Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Jul 2009 19:16 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris The Linux desktop has come a long way. It's a fully usable, stable, and secure operating system that can be used quite easily by the masses. Not too long ago, Sun figured they could do the same by starting Project Indiana, which is supposed to deliver a complete distribution of OpenSolaris in a manner similar to GNU/Linux. After using the latest version for a while, I'm wondering: why?
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Comment by OddFox
by OddFox on Mon 20th Jul 2009 19:35 UTC
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I pretty much came to the same conclusions that you did the few times that I've gone and loaded up OpenSolaris or even Nexenta in VirtualBox, never had the cajones to actually install it to disk and see how much fun I have with that. The install process is painfully slow I noticed and the actual user experience is just so incredibly lacking. I like some of the look and feel in OpenSolaris but think it needs some TLC in a few areas, it just kinda feels bland and, I dunno, corporate? Application availability is understandably sparse as far as the repositories go, and that's something which is hard to fault the developers on because really, if you wanna have a respository as big as Debian, et al. then you need to have as team as big as they have. I can easily see OpenSolaris catching on with a certain crowd because it offers a neat feature set, though for a decidedly niche market at least for now. Your average desktop user does not need nor want something like ZFS, at least not until it becomes a little less resource hungry though I have no idea how they will manage that due to the inherent design of ZFS. Half a gig to 1 gig of memory for the filesystem is really asking quite a lot still of the average user. Dtrace is supposed to be great for developers but again, your average desktop user has absolutely zero need or desire for this.

Ultimately though driver support combined with a lack of performance optimization are the biggest barriers here. I didn't speak much about Nexenta by the way because when I tried it in my virtual machine I gave up after discovering the default install didn't put X and GNOME on, and the amount of effort it took for me to get just the desktop running was a big turn off for me.

Even with all of this said, though, I probably wouldn't mind any of the systems shortcomings as long as I could play my games. Wine is supposed to be working on OpenSolaris well enough to play World of Warcraft, for example. Now if only all my other games would run so happily under Wine...

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