Oracle VDI 3.5 Installation notes for Solaris 11.1

Oracle released Oracle VDI 3.5 last week. You may have seen the announcements on the Oracle website, Blogs or social media. In this article I want to share my installation notes of Oracle VDI 3.5 software on the newly supported Solaris 11.1 platform. 

For me, this was also my first Solaris 11 server installation experience and I was happy to find out that installing Solaris 11.1 and Oracle VDI 3.5 was a rather easy activity. On my lab server I used the Solaris 11.1 text-based installation, this is the image for server deployments and during the initial configuration I configured the server with static IP-address, my lab DNS server and DNS domain.

During installation I created the initial user account with username vdiadmin. As you may know you can't login as the super-user root in Solaris 11 and for all the remaining system commands with root-privileges you can use the sudo command (or just change to the root-role with the su command).

Solaris Package Repository

After the basic Solaris 11.1 installation you need to configure the Solaris Support repository. By default only the Release repository is configured. This is important, because Oracle VDI needs more Solaris packages then installed in the standard configuration, the Oracle VDI installer will download the packages automatically from the repository.

Run the below pkg command in Solaris to check the repository, initially it shows you the Release repository:

    # pkg publisher 
    PUBLISHER   TYPE   STATUS   URI 
    solaris     origin online   http://pkg.oracle.com/solaris/release/ 
    

I used the information from the Solaris documentation to configure the online Solaris Support repository. If your server is not connected to the Internet, then you should configure your own, local repository by using the Solaris 11.1 Repository Image

To configure the Solaris Support repository, obtain key and certificate files from https://pkg-register.oracle.com/. Login with your MOS credentials and follow the steps for Solaris 11 support. After you have finished the steps you can verify the changed repository and run a pkg update to install the latest Oracle Solaris 11 Support Repository Update (SRU) and reboot:

    # pkg publisher
    PUBLISHER   TYPE    STATUS  URI 
    solaris     origin  online  https://pkg.oracle.com/solaris/support
    # sudo pkg update 
    # sudo init 6
    

Oracle VDI Installation Process

If you download the Oracle VDI 3.5 software package, you should pay attention to download the correct installation zip-file. There is now a difference between Solaris 10 and Solaris 11 installation zip-files. 

After unpacking the VDI 3.5 installation zip-files, I decided to run vda-install and vda-config separately:

    # sudo ./vda-install -i

The installer starts to check the required libraries and packages in Solaris 11.1. In my case (text-based Solaris 11.1 installation) it needed to download about 600 MB of data from the Solaris 11 repository. After the download and installation of the packages, the Oracle VDI installer automatically continues with the basic Oracle VDI installation.

Depending on your network connection, downloading 600 MB of Solaris packages takes some time. You may monitor the process by viewing the installation log file (in a separate Terminal window) for information about the progress of downloading and installing the packages.

    # tail -f  /var/sadm/install/logs/vda-install.timestamp.log

I decided to do a reboot when vda-install was finished because of all the newly installed packages. I'm not sure if this is really necessary. After the reboot I continued with the vda-config command to start the configuration of my single-node Oracle VDI server. In the configuration settings I used my initial user vdiadmin as VDI Administrator:

    # sudo /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda-config
    ...
    Review the settings for a new Oracle VDI Center:
       Name: VDI Center
       Administrator Password: ********
       VDI Administrator (super-user): vdiadmin
       DNS name of this host: ovdi-host20.ovdi.local
       Maximum number of sessions on this host: 100
       User ID range start: 150000
       Database: Embedded Oracle VDI
    Do you want to create the Oracle VDI Center now?
    Enter 'c' to customize the settings. ([y]/c):

 

Virtual Box Installation Process

Because of the changes in Solaris 11 for the root-role, I decided to configure the Virtual Box processes under non-root privileges: you can use your standard user ('vdiadmin' in my case). 

Because of the non-root priviliges, you are also forced to configure a non-privileged TCP port for the Virtual Box web-service. I used the TCP port that was suggested by the installer:

    # sudo ./vb-install 
    Oracle VM VirtualBox Installation for Solaris
 
    Unpacking Oracle VM VirtualBox package.
 
    Select an existing user for VirtualBox: vdiadmin
    Enter the password for user 'vdiadmin': #########

    Specify the VirtualBox SSL port [18083]: 18083
 
    Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.2.10 Installation
    + Installing Oracle VM VirtualBox Core
    ...etc etc....

 

Connect to the Oracle VDI Manager

If you connect with Firefox to the Oracle VDI Manager for the first time, you got the following error message on the secure port of the VDI Manager:


This error is mentioned in the Oracle VDI 3.5 Release Notes. Oracle Solaris 11 uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) version 1.1, which Firefox does not support yet. The workaround is to connect and authenticate with TLS 1.0 disabled in Firefox preferences:

    Advanced -> Encryption, unchecked Use TLS 1.0.

 

Some Closing Remarks

  • NTP services: works exactly the same as with Solaris 10, just make sure /etc/inet/ntp.conf has the right server settings before you start configuring Oracle VDI.
  • Kerberos: also works the same as Solaris 10. I used copied my /etc/krb/krb5.conf configuration file from Solaris 10 without any changes.
  • I also did another Solaris 11.1 installation where I used the Oracle Solaris 11.1 Live Media for x86, that also worked fine. I only had some difficulties changing IP-address from DHCP to static. Just read the documentation or Google to use the right procedure.

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I post here hands-on examples which I have used in my Oracle VDI Desktop Virtualization projects at customers and partners.

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