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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As far as I can see...
by twenex on Tue 26th Jun 2007 13:55 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

...The only big flaws in the Solaris installation program that Phoronix pointed out were:

(a) You have only a limited amount of time to choose a non-console installation;

(b) The keyboard and timezone settings were more difficult than they need to be.

I agree that it's nice to have a map instead of having to drill down for a list for timezone settings, but OTOH that might be easier for people who don't have as much fluency with mice. How about investigating (at minimum) the possibility of being able to choose from a list of options using the mouse (via something like GPM, which may or may not be a "Linux thing")?

For me, the joint number one things that makes a decent installer (and here I'm going to controversially exclude the Ubuntu installer from that category) are: (a) The ability to customize; and (b) clear explanations of what you are doing. "Automated" installations like Windows' and Ubuntu's are fine if you have a stock configuration, but unless they hide a decent, well-explained, multi-choice installer they just end up being annoying.

Reply Score: 5

RE: As far as I can see...
by gpierce on Wed 27th Jun 2007 04:34 in reply to "As far as I can see..."
gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

There are other problems. The timezone issue is a non-issue. I think the article's author just stopped here because he decided to go no further in testing Solaris.

To me, the most surprising thing is that there is no prompt to create an ordinary user during installation.

There is an administrative tool, smf (?)--not sure about the exact name--that can be called from the root account once installation is complete which provides a GUI for establishing a regular user account, but why not establish one from the get go. Instead you have to log in as root, and then you open terminal which gives you access to zsh (not bash) and rummage about in man files or on the web to figure out how to create a regular account. I gave up about here and said f-- it, I can't see the benefit. Usually I persist out of sheer stubbornness, but not this time.

I may try it again when I am in a better frame of mind. I would like to hear other people's experiences, especially if you succeeded and on what kind of hardware.

Greg

Reply Parent Score: 2