Installing Solaris 10 Virtual Machine with Oracle VM Manager

Certification of Solaris 10 as a guest OS on Oracle VM is in progress. Some of you may have already be playing around, so here are a few tips of how to install Solaris 10 OS as a virtual machine under Oracle VM 2.2 environment.

Solaris 10 OS runs as a hardware virtual machine (HVM) which requires HVM support (Intel VT or AMD-V) on the underlying hardware platform, but Solaris 10 OS has the paravirtualized (PV) drivers as part of the OS installed by default.

You need to check if the server has the HVM support. If you know the specific CPU model, you can find out if it supports HVM from Intel or AMD web site. Usually you'll need modify the system BIOS setting to enable the hardware virtual machine (HVM) feature. If you already have Oracle VM 2.2 server installed, you can run xm info command to verify if HVM is enabled. For example,

# xm info

release : 2.6.18-128.2.1.4.13.el5xen

virt_caps : hvm

xen_major : 3

xen_minor : 4

xen_extra : .0

xen_caps : xen-3.0-x86_64 xen-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_32 hvm-3.0-x86_32p hvm-3.0-x86_64


The Solaris 10 virtual machine installation is similar to other types of operating system (Linux or Windows) install. I'm using Oracle VM Manager to illustrate the steps that you'll go through.

Step 1. Set up Oracle VM Environment

First you need to set up the Oracle VM 2.2 environment, you can refer to Oracle VM 2.2 Documentation.

Step 2. Prepare Solaris 10 10/09 Install Media

You place the downloaded Solaris 10 10/09 (update 8) ISO image under a sub-directory of /OVS/iso_pool:

     /OVS/iso_pool/Solaris10/sol-10-u8-ga-x86-dvd.iso

You import the ISO file from Oracle VM Manager and approve the imported ISO image. The status of the ISO image will be changed from "Pending" to "Active". See Documentation of how to managing ISO files. Now you are ready to create a Solaris 10 virtual machine.

OracleVM-ISO.png
Step 3. Create a Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

From the Virtual Machine tab of the Oracle VM Manager, you proceed to "Create Virtual Machine"; then choose "Creating a Virtual Machine From Installation Media". You can refer to Oracle VM Doumentation.

    • Select Install Media

    • Choose Server Pool

    • Pick the Solaris 10 ISO file, and select the virtualization method "Fully Virtualized"

CreateVM-ISO.png
    • Fill out the Solaris 10 virtual machine information

CreateVM-Info.png
    • Confirm the Solaris 10 VM that you are going to create. Before you install the Solaris 10 OS, you need to set the network type of the Solaris 10 virtual machine to "Paravirtualized" since the Paravirtualized drivers are part of the Solaris 10 OS and will be installed by default.

Step 4. Set the Network Type of the Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

From Virtual Machine tab, you need to configure the newly created Solaris 10 virtual machine and set the Network Type as Paravirtualized. Then the Network Interface will be shown as "netfront".

OracleVM-NetworkType.png

Step 5. Install Solaris 10 OS

Start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 10 guest VM. To continue Solaris 10 installation, you follow the normal Solaris 10 installation instructions and please refer to Solaris 10 Installation documentation.

Once you complete the installation, the Solaris 10 virtual machine will be shut down and shown as "Powered Off" status.

CreateVM-SolarisInstall.png

Step 6. Start the Solaris 10 Virtual Machine

You power on the Solaris 10 virtual machine from Oracle VM Manager and start a VNC session to connect to the console of the Solaris 10 virtual machine.

    • Log into the Solaris 10 virtual machine:

Solaris10-Login.png
    • The PV drivers (SUNWxvmpv) are installed by default in Solaris 10, see

    # pkginfo -l SUNWxvmpv
       PKGINST:  SUNWxvmpv
          NAME:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
      CATEGORY:  system
          ARCH:  i386
       VERSION:  11.10.0,REV=2008.02.29.14.37
       BASEDIR:  /
        VENDOR:  Sun Microsystems, Inc.
          DESC:  xVM Paravirtualized Drivers
        PSTAMP:  on10ptchfeatx20090902230750
      INSTDATE:  Feb 11 2010 21:49
       HOTLINE:  Please contact your local service provider
        STATUS:  completely installed
         FILES:       23 installed pathnames
                       1 shared pathnames
                       7 directories
                      14 executables
                    1512 blocks used (approx)
  • Verify your network has been set up correctly:

# ifconfig xnf0
    xnf0: flags=1004843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,DHCP,IPv4> mtu 1500 index 2
            inet xx.xx.xx.xx netmask fffffc00 broadcast xx.xx.xx.255
            ether 0:16:3e:17:60:47 
If you are not using Oracle VM Manager to set the network type of Solaris 10 virtual machine to "Paravirtualized", you need to modify the vm.cfg (change the vif type from ioemu  to netfront, vif = ['type=netfront, mac=xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, bridge=xenbr0']) located at /OVS/running_pool/Solaris_10_VM_directory/. You may also need to configure the network interface manually (using DHCP as an example below)

# touch /etc/hostname.xnf0

# touch /etc/dhcp.xnf0

# ifconfig xnf0 plumb up

# ifconfig xnf0 dhcp

Now you have a fully functional Solaris 10 virtual machine in Oracle VM. For more information, please visit:

Comments:

It's really too bad that Solaris 10, unlike OpenSolaris, doesn't come with a paravirtualised kernel. Is Oracle going to work on this at all? It's quite simple to install OpenSolaris on Xen 3.4 and a kernel > 2.6.18 (for example openSuSE 11.2) I wonder how the performance of HVMs on Oracle VM/other xen is in comparison with the more established competition on series 55xx xeons....

Posted by Martin on February 23, 2010 at 05:40 PM PST #

will we be seeing a performance comparison of hypervisors which support oracle's solaris operating system? Vmware and xen..

Posted by sid wilroy on February 27, 2010 at 05:21 AM PST #

Hi Su, great blog - have you also experimented in installing Solaris through JET/PXE ? Any hint would be great Thanks

Posted by Gerhard on March 04, 2010 at 11:29 PM PST #

Thanks for the article. I think I followed your instructions, Solaris installation identified the xnf0 interface but once rebooted could not find the xnf0 interface. To solve the issue, I used the VNC client to log in from the Oracle VM Server and: #dladm show-link xnf1 type: non-vlan mtu: 1500 device: xnf1 #touch /etc/hostname.xnf1 #ifconfig xnf1 plumb up #ifconfig xnf1 192.168.X.X netmask 255.255.0.0 up Modify /etc/hostname.xnf1 to have the server name Delete /etc/hostname.xnf0 Reboot

Posted by Javier on March 13, 2010 at 11:48 PM PST #

Any tentative dates on when Solaris will be supported with OVM ?

Posted by Ritesh Raj Sarraf on May 11, 2010 at 12:31 AM PDT #

It's supported today. Oracle Solaris 10 support begins with Solaris 10 10/09. The Solaris 10 OS runs as a hardware virtual machine (HVM) which requires HVM support (Intel VT or AMD-V) on the underlying hardware platform. By default, Solaris 10 OS already has the required paravirtualized (PV) drivers installed as part of the OS. See details at: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E15458_01/doc.22/e15443/toc.htm

Posted by Honglin Su on May 11, 2010 at 05:30 AM PDT #

I'm confused by the statement "Oracle Solaris 10 support begins with Solaris 10 10/09. The Solaris 10 OS runs as a hardware virtual machine (HVM) which requires HVM support (Intel VT or AMD-V) on the underlying hardware platform. By default, Solaris 10 OS already has the required paravirtualized (PV) drivers installed as part of the OS." Does this mean that I can convert Solaris 10 HVM to run as a PVM, using the PV drivers? I have an older Intel E5300 chip, which according to their page does not have the VT-x support. I'm just wondering if I can run Solaris 10 as a PVM and if so, how? Thanks!

Posted by Jim on February 10, 2011 at 04:54 AM PST #

For Solaris 10 guest under Oracle VM, it's an HVM guest (with PV I/O drivers), or specifically PVHVM. It's not a PVM guest, since it does not use PV kernel. Please refer to My Oracle Support note: Oracle VM: Comparison of Guest Virtualisation Modes; HVM, PVM and PVHVM [ID 757719.1]

Posted by Honglin Su on February 10, 2011 at 12:27 PM PST #

Thanks for the clarification and MOS note Honglin. An additional question: MOS note 1137824.1 (How to Convert a HVM Guest to a PVM Guest for RHEL/EL5) describes a method for converting HVM to PVM - can the Solaris 10 HVM similarly be converted to PVM or is it more complicated than that? Thanks in advance.

Posted by Jim on February 10, 2011 at 06:05 PM PST #

For Solaris 10 guest, it's always a HVM guest with PV I/O drivers (PV-HVM). There's no PV kernel for Solaris 10, thus it can not be a PVM guest.

Posted by Honglin Su on February 10, 2011 at 10:18 PM PST #

I've installed S10U9 on OVM 2.2.1 and all is working.. kind of. There is some sort of problem with the VM locking up for a few seconds every few keystrokes. Its like the system stalls for a few seconds or so. The host has plenty of resources (CPU, memory), so its definitely not a physical resourcing issue. And other VMs on the box (Redhat, Windows) run smoothly without issue. What's even more strange is that trying to run "top" stalls the system. Part of me suspects this has something to do with the system clock/CPU scheduling. Its strange because the Solaris VM seems to be responsive for anywhere from a few minutes to few hours after initial boot, but then suffers these random stalls every few seconds. Anybody else with the same problem? Otherwise it might be a call to Oracle support...

Posted by Corey Johnston on June 02, 2011 at 04:07 PM PDT #

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