vt-x is not available; use PVM instead of HVM if you need to run VirtualBox inside your guest machine

You get this error when you try to run a VirtualBox inside on a physical machine which has not activated the support of VT-x from the bios.
But how to solve this issue when you want to run a VirtualBox inside Oracle VM guest, as afaik, accessing the BIOS is not available ?
The solution comes from how you create your VM guest. On Oracle VM, when you create an VM machine, it can support 4 domaines type:

  • XEN HVM, PV Drivers
  • You can refer to the official documentation: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E27300_01/E27309/html/vmusg-vm-create.html
    and Oracle Support Document 757719.1 (Oracle VM: Comparison of Guest Virtualisation Modes; HVM, PVM and HVM with PV Drivers) can be found at: https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=757719.1
    to understand in depth the difference between those types. Most of the VM I have created used HVM (the default option).
    The tricky parts when you create a PVM guest are:

  • you need to define as boot option select only network
  • do not add disk, otherwise, you will get stderr: Error: Boot loader didn’t return any data!
  • on the Network Boot Path, you enter your http server (or nfs or ftp server as you prefer) were you have unzipped your ISO distribution file
  • Below my vm.cfg file

    vif = ['mac=00:21:f6:00:00:04,bridge=c0a80200']
    OVM_simple_name = 'vbox-labs'
    disk = ['file:/OVS/Repositories/0004fb00000300003527d62008dfea1f/VirtualDisks/0004fb000012000086c63ca973b241e4.img,xvda,w']
    bootargs = 'http://webserver_host:webserver_port/ovm/dvd/'
    uuid = '0004fb00-0006-0000-cb43-af3fa3edcb18'
    on_reboot = 'restart'
    cpu_weight = 27500
    OVM_os_type = 'Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5'
    cpu_cap = 0
    maxvcpus = 8
    OVM_high_availability = False
    memory = 20480
    OVM_description = ''
    on_poweroff = 'destroy'
    on_crash = 'restart'
    bootloader = '/usr/bin/xenpvboot'
    guest_os_type = 'linux'
    name = '0004fb0000060000cb43af3fa3edcb18'
    vfb = ['type=vnc,vncunused=1,vnclisten=,keymap=fr']
    vcpus = 8
    OVM_cpu_compat_group = ''
    OVM_domain_type = 'xen_pvm'


    About Chenda Mok

    19 years of hands on experience in software design and development with emphasis on Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Identity Management (IDM) solutions. I’m a software engineer, member of the professional service delivery team working for Salesforce. Prior to this, I worked for Oracle as Solution Architect, through SeeBeyond(06/2005), then SUN’s acquisition (04/2009). After my master’s degree in computer science in 1997; I always delivered consulting on architecture, design, implementation on integration’s field. I’m interested in architecture using EAI/SOA/IDM/BPM/Cloud technologies, software development and Java’s related technologies. I may blog about my work/activities at Salesforce, but I do not speak for my employer, past, present or future.
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