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Running BIGIP-11.3.0.39 on Oracle VirtualBox under Mac OS 10.9.2

Hi, this post may bring nothing new to you, but still I wanted to write it since I couldn't find answers elsewhere for issues I faced with running BIG-IP 11.3.0.39 VE-Trial on Oracle Virtual Box. Also worth to note that I am running everything under Mac OSX 10.9.2. Virtual Box ver. is 4.3.10

I've been using old trial version of BigIP which is 10.1 and that was running fine but recently I noted that F5 updated trial package to 10.3 plus added some more features to test. So I downloaded new image from here (https://downloads.f5.com/esd/eula.sv?sw=BIG-IP&pro=big-ip_v11.x&ver=11.3.0&container=Virtual-Edition-Trial&path=&file=&B1=I+Accept), imported it to Virtual Box, started and it stuck at GRUB Loading stage2. So fix for this case was pretty simple, you only need to enable COM port for the given virtual machine. After that loading proceeds OK, though it's not well visible but you can see that machine reads something from it's disk. After couple of minutes you will see login prompt and root/default still works well there. But if you try to start config, you text most probably see this kind of message:

Cannot connect to mcpd
Cannot connect to mcpd. Your preferences and aliases will not be available until it comes bakup.
The connection to mcpd has been lost, try again.
Error: Unable to examine the state of MCP. Exiting.

No matter how many times I've "tried again" it never worked for me. Also you will note that every 10 seconds there this kind of message:

localhost emerg logger: Re-starting chmand

I googled for these errors and all posts what I've found explained that I have unsupported hypervisor, which is true, you cannot find Oracle VM among supported products of BigIP.

Funny thing is that if you try a package which require production license (e.g. from here https://downloads.f5.com/esd/eula.sv?sw=BIG-IP&pro=big-ip_v11.x&ver=11.3.0&container=Virtual-Edition) Slight difference in version, but it works! I mean you can run config and access portal. Unfortunately trial license will not work there so this is a dead-end. But after couple hours of troubleshooting I've found a way how to start trial package as well.

Here I want to say that I am not BigIP professional and proposed workaround may damage package or bring it to unsupported state so this-kind of tricks should never be performed on production environment.

First of all stop chmand so it's not flooding console with error messages: bigstart stop chmand. Edit with nano file "/bin/qp", it should looks like this:

#!/bin/sh
#
# Script to query and return platform type (D44, D50, etc.)
#
# It uses the info saved in /PLATFORM if available; otherwise it
# simply calls halid & returns the appropriate field (writing /PLATFORM as well)!
if [ -f /PLATFORM ]; then
    grep platform= /PLATFORM | sed -e 's/platform=//'
    exit 0
fi


if [ -f /bin/halid ]; then
    /bin/halid > /tmp/platform_info &

    pid=$!
    cnt=$(expr 10)
    while [ $cnt -gt 0 ]; do
    if [ -n "$pid" ]; then
        kill -0 $pid > /dev/null 2>&1
        if [ $? -eq 1 -a -f /tmp/platform_info ]; then
        break
        fi
    else
        break
    fi
    cnt=$(expr $cnt - 1)
    # amazingly, /bin/sleep is off-by-one when run by 'throttle' which is what 
    # live install does, so give plenty of time here waiting for 
    # halid to finish. ( 'time throttle sleep 5' = 4.2s reliably)
    sleep 5
    done

    if [ $cnt -gt 0 -a -f /tmp/platform_info ]; then
    cnt=`grep -c system_id  /tmp/platform_info`
    if [ -n "$cnt" -a $cnt -eq 1 ]; then
        family=`grep system_family /tmp/platform_info | awk '{print $3}'`
        platform=`grep system_id /tmp/platform_info | awk '{print $3}'`
        host=`grep host_id /tmp/platform_info | awk '{print $3}'`
        systype=`grep system_type /tmp/platform_info | awk '{print $3}'`
        echo "platform=${platform}" > /PLATFORM
        echo "family=${family}" >> /PLATFORM
        if [ -n "$host" ]; then
            echo "host=${host}" >> /PLATFORM
        fi
        if [ -n "$systype" ]; then
            echo "systype=${systype}" >> /PLATFORM
        fi
        echo "${platform}"
        rm -f /tmp/platform_info
        exit 0
    fi
    else
    if [ -n "$pid" ]; then
        kill -9 $pid > /dev/null 2>&1
    fi
    rm -f /tmp/platform_info
    fi
fi
echo "platform=Unknown"  > /PLATFORM
echo "family=Unknown" >> /PLATFORM
echo "host=Unknown" >> /PLATFORM
echo "Unknown"
exit 1

To save your time, you don't need to rewrite it completely, there no changes to the code after line "if [ -f /bin/halid ]; then". Now, edit with nano file /tmp/platform_info, it should be there but some fields may contain "unknown", following worked well for me:

Info:system_id=Z99
Info:system_family=0x80000000
Info:system_type=0xb
Info:system_if=Z99
Info:host_id=Z99
Info:base_mac=@leave this unchanged@
Info:mac_offset=0

at last, edit with nano file /PLATFORM for me it looks like this:

platform=Z99
family=0x80000000
host=Z99

after that reboot VM and try to run config tool, for me it worked fine after all changes above, if it didn't help in your case try to turn-off silence mode in GRUB and see what errors it shows while loading.

mkdir /tmp/grubdisk
mount /dev/hda1 /tmp/grubdisk
nano /tmp/grubdisk/grub/grub.conf

find and delete word "quite" in the line starting "kernel /boot/1/vmlinuz ...." Save file and reboot again, now you should see boot messages. One thing to note, it could be because of this workaround, while activating device it got lost management IP settings, so I had to re-run config again couple of times, but after activation it stays there. Also one time I had to re-activate license, again not sure whether it's bug or feature.

Hope this post will help someone. Cheers

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Comments on this Discussion
Comment made 19-Dec-2014 by lostinberlin 94
EDIT (2014.12.19) - tested on Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04: I needed to also add the systype parameter meaning my /PLATFORM looked like this: platform=Z99 family=0x80000000 host=Z99 systype=0xb Great article BTW. Thanks, Steve
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Replies to this Discussion

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Thank you for putting this together. Following your steps worked for me without any issues.

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Comments on this Reply
Comment made 20-Apr-2014 by Konsta 93
Hi, Are you running the same OS/VirtualBox version? Glad that works for someone else.
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Windows 8.1 VirtualBox-4.3.10-93012 BIGIP-11.3.0.39.0 In addition to your post after the appliance BIGIP-11.3.0.39.0-scsi.ova is imported to virtualbox, I used the following settings.

`
Memory=4096 MB
Processor=2
Video Memory=8 MB
Network
Adapter 1
        Attached to: Attached to Hosted-Only Adapter
        Name: VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter
        Advanced
            Adapter Type: PCnet-FAST III (Am79C973)
            Promiscuous Mode: Deny
Adapter 2
        Attached to: Bridged Adapter
        Name: -Replace with your local nic-
        Advanced
            Adapter Type: Paravirtualized Network (virtio-net)
            Promiscuous Mode: Deny 
Adapter 3
    Attached to: Bridged Adapter
    Name: -Replace with your local NIC-
    Advanced
        Adapter Type: Paravirtualized Network (virtio-net)
        Promiscuous Mode: Deny   

`
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Comments on this Reply
Comment made 25-Feb-2015 by @nesh 702
i have similar settings as per yours, but still it gets stuck at GRUB loading stage2
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Mine too stucks at GRUB loading stage2. Did toy got any solution.

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Comments on this Reply
Comment made 19-Mar-2015 by Konsta 93
Did you enable COM port? What Hypervisor version do you have?
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Comment made 26-Nov-2015 by mrp 57
How do i enable the COM port?
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Yes, enabling COM Port helped. Thanks

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COM Port Helped me too...

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thank you, this saved me a lot of time.

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thank you, this saved me a lot of time.

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Thanks a lot; by following these steps I am able to run LTM VE Edition Version 11.3.0 on Oracle Virtual Box installed on a Windows 7 PC.

Have a good week.

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I followed the steps and everything worked until I wanted configure interfaces. I cannot see any interfaces - "No records to display". Do you know what is the problem?

Problem fixed by configuring Adapter TypeL Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop in VirtualBox

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