File sharing OpenSolaris guest in VirtualBox on Mac host

Sun’s VirtualBox type II hypervisor is a great free tool for running multiple guest OSes on your desktop.  I use VBOX on my Mac to run Solaris 11 and OpenSolaris.

One of the weaknesses of VBOX at this time is that the “guest additions” don’t yet support file sharing from a Solaris guest OS.  There are ways around this, however, using SMB protocols.  Here’s how….

  • Configure SMB sharing on your Mac
    • Apple Menu > System Preferences > File Sharing pref pane
    • Enable File sharing
    • Click Options
    • Enable Share files and folders using SMB
    • Enable your username account for file sharing. Doing this exposes your home folder on the network as a Windows shared folder. Make sure you have a good password!
  • Install Solaris or OpenSolaris in VirtualBox
  • Configure NAT networking
  • Open a Nautilus file browser
  • Go > Location
  • Enter: smb://10.0.2.2/<usernameonmac>
  • Enter your password
  • A new file browser should open with your mounted files.
  • Bookmarks > Add Bookmark

This works because when NAT networking is configured the Solaris guest gets an IP address of 10.0.2.xx.  The VBOX hypervisor acts not only as DHCP server but also as gateway and host at IP address 10.0.2.2.

In OpenSolaris, you can also do this using the Places > Connect to server menu item.  Choose Custom Location from the pull-down menu and enter the SMB address.

For more on accessing Windows Sharing check out Brian Leonard’s blog entry.

Meanwhile, make sure to get the free downloads of Solaris 10, OpenSolaris or VirtualBox.

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