Home > Solaris > Solaris engineers offer personal source-code tours Solaris engineers offer personal source-code tours Eugenia Loli 2005-06-15 Solaris 27 Comments Sun Microsystems chose to employ the human touch when it introduced more than 5 million lines of Solaris source code onto the Internet on Tuesday. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 27 Comments 2005-06-15 3:38 am I really think Sun is doing a great job with the open source release of Solaris. I use Solaris at work, and it is truly one of the most stable and most powerful operating systems around. I use Linux exclusively at home, and am often surprised to see the animosity other Linux users have towards Sun. True, it’s mostly the 13 year old trolls who continue to bash it mindlessly, but it’s still a bit disconcerting to see this reaction to such a great thing. 2005-06-15 4:01 am I am glad sun opened their source. I agree that it is an amazing OS – especially w/ dtrace. Now if only IBM and HP would get on the ball… The next thing that these companies need to do is open source their compilers… HP’s C++ compiler is amazing, very fast, and very correct. Wouldn’t you love to see the source for Tru64, OpenVMS, AIX, and HPUX one day? I sure would! 2005-06-15 4:17 am I think its obvious Sun is serious about getting developers, I won’t be one of them though since I’m already happy with Linux; however, Sun’s effort still deserves some recognition. 2005-06-15 4:49 am As one of those engineers blogging about the source and various bugs and other things, I’d certainly be interested in hearing feedback on my entry and I think the other folks would certainly be interested in getting into conversatins about what they have written. There is an awful lot there, but please feel free to comment on any one of these entries. We are proud of teh code that we’ve worked on and are more than happy to talk about it. Alan. 2005-06-15 5:14 am I really appreciate Sun’s effort. Solaris is such an engineering feat and I am very happy about the news. I am curious though on how OpenSolaris development will happen. Will there be a core group? Who will decide the commits and the direction further development? Will Solaris and OpenSolaris grow into different codebases? I’d appreciate your responses… 2005-06-15 5:21 am Wouldn’t you love to see the source for Tru64, OpenVMS, AIX, and HPUX one day? I sure would! I wouldn’t care about HPUX/AIX, they’re just UNIX’s, slight differences here and there, but nothing radical. On the other hand, OpenVMS and Tru64 would be *GREAT* pieces of opensource under the CDDL. I’d have feeling if OpenVMS were opensourced, the first thing coders would do, would be to bring it to the x86 platfom same with tru64. 2005-06-15 5:37 am Many of these questions are being discussed in the forums on the website. The governance model is still under discussion by the Community Advisory Board (two Sun people, two non-Sun people and an appointed representative from the Genreal Open Source Community – you can also find out more about this group at http://www.opensolaris.org). Alan. 2005-06-15 6:12 am The only SPARC machine I ever used was an older model in a Lab at Georgia Tech. SO I can’t say I was uber impressed, just a command line interface for the utilities we were using it for. But some of the features it’s touting are particularly interesting to me, like the self-healing thing I hate it when stuff just mysteriously breaks, happens on Linux and windows. And hey if you can install any WM that X.org on linux supports; I’ll have to keep my eye on this one. But alas I just spent 4 hours getting FC4 and I have to play with that for a month or 2 before I think about changing up again. 2005-06-15 6:17 am I am not interested in being part of Sun’s unemployed, unpaid, beta-testers and developers, which I believe is what Sun thinks OpenSolaris will provide. I feel Sun is only out to exploit the Open Source community for marginalized and cheap labor. 2005-06-15 6:19 am Sun will do just about anything to lower the bottom line and compete with Dell, IBM, and HP. Though this is obviously there purpose. 2005-06-15 6:21 am I am wondering how you believe what Sun is doing differs from any of the other Open Sourced Operating Systems. As an engineer I am viewing teh open sourcing more as an empowering exercise, not as a grab for unpaid development. alan. 2005-06-15 6:32 am When you mention other Open Sourced Operating Systems, what operating system did you have in mind? As an engineer I am viewing teh open sourcing more as an empowering exercise, not as a grab for unpaid development. Yeah, but how does management and human resources view it? 2005-06-15 6:40 am Since Sun people do frequent osnews, I’ve got a question. What if OpenSolaris really takes off and Sun does not need as many programmers or testers and folks are fired? Just curious on your opinions, and ignore what management told you. 2005-06-15 6:45 am Folks really must think Sun has made a deal with the devil or something (yes I work for Sun). If that’s the way you feel about the opening of the source then by all means direct your time and enery elsewhere. Beleive me HR isn’t spending an once of time on this. As for reason why people might want to participate in the improvement of OpenSolaris: folks may actually want to learn how a modern OS is designed – from that they can have a foundation on how to do the next big thing that will blow past achievements out of the water. Some may want to fix things because they have an interest or a critical job to do. They benefit as does Sun or anyone else using OpenSolaris. I fail to see what the controversy is – if you don’t want to join the party no one is forcing you. But if you do join we welcome your valued input. 2005-06-15 6:54 am I’m not thinking of any of the other OS’s in particular. I was wondering how what it is that makes you view Open Solaris in this light specifically, as against pretty much any of the others. If Open Solaris takes off, wonderful. Sun still has a lot of talent that can be used to further progress the operating system. Sun is a company that thrives on innovation. The more folks working on Open Solaris, the better an OS we end up with. I’m not management, I’m not HR. Any views that I might hold on this topic are simply not relevant to this discussion. I have now worked for Sun for six years and I love the constant daily challeng that it presents me. I hope to be in it for the long run. Alan. 2005-06-15 6:54 am Will millions of lines of code released there won’t be a legion of developers that can make that kind of impact anytime soon. If OpenSolaris develops a lot of momentum my feeling is that current Sun engineering resources can be targeted at those areas we can’t fully address right now (which there are no shortage of things people have on their wish list to improve). Also we have other bits of software that need all sorts of improvements so resources could be redirected to those areas as well. In any case IMHO the bottomline is that OpenSolaris will have no impact on employment at Sun anytime soon – there are far bigger issues that will impact this issue. 2005-06-15 8:07 am Commercial companies make money from a lot of open source products. Just look at Red Hat, Novell, Trolltech and others. If a piece of software interests you, contributing to it will help you as well. 2005-06-15 8:44 am Even in Open Source. Not sure where you get off attacking any open source initiative, Adam, but the fact of the matter is they just made a rather LARGE contribution of code to the OSS community. Solaris has a lot of strengths and opening SOlaris is a great learning opportunity for all of the OSS community. Read the code, learn from it, implement the ideas you like, contribute back your own improvements, or just move long. Plenty of room for growth on all sides because its Open now. Likewise Redhat is doing the same thing, just because its not branded “linux” does nnot mean its Evil. Brand loyalty to that degree is just as dumb as Blind Nationalism. 2005-06-15 9:38 am I fail to see what the controversy is – if you don’t want to join the party no one is forcing you. But if you do join we welcome your valued input. I’d compared it to more like a neighbours hosting the local swingers get-together; everyone is quiet, the neighbour is ‘entertaining” his or her guests, but poor old neighbour thinks that he is being forced to get involved with something he doesn’t want. So instead of doing the mature thing, and sitting down, grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a magazine or watching television, he moans and groans to someone. I for one am interested, there is a ground already looking at porting it to the PowerPC/OpenPower platform, and hopefully if there is enough demand for it, SUN might just get behind it; imagine people running off to IBM to purchase POWER hardware and saying, “no, I don’t want AIX, SUN’s offering me Solaris” 2005-06-15 12:01 pm A swingers party?! What a interesting analogy. 2005-06-15 2:03 pm Cmon, you can do it with the JVM 2005-06-15 2:06 pm I for one am interested, there is a ground already looking at porting it to the PowerPC/OpenPower platform, and hopefully if there is enough demand for it, SUN might just get behind it; imagine people running off to IBM to purchase POWER hardware and saying, “no, I don’t want AIX, SUN’s offering me Solaris” Better still, imagine Sun PPC based hardware to run it on. How ’bout it, Sun? 2005-06-15 3:15 pm How do you think Redhat is doing the same thing? I do not think of Linux as a brand. 2005-06-15 3:53 pm Arakon: I agree with you 100% about being sick of mysteriously breaks in Windows and Linux. I moved 5 Linux Systems (brand new X86 hardware, built personally with the best hardware I could get) to Solaris 10. The Linux system ran great for months, but then they started randomly crashing. Basically I could ping the machine and the OS showed being up, but when I went to log on and put my username, it would never give me a password prompt. NO errors in ANY logs. I updated to latest builds (at that time), still nothing. I finally decided to rebuild the system, and instead of using another dist (like Slackware), I decided just to move to Solaris 10 and get rid of the X86 hardware. So now the system is Solaris 10 running 5 zones for each of the Linux systems. I also started using some old Sparc hardware (check Ebay), which also helps take out the mystery in problems, since the Sparc hardware does more probes of internal components. Does it work? Well just recently I had the system alert me of ECC memory errors, and gave me the memory module name. I looked up on the board which module that was, so I knew which was bad. I let it continue, and it got so bad it start crashing the kernel (it would reboot fine and run again for awhile). I went down and removed the memory module, and now everything works without problems. No mystery, easy fix. I never had this with X86/Linux/Windows systems. The only way to accomplish this type of fault tolerance with X86 hardware and software is to run clusters (grids), in a way where if one system goes bad, another picks up that is serving the same function. So now I use Solaris 10 on all my systems if I can help it (supported hardware). With Solaris 10, it is cheap (free download), support contracts cheap (cheaper then Redhat support contracts), and probably the most stable and mature OS’es I have used. Before Solaris 10, I used Linux for YEARS, but Solaris 10 was such a major jump over 8 and 9, that it was worth a look, and it delivers. I think being Open Source will only make things better. 2005-06-15 5:27 pm You may not think of Linux as a brand, but it is. Think of the questions you might ask about a computer. Does the PC run Windows or Unix? If Unix, does it run BSD, Linux, or Solaris? If BSD, does it run Free, Open, or NetBSD? If Linux, does it run Fedora, RedHat, Debian, …? If Solaris, is it running Solaris, OpenSolaris, Solaris Express, or SchilliX? While currently OpenSolaris is “based on” Solaris, over the next couple of years, that role is going to switch, with OpenSolaris being the root and Sun Solaris simply a distro. So, SchilliX (Joerg Schilling OpenSolaris distro) will be to Sun Solaris as Debian or Slackware is to RedHat. Both OpenSolaris core, but with perhaps different userlands, different packaging systems, etc. When Corporate America think Linux, they’re really thinking RedHat. When Corporate America thinks Solaris, they’ll think Sun, but the reality is there will be other options, just like there are other options to RedHat. However, just like RedHat, odds are software developers will only certify their software against the leading distros (such as Oracle is certified and will support RedHat, but not Debian, even though they’re both Linux). So, Linux is a brand name. While technically just a kernel, it is more than that to most people — it’s the common userland, common user experience, etc. 2005-06-15 7:02 pm “I for one am interested, there is a ground already looking at porting it to the PowerPC/OpenPower platform, and hopefully if there is enough demand for it, SUN might just get behind it; imagine people running off to IBM to purchase POWER hardware and saying, “no, I don’t want AIX, SUN’s offering me Solaris” ” Better still, imagine Sun PPC based hardware to run it on. How ’bout it, Sun? Don’t think thats going to happen anytime soon; imagine them finally acknowledging the most well known fact, their processors suck, and POWER beats them everytime? it would be a bitter pill for the SPARC fanboys in SUN to swallow – they *JUST* might have to actually put some effort into improving their product, *SHOCK!* *HORROR!* Right now their current UltraSPARC IV should have already moved over to SPARC64 cores running at 1.9Ghz per core; what we have now, however, is the something that boarders on rediculous when a sales rep expects someone to pay 1/2 million for a server, chocked full of processors, that can be beaten by an Opteron server loaded with 8 processors (16 cores) – no only scientific benchmarks but normal business applications too. 2005-06-16 3:39 am So, I know that Sun doesn’t like to admit it, but they used to make a product called the Ultra2 Anyhow, I’d love to be able to install Open Solaris on one of mine, but I have no CD drive. Every Solaris version up to Open Solaris has (as far as I can tell) required an existing install of Solaris in order to do a network install on a new computer. Is it possible to install OpenSolaris with tftp using a linux (gentoo) host? It looks like you actually need Solaris 10 installed to install OpenSolaris, but maybe I’m misreading things. Any help?