Thursday, April 09, 2009

Minimal OpenSolaris Appliance OVF image for VirtualBox 2.2

One of the things that I always miss in OpenSolaris is text install and the primary reason for using this is in VirtualBox where I want to install just enough OpenSolaris to do a particular task with it like Database Server, Drupal, Java Application Server, etc (but more server like tasks). I really don't need GNOME or any other desktop utilities and it is primary a waste of space if I really have to do it for multiple VMs.

I have created a new OVF image which is less than 270MB size and can be used to play with the OpenSolaris kernel in VirtualBox 2.2 and if you like it can install the rest of the OpenSolaris Desktop to get to the default full blown installation of OpenSolaris 2008.11

Download the OpenSolaris App OVF image, unzip it and just use VirtualBox->File->Import Appliance to import the image into a new VirtualBox VM and you are ready to boot into OpenSolaris kernel. The preset login information is user: root with password: opensolaris.

TIP: If you like this minimal install and would like to try out the full fledge Desktop install just execute the following command

# pkg install slim_install

This will take a long time since it installs packages of another 600MB on top of the installation. But it will be pretty much the same set of packages that comes with OpenSolaris 2008.11 CD.  (Actually I expected "# pkg install entire" to do the intended task but unfortunately it just installed "entire" and not its dependencies. Must be a bug somewhere with "entire". )

 If you are interested in your own custom OVF image, here is how I have created the image:

  • For the time being this requires the  OpenSolaris 2008.11 CD image (650+ MB) only to execute my script which is about 5KB.
  • Download Virtualbox and install it
  • Create a New Virtual Box VM with following parameters in the Wizard Screen

    • Call it  My OpenSolaris Appliance
    • Select OS Type "OpenSolaris" 
    • Base Memory  768MB or increase it to 1GB if you can spare your RAM for it
    • Create a New Dynamic Expanding Image with exactly 16.00 GB (Any other size may not work)

  • Once the VM is created, immediately  click the blue Network link and modify it to select a "Bridged Network"  (in the setup make sure it is connected to the active host interface - wired or wireless depending on the host system)
  • Also Click the CD-ROM image and point it to the osol-200811.iso image that you downloaded earlier
  • Boot up the VM and select the first LiveCD option in the Grub Menu options
  • Select through the defaults to get the full Gnome Desktop
  • Open Firefox in the VM and make  sure your VM  has internet access
  • Open a terminal window and execute the following commands in sequence

    • wget ""
    • time pfexec sh -x
    • pfexec halt

  • At this point stop the VM and disconnect the CD image connected to the VM and use VirtualBox->File->Export Appliance Wizard to export the image
It takes about 12 minutes to create an image of about 270MB using the above steps with a decent internet connection and decent desktop.

If you want to own customized Image, take a look at and and create your own versions of it for say Drupal, Ruby, Glassfish, etc.

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