter on September 14, 2007 at 01:10 AM CEST #

You can already run QEMU on Solaris SPARC, and, in QEMU run x86 linux... NetBSD... Windows... or whatever else you want.

Posted by Gilles Gravier on September 14, 2007 at 01:13 AM CEST #

super...mais pourquoi t'install pas tout simplement linux? t'es obligé de mettre solaris ?

Posted by selim on November 05, 2007 at 12:59 PM CET #


I use Solaris because it fits my needs. Good performance, stable, secure, and with a fancy 3D GUI like Linux.

I like Solaris because I got GNOME 2.20 beta on it before it was in Ubuntu. Because USB-VC webcams work out of the box, when, for Linux, I have to manually go get drivers and v4l2 drivers...

All in all, Solaris works easier and best for me, for the work I do.

Your mileage may vary, of course.


Posted by Gilles Gravier on November 06, 2007 at 05:45 AM CET #

Skype 1.4 does have an OSS version.

Posted by Y.K. on February 10, 2008 at 05:59 AM CET #

Then just build libasound as for 1.3 and it should work.

Posted by Gilles Gravier on February 10, 2008 at 07:58 AM CET #

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