The easiest way to start learning about Oracle Solaris 11
By Pavel A. on Jul 11, 2013
If you read this blog, most likely you have heard about Oracle Solaris and about its (relatively) new version 11 which was announced in November 2011 (yes, 11/11). Most likely, you have heard about new features, but you didn't have time to learn more about them. Even if some magic happened and three hours of free time suddenly appeared in your schedule, where should you start? Go to the download page, spend some time downloading 800 MB file, find a server that can be used as a test machine, discover that it doesn't have a DVD drive, try to connect an external one, begin the installation process... And your three hours are gone! You even haven't started!
We have a better way. We have created a VirtualBox appliance that has Oracle Solaris 11.1 preinstalled already. All you have to do is to download it and import it into your VirtualBox application. Usually it takes 5-8 minutes (even less on modern computers) -- and you are ready to explore new Oracle Solaris features! No need for a separate server, you can do it on your laptop, no matter if it's Windows, Linux or Mac OS system. And it's not a "restricted" or "abridged" version of Oracle Solaris, it's a complete version with all the features you would expect to observe on your SPARC or x86 servers.
Here is the instructions. We assume that you have already downloaded and installed Oracle VM VirtualBox and its Extension Pack. For more information on how to do that go to http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads.
2. Accept the license terms:
3. Download Oracle Solaris 11.1 VirtualBox VM. Make sure the downloaded file has a '.tgz' extension.
4. Unarchive the downloaded file. You can use various applications to do that depending on your host OS. The final result should be a directory titled 'OracleSolaris11_1-VM' with an 'OracleSolaris11_1.ova' file in it (size 1.87 GB or 1,874,255,872 bytes).
5. Import the VirtualBox appliance into VirtualBox:
Choose the appliance file:
The importing process will take 5-8 minutes depending on your computer.
6. Start the VM:
7. Answer the following configuration questions. Use F2 to go from screen to screen
(for consistency sake it is recommended to use the answers provided below in bold, but you are free to use your own values for login/password, computer name, etc.):
- Computer name: solaris
- Network configuration: Automatically
- Computer timezone: Your local timezone
- Root password: solaris1
- Your real name: Lab User
- Username: lab
- User password: oracle1
8. Wait until the boot process is completed and you received the login screen like this:
9. Troubleshooting. The virtual machine might refuse to start giving you diagnostic messages about lack of VT-x support or 'long mode is not supported'. This indicates that hardware virtualizatoin is not enabled or not available on your computer. To enable hardware virtualization you have to reboot your computer and enter the BIOS menu. Unfortunately, as all BIOSes are different, we can't provide exact instructions where to find this option. Sometimes it's in CPU section, sometimes in Virtualization, sometimes even in Security. After you have enabled hardware virtualization, try to reboot the computer and start the VM again.
Congratulations! Now you are ready to explore Oracle Solaris 11 world!
What's next? Should you go and start reading the Oracle Solaris documentation? No, it's not the fastest way to learn things... We have prepared several lab exercises on various Solaris features. We will learn by doing (see "About" in the top right corner of this page). Stay tuned. We will start with ZFS.