Fedora 7, VMware Workstation 6, and Solaris 10 Update 3

Sheesh, I haven't blogged since February?

Well, I've been busy. Last spring I was putting in 120-150 miles per weekend preparing for doing AIDS/LifeCycle 6. All that training paid off, and I made it all the way. Every. Single. Mile. 2,300 riders raised a total of 11 million dollars, and I'm proud to have been a part of that.

This is me with the Cookie Lady. Out of the goodness of her heart, the Cookie Lady bakes (yes, by hand) one cookie for each rider, then sets up a table somewhere along our route, at a point when we've been riding about 80 or 90 miles that day. Then as the riders come through, we stop, get a cookie, and sometimes get our pictures taken with the Cookie Lady.

Oh, and I got a new laptop. I love taking my time setting up a machine the way I want it, everything just right. As a Linux user, this can be a challenge. I went to install Ubuntu on it. Seems like I always get bit by screen resolution problems with Ubuntu. Same with this version on this laptop. Sigh, maybe one day they will get that right. I actually have liked the distro when I've been able to get it to work. Next SuSE 10.2 - great, except that ssh did not work correctly and I couldn't display X windows back to my laptop from my server at the office. Since being able to do that is critical to my day to day work, no SuSE.

So I downloaded Fedora 7. I haven't used a Red Hat-based Linux variant since Red Hat 9 days. Well, Fedora 7 installed and worked just fine, once I figured out how to get all the little bits and pieces that I like to use, like Flash and Acrobat Reader. Heck, the updater even works. Well, sort of. As long as it doesn't run into dependency problems. For example, it will tell me I have 17 packages to update, but if one of them has a dependency issue, it will stymie the entire update. Brilliant.

OK, so now I've got this really interesting new project to work on. More about it in a later entry, but the first task involves creating a Solaris 10 Update 3 VMWare image. I install VMWare no problem. I cut a Solaris 10 U3 DVD. I create a new virtual machine for Solaris 10 and then boot it.

And it crawls through the installation. I mean really crawls. 3 hours to install Solaris 10. It all works, but man, is it slow.

It try the obvious stuff. Bump up memory. Still slow. Try preallocating the disk space. Still slow. Google. I find an entry that suggests creating an ISO file, putting it on your hard drive, and pointing the virtual CD-DVD drive at the ISO file instead of using the real DVD.

So I do it.

Bingo! Solaris installs in a very reasonable amount of time. Same laptop, same everything.

After installation, I remove the DVD and reboot the OS. And wait. And wait. And wait. Solaris takes about 15 minutes to come up.

So, no longer clueless, I reconfigure the virtual machine so that it is running with the virtual CD-DVD drive disconnected. Once again, I reboot.

Voila! Now Solaris boots up under VMWare Workstation 6 in a very reasonable amount of time, just a minute or two.

I've obviously hit some bug where Solaris 10 does not handle my stock ATAPI CD-DVD drive on my stock laptop very well. I think it might be this one: http://bugs.opensolaris.org/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6227829. I have not tried playing around with the dma-enable settings as the bug circumvention recommends, mainly because disconnecting the virtual CD-DVD drive seems to have done the trick and is acceptable. It is unlikely that I will need the drive for the particular solution I'm building, but if I do need it, I can always re-enable it in VMWare Workstation, use it as needed, then disconnect it again.


Ah, after a long gap, you 'woke up' with a lengthy description on your new laptop and multiple OSs in it:) I am surprised that Ubuntu installation is causing problems to you. I have done so many installations of Ubuntu on various machines (very old hardware) and it all worked wonderfully. I didn't know that VMWare runs on Linux. Is it the same VMWare binaries for all flavours of Linux? Anyway, thanks for this update and good luck meddling with all possible flavours of Unix:)

Posted by R Rajesh on July 15, 2007 at 11:20 PM PDT #

Rajesh, the Linux version of VMWare Workstation works on many flavors of Linux. The complete list is in the VMWare docs.

Posted by David Goldsmith on July 23, 2007 at 05:56 AM PDT #

thanks for you

Posted by seungwon Ha on August 07, 2007 at 06:42 PM PDT #

thanks for your sharing,it is really helpful.

Posted by yonge on August 08, 2007 at 06:48 AM PDT #

I'm seeing the same thing, with Ubuntu. The install literally crawls. I'm suffering thru it, and will try your fix of disabling the CD/DVD. Thanks for the info!

Posted by Bill Cunningham on September 24, 2007 at 03:25 AM PDT #

Me again. Today I tried downloading the tar.gz file for VMServer 1.04, from vmware.com. Also had to get the patch mentioned in the install doc.

Extreme improvement. Install runs at the normal speed on Ubuntu/FeistyFawn.

All I can say is, "Go figger."

Posted by Bill Cunningham on September 25, 2007 at 01:46 AM PDT #

Me yet again. One final note: Once the Solaris virtual machine is running on Ubuntu, if you install VMWare Tools on the virtual, graphics are better, but networking won't come up.

The fix is to:
#cd /etc
#mv hostname.pcn0 hostname.vmxnet0

Posted by Bill Cunningham on September 26, 2007 at 01:15 AM PDT #

Wow. Disabling the Virtual CD in VMWare does speed up the boot process in Solaris 10. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Unix Guru on November 17, 2007 at 11:17 PM PST #

I just installed Solaris U4 08/07 in VmWare and this article fixed my booting issues. Many thanks, I thought I had a hosed Solaris install!

Posted by MikeS on February 22, 2008 at 03:05 PM PST #

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