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What is the best way to virtualize Solaris 10 (not OpenSolaris) under Linux or OpenSolaris? I have software that is only supported under Solaris so OpenSolaris is not an option. I'd like to have Linux or OpenSolaris on my desktop.

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Out of curiosity, what's the software? – Toto Jun 12 '09 at 13:04
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'd go for Linux on the Desktop and run Solaris x86 in a Sun Virtual Box environment. Its basically VMWare Workstation, but its free and has good support for Linux/Solaris. In my experience, OpenSolaris has poor hardware support. I wasn't able to get it installed on my Dell P490 or T5400.

You can learn about Virtual Box at

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+1 same setup with my desktop gear. – eradicus Jun 2 '09 at 6:00
I haven't run across hardware support issues with OpenSolaris, but I don't use Dell equipment. – Brian Knoblauch Jun 2 '09 at 15:17
+1 running sol 10 in vbox on OS X – slovon Jun 2 '09 at 16:23
+1 Solaris 10 works perfectly fine on VirtualBox :-) – Antoine Benkemoun Jun 23 '09 at 8:06
Possible solution to the OpenSolaris on T5400 problem: – AndrewR Aug 19 '09 at 3:49

From the sound of your comment, at the moment VirtualBox is likely the best option. However, ork is progressing on a Solaris 10 Brand for opensolaris, which would allow you to have a Solaris 10 zone with an OpenSolaris global zone. Combined with the crossbow networking features included in yesterday's networking release that let you do (among other things) real virtual networking with zones, this would be the best option once the solaris 10 brand is complete.

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You can setup Solaris 10 as a HVM in OpenSolaris under xVM using a zfs volume for storage, which has the benefit that you can take zfs snapshots of your Solaris 10 root file system (in case you have to run a release of Solaris which doesn't support zfs root)

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Solaris 10 x86 is supported under VMware Server 2.0

Check out the Guest OS notes for a full compatibility matrix.

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Also runs fine under Vmware ESX – pauska Jun 23 '09 at 9:32

I have had luck with setting up OpenSolaris test systems under libvirt KVM on Ubuntu and VMware Fusion on Mac OS X, and subsequently migrating the VMware disk over to a Linux system running VMware Server 2.0.

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You can try XenServer. Not sure if it is officially supported, but this guy says (in comments to the article), that it worked for him. Good luck!

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I've virtualized several versions of Solaris 10 under VMware Workstation 6.5x, although mostly for playing and trials, not for production.

I do have one Solaris 10 u5 running under ESXi 3.5 in production.

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