I’m now full time on a Mac and am currently exploring Solaris for use in a production cluster. Mainly because of ZFS, which is the most fabulous new thing to happen to IT in 8 years. I’m installing it as a VMWare guest OS on my Mac. Over the past two months or so, I have tried to install Solaris 10 at least 10 times with no success. It always locks up hard right around 50% at something like “preparing install.”

It is the most frustrating thing in the world right now. Well, really, a close second behind Michigan roads.

But today I found this page:


Down towards the bottom is a message that Solaris needs a minimum of 490 MB RAM + 50 MB for each NIC. By default, VMWare Fusion creates 512 MB RAM for new virtual machines. I was just using the default. Sure enough, upping to something more than 540 works.

So, apparently, I was 28 MB shy of success. Hrmph!

Yes, I should have paid more attention there. Especially, as a developer and a system admin.

But had either of those two been my products, I would have made sure that could not happen. 1. Solaris setup should check the hardware for meeting the minimum requirements. Only because there it dies in such a way that there is no message on why it died. 2. When creating a new VMWare Virtual Machine, and you choose Operating System: Sun Solaris, VMWare should change the default RAM to meet the minimum requirements. It is already, obviously, doing other things specific to Solaris.

I wouldn’t expect this out of any company. However, I would be more happy about giving my money to a company that did.

About the Author:

Learned something? Great! Need help on your development project? I can help @ Brilliant Chemistry or get in touch direct:

  • Ruby on Rails
  • iOS Development
  • System Architecture & Performance

Get in touch:


  1. mike says:

    It looks like the latest version of VMWare Fusion actually does what I suggested. I just upgraded Fusion and created a new Solaris install and the default RAM was 540 MB and not 512!

  2. Eric Banks says:

    Hey Mike,

    Where did you get the ISO from for the Solaris 10 OS to use of VMWare Fusion?



Leave a Comment