Repairing Solaris 10 networking in Parallels Desktop 5

2009-12-04 18:33:00

The Parallels support team finally came through. Earlier, I reported network problems with Solaris 10 and Parallels Desktop 5. After upgrading to Parallels 5 my virtual NICs were not getting detected anymore and ifconfig was completely unable to plumb my ni0 or ni1 interfaces.

It took us over three weeks of mailing back and forth, but finally the Parallels team were able to both reproduce the issue and to provide a fix. Here's the summary of what tech support told me.

Cause of the problem

Parallels Desktop 5 now supports 64-bit operating systems. Furthermore, it will now by default boot any capable OS into 64-bit mode. This means that all of my Solaris 10 VMs that had been running in 32-bit mode all of a sudden switched over to 64-bit. This also means that any 32-bit only drivers are rendered unusable. This is what broke the usage of Parallels' virtual network interfaces.

Solution 1: forcing the OS back to 32-bit mode

1. Stop the VM

2. Go to VM configuration -> Hardware -> Boot order.

3. In the "boot parameters" field enter: devices.apic.disable=1

3a. Alternatively, add the following to /etc/system: set pcplusmp:apic_forceload = -1

4. Boot the VM.

5. As root run: /usr/sbin/eeprom boot-file="kernel/unix"

Solution 2: recompiling the RTL3829 drivers as 64-bit

1. Start the VM

2. Remove the old drivers. Run: rem_drv ni

3. Mount the Parallels tools CDROM ISO image on /cdrom.

4. Run: cd /cdrom/Drivers/Network/RTL3829

5. Run: cp -rp SOLARIS /tmp

6. Run: cd /tmp/SOLARIS

7. Edit the file and add the following lines right before the echo of "Compiling driver".


rm $driver/Makefile

ln -s $tmpdir/$driver/Makefile.amd64_gcc $tmpdir/$driver/Makefile

8. Save the file and run: ./

9. Answer the usual questions to configure the NIC. Then reboot.

I went with the second solution (might as well stay running in 64-bit mode now that I can). I can confirm that it works and that my NI interface is now back. You may find that configured the ni0 interface, while it's actually called ni1. Reconfigure if needed by moving /etc/hostname.ni0 to /etc/hostname.ni1. tags: , , ,

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