[rescue] Anybody working with Solaris 11.4 VirtualBox VM?

Jonathan Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Mon Sep 13 11:22:46 CDT 2021

On Sat, 11 Sep 2021, Lionel Peterson wrote:

> Poking around, I came across this website:
> https://www.sysprobs.com/install-solaris-virtualbox
> It's nothing profound, but it details running the latest (11.4, is that
> latest?) Solaris as a VM on a win/Mac/linux PC - is anyone running such an
> environment? I'm going to play around with it, anyone got any advice/things to
> look out for?

Only vaguely related, I ran Solaris 11.3 under Hyper-V on Windows 10 as
a development environment for a while.  It wasn't bad.  I even had a
dedicated NIC for that VM because I needed to simulate a small lab of
Solaris systems doing automated deployment and management of WinPE

In the larger sense, I cannot recommend VirtualBox for serious work.
Ther's a better alternative on every platform: VMware on Windows and
macOS, and KVM+QEMU on Linux.  Even Hyper-V on Windows is arguably
better in overall experience (if you don't use the console much), except
for the stupid dysfunction Microsoft pulls with networking.

> I may decide to run an install on bare x86 hardware, anyone doing that?

Not 11.4, but I ran 11.3 on a *lot* of bare x86 hardware two jobs ago.
I even rewrote portions of the server-side portion of the netboot installer to
run on FreeBSD.  There's a lot of surprisingly unfortunate cruft in the
new network installer stack--like they let a team of Python kids loose
on the project without any of them having ever seen a heterogeneous
network environment before.

I prefer the antique crapola from the Jumpstart stack because at least
that crapola wasn't sprawling with pointless ooh-shinies like mDNS
discovery of where to download the filesets from.

> Finally, for giggles, I may drop it on a static IP address I have for remote
> access, are these images reasonably up-to-date as far as patches/updates, or
> should I not attempt it?

That's not really been the Solaris 11 way, but 11.4 trades away IPF for
a port of OpenBSD PF, so it should be relatively straightforward to keep
the bad actors away.  And compilers are available, so you can "Get New
Utilities," like we've done for over 20 years.

Jonathan Patschke
Austin, TX

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