Installing Solaris 2.6 under QEMU

I’ve been looking at picking up a used Sun Sparcstation from eBay. It occurred to me that I’ve never installed an early version of Solaris before, so wondered if I could give it a try under QEMU since it’s emulates different hardware, including Sparc.

There’s an awesome step by step guide on Adafruit that takes you precisely each step to get Solairs installed un QEMU. You can follow the steps in their article here, so I won’t repeat all the steps here.

The key steps before you get to the install are creating a disk image:

qemu-img create -f qcow2 sparc.qcow2 9663676416

and then booting with the Solaris iso image as the cdrom and the disk image attached:

qemu-system-sparc -M SS-5 -m 128 -drive file=sparc.qcow2,bus=0,unit=0,media=disk -drive file=solaris_2.6_598_sparc.iso,bus=0,unit=2,media=cdrom,readonly=on

After this point it’s following through the steps in the install.

Here’s qemu booting up for the first time:

Here’s the Solaris installer starting up:

After the install had completed, here’s the rather impressive for it’s time CDE desktop:

2 Replies to “Installing Solaris 2.6 under QEMU”

  1. Hi Kevin
    I used the same lazyguide by Adafruit but got stuck on boot cdrom:d
    after that qemu goes all white screen and doesnt come back.
    if I interfer it goes back to prompt with message no valid state has been set by load or init-program.
    Did you follow that guide all the way thru or adjusted some line a little bit?
    cheers/Reinaldo

    1. It was a while back now, but I think I followed it exactly step by step? I can give it another go to see if anything has changed and let you know. Do you have the .iso install disk image and is the file= param pointing to the right file name?

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