Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Mar 2007 22:30 UTC, submitted by kaiwai
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris OSNews reader kaiwai has published a review of Solaris 10 11/06, and concludes: "Solaris Express is coming along; and for those who do want bleeding edge, ultra-super-duper features, then Solaris probably isn't your best bet, then again, assuming you're into that stuff, you'd be better catered for by the likes of Gentoo for example - for those of us who would prefer to have stability above features, then give Solaris a go and if you can make a contribution to Solaris by way of code contributions, then by all means do so."
Order by: Score:
Adding a user
by zizban on Fri 16th Mar 2007 22:50 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

The author was way off in adding users. You do not need to do any command line voodoo. This is what I emailed him:

Umm, there is an easier way to add users: You use the Solaris management Console. Its in CDE's panel or run smc from the terminal. There is an add user wizard which does everything you did only with a few mouse clicks.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Adding a user
by Accident on Fri 16th Mar 2007 23:16 UTC in reply to "Adding a user"
Accident Member since:
2005-07-29

Thanks, that is what we need. People with some constructive comments, not a put down on the author or article.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Adding a user
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:07 UTC in reply to "Adding a user"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, the problem with that conclusion is this; the SMC service isn't loaded by default; I loaded up SMC and it did nothing, it just sat there as it couldn't make a connection with the SMC service.

They've depreciated it, and if you look at the latest Solaris Express, they've replaced the 'grand unified interface' of SMC with a individual graphical applications.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Adding a user
by zizban on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Adding a user"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

That's in the latest build. You didn't review the latest build. You reviewed the current release.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Adding a user
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Mar 2007 01:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Adding a user"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, and if you run 11/06, SMC service isn't loaded by default, it it were, SMC would have made a connection, and I would have used that to make a user rather than shell - I have used Solaris before and that is the tool I always used.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Adding a user
by zizban on Sat 17th Mar 2007 01:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Adding a user"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

So you installed Solaris right in front of you, not remote. I feel you missed something. After I installed Solaris, smc could be fired right up from a terminal.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Adding a user
by milek on Mon 19th Mar 2007 11:30 UTC in reply to "Adding a user"
milek Member since:
2006-02-20

Instead of fiddling with automonter config files if one doesn't need automonter then the easiest way is to just turn it off (svcadm disable autofs).

Also there're lot of things in Solaris Express which are not in standard Solaris many people find interesting. And many actually put Nevada in a production (like our company, Joyent and many more).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Adding a user
by deb2006 on Mon 19th Mar 2007 19:24 UTC in reply to "Adding a user"
deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

SMC is probably the worst administration tool around. Every Linux tool is better - even the stuff Novell/SUSE distributes with OpenSUSE. So I wouldn't really advertise that crappy tool - no, sir.

And yes, OpenSolaris "is coming along". Not more, not less. It is not the super duper OS SUN tells people. It is coming along - yes, quite true ... It has some nice features such as zfs, smf and dtrace, and then it has a Gnome desktop and really bad Solaris userland.

Reply Score: 1

What's wrong with command line?
by dilidolo on Fri 16th Mar 2007 23:19 UTC
dilidolo
Member since:
2006-02-02

I yet to see many admins use smc to add users. Command line is way faster and easy to use too. Plus most admins manage system remotely though ssh.

Reply Score: 5

review ?
by csousa on Fri 16th Mar 2007 23:26 UTC
csousa
Member since:
2006-02-04

Sorry, but I don't call it "review", but "light howto" install solaris 10.

Reply Score: 4

RE: review ?
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:13 UTC in reply to "review ?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

True, although I did 'bulk' up the review with stuff about how to set things up, at the same time, I thought it would be prudent so that if people want the same 'experience' as I had, they could follow the same instructions - how I set things up also impacted on my over all perception of Solaris, if I did something wrong, which might have impacted my view of Solaris, it gives the reader the opportunity to correct a mistake.

Reply Score: 2

Enjoyable..
by The Lone OSer on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:14 UTC
The Lone OSer
Member since:
2005-07-11

I myself have ditched Vista and Ubuntu as OS's on my machine in favor of a Solaris 11/06 and WinXP system.
One thing the review/"light howto" did not cover which I think is pretty much a "must" for the average home user is to use nVidia drivers ( presuming of course you have an nVidia card) and do a kdmconfig and switch to X.org's implementation of X instead of OpenWin - I've never used such a snappier desktop then X on Solaris using nVidia drivers.. And I've used Linux and FreeBSD for the last x-number of years.
For developers - Sun Studio Express is a MUST, it's a GREAT IDE with a superior profiler, integrated debugger and an interface Visual Studio developers will feel quite at home with.

I'd like to add to Kaiwai's blastwave url as a site of interest and add www.sunfreeware.com and of course http://developers.sun.com/sunstudio/downloads/express.jsp

I'm serious when I say that if you are looking for a new OS to discover and enjoy.. Please do yourself a favor and do not overlook Solaris as an option.. I am certainly glad I didn't.

Reply Score: 5

Questions, questions
by moleskine on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:36 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Nice article, very helpful imho. But it raises a lot of questions for me such as

Can I run KDE under Solaris?
Will I be able to listen to all my .ogg music in good stereo?
Will I be able to watch dvds/films in xine or similar?
What about instant messaging?
Is my HP all-in-one likely to work?
Good support for multimedia stuff like xsane and gimp?
What's the mailserver situation - can I get as a good a spamassassin'd set up as I enjoy here using Debian Exim?

These and similar questions are what would make the difference between an OS that is interesting and fun to learn and discover, and one that I can actually run day to day as my primary desktop. It doesn't take the loss of much functionality to make the whole thing a drag.

I see some lengthy Googling coming on.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Questions, questions
by zizban on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:41 UTC in reply to "Questions, questions"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

Let me answer:

Yes
Yes
Yes
Gaim
Depends on CUPS
Yes
Yes

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Questions, questions
by moleskine on Sat 17th Mar 2007 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Questions, questions"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

Let me answer:

Yes
Yes
Yes
Gaim
Depends on CUPS
Yes
Yes


Thanks very much for your reply. A nice time-saver for me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Questions, questions
by zizban on Sat 17th Mar 2007 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Questions, questions"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

I could have written a two page replay, if you want me to get into details, I can but I thought it would be off topic.

Reply Score: 2

Another Linux user tries Solaris
by Robert Escue on Sat 17th Mar 2007 01:09 UTC
Robert Escue
Member since:
2005-07-08

A few things I have noticed about Linux users when it comes to Solaris (I have one at work that does some of the same things):

1. The comment about Solaris Express being "buggy" is interesting considering Ben Rockwood (of Cuddletech fame) uses Solaris Express at Joyent for production systems!

2. The text mode part of the installation is used for machines that do not support or have the capability of using a graphics card. When I install Solaris on a V210 without a graphics card from the LOM prompt, all I have is text mode. This is also the same if I am installing Solaris on a 4800 through the system controller. Again it is a choice, and Sun understands their customers and provides what they need. And while it might not please everybody, it makes most of us content.

3. The default location for home directories is /export/home. That is why you have to use the automounter to use /home. It is not stupid, it is a choice. Just because it does not work like Linux doesn't make it stupid. If I was building a DNS server with a couple of non-root users, why do I need the automounter running?

4. The "nice way" of saying slowaris is to say "'slow-lard-ass'". Many of us (myself included) have mentioned here that the big difference between Solaris 10 and previous Releases is that Solaris 10 supports Ultra DMA mode "out of the box", where Solaris 7 through 9 doesn't. Checking the Solaris x86 FAQ unde rpost installation lists the steps necessary to enable Ultra DMA support.

5. Solaris Management Console is a tool that the vast majority of system administrators I know do not use. It is always slow when you first use it as it loads all of the classes and sets up paths, after that it is pretty fast (on decent hardware). As a graphical tool it works, but if you are serious about administering Solaris systems, you use Sun Management Center on a dedicated workstation or workstations. For a single machine I don't see the point in SMC, since the vast majority of things you can do with SMC you can do faster from the shell prompt.

Your problems running SMC could be due to the type of installation you performed, or a problem with Web Based Enterprise Management (wbem), or the Web Console. When using SMC you always look for the smcboot processes to see if they are running.

Also I do not get where kaiwai gets that Sun is going to do away with SMC, considering I am reading posts about users having trouble with SMC in Build 59?

I use Solaris as a desktop at work (Solaris 10 6/06 through a Sun Ray). And while I might not be doing anything with sound and video (the sound part can be handled through Sun Ray Server 3.0) it meets my needs just fine, it might not meet everyone else's.

Reply Score: 5

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

A few things I have noticed about Linux users when it comes to Solaris (I have one at work that does some of the same things):

1. The comment about Solaris Express being "buggy" is interesting considering Ben Rockwood (of Cuddletech fame) uses Solaris Express at Joyent for production systems!


When I tried to install Solaris Express B59, the Interactive Installer (Graphical) starts the install, the first part is ok, however, the second part, which allows for the partitioning and installation failed to load, it just sat there - and for the record, I have filed a bug report for it.

The second bug occured in regards to HAL, and gnome-volume-manager, and gnome-volume-manager crashing when certain USB devices are hooked up - that bug has been fixed in B60, and should be out IIRC next week or so.

2. The text mode part of the installation is used for machines that do not support or have the capability of using a graphics card. When I install Solaris on a V210 without a graphics card from the LOM prompt, all I have is text mode. This is also the same if I am installing Solaris on a 4800 through the system controller. Again it is a choice, and Sun understands their customers and provides what they need. And while it might not please everybody, it makes most of us content.

I never said anything against the text-mode installer, I said that because the interactive installer was broken, I had to use the text mode installer, which worked well.

3. The default location for home directories is /export/home. That is why you have to use the automounter to use /home. It is not stupid, it is a choice. Just because it does not work like Linux doesn't make it stupid. If I was building a DNS server with a couple of non-root users, why do I need the automounter running?

If the default lcoation for home directories is /export/home, then how come useradd is setup to default to /home?

4. The "nice way" of saying slowaris is to say "'slow-lard-ass'". Many of us (myself included) have mentioned here that the big difference between Solaris 10 and previous Releases is that Solaris 10 supports Ultra DMA mode "out of the box", where Solaris 7 through 9 doesn't. Checking the Solaris x86 FAQ unde rpost installation lists the steps necessary to enable Ultra DMA support.

That, and the fact there have been some major improvements in the speed of system calls - look through the cluster updates, and performance improvements, customers saying, "zyx can perform better in Linux" and Sun turn around, and make that particular thing run even better on Solaris.

5. Solaris Management Console is a tool that the vast majority of system administrators I know do not use. It is always slow when you first use it as it loads all of the classes and sets up paths, after that it is pretty fast (on decent hardware). As a graphical tool it works, but if you are serious about administering Solaris systems, you use Sun Management Center on a dedicated workstation or workstations. For a single machine I don't see the point in SMC, since the vast majority of things you can do with SMC you can do faster from the shell prompt.

Your problems running SMC could be due to the type of installation you performed, or a problem with Web Based Enterprise Management (wbem), or the Web Console. When using SMC you always look for the smcboot processes to see if they are running.

Also I do not get where kaiwai gets that Sun is going to do away with SMC, considering I am reading posts about users having trouble with SMC in Build 59?

I use Solaris as a desktop at work (Solaris 10 6/06 through a Sun Ray). And while I might not be doing anything with sound and video (the sound part can be handled through Sun Ray Server 3.0) it meets my needs just fine, it might not meet everyone else's.


Who said anything about B59 and SMC? I certainly didn't. How about reading the article.

Nutshell: I tried to install B59 of Solaris Express, it was too buggy, so I installed Solaris 10 11/06.

Where you got a link between B59 and SMC, god only knows.

Who said anything negative about Solaris sound or video? for me, its great, OpenSound 4.0 is awesome, stable, reliable etc.

I can't work out where you got your conclusions, because for me, Solaris 10 is the bee's knee's!

Edited 2007-03-17 01:53

Reply Score: 3

zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

You did. You mentioned above about B59 and the SMC.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

No I didn't, I said SMC doesn't load on Solaris 11/06 - then I said, that SMC is going to be depreciated for future Solaris releases; its still in the express builds, but it is eventually going to be replaced. Again, read and interprete.

If you think I've made a post along those lines, quote what I said.

Reply Score: 1

zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

Smc loads just fine 11/06. I agree with the above poster that you did something wrong.

Reply Score: 2

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

"If the default lcoation for home directories is /export/home, then how come useradd is setup to default to /home? "

Useradd doesn't default to home, SMC does:

http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/817-1985/6mhm8o5lp?a=view

With useradd (as in Linux) you specify the home directory with the -d option. I just tried this on my Solaris Express machine (B56). You cannot create the user if the home directory path is not specified. Linux might create a user without specifying a home directory, Solaris won't.

"Fast forward today, and it boots up within a couple of seconds, this is probably due in part with the move by Sun Microsystems to gradually, in the most humane way, remove that monstrosity that is Solaris Management Console (SMC), which has allowed Solaris to go from something painful to something acceptable in terms of performance - note to Sun, although Java is a very fine language to use, resist the temptation to radomly use it around the operating system, it yields nothing in the way of benefits to administrators or end users, GTK + C is your friend, embrace it."

I mentioned B59 and SMC because it doesn't appear that it is going away anytime soon based on posts I read at OpenSolaris.org from a few days ago.

"That, and the fact there have been some major improvements in the speed of system calls - look through the cluster updates, and performance improvements, customers saying, "zyx can perform better in Linux" and Sun turn around, and make that particular thing run even better on Solaris."

System calls have nothing to do with enabling Ultra DMA mode for IDE/ATA hard disks. After years of complaints from IDE users (I am one of them) Sun enabled Ultra DMA mode in Solaris 10 1/06, and could easily be enabled on 3/05. Disk performance for both SCSI and IDE systems had to be tuned to get optimal results, lookup maxphys sometime. And what do these system calls have to do with performance, and which ones are you referring to?

And for somebody who claims that Solaris is the "bee's knees" there is enough negative comments (both plainly visible and between the lines) to give people a mixed impression of your review. Additionally any long time OSNews reader will quickly pick up on your negative comments about device support, basic administration and lack of software and come up with the same conclusion as I did, your review is essentially an extension of your posts, including this:

"One can't expect for anything to equal that of Windows due to the massive installed base, but SUN should be atleast aiming to get hardware support up to a point where by if something isn't supported on Solaris, its most likely not supported on Linux or FreeBSD either - getting parity with the established opensource operating system players should be one of Sun's most important tasks in ensuring that their software is adopted by the largest numbers as possible."

This as I have said before is not Sun's responsibility or problem. However, you seem to keep harping on it like a broken record. If a hardware vendor wants people to use their products with Solaris, they will write drivers for it. Sun should help, but they should not have to provide the brunt of the effort. In many cases it would be a waste of time since hardware changes so rapidly.

If you are going to write a review, dump the baggage and objectively review Solaris, because what I see here is simply not objective or positive.

Reply Score: 4

bservies Member since:
2006-05-27

> "If the default lcoation for home directories is /export/home, then
> how come useradd is setup to default to /home? "

> Useradd doesn't default to home, SMC does:

> http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/817-1985/6mhm8o5lp?a=view

> With useradd (as in Linux) you specify the home directory with the -d
> option. I just tried this on my Solaris Express machine (B56). You
> cannot create the user if the home directory path is not specified.
> Linux might create a user without specifying a home directory,
> Solaris won't.

Well, perhaps. In my version useradd does default to /home. They may have changed it in later releases:

Sun Microsystems Inc. SunOS 5.11 snv_50 October 2007
# useradd -D
group=other,1 project=default,3 basedir=/home
skel=/etc/skel shell=/bin/sh inactive=0
expire= auths= profiles= roles= limitpriv=
defaultpriv= lock_after_retries=

and specifying -m, just like on Linux, will attempt to create the home directory from the default value. I'm with the author: this is a silly barrier to entry. Oh, and SMC is awful.

Byron
p.s. Full disclosure: I am an engineer at Sun.

edited to add quotation indents

Edited 2007-03-17 03:09

Reply Score: 5

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

It has never worked for me, this also could be due to me working with Solaris 8, 9 and 10 in the same shop (we are in the process of transitioning). My bad.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So you're saying to me that you can't run an operating system whilst at the same being realistic - nice to see your logic, you're only allowed to use an operating system if you demonstrate blind loyalty to it and the company who created it.

I created a review about the good, the bad and ugly; and even with that, it still comes out pretty damn good when compared to the bugginess I experienced with Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora, and the lack of flexibility which Windows has.

Reply Score: 2

psychicist Member since:
2007-01-27

Solaris 11/06 and especially Solaris Express has come a long way. It needs some more work in the driver department and general software selection. But for the most the base system is pretty stable and bugfree unlike most (popular) Linux distributions and Windows.

On the hardware I tried it on Solaris Express ran even better than released versions that sometimes couldn't even install.

The thing that keeps me on Linux is its one and only holdout called Slackware Linux that adheres to the UNIX principles of stability and simplicity. If it wasn't for Slackware I'd probably be running OpenBSD, FreeBSD or Solaris.

If only Solaris ran as fast as Slackware ;)

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Solaris 11/06 and especially Solaris Express has come a long way. It needs some more work in the driver department and general software selection. But for the most the base system is pretty stable and bugfree unlike most (popular) Linux distributions and Windows.

The main problem I found is with HAL, but given how immature HAL is on Solaris - there is probably a tonne of bugs still yet to be bashed out of it, I wouldn't be surprised that with in around 5-10 builds, Solaris Express will stablise and hopefully get to the point where by the need to move between builds will be a matter of wanting the latest feature rather than because one is waiting on a major bug to be corrected.


The thing that keeps me on Linux is its one and only holdout called Slackware Linux that adheres to the UNIX principles of stability and simplicity. If it wasn't for Slackware I'd probably be running OpenBSD, FreeBSD or Solaris.

If only Solaris ran as fast as Slackware ;)


Well, Slackware is like FreeBSD, it isn't riddled with mounts of crap that is loaded right at the beginning, tie operating system is loaded, and if you want to load printing facilities or sendmail tools, its up to you to activate those services.

Solaris will get there, but I am disappointed that when I installed Solaris 10, there are still services being loaded which don't need to be - given I chose the 'all services off' setting - sendmail still loads, automount still loads - when Solaris boots, it should be the ultra-bare setup, and leave it up to the admin to activate what they need in the way of services.

Reply Score: 2

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

Obviously you have either never heard of or used Secure By Default:

http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/security/projects/sbd/

Or used an install cluster like Reduced Networking (SUNWrnet)? You need to learn what the install clusters put on a system and decide what that system is going to do before you start bitching about default services. As far as sendmail and autofs is concernecd, is it really that hard to issue the following commands:

svcadm disable sendmail
svcadm disable autofs

Reply Score: 4

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

And if you read the what's new document at docs.sun.com:

http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/817-0547/6mgbdbsmb?a=view

You would have found that Secure By Default ships with Solaris 10 11/06, but yet you didn't even attempt to use it (or you didn't write about it). And for somebody who seems to be so worried about security, why didn't you review Solaris Trusted Extensions Desktops?

If you wanted to actually review Solaris 10 11/06, I think the document I linked to above would have provided a wealth of potential material of interest to OSNews readers about this Release of Solaris 10. How does Trusted Extensions compare and contrast to Security Enhanced Linux (RedHat) and AppArmor (Novell) in ease of configuration and in daily use? Can home users benefit from using Solaris Trusted Extensions Desktops?

Instead, we get what happens when you install it on one of your machines and a continuation of your ongoing rant about what is wrong with Solaris. My question is, what is right about it? There are plenty of people bitching and whining about what's wrong with every OS, and your "review" is no different. There is nothing that any reader I can think of could get out of your review other than you installed Solaris, some additional software and had some issues. That covers about every installation of every OS I have ever used over the last 19 years.

If you are going to spend the time to write about an OS, actually write something.

Reply Score: 3

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

No, if you read my review of Soalris 6/06 you will see that I had a few negative things to say about that Release. Enough that I do not hear from Chris Ratcliffe (Sun Marketing) anymore. I do not belive in blind loyalty as much as I don't believe in blind faith.

However, you have written a so-called review that is sprinkled with the same whiny bullshit about drivers, lack of software and system administration tools and that basically Sun should drop what they are doing and address those issues specifically to make you happy. What nonsense. That is the baggage I am talking about, and obviously you couln't do it. This web site is littered with your comments, your review is a condensed version of the same troll comments that you have posted here over the last few months.

If IBM was to port AIX to x86 tomorrow, people like you would be bitching about what it doesn't come with, what doesn't work and what IBM should do to fix it. Sun has never made any claims about trying to be the next "killer desktop" in order to compete with Linux or Windows. So why is everyone spending so much time bashing Sun over something that they never intended on doing in the first place?

Reply Score: 5

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The comment about Solaris Express being "buggy" is interesting considering Ben Rockwood (of Cuddletech fame) uses Solaris Express at Joyent for production systems!

I know Joyent are looking at moving to Solaris, but I don't know where they are using it. They are currently still using BSD with a slightly less than perfect (awful, really) virtual server set up. They'd be better of with KVM, Xen or Zones as virtual servers. Rails and Ruby better run on it though ;-).

the big difference between Solaris 10 and previous Releases is that Solaris 10 supports Ultra DMA mode "out of the box"

I think that one statement sums up just how far Solaris has been, and is, behind.

Reply Score: 3

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

Correction, OpenSolaris at Joyent:

http://www.cuddletech.com/RealWorld-OpenSolaris.pdf

Considering that Sun has always put SCSI and Fibre Channel first and their IDE offerings were not exactly stellar performers, it comes as no surprise to me about Ultra DMA performance. Most of the systems I use are either SCSI or FC, so this is not an issue. Also the ability to use Ultra DMA mode has been around since Solaris 8, you just had to enable it. Like making a couple of configuration changes is really tough to do, what about "back in the day" when Linux users had to use hdparm to get optimal performance?

Reply Score: 2

Wireless
by akro on Sat 17th Mar 2007 02:39 UTC
akro
Member since:
2005-07-06

I would love to move 100% Solaris however I need wireless working... and Wine for WOW... any howto's?

Reply Score: 1

My Review
by Xaero_Vincent on Sat 17th Mar 2007 05:21 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

I'm not sure what kaiwai was hoping to find from desktop Solaris but he surely wouldnt have found it had he not already got it from Linux or *BSD.

Running Solaris on typical desktop hardware is simular to running Darwin (the open-source one) on non-Apple hardware; things just don't work very well (if at all) let alone being even remotely intuitive.

The software selection via Blastwave is very limited at around 1,700 packages and rittled with flaky old software.

Nexenta is the only thing closest to a decent Solaris desktop and unfortuantly the project has gone stagent. Their release schedule has only been postponed five billion times so far and bug fixing has gone from bad to non-existant. Heh, I reported a simple dependency error for a package in Nexenta's repository and it still hasn't been addressed eight months later despite being the third item listed in the bug database! :-P

Anyway...

I think Solaris could be desktop contender if it had 100x more drivers, 5-10x more packages, decent Wine support, and a comprehensive GUI control panel that covers all areas of system administration.

That said, if the best Linux distros already have all those features yet are still struggling with less than one percent marketshare, how much effort would it be required of Sun employees before Solaris was ready to take on Windows?

Reply Score: 2

RE: My Review
by dilidolo on Sat 17th Mar 2007 09:25 UTC in reply to "My Review"
dilidolo Member since:
2006-02-02

I use Solaris 10 as my desktop at work on comodity hardware, Intel CPU, NIC, Raptor SATA disk, nVidia video and everything just works flawlessly.

No, it is not the best OS for home users, but it is great for business usage, plus it is free too.

Edited 2007-03-17 09:26

Reply Score: 2

RE: My Review
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Mar 2007 10:30 UTC in reply to "My Review"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06
RE: My Review
by binarycrusader on Sun 18th Mar 2007 21:54 UTC in reply to "My Review"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Running Solaris on typical desktop hardware is simular to running Darwin (the open-source one) on non-Apple hardware; things just don't work very well (if at all) let alone being even remotely intuitive.

Oh really? So, cdrecord is included with Darwin, as well as "out-of-the-box" nVidia support?

The software selection via Blastwave is very limited at around 1,700 packages and rittled with flaky old software.

"flaky old software"? Yes, "flaky old" software like very recent builds of mplayer, GNOME 2.18, and KDE 3.5.6, yes, very "old".

As far as the packages argument, that's a fallacy at best. Half the software I see packaged in the Linux world isn't even worth packaging. I would rather see high-quality software packaged than a ton of crap.

Of course I would like to see more software packaged, but do you realise how much software is Linux centric and isn't actually portable? That's one of the huge barriers to packaging "Linux" software. Remember, Linux is not UNIX and is not fully POSIX compliant, so software that works on Linux may not work on real UNIX systems such as Mac OS X (which will be certified UNIX with the next release) and Solaris.

Heh, I reported a simple dependency error for a package in Nexenta's repository and it still hasn't been addressed eight months later despite being the third item listed in the bug database! :-P

Yes, and people have reported "simple errors" to the Mozilla project that are still open bugs *years* later. Projects address problems by need and their own personal assessment.

Edited 2007-03-18 21:58

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My Review
by kaiwai on Sun 18th Mar 2007 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE: My Review"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

"flaky old software"? Yes, "flaky old" software like very recent builds of mplayer, GNOME 2.18, and KDE 3.5.6, yes, very "old".

Hmm, I couldn't find KDE 3.5.6 off blastwave or GNOME 2.18 - then again, GNOME 2.18 will appear on Solaris Express in probably around 2-4 weeks, and KDE 4.0 will officially support Solaris - so if one is willing to wait, one will see quality software arrive for Solaris in a timely manner.

As far as the packages argument, that's a fallacy at best. Half the software I see packaged in the Linux world isn't even worth packaging. I would rather see high-quality software packaged than a ton of crap.

You're right about that, and worse still, a large number are riddled with so much Linux'isms in their code base (talk to anyone who is porting KDE to Solaris) and they'll tell you that the re-write of some parts is so extensive, one really has to justify that time spent on it.

Of course I would like to see more software packaged, but do you realise how much software is Linux centric and isn't actually portable? That's one of the huge barriers to packaging "Linux" software. Remember, Linux is not UNIX and is not fully POSIX compliant, so software that works on Linux may not work on real UNIX systems such as Mac OS X (which will be certified UNIX with the next release) and Solaris.

You're right about that, it wasn't until I spoke to a programmer, and he pointed out the problems, when I fully realised just how much work is involved with porting things accross to Solaris - its almost like porting it to a completely new operating system

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My Review
by binarycrusader on Sun 18th Mar 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My Review"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmm, I couldn't find KDE 3.5.6 off blastwave or GNOME 2.18 - then again, GNOME 2.18 will appear on Solaris Express in probably around 2-4 weeks, and KDE 4.0 will officially support Solaris - so if one is willing to wait, one will see quality software arrive for Solaris in a timely manner.

From this post:
http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=101561


Date: 03/01/07-03/15/07

KDE 3.5.6 (Blastwave, Martux, Belenix)
- Solaris 10
- Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE)

KDE 4.0 (KDE 4.0 snapshot)
- Solaris 10
- Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE)

Blastwave's KDE 3.4.3 port was the main stable KDE port for Solaris 8/9/10 platforms.


I don't know where Ken placed 3.5.6, but the above post seems to indicate that it is somehow available from Blastwave, in Martux, and in Belenix.

You're right about that, it wasn't until I spoke to a programmer, and he pointed out the problems, when I fully realised just how much work is involved with porting things accross to Solaris - its almost like porting it to a completely new operating system

Sometimes it is a small amount of work, other times it is unbelievable. I'm sure the BSD communities understand this somewhat.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: My Review
by kaiwai on Sun 18th Mar 2007 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My Review"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know where Ken placed 3.5.6, but the above post seems to indicate that it is somehow available from Blastwave, in Martux, and in Belenix.

Having had a look at blastwave packages ( http://blastwave.org/packages.php ), it definately isn't listed - I'll post a follow up email to find out where these packages reside as I've tried googling with no success.

There is http://leute.server.de/lindig/drupal/?q=project/SolarisKDE but the scripts need some major fixing up as all the locations are hard coded for the maintainers own home directory :-(

Sometimes it is a small amount of work, other times it is unbelievable. I'm sure the BSD communities understand this somewhat.

Oh, most definitely, and when it does all compile, it doesn't necessarily mean that all the features work - KDE on FreeBSD with some of the features aren't implemented and so forth.

What I hope that with HAL, it'll provide that abstraction layer between the application and operating system so that one doesn't need to hard code, for example, brain dead things like linux/cdrom.h to the source code so that one gets access to the cd drive when writing an application to play a music cd, for example (which exists in gnome-cd)

Edited 2007-03-18 23:28

Reply Score: 3

Hmm
by lopisaur on Sat 17th Mar 2007 09:02 UTC
lopisaur
Member since:
2006-02-27

Oddly enough, the same Solaris version would not recognize the SATA drive on a Tecra A6, which by all means internally should be the same machine, except for the graphics, which are from Intel and some other miscellaneous stuff, like the fingeprint reader. granted I didn't try very hard, but I wonder what the difference is?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmm
by Robert Escue on Sat 17th Mar 2007 12:00 UTC in reply to "Hmm"
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

That depends on the chipset used on the motherboard of your Tecra. Laptops have always been a mixed bag fro Solaris.

Reply Score: 2

Filesystems support (dual boot with Linux)
by GhePeU on Sat 17th Mar 2007 11:19 UTC
GhePeU
Member since:
2005-07-06

I googled around but I couldn't find a clear answer: should I install Solaris in a secondary disk on my machine, what "Linux" filesystems are supported?

Reply Score: 2

Assumptions etc.
by Doc Pain on Sat 17th Mar 2007 17:11 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

I think the author of the article had a little... let me call it "problem" in assuming what someone who installs Solaris is expecting from it.

Still Solaris is for professional users. Allthough you may use it for home purposes, it's not entirely designed to be the right solution for this (while some Linux distrubutions definitely are).

My first surprise when reading the review was the hardware section: "DVD-RAM Burner". Did he write "DVD-RAM"? Really? Where did he get it from? I loved to get my hands on such a device, but it's impossible to buy in Germany. Furthermore, the DVD-RAM media are not sold anymore. As the successor of PD, DVD-RAM seems to be a good backup storage.

But back on topic. The author states: "The focus of this review is using Solaris 10 11/06 as a replacement for Windows and/or Linux on the desktop." So his intention is clear to me, but I don't think it's a very usable approach. You can use QNX as a desktop OS replacement for "Windows", but who honestly would?

About partitioning: "[...] for me, as lazy as I am, I just have one big root partition along with a swap one; [...]": This seems to be a less professional approach. While professional users (administrators, technicans etc.) tend to know how big they need each partition, it seems to be modern among Linusi and desktop BSDs to put everything into one big partition which may cause two problems: The first is the unability to dump data partition-wise, the second is to risk data failure and data loss. By the way, "too small" partitions can be extended using LVM.

Side note: "GTK + C is your friend", yes, it's mine. :-)

The encountered problem with not supplying a valid path for a user's home directory could be corrected by setting a symlink home pointing to export/home. Why home is inside export - it has been already explained.

Then I'd like to point out the following: "Sun people say its due to convenience, for me, its a waste of time, if people want a service setup, they'll manually enable and configure themselves." - And this is a problem, isn't it? While professional users know for sure, newbies won't because they don't know (1) what the services are called, (2) what they are needed for and (3) if they really do need them. So in some Linux distributions you see a bunch of services loaded by default, just to make the user comfortable if he comes to seem to need a service - wow, already there! Personally, I like the approach "enable on demand" to be the better solution, but it requires a certain amount of knowledge that most home users don't seem to have (or even want to have). Users coming from a "Windows" environment (at home or at work) assume everything to work right out of the box, not forcing them to do anything. So Solaris won't be right for them, even if installation procedures are documented well, so everyone able to read should be able to solve tasks such as installing multimedia software.

Regarding hardware support, "[...] the hardware support for Solaris [...] is very basic at best." is understandable. Still Solaris is tested to work on a smaller subset of computer hardware well, other PC hardware twitched together often does not work. Solaris, as a commercial UNIX system, depends on 100% functioning hardware, not less. So if hardware vendors do not supply a working driver for Solaris, why should it work on their hardware, then?

For his opinion about software support (portabilits vs. being glued to Linux): I completely agree. You can find similar issues when using Linux applications ported to BSD.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Assumptions etc.
by kaiwai on Sun 18th Mar 2007 01:40 UTC in reply to "Assumptions etc."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the author of the article had a little... let me call it "problem" in assuming what someone who installs Solaris is expecting from it.

Still Solaris is for professional users. Allthough you may use it for home purposes, it's not entirely designed to be the right solution for this (while some Linux distrubutions definitely are).

My first surprise when reading the review was the hardware section: "DVD-RAM Burner". Did he write "DVD-RAM"? Really? Where did he get it from? I loved to get my hands on such a device, but it's impossible to buy in Germany. Furthermore, the DVD-RAM media are not sold anymore. As the successor of PD, DVD-RAM seems to be a good backup storage.


According to my Toshiba documentation, it is a DVD-RAM burner; buggered if I know why Toshiba calls it that, given its just a standard DVD burner, for all intensive purposes.

But back on topic. The author states: "The focus of this review is using Solaris 10 11/06 as a replacement for Windows and/or Linux on the desktop." So his intention is clear to me, but I don't think it's a very usable approach. You can use QNX as a desktop OS replacement for "Windows", but who honestly would?

Same could be said for Linux - given my buggy experienc in the past with Ubuntu and Fedora, one could conclude that runnning Linux on the desktop is nothing more than an experiment on 'how to waste time'.

About partitioning: "[...] for me, as lazy as I am, I just have one big root partition along with a swap one; [...]": This seems to be a less professional approach. While professional users (administrators, technicans etc.) tend to know how big they need each partition, it seems to be modern among Linusi and desktop BSDs to put everything into one big partition which may cause two problems: The first is the unability to dump data partition-wise, the second is to risk data failure and data loss. By the way, "too small" partitions can be extended using LVM.

Why would I care about datalose when all my documents, music and so forth are residing on an external hard disk hooked up via USB? the only thing I'll loss is some trivial settings, not something to worry about when you consider the number of times people cock up their installation by going partition happy by having a partition for almost every damn directory in their system.

The encountered problem with not supplying a valid path for a user's home directory could be corrected by setting a symlink home pointing to export/home. Why home is inside export - it has been already explained.

If the default location is /export/home then how come the tools included with Solaris aren't defaulted to that directory?

# useradd -D
group=other,1 project=default,3 basedir=/home
skel=/etc/skel shell=/bin/sh inactive=0
expire= auths= profiles= roles= limitpriv=
defaultpriv= lock_after_retries=
#

If the acceptable location for the home directories is for it to reside in /export/home, then it should be setup by default - if you have a look further back, a Sun programmer/engineer has said that is unacceptable for my experience to occur.

The horse is dead, cease flogging it.

Regarding hardware support, "[...] the hardware support for Solaris [...] is very basic at best." is understandable. Still Solaris is tested to work on a smaller subset of computer hardware well, other PC hardware twitched together often does not work. Solaris, as a commercial UNIX system, depends on 100% functioning hardware, not less. So if hardware vendors do not supply a working driver for Solaris, why should it work on their hardware, then?

Geeze, another person who fails to read what I write:

"With that being said, however, what Sun does support, in a limited number, they support very well; its the old story of whether you want a massive number of devices that are supported in a half-assed fashion, or a smaller number of devices supported but are supported well, both in regards to features and quality of the implementation - I'd sooner have the later."

Read the *WHOLE* article, don't cherry pick; Robert Escue is now barating me because he didn't read the full article; scanned through it, things popped out, and failed to digest the whole article within context.

Edited 2007-03-18 01:55

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Assumptions etc.
by Doc Pain on Sun 18th Mar 2007 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Assumptions etc."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"According to my Toshiba documentation, it is a DVD-RAM burner; buggered if I know why Toshiba calls it that, given its just a standard DVD burner, for all intensive purposes."

If it really is a standard DVD burner, it won't be able to load DVD-RAMs coming in a cartridge (such as PDs did). So the device should better be classified as a DVD-RW by the manufacturer. Maybe it really can be used to deal with DVD-RAM without cartridge...

"Same could be said for Linux - given my buggy experienc in the past with Ubuntu and Fedora, one could conclude that runnning Linux on the desktop is nothing more than an experiment on 'how to waste time'."

This is what I would say about MICROS~1 products - from my own experience. Different people, different hardware, different needs... different experience. I did not encounter any problems with Linux or even BSD in any regards I wanted to realize.

"Why would I care about datalose when all my documents, music and so forth are residing on an external hard disk hooked up via USB?"

USB? How slow... :-)

"the only thing I'll loss is some trivial settings, not something to worry about when you consider the number of times people cock up their installation by going partition happy by having a partition for almost every damn directory in their system."

Then, your best solution would be to put the entire home directory on the external USB disk. All settings, trivial or not, are stored there then.

The different partitions have a certain intention and a right to exist. They are not just artefacts from the past. These partitions separate different components of the OS, as well as separating non-system data from system data. Furthermore, intelligent partitioning can lead to a (smaller) gain of speed.

"If the default location is /export/home then how come the tools included with Solaris aren't defaulted to that directory?"

Yes, I agree, so I just assumed there could be some symlink from /home to /export/home which would deal with this. Such a symlink could be established by default, or a default setting for /export/home could be done in a configuration file for the system utilities.

"If the acceptable location for the home directories is for it to reside in /export/home, then it should be setup by default - if you have a look further back, a Sun programmer/engineer has said that is unacceptable for my experience to occur."

Agreed.

"Geeze, another person who fails to read what I write:

"With that being said, however, what Sun does support, in a limited number, they support very well; its the old story of whether you want a massive number of devices that are supported in a half-assed fashion, or a smaller number of devices supported but are supported well, both in regards to features and quality of the implementation - I'd sooner have the later.""


I did not try to give any proof that Solaris has bad hardware support. In fact, is has a very good one, as you stated correctly. It's quality, not quantity. I'm using a Solaris installation at work, so I know what I'm talking about. If it's up to data security and operation stability, one has to rely on proper functioning hardware. Solaris is a good solution here and can compete with any Linux or BSD out there. You just have to buy the right hardware. As always: First think, then buy. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Assumptions etc.
by kaiwai on Sun 18th Mar 2007 03:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Assumptions etc."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

If it really is a standard DVD burner, it won't be able to load DVD-RAMs coming in a cartridge (such as PDs did). So the device should better be classified as a DVD-RW by the manufacturer. Maybe it really can be used to deal with DVD-RAM without cartridge...

Hence my confusion why Toshiba has a "DVD-RAM Driver" on their support site for my machine, and yet, I always assumed DVD-RAM came in a cartridge; oh well, it writes to DVD+R and DVD-R without any problems - mind you, when go cdrecord -scanbus, the following comes up "'MATSHITA' 'DVD-RAM UJ-841S ' '1.60' Removable CD-ROM", oh well.

This is what I would say about MICROS~1 products - from my own experience. Different people, different hardware, different needs... different experience. I did not encounter any problems with Linux or even BSD in any regards I wanted to realize.

When running soundjuicer, I put in my music cd in the cd drive, the application claimed that the total time of the cd -600 minutes and a whole heap of other garble. When I soundjuicer eventually worked, when ripping from the cd, the whole computer was sluggish; I expected maybe a small lag, but it was to the point of the system being unusable.

I have a feeling that the problem lays with HAL, which from experience has shown, is buggy on virtually any platform it is implemented on; whether its Solaris Express or Linux - never experienced problems with FreeBSD, but thats probably due to the last time using it was years ago before HAL was made available on FreeBSD and I manually mounted devices as required.

USB? How slow... :-)

Its a USB 2.0, so its all good :-) it isn't as though I'm running my whole operating system off it ;-)

Then, your best solution would be to put the entire home directory on the external USB disk. All settings, trivial or not, are stored there then.

Settings I'm not to worried about; Music, Playlists and Documents, plus backup any downloads I make; it isn't as though I have any settings that are of major importance, and each time I shut down my computer, I copy accross things like email and so forth - its all good in the end.

The different partitions have a certain intention and a right to exist. They are not just artefacts from the past. These partitions separate different components of the OS, as well as separating non-system data from system data. Furthermore, intelligent partitioning can lead to a (smaller) gain of speed.

True, I remember getting advised to split up my data, but I've had bad experiences in the past, and I don't trust myself to make good decisions about allocating disk space, so I've decided to play it safe; its not ideal I guess, but I know that if I want to install applications at a later date, I'm not having to worry about how much hard disk space in a certain place and so forth.

Then again, when I did have a partitioned hard disk with a Windows computer, it was almost a certaintity that if something went wrong, the whole disk would go down the gurgler - Murphey's law :-)

I did not try to give any proof that Solaris has bad hardware support. In fact, is has a very good one, as you stated correctly. It's quality, not quantity. I'm using a Solaris installation at work, so I know what I'm talking about. If it's up to data security and operation stability, one has to rely on proper functioning hardware. Solaris is a good solution here and can compete with any Linux or BSD out there. You just have to buy the right hardware. As always: First think, then buy. :-)

True, and most of the mainstream hardware is supported; if you run Intel based hardware, for example, with a Realtek sound card, and don't do anything fancy, 9/10, Solaris will support it without too many problems.

From what I understand, 3945 A/B/G support will be coming in the form of NDIS support (currently in Alpha), and like I mentioned in an earlier paragraph, I made some *stupid* statements about Sun's hardware support and making *stupid* assumptions that Sun was doing nothing about it - as another Sun employee said to me, Sun has a tonne of competing demands, no only creating drivers for future products that'll be coming out, but addressing existing customers whilst at the same time, trying to create relationships with companies to get access to specifications to write drivers - having had the situation explained to me in the entirity, my tirades in the past were stupid and moronic to say the least.

With that being said, I hope that the new relationship with Intel will result in support for more Intel based hardware out of the box, including the embedded graphics card, NIC chipsets and wireless chipsets.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Assumptions etc.
by Doc Pain on Sun 18th Mar 2007 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Assumptions etc."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"Hence my confusion why Toshiba has a "DVD-RAM Driver" on their support site for my machine, and yet, I always assumed DVD-RAM came in a cartridge; oh well, it writes to DVD+R and DVD-R without any problems - mind you, when go cdrecord -scanbus, the following comes up "'MATSHITA' 'DVD-RAM UJ-841S ' '1.60' Removable CD-ROM", oh well."

Maybe, cdrecord -prcap reveals some more information. As I mentioned, it could work with DVD-RAMS without cartridge (they exist; there are even advices to break the media out of the cartridge...). Matshita / Matsushita built the PD drives as well which were high quality (and high price) devices, such as the "MATSHITA PD-1 LF-1000 A109" I still have in use. The cdrecord -scanbus just shows the drive's own identification string, so this could be misleading; -prcap should show the real abilities.

"When running soundjuicer, I put in my music cd in the cd drive, the application claimed that the total time of the cd -600 minutes and a whole heap of other garble. When I soundjuicer eventually worked, when ripping from the cd, the whole computer was sluggish; I expected maybe a small lag, but it was to the point of the system being unusable."

This really sounds strange... for ripping CDs, I usually use a script containing dd and oggenc (or even sox and lame) calls. Soundjuicer seems to mobilize many ressources (due to the dependencies I see).

"I have a feeling that the problem lays with HAL, which from experience has shown, is buggy on virtually any platform it is implemented on; whether its Solaris Express or Linux - never experienced problems with FreeBSD, but thats probably due to the last time using it was years ago before HAL was made available on FreeBSD and I manually mounted devices as required."

I usually do this (allthough XFCE's xfmountdev does it for me). The HAL + KDE mount facilities are a neccessary step in order to bring Linux to the home user's desktop, so the borderline between user and administrator has to vanish. Mount operations, full device rw access and the abolishment of restrictions are going to be completely automated (insert a CD, proper program starts immediately). And yes, I know, HAL is more than automount /cdrom. :-)

"True, I remember getting advised to split up my data, but I've had bad experiences in the past, and I don't trust myself to make good decisions about allocating disk space, so I've decided to play it safe; its not ideal I guess, but I know that if I want to install applications at a later date, I'm not having to worry about how much hard disk space in a certain place and so forth."

Yes, you're right, it's not ideal, but this solution is usual. If you get more and more experienced, you will be able to calculate the disk space needed for each partition correctly. Furthermore, LVM with Solaris allow you to "grow" a partition if it really becomes to small.

"Then again, when I did have a partitioned hard disk with a Windows computer, it was almost a certaintity that if something went wrong, the whole disk would go down the gurgler - Murphey's law :-)"

Backups preserve disk failures. Backups not done force disk failures. The partition failing is the one not backupped. :-)

Regarding "Windows", it's completely useless to have separate partitions because there's no backup procedure (within the default installation) that you could do any partitionwise backup with. On the other hand, "Windows" programs sore their stuff across the system.

"True, and most of the mainstream hardware is supported; if you run Intel based hardware, for example, with a Realtek sound card, and don't do anything fancy, 9/10, Solaris will support it without too many problems."

I had an experimental Solaris/x86 installation on an Intel based board with AIC SCSI controller and P2/300 processor and a PCI soundcard. No problems at all. Even the ATI Rage 128 (I think it was one) was detected properly. So it's really up to getting the right hardware.

"With that being said, I hope that the new relationship with Intel will result in support for more Intel based hardware out of the box, including the embedded graphics card, NIC chipsets and wireless chipsets."

So, we could soon have Solaris installed on laptops conforming to the specification above. Oh how I miss my SparcStation Voyager... :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Assumptions etc.
by kaiwai on Sun 18th Mar 2007 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Assumptions etc."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

This really sounds strange... for ripping CDs, I usually use a script containing dd and oggenc (or even sox and lame) calls. Soundjuicer seems to mobilize many ressources (due to the dependencies I see).

Its strange, right now I am using Grip which uses cdda2wav + oggenc, with the nice set at 10 for the ripping, and 0 for the encoding, and I'm not seeing any problems, so it confuses me as to why Soundjuicer on Linux causes the problems - then again, same thing occurred when using Banshee on Linux as well - there is something unsavory about Linux's scheduler.

I usually do this (allthough XFCE's xfmountdev does it for me). The HAL + KDE mount facilities are a neccessary step in order to bring Linux to the home user's desktop, so the borderline between user and administrator has to vanish. Mount operations, full device rw access and the abolishment of restrictions are going to be completely automated (insert a CD, proper program starts immediately). And yes, I know, HAL is more than automount /cdrom. :-)

I don't mind the idea of HAL; anything that makes my life easier, I'll endorse, but the problem is right now, it is incredibly buggy, and needs some major work done on it - the documentation was terrible, so a Sun developer had to go to work documenting it before could port it to Solaris - thats one problem.

If HAL did the job it was designed to do, without all the problems I experienced, I'd say it was good improvement over vold, but due to its bugginess so far, personally I think it would be best to fix it before using it too extensively given my negative experience with it so far.

So, we could soon have Solaris installed on laptops conforming to the specification above. Oh how I miss my SparcStation Voyager... :-)

The way things are progressing now, don't be surprised that in the next year or so, you'll see standardised machines based around either AMD or Intel processors; each will offer a complete platform, which should make supporting hardware a whole lot easier; Sun will simply get given a MB with the next 'hardware update', they test against it, and all the volume manufacturers will simply base their machine around that core video/audio/wireless/processor combo, leaving the differentiating factors the operating system, how much memory, hard disk space, and what else is bundled with it.

It'll be interesting to see where Nvidia fits into it; they'll fit into a niche for those who want high performance graphics, but with that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if we see in the next year Sun being offered a deal by AMD if they move their line completely to AMD - AMD processor and Ati graphics card, in return Sun would receive a significant discount, which should also help AMD reach its aim of getting further up there in regards to being one of top 5 semiconductor manufacturers.

Reply Score: 2

What you don't know..
by AndrewZ on Sat 17th Mar 2007 20:42 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

"Outside of multi-user database servers where the CPU is completely maxed out" Robert you are way off base here and your negative tone is not warranted.

You take the position of someone who already knows their way around Solaris, knows best practices, knows where the documentation is, has good assumptions, in other words is already a reasonably seasoned Solaris professional.

That's really not who this article is directed to, and that's not really who Open Solaris is intended for, although eventually it should be.

Case in point. I consider myself to be a moderately experienced sysadmin with some Solaris experience, certainly a fair amount of UNIX internals. I wanted to do an early review of ZFS 18 months ago. I tried to install SE on a beige box, in semi-accordance with the hardware compatibility list. Sun PR was kind enough to grant me a Solaris engineer to work through a SATA controller compatibility issue. The SATA controller was listed in the HCL but the two of us could not make the thing work. And worse yet I hosed the kernel twice trying to get the drivers to work. I had to give up because I simply did not have the time to learn that much about the 4 different controller drivers I wanted to use.

The plain fact of the matter is that Solaris as it currently stands has a steeper learning curve than either Windows or Linux for the beginner Solaris user.

I will be the first one to tell you about the power, reliability, and scalability of Solaris in the enterprise environment. But the fact remains that Solaris could be much better streamlined for the less experienced user.

I think this would benefit the Solaris community greatly by lowering the time and effort it takes to do really useful things with Solaris. And by useful I mean things other than listen to MP3s, watch DVDs, and do IM.

To sum it up, I think this article serves the valuable purpose of representing the perspective of people who would like to use Solaris, but who would like a few basic concessions to common sense usability.

I don't think this is unreasnable by any means. I think a future version of Solaris that is easier to use from a newby perspective can only benefit the Solaris communit as a whole, and also Sun.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What you don't know..
by Robert Escue on Sun 18th Mar 2007 01:07 UTC in reply to "What you don't know.."
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

Excuse me, my tone is perfectly acceptable thank you very much! Just because I think kaiwai is full of it and has trolled virutally every Solaris article on this site for months, I am tired of holding my tounge while Linux trolls whine about being beat up here when it is clear the exact opposite is taking place.

I question the substance and tone of his "review" based on the review and his trolling. Making comments about "this is due to the, quite frankly, stupid decision to loading automount on boot up" and not expecting someone to call him on it is arrogant to say the least. If he was actually sincere about writing something positive he could have, and chose not to. And while some here might not appreciate my "tone", I am resonably sure OSNews readers are also tired of drivel and tripe being passed off as insightful content.

A someone who has used 13 different operating systems and or environments in 19 years, I fully understand the learning curve of various operating systems. A person who complains about an operating system that doesn't do the following "out of the box" deserves what he gets (remember "RTFM"):

1. Does not have a default environment ready to use so that it requires no effort on his part in order to be "productive".

2. Blames the OS vendor for things beyond the vendor's control (such as hardware support). It has been said here before, you want support, vote with your wallet.

3. Thinks the OS vendor should cow-tow to his ridiculous needs. If I want a piece of software and nobody has made a package, I can create it myself. Why do some people find this so hard?

4. Complains that things in Solaris need to be more like Linux. I read this is as "I don't want to learn Solaris and expect Sun to include all of the GNU tool chain and other software so I don't have to learn anything". It is one thing for an OS to have a high learning curve, it is another to avoid learning anything about and mindlessly bitch about how hard it is to use it!

I spent a great deal of time and money to learn Solaris, and while I don't know everything about it I at least know where to get help. Kaiwai is not the first Linux user to try Solaris and bitch about its "shortcomings", and despite several people attempting to help him (including several Sun employees and myself), he still sees it's OK to troll and write complete gibberish. And the real shocker is that people like you actually defend him?! His treatment by some on this site (like Moulinneuf) is of his own making.

Some people think his "review" is great, I think it sucks (and I have already specified why). My last post pointed out potential real content and ideas for a real review, that was modded down as I am sure this post will be as well. As I have said here before, I don't live and die by moderation, so go for it. Instead of facing up to the possibility that kaiwai could have done something far better, it is easier to "race for the bottom" and write a troll piece, and support that troll.

I was asked to write a review of Solaris 10 11/06 for OSNews, but work commitments prevented me from doing so. I am glad that I didn't waste my time considering what OSNews readers are willing to accept as a "review". After writing three articles for OSNews, I am thankful for the oportunity to be published here, and while I appreciate the efforts of the staff to give some leeway in what is acceptable, but I think it is time to tighten up the standards. I think I speak for a number of readers that two things need to happen in order to improve OSNews:

1. Stop accepting articles, blog posts and press releases that are clearly inflammatory in nature. If you want higher quality articles, you have to start by enforcing standards. And don't defend your practices by saying it is "newsworthy"

2. Ban trolls and troublesome users. There is a difference between an opinion and a troll. For the longest time I used my mod points to raise the "signal over the noise", well with so much noise that doesn't work.

That is my two cents on the situation, take it anyway you want, I really don't care.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: What you don't know..
by kaiwai on Sun 18th Mar 2007 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE: What you don't know.."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

1) I am not a "Linux user" - if you took time to actually know something about me, my primary operating system up until I bought this Toshiba were two Macs running MacOS X, and before that, I owned a Dell XPS PIII running FreeBSD, with the occasional dabble with Solaris back when Sun had their 'free Solaris for non-commercial use'.

2) Read the full article, I said in regards to harware support:

"With that being said, however, what Sun does support, in a limited number, they support very well; its the old story of whether you want a massive number of devices that are supported in a half-assed fashion, or a smaller number of devices supported but are supported well, both in regards to features and quality of the implementation - I'd sooner have the later."

Oh yes, that is bashing Sun for their hardware support - Robert, how about spending the next 5 years of your 'valuable' life learning how to comprehend writing, because you've wasted 19 years of training if you can't even digest the most basic of paragraphs.

4) I wrote the review from *MY* point of view, I hardly see it as *MY* problem if people like *YOU* fail to firstly read the article, think about the article and actually realise it is an *OPINION PIECE*, learn the difference, a review *IS* an opinion piece, and if you do take issue with what I said, address to me in a polite manner.

And you know, I did a polite post about my problems I had with Windows Vista, and so set off a polite and respectable conversation between PlatformAgnostic and I - you know, if you actually read what I write, both now and in the past, you'd realise where I am coming from.

I am not a prick, I am just impatient, and don't take my posts as a representation of my views; hence the reason I try not reply to those who make procative statements, because sometimes it is easy to send off something in the heat of the moment.

Edited 2007-03-18 02:03

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What you don't know..
by Robert Escue on Sun 18th Mar 2007 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What you don't know.."
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

I read the article, so stop accusing me of not doing so. I have also read your posts about everything you don't like about Solaris. Stop acting like the victim here, you're not. You have made your point abundantly clear, as have I and we will have to agree to disagre.

Reply Score: 2

RE: What you don't know..
by kaiwai on Sun 18th Mar 2007 03:00 UTC in reply to "What you don't know.."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank you for for the polite reply; I've been tracking back and reading some posts off OpenSolaris.org - there are some really cool things that are occuring, Solaris will be an official platform supported by KDE 4.0, GNOME is coming along nicely.

The problem is that I'm impatient, but I guess as momentum picks up with more people getting on board I'm sure things will really pick up - but as one of the posts on the discussion board said, there are many dependencies that need to be ported, and parts which need to be completely re-written to be compatible with OpenSolaris.

The problem is that in the past, I didn't fully realise the amount of work that would be required to actually getting applications working on Solaris given how Linux centric many of the opensource developers are - which results in, at times, very unportable code.

Having spoken to a few programmers since the last time I posted on an article relating to Solaris, I've become a little wiser - and realised the full story behind many of things which I have problems with or why something is done a certain way.

Reply Score: 3

Solaris and VMWare
by SujaiNath on Mon 19th Mar 2007 02:45 UTC
SujaiNath
Member since:
2006-01-14

We are a dedicated VMWare shop and run free VMWare server on top of a Linux host along with VMWare Infrastructure. Last time I checked, VMware will not run on top of a Solaris host. Any news on if and when this will change? This is the only thing holding us back from moving to Solaris.

Reply Score: 1

What Solaris
by jackson on Mon 19th Mar 2007 18:05 UTC
jackson
Member since:
2005-06-29

Basic question: which version of Solaris should an interested Linux/BSD user try for general home desktop use? I can't quite figure out what the differences are and exactly what to download and install. TIA.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What Solaris
by dwilz on Mon 19th Mar 2007 18:19 UTC in reply to "What Solaris"
dwilz Member since:
2006-02-27

Jackson,

See number 3 on this FAQ

http://developers.sun.com/solaris/downloads/solexpdev/product_faq.h...

It explains the differences between the various releases.

Regards,
Daren

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What Solaris
by jackson on Mon 19th Mar 2007 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE: What Solaris"
jackson Member since:
2005-06-29

Thanks, Daren!

Reply Score: 1