Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Oct 2006 17:04 UTC, submitted by erast
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris The sixth development release of the OpenSolaris-based, desktop-oriented Nexenta OS has been released: "Nexenta OS Alpha 6 is now available. Release Highlights: Nexenta Zones - opens the possibility to create custom zones and pre-install with selected software; integrated BrandZ - allows running Linux userland; SVR4 packaging - to install native Solaris packages (missing drivers, etc.); OpenSolaris build 50, with numerous kernel fixes and features."
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My take (warning: long post)
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 19th Oct 2006 04:41 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

I tried Nexenta and it felt exactly like Ubuntu but without support for my printer, scanner, NTFS Windows drive, or 2D/3D acceleration from my old ATI card. Additionally, Wine does not work nearly as well on Nexenta as it does on Linux and FreeBSD using the same version let alone newer. Plus there isnt anything like Crossover or Cedega available.

While a certified Unix kernel with a stable driver ABI is no doubt intriguing, there really isnt much benefit when so few drivers are developed for it. I also think a stable ABI can impede improvement because of the need to sustain backwards compatability.

You think having a stable will encourage more vendors to create drivers for it? Better think again. Writing drivers is difficult on any platform. Vendors clearly wont divert resources into this unless there is enough demand. Period.

Besides open source drivers usually arnt affected by this unstable ABI because they can be accepted and maintained by hackers within the kernel tree. They would be included in every kernel release.

Despite the percieved lack of 1st class support for proprietary drivers, Linux is a kernel of greater innovation and supports more devices then all other Unix and Unix-like kernels.

Just look at whats happening in just a few point releases:

2.6.17 gained support for a large list of Broadcom wireless adapters.

2.6.18 has gained real-time extentions.

2.6.19 has gained code for the new ext4 filesystem.

Am I being overally cynical? I dont think so. I wish the Nexenta team good luck and I'll try every release to see how things are progressing. But I think the NexentaOS folks exaggerate to much about their technology being superior to Linux when it clearly is not true.

Edited 2006-10-19 04:43

Reply Score: 3

RE: My take (warning: long post)
by erast on Thu 19th Oct 2006 00:47 in reply to "My take (warning: long post)"
erast Member since:
2006-01-31

> You think having a stable will encourage more vendors
> to create drivers for it? Better think again. Writing
> drivers is difficult on any platform. Vendors clearly
> wont divert resources into this unless there is enough
> demand. Period.

NexentaOS using OpenSolaris core which is literally a core for Solaris and other OpenSolaris-based distributions. This means, any driver written for Solaris/OpenSolaris will happily work for NexentaOS.

> But I think the NexentaOS folks exaggerate to much
> about their technology being superior to Linux when
> it clearly is not true.

I don't think so. Linux needs major surgery and a lot of efforts before it will reach OpenSolaris design wise. While OpenSolaris needs to close the gap on Desktop and missing drivers, which is way easier goal to achive.

Reply Parent Score: 2

deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

Erast, I have tried Nexenta myself and think it is a very good effort and a very good OS. However, I still don't see the benefit. So far there is really nothing that could e.g. convince me to switch servers to (Open)Solaris. Debian scales well, is going to have OpenVZ support in Etch, has two very good journaling filesystems etc. Suits me just fine. zfs, zones and dtrace are great - but it's not enough to just add some great technical innovations

On the desktop Nexenta/Solaris is a good effort - not more, not less. There are just too many drivers missing. If that's so easy to work around, remains to be discussed. I honestly doubt it.

The community around Nexenta is very, very small - and the community around OpenSolaris is, well, just sufficient. It cannot be compared at all to e.g. Debian's or, on a broader base, Linux'.

"major surgery" is a bit over the top. Certainly, there are many things at the kernel level that are constantly being worked at at the kernel level. But then an enterprise customer normally has a Red Hat or SUSE enterprise edition from the start. And home users probably stick with Ubuntu 6.06 - not a bad choice.

Reply Parent Score: 1