VirtualBox on Solaris 10

Windows XP running under VirtualBox

About VirtualBox

VirtualBox is an open source hardware virtualization software for Linux, Solaris and Windows. Using VirtualBox, you can run Linux and Windows under Solaris, or vice versa. You can even run another version of Solaris under Solaris 10!

Using VirtualBox on Solaris 10

VirtualBox is still an evolving product, and some features may not work on Solaris 10. Here are a few tips on using VirtualBox effectively on Solaris 10.

Avoid Host CD/DVD Drives

VirtualBox allows you to map host CD/DVD drive to the guest operating system. Thus, you may insert a CD to the drive and then use it immediately under the guest operating system.

However, this feature does not really work. The problem is that you cannot change disks freely if you use the host drive. Solaris does not allow you to eject a disk as long as a program (VirtualBox) is using it and VirtualBox does not allow you to reconfigure the disk drive when the virtual machine is powered on. As such, it is almost impossible to install a program that comes with multiple CDs.

Instead of using the host CD/DVD drive, create images of the disks you want to use and map those to VirtualBox. Disk images, unlike real disks, can be mounted and unmounted while the virtual machine is running.

To create a disk image, find the name of the CD/DVD device first. To do that, insert a disk in to the drive and use the df command to print disk information. You should find the device name from the output.

Once you know the device name, eject the disk and disable volume manager as root

/etc/init.d/volmgt stop

Insert CD/DVD back to the drive and use dd to create an image of your CD or DVD. For example, if your CD/DVD device is named c2t0d0, then create ISO image file as

dd if=/dev/rdsk/c2t0d0s2 of=image.iso bs=2048

You can create several images in a row by changing disks and re-running dd. However, note that the eject command that is normally used to eject a disk does not work as the volume manager is not running. To change disks, you will have to use the eject button of the disk drive.

Once you have created enough images, enable volume manager as root to resume normal operations

/etc/init.d/volmgt start

Note that dd may be unable to read some copy-protected disks.

Install Samba

VirtualBox uses shared folders to simplify data transfer between the host and the guest operating systems. Shared folders are easy to set up and can be used for occasional file transfers. However, shared folders are not stable enough for everyday work, and I recommend that you install Samba file server to the host operating system and configure the guest operating system to share data through Samba.

Samba comes pre-installed in Solaris 10 and you only need to create /etc/sfw/smb.conf file as root

cd /etc/sfw/
cp smb.conf-example smb.conf

Edit the smb.conf file to match your system. For example, a minimal configuration file might contain

   workgroup = TUXNET
   server string = SMB
   security = user
   hosts allow = 192.168.0. 127.
   hosts deny =
   load printers = no
   log file = /var/samba/log/log.%m
   log level = 1
   max log size = 50
   passdb backend = tdbsam
   passdb expand explicit = no
   socket options = TCP_NODELAY

   comment = Home Directories
   browseable = no
   writable = yes

Once the configuration file is OK, enable Samba as root

svcadm enable samba

Add Samba user accounts as root (replace USER with your user name)

/usr/sfw/bin/smbpasswd -a USER

Mapping Samba Shares from Windows

In order to use the Samba share from Windows, open My Computer and select Map Network Drive from the tools menu. Pick a letter and type the name of the network share such as \\\homes where is the IP address of host in the simulated VirtualBox network ( by default) and homes is the name of the share from the smb.conf file.

Beware: guest operating systems do not necessarily write data immediately to the network. It is therefore advisable to disconnect any network shares before taking snapshots or closing VirtualBox. In Windows, you can do this simply by logging off before you close or save the state of the virtual machine.

Mapping Samba Shares from Linux

First log in as root and create a mount point for the network share

mkdir /mnt/homes

You can then mount the network share homes from the host as (replace USER with your user name)

mount -t cifs -o rw,user=USER // /mnt/homes

To prevent possible loss of data, unmount the share before you save the state of the virtual machine or close VirtualBox as

umount /mnt/homes

Getting VirtualBox for Solaris

A ready-made VirtualBox installation package is available for OpenSolaris and Solaris 10 at Download and install the package from to get VirtualBox running quickly.

However, if you want to compile VirtualBox by yourself, then follow the instructions below. The instructions help you compile and install 32-bit version of VirtualBox 2.2.4 for Sun Solaris 10.


You will need the following tools to compile VirtualBox

Make sure that the tools are present and found in PATH. If necessary, add /usr/sfw/bin:/opt/sfw/bin to PATH and /usr/sfw/lib:/opt/sfw/lib to LD_LIBRARY_PATH so that the Freeware tools work.

Tip: you can use the check buttons at the end of each step to mark your progress. Reset all ticks

Prerequisites OK


VirtualBox does not work correctly when compiled with gcc 3.4.3 from Sun Freeware. Instead, gcc 3.4.6 must be installed temporarily. (Note that gcc 3.4.3 shared libraries are still required at run-time.)

Get gcc and configure

bunzip2 -c gcc-3.4.6.tar.bz2 | gtar xf -
cd gcc-3.4.6/
mkdir obj
cd obj
../configure --prefix=/tmp/build  \
    --with-as=`which gas` --enable-languages=c,c++

Compile (~15 min)

time gmake


gmake install
cd ../..

Due to the instructions above, the compiler is installed to directory /tmp/build which is removed automatically at boot. This is usually OK as you can re-install the compiler quickly by running the install command in case you have to reboot.



VirtualBox requires SDL version 1.2.7 or higher. Compile and install SDL as

gunzip -c SDL-1.2.13.tar.gz | tar xf -
cd SDL-1.2.13/
./configure --disable-static --prefix=/tmp/build --libdir=/opt/virtualbox-2.2.4
umask 022
gmake install
mv /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4/pkgconfig /tmp/build/lib
cd ..



Download and configure Qt as

gunzip -c qt-x11-opensource-src-4.4.3.tar.gz | gtar xf -
cd qt-x11-opensource-src-4.4.3
./configure -v -platform solaris-g++ --prefix=/tmp/build -shared \
    -libdir /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4 -L /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4 \
    -stl -largefile -tablet -sm -no-fontconfig \
    -nomake examples -nomake demos -nomake docs \
    -system-libjpeg -system-libpng -qt-libmng -system-zlib \
    -L /tmp/build/lib -L /usr/X11R6/lib -L /usr/openwin/sfw/lib \
    -I /tmp/build/include -I /usr/sfw/include -I /usr/openwin/share/include \
    -I /usr/X11/include

Accept license terms by typing yes.

Compile and install Qt separately (~1.5 hours)

time gmake
umask 022
gmake install
mv /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4/pkgconfig /tmp/build/lib/pkgconfig
ln -s /tmp/build/bin/moc /tmp/build/bin/moc-qt4
ln -s /tmp/build/bin/uic /tmp/build/bin/uic-qt4
ln -s /tmp/build/bin/lrelease /tmp/build/bin/lrelease-qt4
cd ..




Download VirtualBox 2.2.4 source code and unpack the distribution as

umask 022
wget -O VirtualBox-2.2.4-OSE.tar.bz2 \
bunzip2 -c VirtualBox-2.2.4-OSE.tar.bz2 | gtar xf -
cd VirtualBox-2.2.4_OSE

Apply my patch for Solaris 10 u4

gpatch -p 1 -i virtualbox-2.2.4.diff


bash ./configure --build-libxml2 --build-libxslt --disable-hardening
LIB_QT="qt-mt Xrandr Xrender Xinerama Xft fontconfig freetype \
    png jpeg z ICE SM Xi X11"
SDK_LIBSDL_LIBS="SDL Xext Xrender X11"

Compile VirtualBox (~1 hour)

time kmk all

Check the output once again and do not continue if you see any errors. VirtualBox installs a kernel module and your system may crash or fail to boot if the kernel module does not work.



Download guest additions

wget -O out/solaris.x86/release/bin/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso \

Login as root, cd to the package directory and install the VirtualBox kernel module

umask 022
cp out/solaris.x86/release/bin/vboxdrv /platform/i86pc/kernel/drv/
cp src/VBox/HostDrivers/Support/solaris/vboxdrv.conf /platform/i86pc/kernel/drv/
add_drv vboxdrv
chmod 0666 /devices/pseudo/vboxdrv*
ln -s /devices/pseudo/vboxdrv\@0:vboxdrv /dev/vboxdrv

Install the run-time files as root

cd out/solaris.x86/release/bin
cp -r * /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4/
rm -fr /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4/tst* /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4/testcase
chown -R root:root /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4

You should now be able to run VirtualBox as


If VirtualBox works, you can remove the /tmp/build directory and sources as those are no longer needed.


Uninstalling VirtualBox

Use the instructions below to remove VirtualBox from your computer. If you are removing VirtualBox in order to upgrade to a later version, then be sure to shut down all virtual machines before uninstalling VirtualBox. You cannot pick up the guest operating system from a saved state once you install an newer version of VirtualBox. Instead, you will need to discard the saved state and this may have adverse effects to the guest operating system.

If you do want to remove VirtualBox, then first remove the kernel module as root

rem_drv vboxdrv
rm /platform/i86pc/kernel/drv/vboxdrv* 
rm /dev/vboxdrv

Remove program files as root

rm -fr /opt/virtualbox-2.2.4

Version History

Dec 3, 2009: Updated the instructions for VirtualBox 2.2.4. Instructions for VirtualBox 2.1.2 are also available.

Feb 15, 2009: Updated the instructions for VirtualBox 2.1.2. Instructions for VirtualBox 1.6.2 are also available.

Jun 26, 2008: Updated the instructions for VirtualBox 1.6.2. The installation instructions for VirtualBox 1.6.0 are also available.

May 13, 2008: Updated these instructions for VirtualBox 1.6.0.

Apr 12, 2008: Updated the patch file. The latest version of VirtualBox now supports audio.

Mar 31, 2008: Checked that the patch file still compiles. Minor clarifications to this document.

Mar 21, 2008: Updated the patch file.

Mar 2, 2008: Added some tips on using VirtualBox on Solaris.

Feb 29, 2008: Updated the patch file. The patch disables some Solaris specific additions to cope with missing source files.

Feb 27, 2008: Innotek provides installation package for 32-bit OpenSolaris. The very same package might work for Solaris 10 too.

Feb 24, 2008: Compiled succesfully on Solaris u4.

Feb 20, 2008: Compiled succesfully on Solaris u1.