David L. Craig, originator David L. Craig,
document originator


A cookbook to install a current Bell Labs Plan 9 system into a fully-virtualized machine running in an X86 GNU / Linux environment, including cpu, auth, and fs services with real network connectivity via a virtual (bridged) Ethernet interface. Some experience with Linux system administration is expected, as well as some exposure to the concepts of virtualization, but no familiarity with Plan 9 or virtual networking is necessary. The goal is to quickly provide a full Plan 9 environment for someone to explore to learn just what Plan 9 is.

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, content in this document is licensed under the standard Creative Commons Attribution–ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Source code (scripts) are licensed under GPLv2.
Glenda image courtesy of Lucent / Bell Labs.
Tux image courtesy of Georgi D. Georgiev, aka "hip0" in his penguins subdirectory – copyright uncertain.

Virtual Bell Labs Plan 9 Server Under X86 Linux

The most recent version of this document will be offered at http://dlc.casita.net/~dlc/vp9cb/

If the green on black style is unconfortable for you like it was for Scott Elcomb, click over to http://projects.psema4.com/plan9/vp9cb/ where he graciously put up a modified mirror that changes the rendition of HTML text to black on white.

You can download the entire directory tarball (~25MB) and use a file:///... URL if you want to tweak anything (like the colors—look inside the vp9cb.css file for that stuff).

Revisons and current document maintainers will be described in the appropriate subsections. Please email any comments or questions to any of the active maintainers so this document can be improved and kept current for the benefit of others. Likewise, if you modify this document yourself, kindly conform to the terms of the license. In addition, the favor of a notification of your modifications to the current maintainers is requested so they can document and link that derivation herein, again, for the benefit of others.


  1. This is an alpha release—there are typos and inconsistancies that will be resolved by the beta release

Table of Contents

Click on the lines following to view their content:

Section 0: History

0-1: Revisions

0-2: Maintainers

0-3: Contributors

0-4: Derivations

Section 1: Overview

1-1: TBD

1-2: TBD

Section 2: GNU/Linux Host Preparation

2-1: Build Debian Installer Jessie Alpha 1 Media

2-2: Install Jessie Using Debian Installer

2-3: Upgrade the New Host System to Sid

2-4: Install Needed Packages (and aptitude Tutorial)

2-5: Reboot and Verify Virt-Manager Setup

2-6: Reconfigure Networking To Support Guests

Section 3: Install Stand-Alone Terminal

3-1: Define the Virtual Disk

3-2: Download the Plan 9 Installation ISO

3-3: Define the Plan 9 Virtual Machine

3-4: Customize the Virtual Machine Configuration

3-5: Install Plan 9 from the ISO

3-6: Reboot Plan 9 from the Virtual Disk

Section 4: Convert Terminal Into Server

4-1: A Quick Look at the Name Space

4-2: Preliminary Reconfiguration

4-3: Install Scripts From USB

4-4: Run term2cpu to Reconfigure

4-5: Finish the Reconfiguration

4-6: Connect Via Drawterm

Until Next Time...

"Thanks fer noticin' me." –Eeyore

May the LORD God bless you exceedingly abundantly!

Dave Craig

"So the universe is not quite as you thought it was.
 You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then.
 Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe."

 —Athor 77 thinking to himself in Nightfall by Asimov/Silverberg