I downloaded a Plan 9 (4th Edition) ISO from Bell Labs and gave the system twice the recommended memory and hard disk space. I followed the installation prompts, choosing the default options where possible. However, the installer warned that it ran out of space, despite completing the installation. When the machine tried to boot, it got multiple kernel panics and aborted.

How do I get Plan 9 installed and running on VirtualBox?

  • Background info. – user44370 Oct 25 '14 at 19:09
  • I have seen this behaviour. The solution was to pre-allocate the disk space for the virtual hard disk, rather than leave it on the default setting, which is to allocate disk space from the host only as and when needed. I realise this is a bit late, but it may help someone. – Liam Proven Sep 12 '18 at 13:49
  • Thanks, Liam. Can you elaborate on what you mean by "pre-allocate the disk space for the virtual hard disk". How do you go about doing that, if not setting a fixed-size for the virtual HDD when creating it? – Agi Hammerthief Sep 12 '18 at 13:51

There is another wiki found from Google results:

Verbatim from source:

NOTE: VirtualBox is not a very good choice. Behavior changes dramatically from release to release, with some working out of the box, some needing just the right settings, and some not working at all. You are highly encouraged to pick a different VM. VMware, qemu (with or without kqemu), kvm, and xen are all known to work better.

See also: installing plan 9 on qemu, in xen, in xen 3.0.

Bell Labs' Plan 9 and networking works well in virtualbox 3.1.8 using Am79C973 virtual ethernet adapter in bridged mode, chipset PIIX3 selected and "Enable IO APIC" turned off.

Under Virtual Box 3.0, selecting the ICH6 chipset rather than PIIX3 or PIIX4, and deselecting all disks allows 9pccpu to run. AMD79C970 Ethernet PXE boots reliably but the Intel Ethernet emulations don't.

  • 3
    when you post a link that references something posted on an external resource, please summarize or quote the relevant parts of the resource you're linking against. This makes it easier to read your answer and helps preserve the answer in the case of link rot. unix.stackexchange.com/help/referencing – jayhendren Feb 5 '15 at 21:57
  • Thanks for the link. I'll check it out when I've got access to my home computer. If I get time, I'll also try the qemu route. – Agi Hammerthief Feb 6 '15 at 7:39

While getting Plan 9 installed on VirtualBox might pose a bit of a problem, it is possible to install 9front (a fork of plan 9, with patches and bug fixes) on VirtualBox. This YT video from/by Chris McGee contains some instructions for doing so. In summary:

  1. Download the latest 9front ISO
  2. Create a new VM, type of "Other/Unknown", 1024 MB RAM, 10 GB VDI
  3. Adjust settings:
    • Audio: SoundBlaster 16
    • Display: 32 MB of memory (optional)
    • Network: NAT/Bridged, Intel Pro/1000 MT Server (82545EM)
  4. Start the machine and begin installation. Use the defaults where applicable, except as follows:
    • Set your display resolution to 1024x768x32, not 1024x768x16
    • Set your mouse to ps2intellimouse, not ps2. This will enable scrolling/paging.
  5. In the terminal window that pops up, type inst/start to start the installation.
  6. Follow the prompts, using the defaults where possible. Watch out for the following:
    • The disk to partition with partdisk is sdC0 (VBOX HARDDISK)
    • When prompted to install the mbr, type yes (not just y). Use mbr, not gpt.
    • Simply type w and then q at the >>> prompts
    • Type yes when asked to ream the file system.
    • sysname may be any name you want. 9front is a good default.
    • Install the MBR and make it active.
    • When you reach the finish prompt, unmount the CD from the drive before continuing.
  7. Restart your machine when you receive the fshalt error message.

Useful info: To resize/move a window in rio (window manager):

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the screen. Select either 'Resize' or 'Move'.
  2. Position the crosshair over the window you wish to resize/move.
  3. Right-click and drag to move the window.
  4. Position the cursor at the edge/corner of the window. Left-click and drag to resize from that edge.
  • very many thanks for guidance! – jitter Dec 8 '19 at 16:37

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