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I'm not saying that Solaris is bad. I'm saying that it is very picky about hardware. I'm sure if you are very careful about the hardware you buy, and if installing Solaris is a priority, and you don't mind spending the money (and giving up some of the high end choices as well), then I'm sure you can get it to run on non-Sun x86 hardware. In this respect, it's probably not too much worse than Open Server 5. The thing is, I got tired of basing my hardware decisions on what the OS supports. It's a pain, and it's expensive. And that applies to corporate desktops, as well. You use the example of a $5 NIC card. That's a bit misleading. Solaris does not seem to support the high end, the low and, and much of the mid-range. Solaris advocates are quick to point out where Solaris is beyond other OSes, but God help anyone who points out its deficiencies.
As to helping the guy out, if you are then that's great. I'm not in a position to help him out since of all the OSes I have ever tried to install, Solaris is the one that has *never* worked.
Sorry if the truth hurts Solaris fans.
Oh, and as to desktop Solaris, Sunís executive vice president of software, John Loiacono, said just the other day that they are putting JDS on Linux on the back burner and will be pushing JDS on Solaris. (Which does probably mean "Solaris/Sparc server and SunRays. Some things never change.)
> ("So if I'm not able to get Solaris to install, it's Sun's fault, not mine.")
Wow. A Sun advocate just called me arrogant. Go figure. Let me rephrase then. The contortions and committment that are required to get Solaris installed on x86 hardware are greater than the perceived worth that Solaris has for me. Was that more diplomatic?
I'm sure that Solaris on the right hardware has great benefits (and costs as well) in some (dwindling number of) situations. It's just that for me and my clients, it makes no sense. We left the "bad old days" of having to base our decisions concerning hardware upon OS support considerations, rather than functionality and price, years ago. In that respect, Solaris on x86 is still very 1997.
I remember back in the 1990's, McNealy remarked (in that self assured, arrogant way that only he can quite get right) that Linux was where Solaris was 8 years ago. And he was actually kind of right. Well, it's 8 years later now, and it is simply a fact of life that in certain respects, Solaris/x86 is where Linux was 8 years ago.
I said it back then and I will say it now, Sun's decision to stop supporting Solaris x86 was going to hurt them for years, and it has. I do not see a lot of hardware vendors lining up to write drivers for Solaris x86. I don't see them doing so until Sun proves that they are going to stay with x86, which is a shame. And while Linux has the edge on hardware support, the enterprise level features I am looking for (such as Resource Controls) are simply not there.
Is my comment about the $5 NIC that misleading, I don't think so. I have read more than enough posts about people bitching about an OS (not just Solaris) not working with certain hardware. The vendors don't write HCL's for nothing, people just have to read and abide by them.
JDS has been on Solaris 10 since I believe Build 69 of the public Betas. And while I think it is a nice interface, it still consumes too much in the way of resouces for my taste. JDS ships on both x86 and SPARC Solaris 10 (including Express). For the most part I am not all that concerned about JDS, for work all I need is the ability to open multiple term windows (yes we use Sun Rays), so CDE does it for me.
I work with Solaris, RedHat Enterprise Linux, and Windows. For me Solaris is the best of the lot, it provides the features I want and need without having to use a lot of third party tools. But that is just my opinion.
OK. Truce. :-)
Your needs, and those of your clients, employer, whatever, are different than mine, and those of my clients, employer, whatever. Fair enough.
I should also say that I probably should not have used your comment about using Sparc hardware at home in my original post.
You mentioned resouce controls. I see your point there. It has not been a problem for me and my clients, but I can see where it could become one.
So, what things does Solaris provide you with that would require "third party tools" in Linux?
Also, do you think that Sun really means it this time? Or will they flip flop again and drop x86/x86_64? It's a fair question. Who knows what Sun is going to "announce" from day to day? (Though they do seem to be stabilizing, lately.)
And I must say, if I had a $5 NIC and my life depended on if "just working" the first time, I would have to choose Linux/FreeBSD/Windows/MacOSX over Solaris. (Couldn't resist that one. Sorry :-)