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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Opensolaris is just a kernel
by diegocg on Mon 20th Jul 2009 19:39 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

IMO, these days, on desktops apps is only what matters. It doesn't really matter that Solaris (or freebsd) are good or bad kernels (it doesn't even matter a lot if their filesystems are superfast or just fast, in the surface they are all pretty much POSIX filesystems, only their internal implementations differ), on the surface it's gnome/kde/xfce + openoffice + firefox + dbus + etc. Even in the server side, what matters is mysql + apache + etc. So yet another gnome/kde distro is not going to be succesful just because it has a different kernel. People doesn't really care, so they use the standard gnome/kde distros, which happen to be linux-based.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Opensolaris is just a kernel with dtrace and ZFS. Don't discount the usefulness of either of those, even if you are just running the Lamp stack. (Hint Filesystem performance is sorta really important for databases, as is the scheduler).


But, yes, having dtrace and ZFS(not in FUSE) available in a typical linux distro, would be better.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Opensolaris is just a kernel
by KevinM on Mon 20th Jul 2009 20:51 in reply to "Opensolaris is just a kernel"
KevinM Member since:
2005-07-08

"Opensolaris is just a kernel"


Well I would argue an operating system is just a kernel + drivers + (consistent) interfaces.

But you write as if that is a bad thing!? Weren't Microsoft (rightly) lambasted for suggesting a browser was part of their operating system And then a media player. And ...

OpenSolaris is certainly more than just a kernel, but the fact/problem is the kernel (+ZFS) is it's best bit! As Thom found out users care less and less about the kernel and more and more about the flashy effects and familiar desktop applications, which is Opensolaris worst bit!

FWIW on not so different hardware from Thom I can see no noticeable difference in performance between say openSUSE 10.3 and OpenSolaris. 2008.11 (it's dual boot) But it looks like I spent a bit more time than Thom on it, YMMV.

KM

Reply Parent Score: 2

binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

IMO, these days, on desktops apps is only what matters. It doesn't really matter that Solaris (or freebsd) are good or bad kernels (it doesn't even matter a lot if their filesystems are superfast or just fast, in the surface they are all pretty much POSIX filesystems, only their internal implementations differ), on the surface it's gnome/kde/xfce + openoffice + firefox + dbus + etc. Even in the server side, what matters is mysql + apache + etc. So yet another gnome/kde distro is not going to be succesful just because it has a different kernel. People doesn't really care, so they use the standard gnome/kde distros, which happen to be linux-based.



OpenSolaris is not just a kernel; unlike Linux.

OpenSolaris is a tightly-integrated operating system comprised of a kernel, drivers, system libraries, management frameworks, and other technologies.

For example, fault-management, the dtrace framework, zfs, and more are all examples of technologies that are part of the kernel, but also required changes to applications delivered with the OS to take advantage of them. So no, OpenSolaris not just a kernel.

Reply Parent Score: 6

diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

OpenSolaris is a tightly-integrated operating system comprised of a kernel, drivers, system libraries, management frameworks, and other technologies.

...which is a tiny portion of all the software installed in a common distro, and pretty much all desktop software doesn't really care about "management frameworks" (except everything about hardware management, which is abstracted properly in HAL/DeviceKit). They care about basic POSIX operations. In fact they don't even care about that, most of them can run/will run on Win32. The fact that many FOSS apps are so portable shows how irrelevant kernels have become - there is nothing on linux or solaris or any other kernel that "ties" the app to that specific kernel and makes impossible to port the app to other systems.

At the end of the day, what you have is the Firefox/Evolution/Nautilus/Openoffice GUI. Users press buttons and the apps do something. There is nothing special in kernels these days that make the buttons better, and they can't improve sucky aplications either. The last time I saw kernel changing something on the desktop was with the nautilus "snapshot" functionality that only works in ZFS systems - and that can be emulated with LVM and the corresponding NT equivalent...

Reply Parent Score: 2