Category Archives: solaris

VirtualBox and Solaris 10 Guest Additions

Just a quick post really to save you some time-as it stands the guest additions for Solaris 10 are broken with Virtual Box 4.1.0. When I tried to install them in my Solaris 10 U9 guest, everything worked until the vboxsf module should have been loaded. The output from dmsg is as follows:

Aug 30 18:45:33 unknown genunix: [ID 819705 kern.notice] /usr/kernel/fs/amd64/vboxfs: undefined symbol
Aug 30 18:45:33 unknown genunix: [ID 819705 kern.notice] /usr/kernel/fs/amd64/vboxfs: undefined symbol
Aug 30 18:45:33 unknown genunix: [ID 819705 kern.notice] /usr/kernel/fs/amd64/vboxfs: undefined symbol
Aug 30 18:45:33 unknown genunix: [ID 472681 kern.notice] WARNING: mod_load: cannot load module 'vboxfs'

I’m running Virtual Box 4.1 on Windows 7. When I tried to check for updates the application returned “you are already running the current version”. However, checking the Downloads section of the website I found 4.1.2-which I’m trying now.

The workaround for 4.1.0 is to install older guest additions, see for more detail.

Compiling iozone for Solaris 10 on SPARC

I have started working with ZFS and its various ways of protecting disks from failure. It’s a low end setup at best, where a JBOD is used as an extension to a M-series server. Many JBODs come with SAS connectivity only, and no on-board intelligence so a host based solution has to be chosen to protect the lot from disk failures.

For Solaris, you can use ZFS amongst other solutions. Alternatively, ASM is a possibility. I couldn’t reproduce the exact setup, so I had to improvise. Still I wanted to find out how ZFS performs compared to ASM. For this purpose I used an EMC VMX and a Sun 5410 server which had 10 multipathed 10G LUNs presented to it via EMC Power Path 5.3.

To test the file system performance I decided to use both IOZone and Bonnie++. Bonnie++ is no problem, you can get it from Sun Freeware. Note that Oracle no longer produce the Companion CD, which leaves SunFreeware the only source for alternative packages. Continue reading

Automatic log gathering for Grid Control 11.1

Still debugging the OMS problem (it occasionally hangs and has to be restarted) I wrote a small shell script to help me gather all required logs for Oracle support. These are the logs I need for the SR, Niall Litchfield has written a recent blog post about other useful log locations.

The script is basic, and can possibly be extended. However it saved me a lot of time getting all the required information to one place from where I could take it and attach it to the service request. Before uploading I usually zip all files into to avoid clashing with logs already uploaded. I run the script via cron daily at 09:30. Continue reading

Installing RAC on Solaris 10/09 x64

One of the major adventures this time of the year involves installing RAC on Solaris 10 10/09 x86-64. The system setup included EMC Power Path 5.3 as the multipathing solution to shared storage.

I initially asked for 4 BL685 G6 with 24 cores, but in the end “only” got two-still plenty of resources to experiment with.  I especially like the output of this command:

$ /usr/sbin/psrinfo | wc –l

Nice! Actually, it’s 4 Opteron processors:

$ /usr/sbin/prtdiag | less
System Configuration: HP ProLiant BL685c G6
 BIOS Configuration: HP A17 12/09/2009
 BMC Configuration: IPMI 2.0 (KCS: Keyboard Controller Style)
==== Processor Sockets ====================================
Version                          Location Tag
 -------------------------------- --------------------------
 Opteron                          Proc 1
 Opteron                          Proc 2
 Opteron                          Proc 3
 Opteron                          Proc 4

Continue reading

Database Gateway for Sybase

Before starting to write this article I was wondering if it was of any use to anyone. Who in their right state of mind would use the Database Gateway for xxx, be it Sybase or Adabase or whatever othere database was to be used. If you have to, simply configure another data source in your code and read data from where you need it. Note that I said read! Ever since Piet de Visser’s presentation about simplicity I have been a great supporter of the simplicity approach. Or, like James Morle likes to quote, simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

Transparent Gateways desupported

So, anyway, I have been asked to link Sybase ASE 15.0.3 to an Oracle database, all on Solaris 10/SPARC 64bit. A quick proof of concept had to be performed. Initially I started out with Transparent Gateway for Sybase, the name of the product for 10g Release 2. I should have known something was wrong when the link to download the software was broken and I had to manually copy & paste it. Well to cut a long story short, 10.2 gateways are desupported since 2008! I wasted a whole 2 hours before that came up on MOS. The workaround is to use > 10.2 software for this, and I went for 11.2. MOS states that this is possible for >, > and > My database was which means I’m fine.

Continue reading

It is indeed possible to install Oracle 11.2 on OpenSolaris

After I set up OpenSolaris 2009.06 (see my previous posts) on my openSuSE 11.2 dom0 I was keen to set up Oracle 11.2 single instance on ZFS. ZFS is a new-ish filesystem and successor to ufs no Solaris 10. I like it a lot for simplicty and ease of use. Piet de Visser should love it too :)

But before I could start working on this I needed to do some prep work.

Storage preparation on the dom0

Very simple-I created 2 more zero padded files in my domU base directory and added those to the domU configuration file, as in:

disk = [
vif = [ "mac=00:16:3e:1b:e8:18,bridge=br1,script=vif-bridge" ]

Be sure to add a MAC address to your configuration file or otherwise Solaris will cry out loud the next restart claiming the new storage pool has been used with a different system. That’s not a problem (can be fixed with zpool import -f) but it’s not pretty either.

Addition of new storage pool

This is really simple! First of all you need to find out which of the disks presented to the system are the new ones. I only used 1 disk for the rpool (default storage pool), so I tried to identify this one first:

root@opensolaris:~# zpool status rpool
 pool: rpool
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: none requested

 rpool       ONLINE       0     0     0
 c7t0d0s0    ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

Then I identified the disks on the system:

root@opensolaris:~# format
Searching for disks...done

 0. c7t0d0 <DEFAULT cyl 4095 alt 0 hd 128 sec 32>
 1. c7t1d0 <Unknown-Unknown-0001-10.00GB>
 2. c7t2d0 <Unknown-Unknown-0001-10.00GB>
Specify disk (enter its number): ^C

So, not really surprisingly, c7t1d0 and c7t2d0 were the new disks. I created a new storage pool “oraclepool” with these 2 disks (not recommended for production!)

root@opensolaris:~# zpool create oraclepool c7t1d0 c7t2d0

root@opensolaris:~# zpool status -v
 pool: oraclepool
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: none requested

 oraclepool  ONLINE       0     0     0
 c7t1d0      ONLINE       0     0     0
 c7t2d0      ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

 pool: rpool
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: none requested

 rpool       ONLINE       0     0     0
 c7t0d0s0    ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

With that done, I created a few file systems:

  • oraclepool/binaries
  • oraclepool/oradata
zfs create oraclepool/oradata
zfs create oraclepool/binaries

By default these are mounted to poolname/fs name, i.e. /oraclepool/oradata which isn’t too convenient. Luckily, zfs allows you to easily change the mountpoint without touch /etc/vfstab (which isn’t recommended anyway).

So, enter these commands to change the mountpoints:

zfs set mountpoint=/u01 oraclepool/binaries
zfs set mountpoint=/u01/oradata oraclepool/oradata

The final layout prior to the installation was as follows:

zfs set mountpoint=/u01 oraclepool/binaries
root@opensolaris:~# zfs list
NAME                       USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
oraclepool                7.98G  11.6G    19K  /oraclepool
oraclepool/binaries       6.68G  11.6G  6.68G  /u01
oraclepool/oradata        1.30G  11.6G  1.30G  /u01/oradata
rpool                     5.27G  2.55G  77.5K  /rpool
rpool/ROOT                3.01G  2.55G    19K  legacy
rpool/ROOT/opensolaris    3.01G  2.55G  2.87G  /
rpool/dump                 256M  2.55G   256M  -
rpool/export              2.22M  2.55G    21K  /export
rpool/export/home         2.20M  2.55G  1.63M  /export/home
rpool/export/home/martin   584K  2.55G   584K  /export/home/martin
rpool/swap                   2G  4.08G   474M  -

Oracle user creation

Create the oracle user as always, I did the following:

  • groupadd oinstall
  • groupadd dba
  • useradd -g oinstall -G dba -d /export/home/oracle -s `which bash` -m oracle
  • chown -R oracle:oinstall /u01
  • projadd -U oracle -K “project.max-shm-memory=(priv,4096MB,deny)”
  • projmod -s -K “project.max-sem-ids=(priv,256,deny)”

Set static IP

Edit /etc/hosts to include your hostname, then edit /etc/nwam/llp to include your network interface, the keyword “static” and the ip/netmask.

My example uses:

root@opensolaris:~# cat /etc/nwam/llp
xnf0    static

Change Swap

It’s necessary to increase swap space or otherwise the ld will fail during the “linking phase”.  I increased to 2G from 512M:

root@opensolaris:~# zfs get volsize rpool/swap
rpool/swap  volsize   512M     -
root@opensolaris:~# zfs set volsize=2G rpool/swap
root@opensolaris:~# zfs get volsize rpool/swap
rpool/swap  volsize   2G       -

Oracle Installation

We need to create a symlink for -lcrypto, otherwise one of the shared libraries won’t link with a missing reference to “-lcrypto”:

ln -s /lib/amd64/ /usr/sfw/lib/amd64

Run the installer in silent mode – I modified one of the response files and simply executed ./runInstaller -silent -debug -fore -responseFile /path/to/responseFile.rsp -ignoreSysPrereqs

Database Creation

I ran dbca in silent mode as oracle as follows:

cd /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/
export ORACLE_HOME=`pwd`
cd bin
./dbca -silent -createDatabase -gdbName orcl \
  -templateName General_Purpose.dbc -emConfiguration none \
  -datafileDestination /u01/oradata -sysPassword xxx \
  -systemPassword xxx -storageType FS -initParams  \


SQL> select * from v$version;

Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production
PL/SQL Release - Production
CORE      Production
TNS for Solaris: Version - Production
NLSRTL Version - Production

SQL> !cat /etc/release
 OpenSolaris 2009.06 snv_111b X86
 Copyright 2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
 Use is subject to license terms.
 Assembled 07 May 2009


Now off to learn dtrace…


Praise where praise is due-I got some good pointers from the pythian blog.