Installing Solaris 10 on VMWare Fusion

April 30, 2008

When I got a new MacBook Pro I also ordered VMWare Fusion at the same time so I could run Windows and play around with a linux installation or two. It works great, but I ran into a problem trying to install Solaris 10.

Windows XP, Vista, and Ubuntu all installed without issue, but the installation of Solaris, both graphical and text-based would hang at various points. When I finally got it installed, it would hang on running, never even making it to the login screen. The problem was that even though I was specifying a 32-bit VM in VMWare, the Solaris installation was still identifying the Penryn chip as supporting 64-bit, so Solaris would install the 64-bit version. I wasn’t sure that was the whole problem, but I knew that was the first troubleshooting step. After a doing a little exploration around the interwebs, I found a very simple solution to that problem.

I found a VMWare technote on Installing Solaris 10 as a 32-Bit Guest Operating System on a 64-Bit Host Machine. All you need to do is open the VMWare virtual machine package file, and edit the .vmx file. Add

monitor_control.disable_longmode = 1

to the file, save it, and start the VM.

After doing the above, the installation and OS ran without issue.