Configure VNCServer on Oracle Solaris 11

por | 10 julio, 2014

Configure VNCServer on Oracle Solaris 11


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Now that I have a freshly-installed Oracle Solaris 11 server, I need to be able to remotely run and access installation media/menus that have graphical elements (GUI). One of the best ways to do this is via a VNC connection, where the installers will run on the server itself, and only the output is sent to the client/remote PC over the network, as this will mitigate latency issues that could be faced if running the installer itself remotely.

In Oracle Solaris 11, as the default out-of-the-box installation is a text-based installation with minimal packages configured (unless you opt for a virtual machine image-based installation), this means that the required packages will need to be installed and configured first, before running the VNCserver on your Oracle Solaris server.

If you were to try starting a VNC server, this is what you would expect to see currently:

root@sc2:~# vncserver :1
-bash: vncserver: command not found

To start off, first we will need to connect the Oracle Solaris server to the internet, in order to access Oracle’s package repository (the default repository  that comes pre-configured during the installation of the operating system). Of course, you could also use a custom repository hosted on a machine within your local network, but in this case I will be accessing Oracle’s package servers directly.

So, lets have a look at the current state of my internet connection, by doing a few simple tests, while connected as the root user
NOTE: Several significant changes in the way the networking (consisting of the hardware, device,  network later and interface layers) works in Oracle Solaris 11 might be worth looking through first, before messing about in-depth with your network settings.

Let’s have a look at the datalink layer, using the dladm and ipadm commands..

root@sc2:~# dladm show-link
LINK          CLASS     MTU    STATE       OVER
net1             phys        1500     unknown   –
net0            phys        1500      up               –

Current datalinks that are active, net0 and net1 for my two interfaces (or are they?)

root@sc2:~# dladm show-phys
LINK           MEDIA                STATE        SPEED  DUPLEX    DEVICE
net1              Ethernet             unknown    0             unknown    e1000g1
net0             Ethernet             up                 1000      full               e1000g0

The ‘show-phys’ option shows me a bit more detail, and does confirm that the datalinks belong to two separate devices, the network interfaces e1000g0 and e1000g1 respectively. But as can be seen, the net1 link belonging to the device e1000g1 is currently in an unknown state, as it has not been configured during my installation. Let’s first fix this (though in truth it is not strictly necessary for setting up VNCserver, and is more for completeness).

root@sc2:~# ipadm show-if
lo0                loopback   ok             yes            –
net0             ip                ok             yes             –

Here I can see what appears to be only the first network device and the loopback adapter currently being assigned IP addresses on my server.

root@sc2:~# ipadm show-addr
ADDROBJ           TYPE          STATE       ADDR
lo0/v4                   static          ok      
net0/v4                static          ok      
lo0/v6                  static          ok                ::1/128
net0/v6                addrconf   ok                fe80::250:56ff:feb4:26/10

This output confirms it, there is currently no IP address assigned to my second network device, the e1000g0 physical device that is utilizing the net1 datalink.

At this point, first I’d like to add the IP address found in my hosts file for the private interconnect (marked as sc1-priv and sc2-priv respectively in my /etc/hosts file) before proceeding further.

root@sc2:~# ipadm create-ip net1

root@sc2:~# ipadm  show-if
lo0                loopback   ok            yes              –
net0             ip                ok            yes              –
net1              ip                down      no               –

Now I will assign an IP address to the net1 interface, create an address object for this IP address, and activate it. Once this is done, a conventional ifconfig command will allow me to ping this IP address, and the name resolution via my /etc/hosts file should also work.

root@sc2:~# ipadm create-addr -T static -a local= net1/v4static

root@sc2:~# ipadm up-addr net1/v4static

root@sc2:~# ifconfig net1 net1: flags=1000843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,IPv4> mtu 1500 index 3         inet netmask ffffff00 broadcast         ether 0:50:56:b4:0:27
Now, moving on, I need to connect to the Oracle Solaris repository, and download the necessary files for the VNCserver.

First, let’s run a few simple commands to check on the name resolution and IP addresses:

root@sc2:~# more /etc/resolv.conf
# Copyright (c) 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. # #
# See resolv.conf(4) for details.
search  WirelessAP

root@sc2:~# more /etc/hosts
# Copyright 2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
# Use is subject to license terms.
# Internet host table
::1 sc2 localhost sc2 localhost loghost    sc2    sc1      sc1-priv      sc2-priv

I have a DNS server running on a Windows Server 2008 machine, and I’ve created an entry in both the forward and reverse lookup zones for this Oracle Solaris 11 machine on it (not shown here). Now I just need to ensure that I am able to connect to the correct domain and perform a few simple lookups for the IP addresses in my /etc/hosts files.

Let me first configure the correct DNS settings on for the DNS client service (the DNS server is located at IP, and the domain is MYDOMAIN.LOCAL, edit this as required):

root@sc2:~# svcs | grep -i dns online         Feb_09   svc:/network/dns/client:default

root@sc2:~# svccfg -s network/dns/client
svc:/network/dns/client> setprop config/search = astring: (“mydomain.local”) svc:/network/dns/client> setprop config/nameserver = net_address: ( svc:/network/dns/client> select network/dns/client:default svc:/network/dns/client:default> refresh svc:/network/dns/client:default> quit

Check the values of the /etc/resolv.conf file to ensure that the changes above have been applied:

root@sc2:~# more /etc/resolv.conf
# # Copyright (c) 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. #
# See resolv.conf(4) for details.
search  mydomain.local

Next check and configure the default routing tables on my Oracle Solaris server and ensure that it is able to connect to the internet:

root@sc2:~# netstat -rn

Routing Table:IPv4
Destination        Gateway                Flags      Ref   Use        Interface                  UH          2       306       lo0         U             6       2977     net0           U             2       0            net1

Routing Table: IPv6
Destination/Mask            Gateway                                Flags    Ref    Use             If
::1                                         ::1                                           UH        2        30              lo0
fe80::/10                            fe80::250:56ff:feb4:22      U           2       0                 net0

root@sc2:~# route -p add default
add net default: gateway
add persistent net default: gateway

root@sc12:~# ping is alive

After all the preliminary work has been done, now I can connect to Oracle’s Solaris 11 repository and install the solaris-desktop package (and any associated dependencies) in order to start my VNCserver:

root@sc2:~# pkg publisher -P
PUBLISHER                   TYPE     STATUS    URI
solaris                               origin    online

root@sc1:/# pkg install –accept solaris-desktop
Creating Plan –
Packages to install: 358
Create boot environment:  No
Create backup boot environment: Yes
Services to change:  13

DOWNLOAD                                  PKGS       FILES               XFER (MB) Completed                                       358/358  52154/52154  534.6/534.6

PHASE                                        ACTIONS
Install Phase                             84080/84080

PHASE                                            ITEMS
Package State Update Phase      358/358
Image State Update Phase          2/2

Finally, we need to ensure that the ‘xauth’ file is included in the current PATH (to ensure that the OS is able to find the location of this file by default). This is easily done by editing the .profile or .bash_profile settings for the PATH environment variable, as shown below:

export PATH

And we can start the VNCserver process as shown below (remember the password that is specified in order to connect to this VNCserver process later on)

root@sc2:~# vncserver :1

You will require a password to access your desktops.
Password: Verify:
New ‘sc2:1 (root)’ desktop is sc2:1

Creating default startup script /root/.vnc/xstartup
Starting applications specified in /root/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /root/.vnc/sc2:1.log

And now we are able to connect remotely via a VNC viewer/client software (such as the freeware TightVNC viewer) to our Oracle Solaris 11 machine, and run whatever graphical management tools/installers we would like over the network