Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Tue 19th Aug 2008 14:44 UTC, submitted by M-Saunders
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris How does OpenSolaris, Sun's effort to free its big-iron OS, fare from a Linux user's point of view? Is it merely a passable curiosity right now, or is it truly worth installing? Linux Format takes OpenSolaris for a test drive, examining the similarities and differences to a typical Linux distro.
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Try OpenSolaris on Linux!
by Quag7 on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 21:59 UTC
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NOTE: OpenSolaris installs in KVM for Linux users who would like to try it. As the author said, it's an easy install, not fundamentally different from an Ubuntu install - not a big time sink. I have it running here fairly well:

kvm \
-boot c \
-cdrom /mnt/local/virtualization/os200805.iso \
-m 1024 \
-std-vga \
-soundhw all \
-net nic,model=rtl8139 \
-net user,vlan=0,hostname=solaris \
-localtime \
-std-vga \


As for the "learning curve" issue, there's another angle, and the author of the article seems to share mine:

If you are, say, a Windows user, and one day decided, "I've had it - this sucks - ENOUGH!" and you're going to switch to a UNIXlike OS, especially for someone starting out, they're 6 of one, half dozen of another. You might as well try FreeBSD, or you might as well try OpenSolaris or you might as well try Ubuntu.

But if you are already a Linux user, the question becomes, what does OpenSolaris offer me that makes relearning things worth the time? If there is something specifically compelling about OpenSolaris that Linux doesn't have, it might well be worth it. But if it's just another "UNIX environment" for you, you have to wonder if it's worth the time.

In the time you spend to re-learn a lot of the basics, you could become a better Linux user. And I think this was the point of the author. This isn't OpenSolaris bashing. The same would be equally true in reverse - if someone was used to OpenSolaris and was considering switching to Linux. Solaris has documented positives, and if you need or want them, then yeah, there's going to be breaking some old habits because it's going to be worth your time to do so.

But personally, for me, I'm not going to use most of that stuff, so it's just not worth the time expenditure (theoretically, as I run it just because I enjoy mucking around with OSes for some godawful reason).

I will say that I think every Linux user should give FreeBSD a shot, because I think its package management is so compelling (ports AND packages), could be that Linux users don't even know they want this until they try it. I am a Gentoo user but I could be a FreeBSD user. The changes and re-imagining my configuration and environment would be worth it if Gentoo imploded.

Anyway all of the above can be disregarded, as the point is, Solaris and FreeBSD can be easily virtualized. I have both of them running in kvm (and OpenBSD, and NetBSD, and Plan9 in qemu) and why *not* try them? This is the first variant of either Solaris I've tried that felt "immediately usable" upon install. The environment will be very familiar.

I heard there's some turmoil over there and I haven't looked in a few weeks, but look at once you do for a repository which will provide many of the packages you're used to having available in Linux.

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