Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 11th Dec 2005 13:50 UTC, submitted by totalrecall
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris "BeleniX is a free live CD based on the OpenSolaris kernel. With it you can have Solaris, which once ran exclusively on SPARC, powering your modest desktop computer. But with few applications and lacking an installation script, the Live CD does little more than slake a nerd's thirst for a taste of Solaris."
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Good to see.
by bullethead on Sun 11th Dec 2005 15:20 UTC
bullethead
Member since:
2005-07-10

To quote the article

"In its current state, BeleniX is more of a learning tool than a usable distribution."

I have been using Nextena http://www.gnusolaris.org/gswiki and found it WONDERFUL!

Good to see other distros getting steam using OpenSolaris. These are all great efforts and all appreciated.

Reply Score: 1

Solaris
by Anonymous on Sun 11th Dec 2005 17:49 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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...than slake a nerd's thirst for a taste of Solaris.

Could anybody out there explain why as a nerd I should be interested in Solaris?

I got a Sparc box at work probably 5 years ago. I was excited to see what a commercial UNIX was like. Well, my first impression was that it sucked. CDE is the worst WM I had ever used, the command line had no history or auto-completion capabilities, the shell seemed "old" when compared to BASH, etc.

Within about an hour, I had blown away Solaris and installed Linux on the machine.

Admittedly, I didn't give Solaris a fair chance, but when the out-of-the-box experience was so . . . "yesterday", as a nerd, I quickly got bored with it.

So again, are there any people out there who are familiar with Solaris that can tell me why I should be interested in OpenSolaris and all its flavors (present company included)?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Solaris
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 11th Dec 2005 18:42 UTC in reply to "Solaris"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

CDE is the worst WM I had ever used

Then you need to learn to appreciate proper UI design. CDE might look like ass, but it is actually one of the best desktop environments when you look at ease of use. GNOME and KDE can learn a lot from CDE-- CDE simply 'makes sense' when you use it. Everything is there where you expect it to be (from a UI point of view). No wonder, seeing there's the combined efforts of Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell and Sun Microsystems at its base. Where KDE and GNOME are mostly trying very hard to cater to Explorer (Windows) users (sssh! Don't say that out too loud, now), CDE did its own thing.

I love CDE on my Sun Ultra V.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Solaris
by DigitalAxis on Sun 11th Dec 2005 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Solaris"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

If everything is where you expect it to be, then how come I get so confused trying to remember which drawer what's hiding in? Some of them are counterintuitive, or at least their pictures are confusing. Not to mention the persistent drawers, that's one thing that annoys me too- maybe if I wanted to drag something onto the drawers, but I've never really been in a position to try any of that. I've used it on Solaris 8, and most people here just use the terminal (and OpenWindows, because there's no panel to take up space) so there's not much GUI needed.

Then there's the color scheme- I've used CDE on Solaris 8 machines, and while it was fun to tweak it to something approaching bright and colorful and still remain within the system limits of 8 colors. At least it's not OpenWindows. I have yet to bother with trying to make OpenWindows not look fugly.

XFCE4 I like, because it still does its own thing, yet feels a bit more modern and clean. It still has the persistent drawer thing, but overall it's much nicer to look at. There's less silly embellishment to the panel that takes up space...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Solaris
by Anonymous on Mon 12th Dec 2005 14:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Solaris"
Anonymous Member since:
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Then you need to learn to appreciate proper UI design. CDE might look like ass, but it is actually one of the best desktop environments when you look at ease of use.

I agree with the other guy. CDE was so minimalist that it was barely usable. VV frustrating and limited.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Solaris
by DigitalAxis on Sun 11th Dec 2005 19:45 UTC in reply to "Solaris"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Eh, all I can say is that next time I feel like trying out a free non-Linux Unix, it's gonna be a BSD. I have to admit, I'd heard bragging that Solaris booted faster than Linux due to a compiled init rather than interpreted scripts... So a 10 minute boot into XFCE4 really didn't do it for me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Solaris
by Anonymous on Mon 12th Dec 2005 07:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Solaris"
Anonymous Member since:
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I have to admit, I'd heard bragging that Solaris booted faster than Linux due to a compiled init rather than interpreted scripts... So a 10 minute boot into XFCE4 really didn't do it for me.

If someone was bragging about Solaris boot time, it was most likely about the boot time from a disk not a live CD.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Solaris
by unoengborg on Mon 12th Dec 2005 04:41 UTC in reply to "Solaris"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

First of all, I think it is important to differentiate between Sun Solaris and OpenSolaris. In a few years I expect that we have free Solaris distros that have the same look & feel as Linux that are competitive for desktop use.

However, desktops is not what makes Sun the most money so they have no reason to have all the latest and greatest for that type of use. Their main concern is to use stuff that are really well tested that they can be certain will not bring their server down or misbehave.

What's important to Sun is that Solaris scales well, that you can run it well on a sparc box with a dozen or so processors and it have tools like zones, good debugging and profiling facilities, good file systems that can handle lots and lots of disk where things like snapshots for backup actually works, regardless of what load your system is experiencing and what disk configuration you use.

There is of course nothing that says that Solaris need to have an outdated Gnome 2.8 or CDE as GUI, or /bin/sh as shell. If you have a little time you could download and compile all the new stuff and your Solaris box would be as easy to use as Linux, perhaps even better as Solaris comes with a quite easy to use management program written in Java.

So, until we get more desktop oriented Solaris distros, you are probably better off using Linux for your desktop unless you like to compile a lot yourself or use a sparc processor (for witch your Linux options are fewer). Another reason for Solaris, could be if you want to use Sun java on sparc.

If you don't want to compile yourself there are starting to pop up more and more sites with precompiled packages of free Solaris software. What annoys me with these sites is that they usually not contain something similar to SRPMS that makes it simple to recompile your package with slightly different parameters or optimizations. If you want to do things like that you are usually on your own.

I would also say that Solaris is a great OS provided you use it for what it is intended for, i.e. on the server side. Five years ago there was a universe of differences between Linux and Solaris, and the choice was obvious if you had the money to pay for Solaris.
Now, the differences in quality and features are less obvious. This is probably the reason why Sun released Solaris in the first place.

Note, I have not tested this specific Solaris distro yet, so I have really no idea if it is any better than the Sun distro for desktop use.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Solaris
by Anonymous on Mon 12th Dec 2005 08:17 UTC in reply to "Solaris"
Anonymous Member since:
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A wonderful comment - basically what you are saying is that Solaris is bad because the UI isn't full of pretty graphics. Same could be said for Windows, which by the above defintion is MUCH better than ANYTHING else ever existing (well...maybe not...). Your argument is sort of Windows is better because it has a nicer shade of red in one of the icons....

The UI has nothing to do with the kernel which is what is really different here. Actually CDE is quite nice, its simple, it does what is supposed to do and there are no (or very little) surprises - personally I love Motif even more! If you don't like CDE then port Gnome or use JDS on Solaris. BTW, CDE is shipped with AIX and HP-UX as well, does this make AIX and HP-UX bad?

Now the kernel, ie: Solaris itself is very different from Linux. For a start it is a real Unix meaning that its APIs are standardised and secondly its heritage and design means that it is one of the most stable, secure and robust operating systems with the exception of the mini computer and mainframe markets (OS/400, MVS, VM etc).

If you really want to compare Linux and Solaris do it at the kernel level. There are some things that are a bit odd, Soalris' TCP stack was slow in previous versions but this seems to be corrected in Solaris 10.
DTrace is just wonderful, zones extrememly useful and hopefully ZFS will be ported to other Unixes.

Back to my basic plea: STOP COMPARING THE UIs - THE UI IS NOT THE OPERATING SYSTEM!!!!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Solaris
by Anonymous on Tue 13th Dec 2005 03:21 UTC in reply to "Solaris"
Anonymous Member since:
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Could anybody out there explain why as a nerd I should be interested in Solaris?

I got a Sparc box at work probably 5 years ago. I was excited to see what a commercial UNIX was like. Well, my first impression was that it sucked. CDE is the worst WM I had ever used, the command line had no history or auto-completion capabilities, the shell seemed "old" when compared to BASH, etc.


I've already touched on CDE; WRT the shell, bourne shell is simply the defacto, standard, POSIX shell. It is what all universal shell scripts should use as their interpreter. Unfortunately most shell scripts developed in linux that specify "#!/bin/sh" make some heinous assumptions because its actually still using bash.. but that just shows another philosophical difference between Solaris and Linux i.e. respect for standards and stable interfaces. But I would agree that it's not really good at all for interactive use.

However, Solaris always had ksh which is "close enough" to bash.

Reply Score: 0

Didn't work on any of my computers
by mario on Sun 11th Dec 2005 17:50 UTC
mario
Member since:
2005-07-06

It failed to boot on all my computers at home, sadly, even the one where I remember installing Solaris 8 for Intel.

Maybe I should try Nexanta, as Bullethead suggests.

Reply Score: 1

Solaris cont.
by Anonymous on Sun 11th Dec 2005 17:51 UTC
Anonymous
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By the way. I'm not trying to be a troll. I'm genuinely interested in other's opinions/experiences.

Reply Score: 0

Bash 3.0
by Anonymous on Sun 11th Dec 2005 18:15 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Bash 3.0, Solaris version
http://www.blastwave.org/packages.php
The project is still in alpha phase. Only 2.1.0

Reply Score: 0

RE: Solaris
by Anonymous on Sun 11th Dec 2005 19:09 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Or SchilliX 0.2

Reply Score: 0

CDE simply BLOWS
by bannor99 on Sun 11th Dec 2005 19:54 UTC
bannor99
Member since:
2005-09-15

Maybe it was state of the art when back in the day - but that day was a decade ago. XFCE, which is probably the closest CDE clone I've come across is FAR SUPERIOR.
But, I have yet to find the perfect UI.

But, if I'm forced to use nothing but CDE, I'd probably do everything from the shell.

Reply Score: 1

Why you'd care about Solaris
by Anonymous on Mon 12th Dec 2005 04:32 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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You have to be in a professional environment to appreciate Solaris, at least in my view. There, it makes Red Hat (which is the only real alternative) look like a toy.

Unbelievable diagnostics (dTrace), incredible file system (128-bit, virtualized ZFS), killer partitioning (containers), amazing thread support, scale, robustness, quality, quality, quality - frankly, it sucks on my laptop, but that's not where I'm trying to keep 2M customers humming...

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Why you'd care about Solaris
by Anonymous on Mon 12th Dec 2005 05:55 UTC in reply to "Why you'd care about Solaris"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

True, Red Hat is good. But as far as I can see, it will not run on sparc hardware. Centos is available in beta state though.

Even if you go for Centos on sparc, you will have much less software to chose from. I.e. no modern and rather slow java, no Oracle. Those two examples alone will make Centos for sparc a show stopper in many data centers.

Besides, systems requiring all these enterprise like features usually contains some sort of valuable, often mission critical information. This means that you would probably want some kind of support agreement with a more well known company than the Centos people. (I'm not saying that they are bad at what they are doing, just that they doesn't have enough track record).

Both Sun and Red Hat would qualify as support partners, but as stated earlier Red Hat doesn't support sparc processors. They are also not that cheap, I wouldn't be surpised if Sun could make you a competitive support offer.

Reply Score: 1

unixnerd Member since:
2005-12-12

"True, Red Hat is good. But as far as I can see, it will not run on sparc hardware. Centos is available in beta state though."

redhat had 6.2 for sparc, yes i know that was a long time ago, but check your info before you post!

Reply Score: 1

JonAnderson Member since:
2005-07-06

"You are kidding. Sun is pretty much mimicing Red Hat all the time. Sun is still playing catch up for scalability or driver support"

Where did you get this from? scalability - please explain? This just sounds like a troll. Solaris also
has a pretty big HCL now which is getting bigger all the time.


For dtrace, there is already system tap included in RHEL 4


Is systemtap even available, let alone distributed with
RHEL 4??? And frysk, what does that ship with? how
safe is it? is it guaranted not to crash your production code?


And finally, you compare gfs which is a global file
system (required for clustering, something that veritas
and suncluster have had for a while) with zfs? Please
read about zfs before commenting. Thanks.

http://blogs.sun.com/bmc

Bryan Cantrill summarizes the relevant entries on
ZFS. I would particularly recommend looking at Dan
Price's flash demos:

http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs/demos/basics/
http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/zfs/demos/selfheal/

Reply Score: 3

manmist Member since:
2005-12-18

"
Is systemtap even available, let alone distributed with
RHEL 4??? And frysk, what does that ship with? how
safe is it? is it guaranted not to crash your production code? "

RHEL 4 U2 includes system tap and U3 is expected to include frysk. For production support why dont you buy a RHEL subscription sun guy

Reply Score: 1

check your info
by unixnerd on Mon 12th Dec 2005 17:54 UTC
unixnerd
Member since:
2005-12-12

"With it you can have Solaris, which once ran exclusively on SPARC, powering your modest desktop computer."

wrong- Solaris has been around for i386 for a while. Sun stopped it for a bit, but brought it back.

Reply Score: 2

CDE
by Anonymous on Tue 13th Dec 2005 03:12 UTC
Anonymous
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CDE is absolutely fantastic from a developer's perspective. It provides an elegant, coherant, well-documented, fast, lightweight, STANDARDIZED and STABLE framework/interface to use. Furthermore, it may be plain jane looking, but it can be easily customizable through standard X resources and CDE specific stuff.

For example, any user can add entries in any window manager menus including generic window left-corner menu, change colors, size, background image, of any part of the window manager and X/Xt/Motif/CDE compliant app. And all this is documented in the included man pages as well as http://docs.sun.com. (oh yeah, drag-n-drop is also included/standardized/customizable/documented). So if anything, CDE is more along the lines of FVWM.

Reply Score: 0