Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Oct 2006 17:04 UTC, submitted by erast
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris The sixth development release of the OpenSolaris-based, desktop-oriented Nexenta OS has been released: "Nexenta OS Alpha 6 is now available. Release Highlights: Nexenta Zones - opens the possibility to create custom zones and pre-install with selected software; integrated BrandZ - allows running Linux userland; SVR4 packaging - to install native Solaris packages (missing drivers, etc.); OpenSolaris build 50, with numerous kernel fixes and features."
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Nice FAQ
by AndrewZ on Wed 18th Oct 2006 13:03 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

These guys have done a nice job with the FAQ. I hope some of these good documenting habits rub off on Sun 8-)
http://www.gnusolaris.org/gswiki/FAQ#head-4dab4660718fa87c1f2369a44...

Reply Score: 2

Very impressive
by ormandj on Wed 18th Oct 2006 18:16 UTC
ormandj
Member since:
2005-10-09

Great job, people of Nexenta! I used Debian waaaaay back when, and recently switched from FBSD to Solaris. I can only hope some of the hard work you guys are putting into package management/ease of use rubs off on Sun. ;)

Keep up the great work, it's very impressive to see how far you've come in such a short time!

Reply Score: 3

Doing good
by mdoverkil on Wed 18th Oct 2006 20:01 UTC
mdoverkil
Member since:
2005-09-30

Nexenta is solving one of the two major complaints I have with Solaris. The first being easy package management. While blastwave is fine, it doesn't have anywhere near the number of packages that Nexenta has in their database.

The second complaint I have with Solaris is the lack of SATA support for common chips such as Silicon Image and VIA chips. I do realize that these chips are not common in servers but its the only thing stopping me from running Solaris =(.

The webpage states that Nexenta has some drivers that are not part of Solaris or OpenSolaris, I'm crossing my fingers for some SATA drivers =)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Doing good
by Jake on Thu 19th Oct 2006 00:50 UTC in reply to "Doing good"
Jake Member since:
2006-01-08

The second complaint I have with Solaris is the lack of SATA support for common chips such as Silicon Image and VIA chips. I do realize that these chips are not common in servers but its the only thing stopping me from running Solaris =(.

The webpage states that Nexenta has some drivers that are not part of Solaris or OpenSolaris, I'm crossing my fingers for some SATA drivers =)


If you can set PATA emulation, just about any SATA chipset is supported. Otherwise, as far as I know, Solaris is still limited to Silicon Image 3132/3124 and Marvell 88SX.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Doing good
by mdoverkil on Thu 19th Oct 2006 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Doing good"
mdoverkil Member since:
2005-09-30

I was looking into trying to set up PATA emulation. I do not believe that my BIOS supports that (Abit KV8-Max 3 mobo). Anyways, I appreciate the help Jake, thank you.

Reply Score: 1

Package management and ease of use...
by r_a_trip on Wed 18th Oct 2006 16:22 UTC
r_a_trip
Member since:
2005-07-06

... on Nexenta can be traced back to Debian/Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

My take (warning: long post)
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 19th Oct 2006 04:41 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

I tried Nexenta and it felt exactly like Ubuntu but without support for my printer, scanner, NTFS Windows drive, or 2D/3D acceleration from my old ATI card. Additionally, Wine does not work nearly as well on Nexenta as it does on Linux and FreeBSD using the same version let alone newer. Plus there isnt anything like Crossover or Cedega available.

While a certified Unix kernel with a stable driver ABI is no doubt intriguing, there really isnt much benefit when so few drivers are developed for it. I also think a stable ABI can impede improvement because of the need to sustain backwards compatability.

You think having a stable will encourage more vendors to create drivers for it? Better think again. Writing drivers is difficult on any platform. Vendors clearly wont divert resources into this unless there is enough demand. Period.

Besides open source drivers usually arnt affected by this unstable ABI because they can be accepted and maintained by hackers within the kernel tree. They would be included in every kernel release.

Despite the percieved lack of 1st class support for proprietary drivers, Linux is a kernel of greater innovation and supports more devices then all other Unix and Unix-like kernels.

Just look at whats happening in just a few point releases:

2.6.17 gained support for a large list of Broadcom wireless adapters.

2.6.18 has gained real-time extentions.

2.6.19 has gained code for the new ext4 filesystem.

Am I being overally cynical? I dont think so. I wish the Nexenta team good luck and I'll try every release to see how things are progressing. But I think the NexentaOS folks exaggerate to much about their technology being superior to Linux when it clearly is not true.

Edited 2006-10-19 04:43

Reply Score: 3

RE: My take (warning: long post)
by erast on Thu 19th Oct 2006 00:47 UTC in reply to "My take (warning: long post)"
erast Member since:
2006-01-31

> You think having a stable will encourage more vendors
> to create drivers for it? Better think again. Writing
> drivers is difficult on any platform. Vendors clearly
> wont divert resources into this unless there is enough
> demand. Period.

NexentaOS using OpenSolaris core which is literally a core for Solaris and other OpenSolaris-based distributions. This means, any driver written for Solaris/OpenSolaris will happily work for NexentaOS.

> But I think the NexentaOS folks exaggerate to much
> about their technology being superior to Linux when
> it clearly is not true.

I don't think so. Linux needs major surgery and a lot of efforts before it will reach OpenSolaris design wise. While OpenSolaris needs to close the gap on Desktop and missing drivers, which is way easier goal to achive.

Reply Score: 2

deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

Erast, I have tried Nexenta myself and think it is a very good effort and a very good OS. However, I still don't see the benefit. So far there is really nothing that could e.g. convince me to switch servers to (Open)Solaris. Debian scales well, is going to have OpenVZ support in Etch, has two very good journaling filesystems etc. Suits me just fine. zfs, zones and dtrace are great - but it's not enough to just add some great technical innovations

On the desktop Nexenta/Solaris is a good effort - not more, not less. There are just too many drivers missing. If that's so easy to work around, remains to be discussed. I honestly doubt it.

The community around Nexenta is very, very small - and the community around OpenSolaris is, well, just sufficient. It cannot be compared at all to e.g. Debian's or, on a broader base, Linux'.

"major surgery" is a bit over the top. Certainly, there are many things at the kernel level that are constantly being worked at at the kernel level. But then an enterprise customer normally has a Red Hat or SUSE enterprise edition from the start. And home users probably stick with Ubuntu 6.06 - not a bad choice.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: My take
by Almindor on Thu 19th Oct 2006 08:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My take (warning: long post)"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

Well personaly I agree with you.

This just goes to show that technologicly inferior products tend to get used most. I think we could find alot of comparisons in history starting with VCR vs Betamax etc.

Linux is without argument much inferior by design (I'm talking about kernels here ok?) compared to eg: freeBSD or solaris.

The problem is, Linux has "hype" and years of contributions to drivers. Solaris, altho based on old system, is "young" in this open regard, and freeBSD has smaller following mostly (as I hear) because of certain old legal issues.

I'm sure that both would be better, should they ride the same hypewave, than linux by now.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: My take
by deb2006 on Thu 19th Oct 2006 13:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My take"
deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

That might well be. The end user, however, doesn't care about kernels at all. He wants a stable system with a lot of software, compatibility, speed etc. That's what he gets when installing Linux.

And that, BTW, is what you get when you're installing a server. So you really don't need "a superior kernel" - at least not 95% of the time. The system has to be stable and it needs to able to scale well.

Call it what you want. Linux is backed by the major players - and that's enough. It really is not important whether SUN is behind or not behind Linux as long as IBM, HP, Novell, SGI etc are backing Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: My take
by thebluesgnr on Thu 19th Oct 2006 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My take"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

"Linux is without argument much inferior by design (I'm talking about kernels here ok?) compared to eg: freeBSD or solaris."

The Linux design is "no design". But I wouldn't say FreeBSD or Solaris are much superior - they still have a lot of the same problems as Linux as far as kernel design goes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: My take
by twenex on Thu 19th Oct 2006 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My take"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

OK, so what kernel doesn't?

Reply Score: 1

Re: SATA support
by AndrewZ on Thu 19th Oct 2006 13:27 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

If you can set PATA emulation, just about any SATA chipset is supported. Otherwise, as far as I know, Solaris is still limited to Silicon Image 3132/3124 and Marvell 88SX.
I was not able to get a CompUSA/Silicon Image controller working despite tech support from Sun. My impression was that while a few controllers might work, this needs more testing and support from Sun.

Reply Score: 1