Geeky Project Part 2: Create a WebCenter VM

November 24th, 2009 24 Comments

Tux in LEGOs from OpenWorldRight after I posted yesterday’s Part 1, I decided to try out the Oracle public yum server over at public-yum.oracle.com.

I had pinged Justin over the weekend and his contact had pointed me there, and it turns out the same suggestion was also kindly added to comments shortly after I published.

After following the instructions there, I was able to add the repository and complete steps 4-6 from this post, allowing me to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions.

Actually, dkms isn’t in the Oracle public yum server, but I don’t think I need it, at least not now. As John pointed out, I could just build it myself, which is what I’ll be doing in that event.

During the install, I did get a warning that:

This system does not seem to have support for OpenGL direct rendering.

Which I cleared up with this tip, but cleared up is a funny way to put it. Basically, the tip explains how to install the additions without an error, but since this version of OEL ships with an older version of Xorg, I won’t be able to use certain features, as clarified by this message:

You appear to be have an old version of the X Window system installed
on your guest system. Seamless mode and dynamic resizing will not work
in this guest.

It really does say “be have”. See for yourself.

Update: VirtualBox developers have fixed this typo, w00t for intertubes!

No dynamic resize?Anyway, this is a major bummer, and I’m disappointed to confirm that I’m stuck with 1024 x 768 resolution, which is more painful than I remember.

Update: This is caused by OEL shipping with an older version of Xorg, not by a VirtualBox issue. Small resolution is not a big deal for a server box, especially when it means resolving dependencies with a newer version of Xorg. So, no biggie really, just a bummer for me and my VM.

Oddly, I actually was able to get dynamic resize sort of working. I resized the window, then restarted, and voila, the VM remembered the new size, but once I shut down the VM, the settings were lost.

I left off at this point last night to continue the journey today.

The journey took a prolonged rest stop today, as I spent most of the day in meetings.

I tried to tackle the mounting of shared folders between meetings, but that turned into an adventure when got this error:

/sbin/mount.vboxsf: mounting failed with the error: Protocol error

This error had mounds of possible workarounds, several of which I tried, but with no success. If you’re wondering, the reason I want to mount shared folders was because I’ve already downloaded and unzipped WebCenter 11g Release 1 Patch Set 1 on my host.

Update: I neglected to clarify that this error is caused by a “quirk” in the mount command, not by a VirtualBox flaw. Thanks for reminding me.

Shared folders seemed like an easy way to avoid moving more bits around the intertubes, but after banging my head against this mounting error, “easy” seemed highly relative.

So, while I’ve been writing this post, the OEL VM has been chugging away, downloading WebCenter. Now it’s finished, and this seems like a good place to end this part.

Stay tuned for more. I did find out today that there are a few VMWare images of WebCenter floating around the development team. So, I feel better knowing that if I completely bork this up and quit it frustrating (been known to happen), I can always fall back on a vmdk.

Good to know.

Before I sign off, I have to say that I’d forgotten what a dark art (h/t Chet) Linux really is. So much time spent searching for errors and tips, the subtle differences between distros, the CLI-fu, the package building and dependencies; it’s designed by masters for masters. Makes me wonder how the Linux community will react to Chrome OS, which seems to take a Mac approach, i.e. designed by masters for dummies.

Keep in mind, I’m also calling myself a dummy. I wonder how Windows fits into this wordplay . . .

Anyway, find the comments.


Possibly Related Posts

24 Responses to “Geeky Project Part 2: Create a WebCenter VM”

  1. oraclebase Says:

    I know open source is about freedom etc. But we really need one Linux to rule them all if we want to see progress in this space. For the most part RHEL (and its clones) rule the server market and Ubuntu rules the desktop, but even this fragmentation is a pain.

    A quick Google on any subject returns billions of hits on a variety of distros and versions. It's still too complex for Joe Shmo to navigate through. Until we see some consolidation it will remain a server product or a geek desktop product.

    Pity.

    Cheers

    Tim… (Posting from a Linux desktop… :) )

  2. jpiwowar Says:

    The “Linux is a dark art” thing is what drove me from a Linux workstation environment several years ago. I like working w/ Linux well enough at the server level, but after the 750th iteration (I'm nothing if not tenacious ;-) ) of “kernel update borked my VPN client/wireless driver/display adapter/auggggghhhhh,” I finally decided to tough it out w/ Windows, until I realized that no one was going to get mad if I brought my Mac to work. Maybe eye-rollingly irritated, but not mad.

    I used to lament the time I'd lost in my life to those 750 iterations, until I dwarfed it all with World of Warcraft. ;-)

  3. Achim Hasenmueller Says:

    Just fixed the “to be have” message in the VirtualBox Guest Additions. We're better at writing code than English :-)

    Anything else you'd like to see us improve in the Guest Additions for OEL guests? We've been testing the Guest Additions with OEL for some months, there's nothing we can do about the outdated X.org but we hope the rest is smooth.

    Achim
    VirtualBox Engineering
    Sun Microsystems

  4. Michael Thayer Says:

    If you describe more precisely what you did to try to create and mount a shared folder I might be able to work out what is going wrong. As a shot in the dark, if you have a file or folder in the current directory with the same name as the share you are trying to mount, mounting will fail due to a quirk in the Linux mount command. We are currently looking for a way to work around that.

    Michael
    VirtualBox Engineering
    Sun Microsystems

  5. Michael Thayer Says:

    Oh yes, forgot to mention – the (informational!) message about the system “not supporting OpenGL” means that the guest that you have installed (i.e. Oracle Enterprise Linux) does not have sufficient OpenGL support to enable the Guest Additions support for accelerated 3D effects. There is no error to correct there, your workaround just prevents the message from being shown.

    I can redo the message if it is not clear enough though.

  6. Jake Says:

    Agreed for the most part, but I think it's fine to have one server and one desktop distro b/c they have very different goals and users.

    Getting Linux running would be nigh impossible without Google for support, even though it's challenging to get a straight answer in many cases.

    I just don't see the community coming together around a single anything, which is what makes FOSS both awesome and awful all at once.

  7. Jake Says:

    Rich went through too, dumping his Ubuntu box for 100% Mac. I would too, but I like to have a work computer vs. a paper weight.

    Paul says he's more productive on Mac. Many of us agree.

  8. Jake Says:

    Hey Achim. Thanks for the immediate bug turnaround. Not a big deal really, just something I noticed while writing this post. I think the Guest Additions are fine on OEL, considering the Xorg limitations. I suppose it's moot now, since I downloaded WC to the VM, but any ideas on how to get shared folders working?

    Great work on VBox. I'm a big fan.

  9. Jake Says:

    Hi Michael. Thanks for the assist. I tried several share names with no success, and I did see the note that this is a mount command quirk and not a VBox issue. Will clarify that in the post.

    Not a big deal really, since I ended up downloading WC directly into the VM.

    Love VBox, keep up the good work.

  10. Jake Says:

    Yup, the note that promised to fix that error exaggerated a bit, since it was just, as you say, hidden by adding x11. No worries, and again, not a VBox issue, an OEL one.

    I was able to get resize to work by changing the size and immediately restarting, but that change didn't stick after a shut down. That leads me to wonder if there's a way to change the resolution permanently beyond 1024 x 768, albeit not dynamically. Thoughts?

  11. Michael Thayer Says:

    Well, if it had been that issue it would have been a quirk of the mount commant :D If trying different share names did not help (and you made sure that you tried names that didn't exist as files or directories inside your guest) then it was probably something else. As I said, feel free to describe in a bit more detail what you did (by e-mail is fine too), and maybe I can work out what went wrong.

  12. Jake Says:

    Thanks. If I need shares later, I'll drop an email with more details.

  13. oraclenerd Says:

    Very weird happenings…2 weeks ago I created an OEL 5.4 guest, and I couldn't get the resolution higher than what you mentioned. I just created one, and voila! it works.

    I wrote it up a few months ago and here's the link: http://www.oraclenerd.com/2009/07/oel-virtualbo

    I think, but I can't confirm yet, that it may have been due to the packages/libraries/whatever I added. Instead of just adding kernel-devel* and kernel-head*, I added all of them. Like I said, I can't confirm that until I retest. So here's the command:

    [root@localhost Server]# cd /media
    [root@localhost media]# cd Enterprise Linux cd 1 20090908/Server/
    [root@localhost Server]# ls -l kernel*
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 16518040 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 16825154 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-debug-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5655277 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-debug-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5594046 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 3170765 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-doc-2.6.18-164.el5.noarch.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 1031922 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-headers-2.6.18-164.el5.i386.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 16536766 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-PAE-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5613262 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-PAE-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 17671768 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-xen-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5610959 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-xen-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    [root@localhost Server]# rpm -ivh kernel*

    Install each and every one of those. The first time, I somehow missed kernel-devel* and nothing worked. After I loaded that all was right in the world and now I have full screen resolution on a 20in monitor (1400×974)

  14. Jake Says:

    This seems odd to me b/c I can get the resolution higher, but only after I login, embiggen the guest window and restart. Wonder if that maps somehow to the kernel packages you mention.

    I'll definitely give it a try, since it will save me some extra steps and about 5 minutes of startup/shutdown/startup time.

    Thanks for adding to the thread. Does your post include wisdom on shared folders?

  15. oraclenerd Says:

    It does, just finished, OEL, VirtualBox and Shared Folders

  16. Jake Says:

    Sweet. Many thanks.

  17. oraclenerd Says:

    did either work for you?

  18. Jake Says:

    Haven't had a chance to try yet, working on other things, will try later in the week.

  19. oraclenerd Says:

    Very weird happenings…2 weeks ago I created an OEL 5.4 guest, and I couldn't get the resolution higher than what you mentioned. I just created one, and voila! it works.

    I wrote it up a few months ago and here's the link: http://www.oraclenerd.com/2009/07/oel-virtualbo

    I think, but I can't confirm yet, that it may have been due to the packages/libraries/whatever I added. Instead of just adding kernel-devel* and kernel-head*, I added all of them. Like I said, I can't confirm that until I retest. So here's the command:

    [root@localhost Server]# cd /media
    [root@localhost media]# cd Enterprise Linux cd 1 20090908/Server/
    [root@localhost Server]# ls -l kernel*
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 16518040 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 16825154 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-debug-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5655277 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-debug-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5594046 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 3170765 Sep 3 22:01 kernel-doc-2.6.18-164.el5.noarch.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 1031922 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-headers-2.6.18-164.el5.i386.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 16536766 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-PAE-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5613262 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-PAE-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 17671768 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-xen-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    -rw-r–r– 2 oracle root 5610959 Sep 3 22:02 kernel-xen-devel-2.6.18-164.el5.i686.rpm
    [root@localhost Server]# rpm -ivh kernel*

    Install each and every one of those. The first time, I somehow missed kernel-devel* and nothing worked. After I loaded that all was right in the world and now I have full screen resolution on a 20in monitor (1400×974)

  20. Jake Says:

    This seems odd to me b/c I can get the resolution higher, but only after I login, embiggen the guest window and restart. Wonder if that maps somehow to the kernel packages you mention.

    I'll definitely give it a try, since it will save me some extra steps and about 5 minutes of startup/shutdown/startup time.

    Thanks for adding to the thread. Does your post include wisdom on shared folders?

  21. oraclenerd Says:

    It does, just finished, OEL, VirtualBox and Shared Folders

  22. Jake Says:

    Sweet. Many thanks.

  23. oraclenerd Says:

    did either work for you?

  24. Jake Says:

    Haven't had a chance to try yet, working on other things, will try later in the week.

Leave a Reply