Are you thinking to have Solaris Operating System on your Windows computer? Here is an easy solution. Oracle provides their Solaris OS x86 version as the pre-installed image for VirtualBox platform, we can utilize it and get a working latest Solaris 11.4 on a normal computer either a desktop or laptop.
We have listed several pre-installed Linux and Windows images here. Alternatively, you can download the ISO file of the Solaris OS and perform the full installation if you like to learn every installation steps. But for a quick setup, we will download the pre-installed template which is available at Oracle website and import into VirtualBox.
- A computer with more than 2GB RAM and enough disk space, let’s say around 50GB.
- Latest Oracle VirtualBox software
- Solaris 11.4 VM Template from Oracle (You need to have an Oracle account which is free to create)
Solaris on VirtualBox – Installation Steps:
1) Make sure you have the latest VirtualBox on your computer. Your computer can be Windows, Linux or macOS.
2) Download the Solaris VM template here. It is approximately 3.3GB size and you need to have Oracle account to download the file. The Oracle account is free to create.
3) After finishing the download of Solaris OVA file, open VirtualBox and select Import Appliance option. This will allow you to browse the OVA file.
4) Next screen will show the details from the template. Still, these settings can be customized. For example, we can increase the processor core or RAM size and the location of the virtual machine that will be imported now.
5) Once you press Import, the process will begin. Wait for some time to complete. It is definitely shorter than doing the entire installation process from scratch.
6) Here is the imported VM in my VMs list.
7) Power on the VM to see the magic.
8) The first screen will ask to set up initial settings to use the system. This is a one-time setup we need to perform.
9) Select the appropriate options and press F2 to select and continue to the next screen.
10) I selected the DHCP network, you can manually assign static IP if you want. If you are setting up this server for a proper testing environment with some more clients, then you must assign static IP for better communication and configuration.
11) Set the root password which is mandatory. You can create another user account here. That is optional. My intention is to use the root account as the default user, so I left it.
12) If all initial settings are correct, you will reach the summary page with your inputs. The system will write the settings and restart.
13) Login with the root credentials (root/password you configured earlier).
14) Perform another GNOME initial settings since this build comes with the GNOME theme.
15) You will get the working desktop once the setup is done. Here you can try the Solaris (UNIX) commands for your learning and testing purpose.
Install/Update VirtualBox Guest Additions on Solaris
This image already has the VirtualBox guest additions, that’s why you got the proper working display, network and screen size adjustments without any additional installations. But you may get the warning message saying that the Guest additions are out of date.
Obviously the guest additions installed on this image may not match the VirtualBox version you have. So, it is better to install or upgrade to the latest version.
16) Before starting the installation steps, I noticed that this virtual machine does not have a CD ROM drive. So, we need to add an optical drive to the VM. Then only the guest additions ISO file can be mounted to the optical drive.
17) Shutdown the VM to add an optical drive. Go to virtual machine settings and click on storage. Add an optical drive as below.
18) Once it is added successfully power on the virtual machine. Remember, we have done these steps because this particular pre-built VM doesn’t have an optical drive. If your virtual machine is having the CD drive, you can skip these steps.
19) After a few testings, I found out that the VirtualBox guessing additions on Solaris can’t be upgraded straight away. We need to uninstall the existing guest additions, then install the latest version.
If you try to install the latest version top of the existing older version, it will not be updated. Instead, you will get the message saying “No changes were made to the system”.
Uninstall VirtualBox Guest Additions in Solaris:
20) Make sure you have root access. Enter the following command.pkgrm SUNWvboxguest
Type y to continue the uninstallation.
You will see the successful uninstallation once it is done properly. Now we are good to install the latest version.
21) Click on ‘Devices’ and select ‘Insert Guest Additions CD image’ as below. We added a CD Optical drive to this virtual machine earlier to mount this ISO file.
22) Access the mounted CD drive (the ISO file) from the terminal or any relevant program.
23) Execute this command once you are inside the CD drive which contains the VirtualBox guest additions files.
pkgadd -G -d ./VBoxSolarisAdditions.pkg
Type y to continue the installation. The successful installation message will appear and ask to re-login. It is always better to restart the virtual machine to get things to work properly after VirtualBox guest additions installation.
24) After the restart, everything should work well. To verify whether the latest guest additions installed properly or to see the version number, I decided to run the pkgrm command without executing it. Type:pkgrm SUNWvboxguest
But, type n for the confirmation prompt.
25) Take a snapshot of the virtual machine. That will save you in future.
Now we have a fully working Solaris OS on our Windows or Linux or macOS computer. We do not need to have a server to test the Solaris OS. The x86 version is quite good to get hands-on experience by virtualization software Oracle VirtualBox. If you find this article useful, please leave your comments and share with others.