Solaris vs MacBook
By seapegasus on Dec 14, 2007
During the Sun Tech days in Frankfurt, I discovered a Solaris Installfest booth. Shortly before the end of the last session, I showed up with a Mac Book pro and Parallels Desktop, and asked for a Solaris disk... >:-D The guy said, "Sure... go ahead!"
So I created a virtual machine for Solaris 11 and inserted the DVD. I had to hit the (virtual machine's) reboot button two or three times until Parallels won the fight and tore control over the DVD drive from the iron grasp of MacOS. Or something.
Anyway, I was positively surprised how slim the Solaris installer looked. No clicking through 32 pages to set up drivers. It's almost like MacOS, it asks for your time zone and locale etc, and figures out the rest.
Unfortunately, installation of 7 Gigs of software took longer than I expected. Everybody was leaving (see photo)... They switched off the network, and then the lights... And I was only 49% done. I had to go to the airport, I could not wait another hour in the conference center for the installation to complete. Well I thought, I know now that it works, so I'll just close the MacBook (to put it in sleep mode) and reinstall Solaris on Thursday. It's a pity to have to delete the half-finished VM and lose this one hour, but actually no big deal.
So on Thursday, back in the office, I woke up the MacBook, expecting a broken VM with a broken (interrupted) Solaris installation to greet me. Nothing of that sort! MacOS had sorted it out, the installer hadn't even noticed the day-long interruption. It simply continued where it had been, and completed the installation. :-o I don't know whether I was just lucky, or whether it's meant to be like that. Anyway, Solaris runs in the MacBook's VM!
There is only one problem: Parallels does not allow direct write access to the virtual Solaris partition, and seemingly it cannot offer Solaris a recognizable default network device. What, no MacBook drivers? ;-) Here is a solution I found in moazam's blog: Parallels comes with extra drivers for this purpose, you just have to know where to find them.
- In MacOS, mount the file /Library/Parallels/Tools/vmtools.iso (in the Parallels menu, "Devices > CD/CVD > Connect Image")
- In Solaris, read the Readme and then execute
/media/PRLTOOLS/Drivers/Network/RTL8029/SOLARIS/network.shin the Terminal (as root!)
- Reboot Solaris (i.e. the VM)
One tip: The "Connect image" (mount) command is a very useful work-around to get data from MacOS into Parallel's VM! Your image will show up in Solaris' /media/ directory.
Another tip: Same as in MacOS, you can drag and drop files and folders from Nautilus into the Terminal, and it will spell out their paths. E.g. type "cd " into the Terminal, drag a folder onto the Terminal window, and it will complete to "cd '/path/to/whatever/directory/'".
PS: How did I manage to save this as draft and not post it all week?