[vbox-dev] IPS package

Ramshankar ramshankar.venkataraman at oracle.com
Thu Apr 3 09:17:21 GMT 2014

Hi Thomas,

Our requirements are very simple. The upgrade, uninstallation and 
installation should:

1.  Not require *any* extra commands to be run manually by the user.
2.  All drivers should be loaded, active, upgraded without requiring 
reboots. After an upgrade new drivers should be active and running 
VirtualBox VMs after an upgrade should really use the new driver.

As long as the run-once SMF script can be invoked without any manual 
commands by the user that is great and a solution we can accept. If it 
-does- require manual stuff, we already had such a thing working a while 
back with a script which does the job (fixup partial install done by 


On 04/03/2014 12:33 AM, Thomas Gouverneur wrote:
> BTW, I just upgraded the documentation on github so it's more 
> descriptive, with example of running the script and also running an 
> upgrade:
> https://github.com/tgouverneur/VBox-SVR2IPS
> Let me know,
> --Thomas
> Le 2014-04-02 22:45, Thomas Gouverneur a écrit :
>> Klaus,
>> The current script I've been working on is doing exactly what you 
>> describe. I'm adding a run-once service into SMF.
>> I also add an /opt/VirtualBox/VERSION file with the package's version 
>> string inside it.
>> When run-once SMF service start, it checks this file against its 
>> latests known version and if that doesn't match, a postinstall + 
>> driver cleaning is ran.
>> How can I work with you guys to know what's potentially currently 
>> missing and how you'd like it to be implemented?
>> Also, what is your possibilities at Oracle to make an IPS repository 
>> available?
>> I'd really like to get things moving in the good direction there, IPS 
>> is really an improvement to me and I guess also to a lot of other 
>> virtualbox users.
>> If needed, we can have a call together to discuss this further 
>> off-list... let me know.
>> --Thomas
>> Le 2014-04-02 17:52, Klaus Espenlaub a écrit :
>>     Hi Thomas,
>>     On 02.04.2014 14:45, Thomas Gouverneur wrote:
>>         Ram, As far as I'm aware, there's no way to automatise it,
>>         although I find it better than nothing to benefit from the
>>         IPS packaging rather than the SVR one. On another side, we
>>         can still display a big fat warning when the user is trying
>>         to install/upgrade with the instructions to get this done the
>>         proper way.
>>     If I'm not completely behind this isn't possible with IPS, as one of its
>>     design decisions was that a package install/upgrade/uninstall cannot
>>     ever block to ask for input or provide any output besides requesting a
>>     reboot. I don't think anyone seriously considers reboots to be an option
>>     (it's a problem, not a solution).
>>     To reach a good usability a VirtualBox IPS needs to be able to reliably
>>     trigger some activity for ALL of the following situations:
>>     postinstall/postupgrade/postuninstall (and it'd be nice to have
>>     preinstall/preupgrade/preuninistall for doing some truly vital
>>     cleanups). Would it be possible to use a variable component in the SMF
>>     run-once service name like the package version to trigger activities for
>>     upgrades (only necessary for the case of upgrading a live system)?
>>     Anything automatable in a build process is fine with us. Trust me, we're
>>     not afraid of complex implementations :)
>>     If these activities aren't possible then the only way would be to detect
>>     a driver/application version mismatch when some VirtualBox application
>>     is started, and this is where we get into the very bad user experience
>>     region: this is generally done by non-root users, who don't have the
>>     privileges to rectify the problem and have to ask the admin to complete
>>     the manual part of the upgrade.
>>     I briefly thought about doing a "dummy IPS" package, i.e. one which
>>     simply dumps the PKG file into some location, and use the run-once
>>     service to do the PKG install, but honestly this is several orders of
>>     magnitude too ugly to be acceptable.
>>         What do you think? Could this be integrated?
>>     We're not against IPS packaging, we'd be gladly providing IPS packages
>>     tailored for Solaris 11 ourselves if only there would be a good solution
>>     in sight which is user friendly. So far we couldn't find any way to
>>     create an IPS package with an acceptable user experience, and that's why
>>     we stick to the PKG stuff which has the necessary hooks.
>>     The IPS package has quite some potential (directly installing the
>>     package as part of autoinstall, skipping the useless 32 bit binaries,
>>     skipping irrelevant drivers like the streams based bridging support,
>>     i.e. reducing the package size significantly)...
>>     Klaus
>>         --Thomas Le 2014-04-02 11:29, ramshankar venkataraman a écrit :
>>             On 31/03/2014 23:06, Thomas Gouverneur wrote:
>>                 Ram, Thanks for your answer. 1. Yes 2. Yes,
>>                 considering that you need to run an 'svcadm restart
>>                 virtualbox-run-once' service that gets installed with
>>                 the first installation. Then, when an upgrade is
>>                 done, this service is responsible to upgrade drivers
>>                 and/or services at its next start. (so either
>>                 manually, or, indeed after a reboot). Does that make
>>                 sense?
>>             So it requires manual running of a service to make the
>>             upgrade work? Is it possible to automate this somehow as
>>             part of the IPS upgrade procedure itself? Regards, Ram.
>>                 --Thomas Le 2014-03-31 13:49, Ramshankar a écrit :
>>                 Hi, Thanks for the work and the heads up, but before
>>                 I look into this, a couple of questions: 1. Does the
>>                 installation work without requiring reboots (drivers
>>                 are loaded and active after installation)? 2. Does
>>                 upgrading VirtualBox versions work without requiring
>>                 reboots (old drivers are unloaded, removed and new
>>                 ones are installed and loaded) ? Regards, Ram. On
>>                 03/30/2014 03:42 PM, Thomas Gouverneur wrote: Hi! I'm
>>                 writing today because I've been asked some time ago
>>                 to write a converter from SVR to IPS packages for
>>                 VirtualBox to allow the installation of VirtualBox
>>                 and of the extension pack through IPS. I wonder now
>>                 if this work can be useful upstream too?! I published
>>                 the scripts
>>                 there:https://github.com/tgouverneur/VBox-SVR2IPS And
>>                 an example repository can be found
>>                 there:http://mdma.igh.cnrs.fr/vbox/en/catalog.shtml?show_all_versions=1&action=Refresh
>>                 The repository has been built with the
>>                 VirtualBox.org's packages converted using the scripts
>>                 present inside the GitHub repository listed below.
>>                 NOTE: This repo has only been tested with Solaris
>>                 11.1. Any idea with who I could start the discussion
>>                 to see what would those package be missing to allow a
>>                 possible upstream adoption, so we can all have IPS
>>                 upstream packages of VirtualBox in the future?
>>                 Thanks, --Thomas -- --Thomas
>>         -- --Thomas
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>> -- 
>> --Thomas
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> -- 
> --Thomas
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