SharePoint 2010 installation on Oracle VirtualBox

Imagine your boss tells you in the elevator “Go install SharePoint 2010 and get it ready for development”. What would you really do?

Life is simple with Eclipse: Download, Unzip, Start being productive.

Figuring out the SharePoint 2010 development environment takes a while. Which VM to choose?; how many RAM and disk space are required?; do all developers agree on a single VM?; what CU and patches to apply? In what order?; what KB patches must be applied?; what domain to use?

A plethora of blogs, plus often out-dated docs from Microsoft are prime reasons for confusion. I finally settled on the following environment and the setup was a breeze.

I rate Oracle VirtualBox 3.2.x, formerly Sun VirtualBox, as a better VM with an excellent easy-to-use interface and sound performance. VMWare, Virtual PC/Windows Virtual PC and Hyper-V – all of them need to learn a few things from OpenSource community.

VMWare player is sssssloooooowwww even on the top-of-the-line laptop (i7, 8gb), the UI is not very charming; Windows Virtual PC does not work with 64 bit servers, thank God (SharePoint 2010 is exclusively 64b now, thank God again); And finally Hyper-V: Well, after a day of reading around documentation I still can’t figure what I need to get it working.

Most of my time was spent on weeding out the docs for the actual environment. “Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V Manager, Hypervisor, Hyper-v Server” : All these terms are so overloaded and similar looking and google search brings pretty much everything it can find. Reminds me of Creative product-line. Zen, X-Zen, ZenX, My Zen. Try searching for “Creative Zen” and you pretty much get all the info for all the product lines. Surely a very unintuitive naming of the product. Marketing surely need to understand Naming Convention Paradigms as much as Programmers.

Windows Server 2008 R2 setup was easy. No marks here. SQL Server 2008 R2, little quirky on what to select, but atleast it took care of not having to install all the CUs that I had to deal with SQL Server 2008 SP1.

SharePoint 2010 was easy to install, a little bit of roadblock in setting up the configuration, but very neatly explained in http://mosshowto.blogspot.com/2009/11/installing-sharepoint-2010-windows-2008.html and http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs/fromthefield/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=112.

Finally installed the Visual Studio 2010 on my host, took more than an hour to install, ho hum, I haven’t played with it much, but I hope it has atleast half the features as Eclipse. Word hiliting atleast is there now, which is a relief.

I wanted to develop SharePoint 2010 solutions on my host OS and just deploy on the guest. By default VirtualBox uses NAT, but I changed it to use Host-only adapter. Restarted VirtualBox and voila, the guest OS IIS is visible from host OS. Earlier versions of VirtualBox had issues doing this. I couldn’t even make it work correctly in Virtual PC.

Overall, the Oracle VB 3.2.8 performance is very good, hibernate and startup time is pretty good too.

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2 Responses to SharePoint 2010 installation on Oracle VirtualBox

  1. cssathya says:

    Did you figure out how to move an Oracle VM from one VirtualBox instance to another? That’s the biggest issue I have with VBox compared to Virtual PC or VMWare. For the other two, you simply have to copy the files to another box and everything is fine, but doesn’t seem to be the case with VBox. The import is so slow that I never attempted to do it.

    Like

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