Monday Feb 15, 2010

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-

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:


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.

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"

    • Fill out the Solaris 10 virtual machine information

    • 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".


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.


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:

    • 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.
       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:


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