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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by Morgan on Tue 21st Jul 2009 01:11 UTC
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I wasn't impressed at all. Maybe it's because I expected so much given Sun's history, but I was very disappointed.

I will say that Gnome seemed somehow more uniform and cohesive than on any regular Linux distribution I've ever tried. That was the one and only good part of my experience though.

I ran it on a 2.2GHz system with 1GB of memory and a fast SATA drive. The video was onboard Nvidia 8100 on the board's PCI-E bus. You'd think this would be a great test system but it was slow on installation and boot relative to Slackware and Xubuntu (my two favorite distros). Once up and running, speed wasn't really an issue, and X and Gnome were very responsive. It felt like I was on a BSD system. The preinstalled proprietary Nvidia video driver was a nice touch.

However, neither my onboard nForce NIC, nor my Linksys wireless PCI card were detected. I scrounged up a 14-step process to enable ethernet using a custom driver and was able to get the OS to see the NIC, but I never was able to get an IP address or internet connection. Sound was hairy too; the mixer either failed to load, or loaded and showed no active devices. I could detect a faint sound but couldn't change the volume at all in the OS. I had to resort to using my speaker's volume knob and ended up with overdriven static.

It was at this point that I felt like I'd stepped into the past, to my Linux beginnings and Red Hat 6. Nearly nonexistent out of box driver support, and while the GUI was great, it was a nearly unusable system without network access. UNIX and its derivatives are network-centric operating systems, after all.

I had high hopes and I suppose that's a major part of my disappointment, but nothing can change the fact that it was a poor user experience for me.

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