Archive for February, 2007

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 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.