12 May 2009

JeOS, Oracle XE and VMware on MacOS X

Last week I installed Ubuntu JeOS (Just Enough Operating System) on VMWare Fusion. JeOS is a slimmed-down version of Ubuntu specifically made for installation in a virtual machine so that it has a much smaller footprint than the normal Ubuntu distribution. Anyway, I did this so that I'd have a VM with a smaller footprint that I can use on my MacBook Pro for development and testing.

After setting up JeOS, I installed Oracle XE, a slimmed down version of Oracle that is free for development and distribution. I used these instructions for installing Oracle XE on Ubuntu but there were some catches, namely that by default the web application for Oracle XE was bound to the localhost, i.e., I couldn't see the web app from Firefox in MacOS X. This was easily remedied via this comment on a blog post about this very topic:

Set up the environment on JeOS to use sqlplus:

export ORACLE_HOME=/usr/lib/oracle/xe/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/server
export PATH=${PATH}:${ORACLE_HOME}/bin

Now use the Oracle sqlplus command-line utility to alter a setting that disables local-only access to Apex. Below is the command to run:

$ sqlplus system@xe
Enter password: SYSTEM_password


Now that I could access the Apex webapp ( that is installed with Oracle XE and I was able to use Apex create a user for myself. After this, I could access Oracle XE from MacOS X.

This setup has been working very well for me until today. For no apparent reason, the networking in JeOS went flaky and I could not access the outside world at all. I switched between NAT and host-only networking in VMWare multiple times, rebooting the VM each time - no dice. I upgraded to the latest VMWare Fusion - no dice. I could SSH into the VM from MacOS but that was it. No commands from JeOS would reach the outside world. So on a whim, I reran the vmware-install.pl script again and after that the networking seems to work again. I still have no idea why this happened which is a bit troubling. I don't want to just blindly keep running the install script again with no idea why it's fixing this networking issue.


I guess the networking issue is common enough that Fusion provides a script to restart everything underneath of Fusion, e.g.:

/Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/boot.sh --restart

Also, there's a good document available for Understanding Networking in VMware Fusion if you're interested. It's brief and to the point.

07 May 2009

SpringSource Tool Suite Now Available For FREE!

Last week in Amsterdam, at the SpringOne EU conference, it was announced that the SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) is now available for FREE! I was very pleased that we made this move as STS is an excellent set of Eclipse-based development tools that can make your Java development much more productive.

If you use Eclipse for your Java development and you use the Spring Framework, then you should really take STS for a spin. It's just like using the Eclipse you know and love but with many added features to make your development more productive. Download the SpringSource Tool Suite now!

I also saw many great talks at SpringOne EU that showcased STS via demos using it. Here is a partial list of some that I saw:

One of the demos that stands out in my mind was delivered by Adrian Colyer during his keynote on day two that utilized many technologies. But the thing I remember the most (and wish that I had more time to play with) was the use of the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse and Chris Richardson's Cloud Foundry, both for working with app deployment and monitoring in the cloud. The ease with which Adrian deployed apps to Amazon EC2 and was able to monitor them were amazing. I say it was amazing because I started working with Amazon EC2 from the command line before any such polished tools were available. It is really great to see the ever-increasing ease of working with cloud-based platforms. If you haven't checked out these two tools and you work with Amazon EC2, I highly encourage you to take some time to do so. Coupled with STS, they will make your life much, much easier.

I have to say it is very cool to see the products all come together like this. It's also awesome to watch demos delivered by folks who know each tool so well. It makes me wish that we had more face-to-face meetings so that I could sponge more of the product knowledge from folks!