Solaris on Virtual PC 2007 Part II

March 1, 2007

Contunuing from yesterday, I managed to fully run SolarisExpress/Nevada b54 on Virtual PC 2007, I brought the virtual disk I installed yesterday to this time on an Intel Core 2 Duo PC with hardware assisted virualization.

Grub

Virtual PC 2007 emulates S3 Trio 32/64 8MB as graphical output device, but xorg 6.9 s3 driver that came with Nevada b54 doesn’t work here. Xorg vesa drivers works but it cannot detect correct HorizSync and VertRefresh parameters. To avoid trial and error I fire up Knoppix on another virtual machine and it detect HorizSync: 28-96 and VertRefresh 50-75, after configuring Nevada b54’s Xorg with those parameters I ran gdm again (svcadm enable gdm) and finally 1024×768 graphical login showed up.

GDM Login

Networking runs fine, Virtual PC emulates DECnet card supported by dnet driver and it was detected during installation. There are several several methods for network connections, Shared network/NAT the guest machine and host machine will be assigned IP address by virtual DHCP server, and guest must set host IP assigned by virtual DHCP server as gateway. This works just like user mode networking on QEMU. The other method is the guest machine is given a virtual device and can be assigned configuration as if in the same network as host machine, this works like QEMU using TUN/TAP device or VMware using vmnet device, but unlike those the virtual device doesn’t show up on host’s Network Connections and can only be configured by the guest OS.

Sound device emulated by Virtual PC is only an ISA SoundBlaster 16 and it’s not supported by Nevada b54.

The performance is quite good, when I clicked StarOffice icon until the StarOffice is loaded the system is still responsive. FYI the host machine is Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 @2.6 GHz, 1GB RAM and the virtual disk resides on an external USB Harddisk (Fujitsu 4500 rpm).

Here’s a screenshot showing StarOffice impress and Nautilus browsing Windows network

Nevada b54 Desktop

SolarisExpress b54 on Virtual PC 2007

February 28, 2007

Microsoft released Virtual PC 2007 not long ago for Free.

Officially only Microsoft’s OS (or related like OS/2) supported, even installing on XP Home gave warning that the host OS is unsupported. But I tried my luck with something exotic: Running SolarisExpress (or known with code name nevada) build 54.

I already google about installing Solaris on Virtual PC, and found people can run Solaris 10 on Virtual PC with some ‘kernel wizardry’, so I don’t expect much.

I tried on a Core 2 Duo T5500 laptop (not mine, windows on my laptop is alredy a virtual machine), that have Intel VTx for hardware assisted virtualization but Lenovo decide that it’s not well tested so they disabled it WITHOUT giving any option to enable VTx.

So installed Virtual PC 2007 there, create a new virtual machine. I decided that 256MB memory (later I realized that this is not enough) and 8GB Virtual HDD. The installation medium is DVD and I’m using host DVD drive for installation.

I started the virtual machine, booting from DVD. The grub menu is loaded and I choose the default option (not from serial console). Then the kernel is loaded and actually it can get to Installation options. I choose the default GUI installation, but later it failed and told me that GUI installatation requires min 400MB memory (whoa other OSes doesn’t required this much for GUI installation).

I don’t really mind because it falls back to Text based installation. later installation steps went smooth, the virtual disk and the installation medium was recognized. The copying process from installation DVD to installation partition was so sloooow more than 2 hours! but it went well to 100% complete.

After finishing installation, I boot from virtual disk. And the new installation can be loaded. It configure services for the first boot, but later the GUI is garbled, the text mode fine though. I think the GUI problem is fixable with tuning some X.org options, but I have to return the notebook and didn’t have the time to fiddle around (of course I’m keeping the virtual disk file)

So I came to a conclusion that Virtual PC 2007 can run latest solaris without some ‘kernel wizardry’, but of course some problem is to be expected.

I’ll try again on my Core 2 Duo desktop (with VTx enabled) and create some screenshot (Aw! how can I forgot about this). Oh yeah the virtual this can be run with QEMU but grub cannot load the kernel, I think this is fixable though gonna try again.

Hello world!

December 13, 2006

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