Sean's Oracle Share

March 10, 2010

Installing OEL 5 on Win 7 Virtual PC

Filed under: OEL — Sean Molloy @ 4:12 am


I wanted to setup a virtualized linux environment on my 64 bit windows 7 laptop. (OEL 5 is Oracle Enterprise Linux 5).

I looked at a few alternatives:

  • Virtual PC on Win 7: only supports 32bit OSs and requires hardware virtualization, Linux not supported
  • Virtual PC 2007: Supports 32/64 bit OSs, does not require hardware vitualization, Linux supported
  • Vmware Server: Supports 32/64 bit, linux supported, most popular

I decided to try Virtual PC on Win 7, mostly because my laptop has the hardware virtualization. Also vmware website was not taking registrations last weekend. Also wanted to see if the lack of linux support would cause any issues.

Today, I have discovered Oracle VM VirtualBox. VirtualBox came over with the Sun acquisition and it seems this will be well supported in the future. See

If I was starting again I would try Oracle VM VirtualBox. But since I have used Virtual PC on win 7 and my experiences may be of benefit to others, I will describe them.

Does your laptop have Hardware Virtualization?

Here’s a link to the Intel utility to run to see if your CPU supports Hardware Virtualization:

Here’s a link to Microsoft’s instructions to configuring the BIOS to enable Hardware Virtualization:

Steps taken

1. Downloaded “XP mode” and “Virtual PC” from

2. Installed “XP mode”. Installed “Virtual PC”. It is not necessary to configure “XP mode”, before using “Virtual PC”

3. Downloaded OEL 5 update 4 dvd iso from

4. Ran the “create virtual machine” wizard. Options 1024MB ram, use computer network selected, named virtual hard disk.

I left the Virtual hard disk with its Total Disk size set to 130GB and dynamic type. My budget is 20GB. OEL 5 does not seem to grab the full size, but supports the dynamic nature of the Virtual hard disk file.

5. Changed the vm settings to point the DVD drive to the OEL 5 dvd iso file.

6. Started the vm

7. Selected default Graphical mode. This resulted in:

8. The issue is that Virtual PC supports 16 bit color, but not 24 bit. The linux install uses 24 bit.

The solution I chose was to do the install in text mode. So after restarting the vm, I typed “linux text”

9 I skipped the media test and chose the following options:

language: english
Keyboard: US
initialize drive
Use GRUB Boot Loader
no boot options
no GRUB password
/dev/hda1 for boot loader
eth0 parameters
no primary, secondary DNS ip
hostname: oel5
timezone: Chicago (counld not find St. Paul or Minneapolis!!)
Root password:
Options: “Software Development” and Customize
Defaults + unselected Games, selected Legacy SW development, Server config tools, system tools, Windows File Server, unselected X Software Development, text-based internet, office/productivity, gnome software development.

10. The installer formatted the virtual disk and did the install in 25 minutes.

The install grew the Virtual Hard Disk to 5GB

11. I changed the vm setting for network to “Shared networking”

Post-install issues

After logging in as root and entering “startx” to see the gnome desktop, I had a few issues.

No Mouse:

    The mouse was not working. The solution was to  Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add “i8042.noloop” to the end of the “kernal” line. See

800×600 Screen Resolution:

  My desktop resolution was set to 800×600 and this was too small. The only available resolutions were 800×600 and 640×480. This was the most painful issue to resolve.

It involved adding some entries to /etc/X11/xorg.conf

I have highlighted the additions/changes (highlights visible at the website)

Section "Device"
 Identifier  "Videocard0"
 Driver      "vesa"

Section "Monitor"
 Identifier "WXGA+ Inspiron"
 HorizSync 31.5-90.0
 VertRefresh 60.0-60.0
 Option "DPMS"

Section "Screen"
 Identifier "Screen0"
 Device     "Videocard0"
 Monitor    "WXGA+ Inspiron"
 DefaultDepth     16
 SubSection "Display"
  Viewport   0 0
  Depth     16
  Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
 SubSection "Display"
  Viewport   0 0
  Depth     24
  Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"

These changes made it possible to achieve a 1280×1024 resolution

Lastly, I also needed to set a static ip address.


  • I need to configure samba or ftp to allow the exchange of files between the vm and the win 7 host. Unfortunately I cannot copy/paste between the two. So I have had to use yahoo mail to exchange data
  • My main goal is to install ASM and 11g R2

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