Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th May 2008 16:28 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris Last week, on my country's Liberation Day, Sun released OpenSolaris 2008.05, the much awaited first official fruit of Project Indiana. It delivers many of OpenSolaris' major features, such as DTrace, ZFS, containers, and more, in a Linux distribution-like package. The goal is to allow more people to experience Solaris. A few reviews have since hit the web.
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Networking
by atsureki on Thu 15th May 2008 16:59 UTC
atsureki
Member since:
2006-03-12

I had a similar experience. Nice install, no networking. There was some oddly-named service running, like "automagic internetworking wizard," which I had to track down and kill before the network configuration panel was allowed to function. Once I got it on my local network, though, it still couldn't find the Internet.

With Nexenta apparently backing away from having any graphical functionality, OpenSolaris will be the OS I'm watching for my eventual home server replacement, especially once ZFS supports arbitrarily removing drives from a zpool. Hobbling together leftover storage without risking the data will be a killer feature.

One of the best things about the OpenSolaris liveCD environment is that it runs a hardware support app, so you can see at a glance what will work in the OS. I tried it in all my systems, including my MacBook. There was always something that didn't work. Solaris needs more drivers and an intuitive networking system, but otherwise I'm impressed.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Networking
by Robert Escue on Thu 15th May 2008 18:37 UTC in reply to "Networking"
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

There are two ways to configure a network in OpenSolaris, one is nwamd and the other is using the graphical network tool once nwamd is killed. To get networking to work with nwamd enabled, you have to modify /etc/resolv.conf so that it has the correct DNS servers listed. In my installation on a Pentium IV rig, the DNS servers were wrong and the /etc/nsswitch.conf file was not modified to use DNS and files. Edit /etc/resolv.conf and add the right DNS servers (if they are wrong) and /etc/nsswitch.conf, make sure the hosts entry reads hosts files dns. Once the is done, you should be able to access the Internet.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Networking
by sbergman27 on Thu 15th May 2008 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Networking"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Why not just fix it so it works as reasonably expected?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Networking
by Weeman on Thu 15th May 2008 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Networking"
Weeman Member since:
2006-03-20

Why not just fix it so it works as reasonably expected?

They wanted something in OpenSolaris that works most of the time automagically without user intervention. That's NWAM. The problem is, the UI side's not done yet.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Networking
by sbergman27 on Thu 15th May 2008 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Networking"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

They wanted something in OpenSolaris that works most of the time automagically without user intervention. That's NWAM. The problem is, the UI side's not done yet.

As a long time Linux fan... I understand. They'll get there. Solaris paved the server highway for us. Maybe we can return the favor on the desktop highway.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Networking
by Robert Escue on Thu 15th May 2008 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Networking"
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

Actually it does work, but it depends on DHCP which I do not use. So, OpenSolaris tries to come up with a configuration that will work using what it finds in the initial network probe. It found my router just fine and assigned an appropriate IP address for my network, it is just that the DNS servers were for hr.cox.net, not east.cox.net.

My soultion was to modify the resolv.conf and nsswitch.conf so I could get a working configuration, which I know does work with Solaris/Solaris Express and now OpenSolaris.

Reply Score: 3

So Close
by fretinator on Thu 15th May 2008 17:01 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

This was the first OpenSolaris release I could seriously consider. The previous (Nexenta, Belenix, etc) wouldn't even boot on any of my machines. This one booted into a very beautiful 1500x1050 Gnome desktop on my Compaq Evo N610C laptop. Even the wireless card with encryption worked beautifully - that was truly amazing. The only downer was no mouse - say what?? I have a pointing stick and a touchpad, take you pick. Neither worked. For fun, I tried turning off first the pointing stick, then the touchpad in the bios. I thought maybe it was confused by both being present. No luck. The only way I could proceed was an external mouse - I didn't even try since I do not want to go that route. Funny to me that all the "hard" things worked, like high-resolution video and PCMCIA wireless with WEP. But a little thing like the mouse didn't.

But it is definitely a vast improvement, and will probably be going on one of my desktop machines. For now, the N610C is a sweet OpenBSD 4.3 machine.

Reply Score: 5

Slightly off topic
by s_groening on Fri 16th May 2008 11:28 UTC in reply to "So Close"
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

Not to make fun of anything at all, but I had a similarly peculiar experience with FreeBSD PPC on my Apple Powerbook 12"...

Everything worked but the keyboard and touch pad...
This was due to these parts being connected via an old type of interface, named Apple Desktop Bus, with no drivers available as opposed to USB on all other Powerbooks...

With a USB keyboard and mouse attached, everything worked like a charm ...

Somewhat off topic, but these are the little things that serve to frustrate people, so I hope it'll be fixed in Solaris!

Reply Score: 2

kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

.. outside of Richmond.
OpenSoloaris uses more than 768 mb of RAM after booting into Gnome. It may have great features .. but it is not yet ready for the real world.

Reply Score: 1

Weeman Member since:
2006-03-20

The ZFS ARC is the new Superfetch.

Try to understand this:

If your memory isn't used by applications, ZFS uses it for caching.

Reply Score: 7

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

If your memory isn't used by applications, ZFS uses it for caching.

Linux has that philosophy, and I think it is a good one. But what I keep hearing about ZFS is: "Don't use ZFS with less than 2GB of memory, or on 32 bit hardware. And if you do try it don't complain".

I find that shocking. I have used OpenSolaris 2008.05 and it performed just fine. But I have 2GB of RAM and 64 bit hardware. I would never have expected to have to worry about filesystem memory requirements, for the gods' sake!

Edited 2008-05-15 18:13 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I find that shocking. I have used OpenSolaris 2008.05 and it performed just fine. But I have 2GB of RAM and 64 bit hardware. I would never have expected to have to worry about filesystem memory requirements, for the gods' sake!


That's unreasonable, Steve. You're making it seem as if ZFS is some sort of another FAT32 - but that's ridiculous. It offers A LOT of advanced features, and those features come at a price. You are always free to choose another less advanced filesystem.

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

That's unreasonable, Steve. You're making it seem as if ZFS is some sort of another FAT32 - but that's ridiculous.

No. I was reporting my perceptions as to what I hear about ZFS, and also my experience with ZFS, which happens to be at the recommended hardware level.

I've certainly read my share of "Linux is a memory hog posts" from people coming from windows and looking at "top" output for the first time. I'm receptive to explanations of ZFS's memory and processor recommendations, or clarifications as to what the recommendations actually mean.

Reply Score: 2

TMM2008 Member since:
2008-05-16

Let's see... I get 300MB/s from my Linux softraid on a 32bit kernel. Combined with XFS and LVM the only downside I have is having to type a couple more commands to do the same thing.

I'd say Solaris and ZFS have a long way to go.

EDIT:
That reply should have gone somewhere else, I apologize for the unwarranted flame.

Edited 2008-05-16 23:02 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

First, what kind of system are you using, how many disks are you using and how are you measuring your disk I/O? Additionally is that sustained or burst I/O?

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

"If your memory isn't used by applications, ZFS uses it for caching.

Linux has that philosophy, and I think it is a good one. But what I keep hearing about ZFS is: "Don't use ZFS with less than 2GB of memory, or on 32 bit hardware. And if you do try it don't complain".

I find that shocking. I have used OpenSolaris 2008.05 and it performed just fine. But I have 2GB of RAM and 64 bit hardware. I would never have expected to have to worry about filesystem memory requirements, for the gods' sake!
"

I don't know who said the 32bit thing, because I've got it running on a Dimension 8400 w/ 2.5GB ram very nicely.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I don't know who said the 32bit thing

Kawai, are you serious about not having heard that? It's all over the place. I, personally, doubt the claim. But whenever I see a complaint about ZFS performance, valid or not, someone, usually advocating ZFS, calls the poster foolish for trying to run it on 32 bit hardware with less than 2GB of RAM. Not the best advocacy strategy. But there it is.

BTW, the link to mplayer, et. al for OpenSolaris from your blog helped make my stroll into OpenSolaris-land a more pleasant experience. Thanks for that.

-Steve

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

"I don't know who said the 32bit thing

Kawai, are you serious about not having heard that? It's all over the place. I, personally, doubt the claim. But whenever I see a complaint about ZFS performance, valid or not, someone, usually advocating ZFS, calls the poster foolish for trying to run it on 32 bit hardware with less than 2GB of RAM. Not the best advocacy strategy. But there it is.
"

I never advocated such a position. I only said that the 32bit claim was questionable. The memory issue - I wouldn't know, but from what I understand, the more memory, the better. I never called the person foolish either. So don't make claims about me you cannot back up.

BTW, the link to mplayer, et. al for OpenSolaris from your blog helped make my stroll into OpenSolaris-land a more pleasant experience. Thanks for that.


Its interesting in that I came across it purely by accident. I've since now kept a back up copy incase the patent holders start threatening the website maintainer.

Edited 2008-05-15 20:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I never advocated such a position. I only said that the 32bit claim was questionable. The memory issue - I wouldn't know, but from what I understand, the more memory, the better. I never called the person foolish either. So don't make claims about me you cannot back up.

Kawai, I did not make any claims about you, and did not intend to. Please reread my post, considering it to be of a friendly nature.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know who said the 32bit thing, because I've got it running on a Dimension 8400 w/ 2.5GB ram very nicely.

Sun's people themselves have said that ZFS is simply not designed to run on 32-bit systems. You may not experience any problems, yet, but that doesn't mean that you won't.

Also, from the work the FreeBSD guys have done there is ample evidence that ZFS will grow unbounded to any task you throw at it.

Reply Score: 2

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

If you read this thread, then your statement is correct:

http://www.acmqueue.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=50...

Jeff Bonwick addresses the 32-bit issues in the interview.

As far as BSD is concerned, this thread shows that modifications to loader.conf one user has been able to run ZFS on a 32-bit system with 1 GB of memory:

http://kerneltrap.org/FreeBSD/ZFS_Stability

This thread from opensolaris.org about the 32-bit limitation of 1 TB filesystems:

http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=28095涿

And finally this thread from opensolaris.org about ZFS on 32-bit hardware:

http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=134690㒝...

So it does work as long as you are willing to live within the limitations of 32-bit memory utilization and 1 TB for a ZFS filesystem. And for the people that commented on it, it works very weel for them.

Reply Score: 2

Weeman Member since:
2006-03-20

Linux has that philosophy, and I think it is a good one. But what I keep hearing about ZFS is: "Don't use ZFS with less than 2GB of memory, or on 32 bit hardware. And if you do try it don't complain".


When someone says that, it's referring to the recommendations for running traditional Solaris with ZFS, both in their intended scenarios, the enterprise. Since those were the only real available "metrics", they've been parrotted all across the web.

As far as 64bit goes, ZFS is faster in 64bit mode because the various checksum and parity algorithms work faster in that mode. Remember that everything's checksummed left and right.

Reply Score: 3

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't see any significant memory utilization on my Pentium IV machine, and I created a ZFS mirror of the rpool (root) disk using the two 250 GB drives I have installed in the machine. Something I might have to investigate when I get home.

Reply Score: 2

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Well, the whole system was super slow. Starting simple application took ages. I guess if you have less than 1.5 GB of RAM you can forget about doing anything usefull with ZFS.

Reply Score: 0

zemplar Member since:
2006-02-10

.. outside of Richmond.
OpenSoloaris uses more than 768 mb of RAM after booting into Gnome. It may have great features .. but it is not yet ready for the real world.


Unused RAM is wasted money. I prefer my RAM doing something useful, like a good ZFS file cache. That said, ZFS probably isn't very helpful to any system with less than 1Gb RAM, but RAM is cheap, so this isn't a problem on any remotely recent hardware.

Reply Score: 4

jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

My position on this is probably unpopular, but here goes:

I do not care how much memory an OS appears to use, period, as long as it allows me to address what I've got.

I think this because:

* 8 GB of registered ECC server RAM is less than $750 these days and 8 GB of desktop ram is probably $200.

* Actually sorting out the difference is pretty tough; RAM usage numbers for the OS are not directly comparable in Solaris or 2003 or Vista or RHEL3 or RHEL4--they report different metrics. Figuring it out is possible if you are very careful, but most of us looking at TEH FREE RAM!! don't actually know what it means in a given instance, or how that would translate to another OS.

So I look it this way: If you are not swapping, you are OK. If you are, and you can fit more ram, get it. If you can't fit more, well, that's why they pay us the medium bucks--you need to change some element of the solution.

What does upset me is the Microsoft solution, artificially capping ram addressing on 32 bit platforms. Asking people to pay an extra $3k for Enterprise, just to turn on PAE and address the RAM they already own, is asking too much for my taste.

OK RAM misers, I've vacated the soapbox, now flame away like it's 1995! ;)

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

It depends a lot upon how hard money is to come by.

But:

8 GB of desktop ram is probably $200.

What color is the sky on your planet? This is not an "unpopular position". It is an "unrealistic assertion".

Reply Score: 2

jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

It depends a lot upon how hard money is to come by.

But:

"8 GB of desktop ram is probably $200.

What color is the sky on your planet? This is not an "unpopular position". It is an "unrealistic assertion".
"

Still blue, last I checked.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134632

But you are correct, $200 is unrealistic. NewEgg wants $37 each for those 2 GB sticks...

Reply Score: 4

Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

Just how are you measuring how much memory is being used? Try this (as root) to see your actual utilization:

mdb -k

At the :: prompt type memstat and you should see a display like this:

robert@apophis:~# mdb -k
Loading modules: [ unix genunix specfs dtrace cpu.generic cpu_ms.AuthenticAMD.15 uppc pcplusmp scsi_vhci zfs random ip hook neti sctp arp usba uhci s1394 lofs audiosup sppp ptm ipc ]
> ::memstat
Page Summary Pages MB %Tot
------------ ---------------- ---------------- ----
Kernel 96724 377 30%
Anon 38710 151 12%
Exec and libs 11827 46 4%
Page cache 1229 4 0%
Free (cachelist) 5139 20 2%
Free (freelist) 171633 670 53%

Total 325262 1270
Physical 325261 1270
>

To exit mdb, use Ctrl-D. The results I just posted is the current state of my Gateway laptop with an Athlon 64 CPU and 1.25 GB of memory.

Reply Score: 2

RE: needs work
by protagonist on Thu 15th May 2008 19:08 UTC
protagonist
Member since:
2005-07-06

My experience with it puts me in the "needs work" category. It boots into a very nicely done desktop, but it still left a lot of things that should work automatically for me to configure. It does show a lot of promise, but when I can install Ubuntu or PC-BSD with virtually zero configuration I just can't see wasting a HD for Open Solaris.

That being said, I intend to follow it and when they come up with a new release I will take another look at it. I do like keeping up with what is going on in the OS world.

Reply Score: 2

Talking about servers
by Vide on Fri 16th May 2008 09:52 UTC
Vide
Member since:
2006-02-17

Any opinion/review of OpenSolaris 2008.5 as server, not just like Yet Another Desktop? It should shine much brighter in this aspect, shouldn't it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Talking about servers
by Robert Escue on Fri 16th May 2008 15:28 UTC in reply to "Talking about servers"
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

What do you want this server to run?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Talking about servers
by Vide on Sun 18th May 2008 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Talking about servers"
Vide Member since:
2006-02-17

Web servers for example... what about scalability and threads concurrency's performances? Is this better than recents 2.6 Linux kernels?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Talking about servers
by Robert Escue on Sun 18th May 2008 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Talking about servers"
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

That would depend on several factors including how apache was compiled, quality of the network and the speed of the storage the content is on (I am assuming a web farm as opposed to individual web servers). Are these servers going to be sending data to a backend database?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question without asking more questions to narrow down what you are specifically looking for.

Reply Score: 2

Great with ZFS for /root
by Kebabbert on Fri 16th May 2008 10:28 UTC
Kebabbert
Member since:
2007-07-27

When you do snapshot, it locks the /root on bit level. If you patch the system, the writes will occur on a new place on the hard drive (i.e. snapshot) and therefore everything is still intact. This way you can rollback easily if the patch messes something up. When you boot Solaris, you can choose which snapshot to boot from, they are all presented in GRUB. In a sense, you can say you have versioning control for /root. If you get virus, you just rollback to an earlier. You have of course several snapshots, one with fresh install, etc. And you can snapshot each file system, for instance snapshot /root, or /usr. Rollback of /root is a killer feature.



I have a Pentium 4@2.4GHz and 1 GB RAM. I have 4 Samsung drives 500GB each in ZFS raid. I get like 20MB/sec. That suxx. I have been told with 64bit CPU, it gets a lot faster. Here is a guy with 64bit CPU and 2GB ram achieving 120MB/sec on ZFS raid:
(I cant find the link right now. Will post it later if someone asks me for it)

Reply Score: 2