Below are a few reports of an installation that worked. For people who are attached to VirtualBox for one reason or another, it might be useful to produce a table of "Plan 9 release date / VBox version / host OS version" tuples with a brief description of the results or configuration needed. Submissions from users are hereby solicited.
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. (Maybe not the only usable settings but these work for me.)
The basic installation works out of the box, simply creating a VirtualBox System of type "Other", choosing a tiny splitter of memory (512M) and a little disk to hold the system (2G), which I decided to reside as a fixed size image.
(Maybe I will do a video on howto setup that VirtualBox image, later).
Actually setting up a plan9 from the latest iso from the Download Page was quite simple.
IDE Controller IDE Primary Master: plan 9.vdi (Normal, 2,00 GB)
IDE Secondary Master (CD/DVD): plan9.iso (277,21 MB)
Adapter 1: Intel PRO/1000 MT Server (Bridged adapter, eth0)
where the `MT Server' version is absolutely essential, as the MT Desktop version does not work!
cat /net/ndb ip=192.168.122.6 ipmask=255.255.255.0 ipgw=192.168.122.254 sys=gnot dns=192.168.1.3 dns=192.168.1.9
That's it folks. Let the games begin!
VirtualBox provides a vesa display emulation to control video modes of the guest. You might observe, that your (modern) monitors resolution, i.e. 1680x1050x32 or 1920x1080x32, as in my case, are not supported.
These are not originally vesa modes, which is a quite old standard.
Luckily you are able to tune your host system to provide extended vesa modes for the guest. The method is described in the VirtualBox manual, in the section “Custom Vesa Resolutions”.
All you have to do is to set your custom modes as extradata options:
VirtualBox setextradata "VM name" "CustomVideoMode1" "1920x1080x32" VirtualBox setextradata "VM name" "CustomVideoMode2" "1680x1050x32" VirtualBox setextradata "VM name" "CustomVideoMode3" "960x1080x32"