Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th May 2007 21:46 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris In an effort to spur adoption of Solaris, Sun has begun a project code-named Indiana to try to give its operating system some of the trappings of Linux. The project is one of the items on the to-do list of Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian version of Linux and, as of March, Sun's chief operating systems officer. Though he wouldn't confirm the name of the project, Murdock - who's from Indiana - discussed the project's essence at the JavaOne conference here Monday, and Sun spokesman Russ Castronovo confirmed the name.
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Love/Hate
by ormandj on Wed 9th May 2007 23:53 UTC
ormandj
Member since:
2005-10-09

I love it, but I hate it.

Personally, I don't find Solaris's patch/package management system to be very "fun". It works, but it seems very dated. dpkg is a fairly nice tool, and debs are quite easy to work with.

I used to be one of the folks who complained about the old outdated packages available for Solaris - but now I've come to realize I much prefer building my own. I just like having nice tools to manage my packages, and I think debs (or some new version) would be a great successor to pkg* tools, in this regard. I hope they hit the patch management tools, too. Maybe kill two birds with one stone.

As to the userland, I'm not a big fan of the Solaris userland. I don't mind the difference in flags/etc too much (except for the build problems with software such as vlc.) I realize those issues are portability problems with the software itself, but face it - a lot of the industry is moving to GNU userland based OSs.

Now, what I would absolutely love to see happen in the Solaris userland is functionality added, even if it has different flags. For instance, I don't like having to shell script a recursive grep. Why can't I just grep -R? Various little niggles like this irritate me. That's not GNU-centric thought, it's "lack of commonly used functionality" irritation.

With ingenious tools like zfs/zfs cli tools in Solaris, I see no reason why the userland should be full of functionally lacking software. Obviously Sun is capable of producing it. If moving to a GNU userland will expedite adding in such functionality, I'm all for it. POSIX compatibility is nice and all - but face it - GNU userland is becoming the "standard", quite quickly.

Maybe Sun should investigate adding the POSIX functionality into the GNU toolchain, adding their optimizations from Studio 11 compilers/tools into the GNU compilers/tools, and then blending it into Solaris while tossing out the old cruft one by one. Then they'd have the best of both worlds. Quite a feat, but easier than starting from scratch.

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