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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personal impressions...
by kawazu on Tue 21st Jul 2009 14:30 UTC
kawazu
Member since:
2005-12-11

Been playing with OS ever since its first release on a developer notebook, though I overally like the platform, so far I yet have to find a reason to really use it in day to day life. Outline: I'm a Java developer, heavily using IDEs like NetBeans or Eclipse and app servers locally installed for testing purposes. Observations:

- Generally, in virtually everything I do OpenSolaris is considerably slower than a trimmed-down, optimized Xubuntu installment on the same hardware. I have yet to find why it is this way.

- Package management: IPS is a pretty good thing IMHO, but in terms of performance it is somewhat behind dpkg or rpm, and, worse: The "official" IPS repositories are somewhat limited compared to, say, Ubuntu universe, and adding blastwave packages seems to pull half the system (GNOME libaries?!) once more to some arcane location (/opt/csw?). Package naming is completely obscure, in most situations (SUNWwhatever - just try to find "the gimp" in IPS repo...).

- These issues aside, OpenSolaris is not really worse than Xubuntu, but, and this is what is important to me, it's also not "better", it doesn't unfortunately provide no real benefit in day-to-day use to consider using it in everyday work. Sure, it has an astounding set of features worth looking at (ZFS, DTrace, Zones, SMF, ...), but most of them (at least to me) seem completely meaningless on a desktop system. Eventually, Time Slider is the only "Solaris thing" on an otherwise pretty plain GNOME desktop, and exactly this is a feature so far I never needed (and if I actually did, I could go with TimeVault in Ubuntu having the same effect).

My bottom line is: OpenSolaris, as a desktop, needs to have more "desktop things specific to OpenSolaris" to be interesting. On the server, it surely does excel. On the desktop, there's IMHO no real need for it right now...

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