This is an old revision of the document!
This page describes the process of installing MINIX 3 on VirtualBox.
First of all you'll need to install VirtualBox. VirtualBox binaries can be downloaded from their webpage. If you're running a Linux distribution, you can probably install VirtualBox via the package manager (e.g. with apt-get install virtualbox on Debian-like systems).
Before you install MINIX 3, you will need to create a new virtual machine configuration. The VM configuration specifies the parameters of your Virtual machine, e.g., how much memory you want the VM to use, how big you want the virtual hard disk to be, etc. Please see Hardware Requirements for guidelines.
In the main screen of VirtualBox, click the big New button.
Assuming you have downloaded and decompressed a MINIX 3 ISO image from the download page, you can mount the ISO file:
Then you can follow the normal installation instructions.
When the installation is over, type
to exit Minix. The virtual machine will automatically close.
Now you have installed MINIX 3 on the virtual machine. The first thing that needs to be sorted out, is that next time you boot, you want to boot from the operating system, and not from the CD image.
Great, now you can boot into the newly installed operating system.
You should read Post Installation for some configuration tips.
: This chapter needs to be re-written, as MINIX 3.3.0 does not install Xorg by default, where as MINIX 3.4.0 Beta can start X with no additional fiddling.
VirtualBox's guest additions are not available for MINIX3. Therefore, MINIX cannot correctly guess the screen resolution. The desired screen resolution has to be set manually in the xorg.conf file.
Make sure you are not running X!
Login as root, and run the following command:
# Xorg -configure
This command should create a
xorg.conf.new file in
Section “Screen” from
xorg.conf.new file, make sure to remove all
SubSection “Display”, except the one containing:
Add the desired screen resolution. Possible screen resolutions can be found in
/var/log/Xorg.0.log. Search for
BitsPerPixel: 16, this is important!.
*Mode: 117 (1024x768) [...] XResolution: 1024 YResolution: 768 [...] BitsPerPixel: 16 [...]
These resolutions can be added to the newly generated
xorg.conf.new (in the example above:
1024×768). I was able to use the following resolutions:
Add the desired resolution to the
Modes: key in
[...] Section "Screen" [...] SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 16 Modes "1024x768" EndSubSection EndSection [...]
xorg.conf.new file can now be moved to
# mv xorg.conf.new /usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/xorg.conf
Test the new configuration file with by starting
Sample xorg.conf, location: /usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/xorg.conf
Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "X.org Configured" Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0 InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer" InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" EndSection Section "Files" RgbPath "/usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb" FontPath "/usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc/" FontPath "/usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/" FontPath "/usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/" FontPath "/usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/CID/" FontPath "/usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/" FontPath "/usr/pkg/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/" EndSection Section "Module" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Keyboard0" Driver "kbd" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Mouse0" Driver "mouse" Option "Protocol" "auto" Option "Device" "/dev/mouse" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" VendorName "Monitor Vendor" ModelName "Monitor Model" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "Card0" Driver "vesa" VendorName "Unknown Vendor" BoardName "Unknown Board" BusID "PCI:0:2:0" EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen0" Device "Card0" Monitor "Monitor0" SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 16 Modes "1152x864" EndSubSection EndSection
VirtualBox has eight networking adapters which can be separately configured to operate in one of the following six modes:
It is possible to browse the Web, download files and view e-mail inside the guest (MINIX 3) with the Network Address Translation mode. In this default mode (NAT) the guest operating system can not access the host machine or other computers on the same network and vise versa. However, like a physical router, !VirtualBox can make selected services available through port forwarding. This means that VirtualBox listens to certain ports on the host and resends all packets which arrive there to the guest, on the same or a different port.
For example, to forward SSH traffic from host machine to guest machine on port 2222:
VBoxManage modifyvm "VM name" --natpf1 "guestssh,tcp,,2222,,22"
The “VM name” is the name of VM on the VirtualBox management screen, and “guestssh” is purely descriptive name and will be auto-generated if omitted.
Connecting to guest machine with following command on host machine
ssh -p 2222 localhost
The guest operating system is available for host machine and other machines on the network as well though the same port 2222 at the host's IP address (if host machine firewall allows it). This is useful for remote development and navigation with Eclipse Remote System Explorer.
VirtualBox 3.1 is not able to boot MINIX 3. Please use the latest version of VirtualBox.
Symptom: kernel panic right after boot menu (CD loads and displays boot menu but panics right after)
VBoxSDL --startvm minix --norawr0 --norawr3.
VBoxSDL --startvm minix --norawr0 --norawr3
When the MINIX3 virtual machine is using (at least) NAT networking configuration, it will obtain the DNS server address from the host system through DHCP. The VirtualBox-provided DNS server address is the exact same address as used on the host system. On some systems, this can lead to nonworking DNS resolution. For example, the host system uses a local resolver (on 127.0.1.1), which leads to the MINIX3 guest fruitlessly sending DNS requests to itself rather than the host's resolver. The result is that for example
pkgin up gives “Host name lookup failure” errors.
On MINIX3, the current DHCP-obtained DNS server settings can be checked with the command
dhcpd -q - the DNS server address is listed as
DNSserver. If this address is indeed not a routable IP address, one may have to enable VirtualBox's DNS proxy, using these instructions from the official VirtualBox website. This should resolve the issue.
If you have configured a time zone in MINIX3 (by for example putting the line “export TZ=CET” in /etc/rc.timezone), and you find that your clock (printed by for example the “date” command) ends up being ahead of real time by one or more hours, then take the following steps (tested on VirtualBox 4.1.6):
Note that if your clock is behind for any reason, the MINIX3 vbox VirtualBox time sync driver will automatically correct the time for you.
To use the shared folders feature please do the following:
mount -t vbfs -o share=NAME none /mnt
Be sure to replace NAME here with the name you assigned the share in step 4. Please also note that this cannot be entered into fstab for automatic mounting due to the fact that mounting takes place earlier in the boot process than the loading of the appropriate virtualbox driver for shared folders.