Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 26th Jun 2007 11:50 UTC, submitted by Michael
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris "There's a problem with Solaris and Sun knows it. The installation experience of Solaris (along with other areas) could be greatly improved. The installer doesn't 'suck' as it's easy and known to Solaris administrators, but for a Linux or Windows user it could prove to be a bit challenging. For those of you that have never tried out Solaris, what we've decided to do is to show you this 'usability gap' with the installation process in Solaris compared to Linux. Is the experience really that bad?"
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useful ?....
by csousa on Tue 26th Jun 2007 12:26 UTC
Member since:

...I don't think so.

Solaris/Fedora is a devel of server OS, managed by sysadmins, then installation is not a issure.

To the public that this article is target there is a complete waste of time, sorry :-(

Reply Score: 5

RE: useful ?....
by jmansion on Tue 26th Jun 2007 13:40 in reply to "useful ?...."
jmansion Member since:

As someone who recently had a gripe about the installation experience of b64a, I disagree.

Sun presumably wants to increase the community of people who have tried Solaris, to avoid slipping further into the 'mindset mire' of UNIX==Linux in the perception of the masses.

To do this, they give us SXCE and SXDE to play with - but that's next to useless if you have to be an experienced Solaris admin to install the darn things.

As it happens, I tried b66 last night and it was much better on my setup than b64a, though it was slightly confusing in the way it initially presented disks and partitions that were already there. And I still needed to manually resize the slices to get a decent headroom in /. And the installation was slow.

It does need improvement, simply so that anyone with a spare partition can give it a go without having a negative first impression - which *will* count. Once its installed, its pretty nice after all, and shows off NetBeans/Studio/StarOffice well enough in a workstation setting.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: useful ?....
by gpierce on Tue 26th Jun 2007 16:08 in reply to "RE: useful ?...."
gpierce Member since:

Agreed. Sun is trying to find a wider a audience/user base for Solaris. Their installer is OK, but still very rudimentary. This may well be because their customer base has traditionally been UNIX users/administrators and likely previous customers who are well versed with their installer.

It may interest your readers to know that even their pre-installed Solaris can be problematic. I bought a Sun Ultra 40 (AMD) machine from Sun two months ago. First, upon turning on the machine, I get an error that no os was found. I check the bios and I realize it is set to boot from USB only. Then the installer hangs after a prompt for a hostname! This was on a machine with Solaris pre-installed! I have tried a number of Linux distros as well as 64-bit Vista and I am pretty sure it was not a hardware issue.

Solaris has a great reputation which is probably deserved, but for someone who is a mere tinkerer, it can be something of a challenge to install. Had I been more determined I probably could have succeeded, but other than the novelty of running Solaris I didn't know of any benefit for an ordinary user-hobbyist.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: useful ?....
by segedunum on Tue 26th Jun 2007 13:50 in reply to "useful ?...."
segedunum Member since:

Solaris/Fedora is a devel of server OS, managed by sysadmins, then installation is not a issure.

It is an issue. For a sys admin, with almost all Linux distributions, you can have it installed and configured as a server (with a full-on software RAID and/or LVM set up as well) in absolutely no time - better than Windows as well. A straightforward, quick and easy installation process saves time, effort and also reduces the risk of silly problems and mistakes.

This is a problem that Sun has had for some time. Even when they tried to peddle Network Computers and JavaStations on to people, it was quite clear they had no idea how to create a usable graphical system.

Edited 2007-06-26 13:51

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: useful ?....
by Duffman on Tue 26th Jun 2007 14:14 in reply to "useful ?...."
Duffman Member since:

I don't agree. A lot of work is done to make the unix systems more accessible even for small enterprise.

Just check the leitmotiv of Mac OS X Server: "Open Source made easy".
Linux distributions are more and more easy to install/maintain.
I mean, even AIX 6 will come with a graphical intallation in order to help people to install it.

The unix world is trying to conquer the windows server world on their lands: the ease of use.

When you talk with windows sysadmin/users, the main critisism is that Unix is to hard to maintain/install because of lack of graphical tools.
For a lot of people, once your unix system is installed with what you choosed/configured during installation, it is enough.

Those tools will help them for that.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: useful ?....
by Frobitz66 on Tue 26th Jun 2007 16:13 in reply to "useful ?...."
Frobitz66 Member since:

Interesting however, you missed a few critical distinctions.

First of all, there's the obvious question of intended audience. For the serious SysAdmin there are typically two ways on installing Solaris.
1) JumpStart - can't be beat once you know what kind of image you want. JumpStart is the norm in most enterprise Solaris installatons.
2) Text-mode installer - since you aren't always running on a headed system anytime you have to do an install and you can't use JumpStart, then text-only mode is your friend.

Now switch audiences and look at your developers and casual users. This is an audience that Sun REALLY wants to win back. For these folks you can fairly say that the graphical installer SUCKS. The Solaris development team knows it. Jonathan is keen to win back developers and he knows it.

Finally, as for comparisons, look at how Apple and Ubuntu have chosen to implement their installers. IMHO this is the way to go for the developer / casual user audience.

Anyway, my 2.


Reply Parent Score: 2