Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Oct 2006 17:04 UTC, submitted by erast
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris The sixth development release of the OpenSolaris-based, desktop-oriented Nexenta OS has been released: "Nexenta OS Alpha 6 is now available. Release Highlights: Nexenta Zones - opens the possibility to create custom zones and pre-install with selected software; integrated BrandZ - allows running Linux userland; SVR4 packaging - to install native Solaris packages (missing drivers, etc.); OpenSolaris build 50, with numerous kernel fixes and features."
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My take (warning: long post)
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 19th Oct 2006 04:41 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.6.18 has gained real-time extentions.

2.6.19 has gained code for the new ext4 filesystem.

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

Edited 2006-10-19 04:43

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