Home > Solaris > Solaris Express 7/2005 Released Solaris Express 7/2005 Released Submitted by Daniel Price 2005-07-22 Solaris 50 Comments Solaris Express 7/2005 (a.k.a. Nevada Build 17) was posted today, providing MESA support, observability enhancements, and roughly 500 bug fixes. You can obtain a free download. An overview of new features is also available. About The Author Adam Scheinberg Vice President, Information Technology at Massey Services, Inc • President, Board Member, The Mockingbird Foundation • All Things Web, Umphrey’s McGee • Web Developer • Father • Foodie • Music Snob • OS enthusiast Follow me on Twitter @sethadam1 50 Comments 2005-07-22 10:52 pm mario I just remembered: I am still using an Early Access build of Solaris 10, and it’s rock solid! bash-2.05b# cat /etc/release Solaris 10 s10_63 SPARC Copyright 2004 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Use is subject to license terms. Assembled 14 July 2004 It’s so damn stable (and very useful, at that) that I have 0 incentive to “upgrade” it to the release version. Hats off to the Sun engineers. 2005-07-22 11:22 pm orestes I could be wrong, but didn’t the Pre-Solaris 10 early access releases have the same 6-month entitlement clause in their license that the current SX releases do? 2005-07-23 5:51 am Robert Escue Build 63 is one of the public Beta releases, I don’t know if you can patch it or not but it was a solid build. 2005-07-22 10:55 pm I’m running b15 right now on one of my boxes, is it possible to upgrade without downloading all the ISOs? 2005-07-22 11:01 pm binarycrusader … is it possible to upgrade without downloading all the ISOs? No. 2005-07-22 11:06 pm Is Solaris/JDS going to be positioned as a general-purpose end-user desktop, and if so, then when is it going to have proper GUI configuration and accessibility of all relevant parts of the system???????? 2005-07-22 11:25 pm JrezIN It’s moving fast, and it’s a good thing for any os! It’s good to have another alternative. I hope OpenSolaris catch up with linux in hardware support soon (well, not talking about every platform, just x86 and drivers for common hardware). Does anyone knows about plans to release distros using OpenSolaris? Because it could be very useful for end-user desktop systems, besides servers too! 2005-07-23 1:00 am I can honestly say that I have tried to give Solaris 10 a fair chance as being a desktop ‘replacement’ for me but have eventually decided it is trying to be something it is not. I have downloaded 10 release, and two Nevada builds now only to realize that Sun is way behind and has a large climb uphill before they can be taken serious on the desktop. Seems like Solaris is in the spot Linux was seven years ago. I downloaded the Release version when it was officially released and installed it on my work PC. Not bad actually. I like JDS better than any other gui for X (besides OSX obviously). Very polished and clean. But the release is moving too slow with upgrades. With all the bug fixes and such that have been in the nevada builds there should have been some sort of stable “SP1” by now instead of hunting down the confusing patches they put out for the release version. I had trouble with a USB keychain as well and other annoyances I removed it. So I downloaded a Nevada Build (13 at the time) and wasted 4 cd’s on that. I had so much trouble with the install on two different PC’s I gave up. It wouldn’t even install on the same PC I had Release on. It would finish with package errors and I knew somethings were broken most likely because of it. As expected somethings didn’t load (OpenOffice) and on the other PC it wouldn’t even boot (I am keen enough to make sure hardware compliant and use pretty much standard hardware PC’s). I laughed the Nevada builds at the time as serious Beta for Solaris diehards only and moved on. Maybe thinking I will give it a try again when the Release is updated only. So I started to poke around the Linux world (I had been on BSD kick) and decided to download Fedora to see how that is coming along. I haven’t used Linux as a desktop for five years now and now decided to give the key player a try. I wiped my work PC and installed Fedora Core 4. I liked how you could specify what type of install this was going to be and then custimize from there, instead of the kitchen sink method of Solaris and then trying to uncheck unneeded stuff only to get dpendancy messages that explain nothing of what the components do. I installed Fedora as a workstation and it came up first time on the same PC that Solaris has failed on repeatedly (a Compaq/HP Deskpro Evo D530). I was mightily impressed with Fedora and could easily see it being a windows replacement. I had it updated to current stuff in a few checks and was cruising along doing my network admin job fine with Fedora. I read about problems with Fedora and how it was “bleeding edge” and all but I never felt it once. Maybe with some time RPM hell might have cropped up but I had it good for months. Only thing was couldn’t connect to Exchange server and had to use company webmail. So last Nevada build (15 or 16 I think) two weeks ago I decided again to give Solaris a fair try. Downloaded the 4 cd’s and went to install on the Evo (different HD) to see if I could once again move away from Windows/BSD/Linux and have a polished unix desktop replacement from a commercial vendor and with the history of Solaris. Installed entire distro (was sick of Solaris install process by now and just decided “All of it” hoping that everything would work if maybe I didn’t mess with the dependancies). First boot it crashes at X. All that time and it didn’t come up. Came home to try it on an old standard hardware (intel/intel graphics/1gb RAM). Installed and then at first boot crashes RIGHT at load about 10 seconds in. Tried a THIRD PC and the install crashes after answering the first set of 10 questions or so (network stuff, etc). Then tried Text install on same PC and nothing changed as it crashed again. So THEN I decide to try my Work PC again. THIS time installed fine and booted up and had JDS and everything. Was anxious to try the Sun Update but that didn’t work. Put my USB keychain in and it appeared on my desktop. “Yeah”, I thought. Couldn’t delete one of the files on my keychain. Then went to open a word doc and OpenOffice would not open. So I tried to open OO directly to then file/open the doc, nope. OO would not open. So then I go to browse the web. Browsing, browsing fine. UNTIL I hit a page with a animated GIF and then the screen slows to mollasses. My mouse jitters all over the place. All for an animated GIF. I close browser to install RDesktop to maybe do some Win server admin work. I download from Blastwave and install it. Type in “rdesktop” in terminal and some freaking library is missing. Do a search and the library is ON the harddrive (installed by default) but apparently not in the place that the “package” was expecting it to be. I GIVE UP. FORMAT… Back to my Windows XP SP2 Harddrive in my Evo and have been more productive in the last two days since I did that then all the time combined looking at Solaris since 10 was released including the Nevada builds. Fedora has much promise and that should be Sun’s inspiration as I could easily have stayed with it and gotten work done but for some reason I still can’t swallow using linux. I feel like it is a huge hack, despite how polished as some very bright people have made it. I really tend to agree with all the things in the Unix Haters Handbook in regards to Unix on the desktop. No way. Only for microsoft haters, hardcore geeks who thrive on the challenge then post screenshots of their e17/windowmaker/gnome/kde machine that took weeks to assemble, or maybe light duty users like mom with no needs outside email/web and some music. I am saddened by this movement really as had the momentum NOT shifted to trying to force square peg into round hole (unix on desktop) there maybe could have been a very viable modern/clean slate competitor by now (ala BeOS). But of course everyone is so interested in FREE that they happened to overlook small price for bigger promise. eE 2005-07-23 1:16 am orestes That’s all well and good, but at what point in time has Sun shown even the slightest inclination to target the non-technical desktop? To Sun, like most *nix vendors, the typical Windows “Joe User” types are non-coms. They aren’t even a blip on the proverbial radar. 2005-07-23 1:45 am Thanks for the essay. Do you think you could be using your time more effectively than jumping from one distro to another trying to find the magical OS that meets your every need. As in life, technology is about trade-offs and compromise. Pick a distro and stick with it. You’ll be happier and spend your new found extra time outside. 2005-07-23 3:17 am Thats why i picked Windows and sticking to it. I don’t have to waste my time on OS installation or making sound or video work. Windows is the right choice baby..ahaan ahaan Still i am going to try Solaris soon because it was my favourite OS like 4 years back until i started using XP and changed from windows hater to windows fan. 2005-07-23 7:28 am why don’t these people just build their own distros if they are so dissatisfied with everything else? 2005-07-23 4:13 am Robert Escue First you don’t need to burn 4 cd’s to install Solaris (whether it be Solaris 8, 9, 10, or Express). Download the iso’s and burn the first cd. Install Solaris using cd 1 then copy the other iso’s to the machine and use lofiadm to mount the iso’s as a file system and install the other cd’s from there (man lofiadm). Second, you have Solaris Express and Solaris 10 GA confused, if you want patches and stability you use Solaris 10 GA. If you want “bleeding edge” features and minimal support you use Solaris Express. Consider Solaris Express like Fedora Core without the patch support. What bothers me about your post is that nothing ever works? So why did smpatch fail, why did X fail? Did you look in /var/adm/messages and /var/dt/Xerrors (for the X related stuff)? When you installed rdesktop from Blastwave, did you download the required packages (CSWcommon, CSWiconv, and CSWossl)? I think if you actually gave Solaris a shot you would find it very nice to work with as opposed to what I read here as “I tried it and it didn’t work”. What are you going to do when Fedora Core doesn’t work? 2005-07-23 11:27 am segedunum First you don’t need to burn 4 cd’s to install Solaris (whether it be Solaris 8, 9, 10, or Express). Download the iso’s and burn the first cd. Install Solaris using cd 1 then copy the other iso’s to the machine and use lofiadm to mount the iso’s as a file system and install the other cd’s from there (man lofiadm). Oh dear. You’re going to get exactly the same reaction that Linux got for this sort of thing many, many years ago. It’s only an installation procedure. Second, you have Solaris Express and Solaris 10 GA confused, if you want patches and stability you use Solaris 10 GA. If you want “bleeding edge” features and minimal support you use Solaris Express. And of course those names are really meaningful, and let you know exactly what to expect. Besides, from what he/she was saying none of these worked. What bothers me about your post is that nothing ever works? So why did smpatch fail, why did X fail? Did you look in /var/adm/messages and /var/dt/Xerrors (for the X related stuff)? When you installed rdesktop from Blastwave, did you download the required packages (CSWcommon, CSWiconv, and CSWossl)? Again, you’re going to get exactly the same reaction Linux has got for this. No one knows why smpatch or X failed, and no one is going to look in their messages and error files. He’s only trying to boot it up! And no one should ever have to download required packages manually before installing. 2005-07-23 4:15 pm binarycrusader And of course those names are really meaningful, and let you know exactly what to expect. Besides, from what he/she was saying none of these worked. It doesn’t matter if the names are meaningful. When you go to download express, the download page makes it *very* clear that you’re downloading beta software and that if you want stable supported software you should go download the GA release of Solaris. 2005-07-23 4:21 am “I like JDS better than any other gui for X (besides OSX obviously).” OSX’s GUI does not run on top of X Window System. Aqua is its own Window System. http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~marcosh/iraf/macx11.html 2005-07-23 7:19 am kaiwai The problem you’re having, that alot of people have with UNIX/Linux, after being a Windows user since year dot – UNIX/Linux is a completely different beast. They’re different, because when designed, they had different goals in mind. The fact remains, you need to get out of the Windows mindset, remove any references to Windows or MacOS X you may have in your mind, and read everything you can get your hands onto about the chosen distribution of Solaris you wish to give a go. Solaris IS in heavy development now, Solaris 10 was the first release to come back with x86 being a semi-first class citizen; Solaris 11 will be a huge leap ahead of what we have seen today; what will hold it back, like linux, will be when hardware vendors drag their feet, but mind you, good quality vendors won’t. Like I say to my ‘fellow geeks’, reward those companies who support your chosen operating system but purchasing their products; if you have Windows and Linux, go with the vendor that supports both – send a clear message to those vendors who purchase 1/2 baked products with crappy hardware support – your products aren’t wanted, and we’re prepared to pay more for a product that supports our operating system of choice. 2005-07-23 7:29 am one must ask the question to poor med students…. will we all band together and spend more money to support certain companies? 2005-07-23 10:32 am kaiwai If enough people get together, and speak with once voice, things can change. 2005-07-23 11:32 am segedunum The problem you’re having, that alot of people have with UNIX/Linux, after being a Windows user since year dot – UNIX/Linux is a completely different beast. They’re different, because when designed, they had different goals in mind. You’re either a desktop or you’re not – there are no shades of grey, and that’s something I never thought Sun would understand. It’s Sun that needs to understand what is actually required of a desktop system. Linux has been through this over the past seven years or so, and is still going through it. Most of what he’s described should never happen anyway, and he should never need to do the things he needs to do, so your comments are a cop-out basically. 2005-07-23 4:26 pm binarycrusader You’re either a desktop or you’re not – there are no shades of grey, and that’s something I never thought Sun would understand. Bzzzt. Wrong. Novell, RedHat, and SUN have all said they’re after the corporate desktop at one time or another and feel like they are a corporate desktop. Who’s a person to believe, three billions that rake in tons of cash every year or an armchair critic? Hrm… 2005-07-23 7:27 am wow, i must dismiss all your comments as it’s all biased toward linux. Gee How useful it was for me! 2005-07-23 10:38 am Emil ,,on the challenge then post screenshots of their e17/windowmaker/gnome/kde machine that took weeks to assemble” Umm. Weeks to assemble? I’d call it bullsh*t. Kubuntu installation process used to take 20-50 min. After that you have fully working KDE env. Ubuntu/Gnome takes same amount of time. I bet I could build LFS in shorter time span than ,,weeks”. I’m so tired of Linux/Solaris/Zeta/Whatever is not ready for desktop. Guess what. It is ready to be desktop for x number of people. The Y number of people, who dislike it on desktop, are free to use something else. For me, XP is not desktop ready, because it not meet my work req. Should I go and brag about it? Naaa, I prefer to stick to my evn. and do my job. 2005-07-23 11:15 am segedunum That’s all well and good, but at what point in time has Sun shown even the slightest inclination to target the non-technical desktop? Because people in companies (shock, horror) actually have to do some administration with their desktops. They can’t have the amount of work it takes to install Solaris, nor the things that have actually gone wrong with it. Of course, the natural reaction of Sun is for you to call in a Sun engineer, but I’m afraid they’ll find that people simply won’t do that for desktops, and they’re increasingly not doing it for servers either. It’s become clear over the years that Sun makes their stuff less than perfect to install and administer, and less than intuitive, so that people have ended up calling out their Sun engineer and paying for all the paraphenalia that comes with it. Those days are over. 2005-07-23 4:00 pm orestes Nice reply, but I fail to ssee it’s relation to the question I posed. I’ll ask again. When has Sun ever shown interest in marketing to the non-technical (i.e. Joe User) desktop? 2005-07-23 4:12 pm unoengborg To some extent I agree with you. Solaris is not ready for the desktop. At least not if we talk about mixed environments with windows involved. The problem is Gnome 2.6 that doesn’t interoperate well with windows file servers. For such environment a modern Linux distro like Fedora Core 4 would work much better. It is also much better at recognizing common hardware windows users frequently use such as USB memory, digital cameras etc. If you have a Solaris only environment then Solaris 10 should be OK. If you think Linux is a hack and have problems with that, why select a bleading edge distro like FC4. Sues 9.3 runs the same versions of Gnome and many other applications but compiles them with an earlier version of gcc. This means that you avoid some bleading edge gcc 4.0 bugs. 2005-07-24 3:56 am you suck. 2005-07-24 3:59 am Just because you don’t know how to use something doesn’t mean it’s bad. If you knew how to properly install and configure Solaris you would have had exactly ZERO of the problems you bitched about. Grow up. 2005-07-24 1:49 pm segedunum Just because you don’t know how to use something doesn’t mean it’s bad. If he installs it, and he’s been able to install comparable Linux and Open BSD systems, and it then blows up for no apparent reason then that does not mean that he doesn’t know how to use it. That’s just a sad cop-out. If you knew how to properly install and configure Solaris you would have had exactly ZERO of the problems you bitched about. Grow up. If he’s managed to successfully install Linux and Open BSD systems and cannot install Solaris then you can quite simply forget about Solaris, open or otherwise. I suggest you grow up yourself. 2005-07-24 3:55 pm Ahhh, Sun Worshippers and their “works for me” attitude toward QA. Just because it works for you on your hardware does not make you ‘leet’. (Sorry to be the one to break it to you.) Solaris simply does not install on a lot of hardware that is perfectly well supported by many other OSes. I’ve worked with various Unixes since 1988 and know my way around Minix, Xenix (286 and 386), AT&T Unix ‘386, AT&T 3B2 Unix, SCO Unix, SCO Openserver 5, Unixware, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and various Linuxes. So if I’m not able to get Solaris to install, it’s Sun’s fault, not mine. Each time I have tried to install, it has been to get to know the advantages and disadvantages of Solaris. And in a way, I’ve gotten my answer, at least in part. Solaris has terrible hardware support. (See the comment from the guy that goes out and buys Sparc hardware to run it at home! Why am I not surprised?) It’s incredible that Sun is now planning on de-emphasizing JDS on Linux and pushing Solaris as a desktop OS, though I’m sure it will have great entertainment value. I predict that they will have changed their minds about that by the middle of next week. And while I’m not one to bitch about Sun’s choice of CDDL for OpenSolaris, since it is, after all, their business and their prerogative, it is an unfortunate consequence that they will not be able to benefit from Linux’s relative wealth of device support. Se la vie, I guess. That said, I’m sure that Solaris is great on Sun’s hardware. Though it does make Solaris Express look a bit like a bait and switch ploy. 2005-07-24 4:10 pm > Se la vie, I guess. Oops. That’s “C’est”. 😉 2005-07-24 5:22 pm Robert Escue The reason why I have SPARC hardware is because of the decision by Sun (at that time) to drop x86, I moved to SPARC hardware then so I could contine to learn Solaris and experiment since the last few places I worked at did not believe in test environments. It is hard to play with Dynamic Reconfiguration on an x86 machine since no x86 machine supports DR with Solaris. Also, Solaris x86 prior to 10 did not support Fibre Channel, so the only choice is SPARC. I have in addition to the two SPARCs two x86 boxes both running a different release of Solaris Express. Once Sun decided to support Solaris x86 again, I purchased the appropriate hardware to run Solaris on. Many of the problems I have read about here (and other places) is the result of people thinking that Solaris=Linux (which it isn’t) and thinking that they could run Solaris on their “computer show” hardware. Yes the hardware support is limited, and it has been for years. Just because Solaris does not support the $5.00 NIC somebody purchased doesn’t make it bad. Considering that I have been using Solaris Express since its initial release on both SPARC and Intel hardware with no issues says something about the choices I made in purchasing x86 hardware. I purchased what I knew to be supported by Solaris and didn’t try to “force fit” incompatible hardware. Sun is not pushing for a “Joe Sixpack” desktop, they are providing the tools for setting up a corporate desktop under JDS. I don’t even know where people are coming up with this nonsense, I have not read a single thing from Sun saying that they are trying to produce a desktop OS. I am about the only poster here who is actually trying to help the guy with his installation woes, provided he can give me (or anyone else) more information than “it doesn’t work”. So if you have so much experience, why aren’t you posting something that might help people out, oh yeah that’s right if it doesn’t work for you it’s Sun’s fault (“So if I’m not able to get Solaris to install, it’s Sun’s fault, not mine.”) How arrogant. 2005-07-24 6:11 pm sbergman27 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, Sun’s 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. 2005-07-24 6:54 pm Robert Escue 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. 2005-07-24 7:19 pm sbergman27 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 🙂 -Steve Bergman 2005-07-24 7:42 pm Robert Escue Try system accounting, some people have said that my desire to montitor system performance “is not that important” when I compare Solaris and Linux. With system accounting on Solaris in addition to sar, I can nail down a number of performance issues without a great deal of heartache. The accounting tools that comes with RHEL suck, all they do is give me more kernel stats which is not what I want. I have also been told to “monitor application performance through the application”, well I don’t necessarily want to turn on application performance tools for a number of applications unless I can nail down the application causing the problem. System accounting gives me CPU and memory stats for all of the applications on a Solaris machine, in daily and monthly reports. Very nice! I am looking at the possibility of reducing the number of webfarm machines we have from 11 to 2 through Zones and Containers, so gathering as much info as possible is good. Easier to “sell it” to management that way. As far as Sun’s direction with x86/x86-64 goes, well they are producing hardware so I would hope they are going to stick with it. We have 10 V20z’s at work and they are fast (it’s also nice to work at a place with deep pockets)! 2005-07-24 8:29 pm sbergman27 Yes, when I transitioned from commercial Unixes to Linux, system accounting was a definite regression. vmstat and top do not hold a candle to sar. It is odd that RHEL/Centos/Fedora do not include sar, as our friends at Old SCO open-sourced it years ago. I do use it at a couple of sites, and it is indeed a pain to have to go out, find, compile, and install it. I would no doubt make more use of sar if there were an “always on sar-tone” included. I just checked, and even the Dag repository does not include it. (BTW, do Solaris admins still have to install the GNU tools seperately?) I won’t comment on zones and containers. They sound nice, but I am not familiar enough to make an informed comment, so I won’t. 🙂 I tend to agree with you on Sun sticking with x86/x86_64. As long as they are looking at what is best for Sun, and not putting too much emphasis on their own pride. (And you have to admit, Sun has enough for 10 normal companies.) They really don’t have a choice, do they? They did years ago. But for Sparc, “the haggis is in the fire for sure”, now. And on a more humorous note: Deep pockets? What are those?! I’ve never had an employer or client with deep pockets. Making do with what’s available brings its own rewards, though. One of my current, low priority projects is implementing a web server as a public demo of a time accounting package I wrote. It’s a 233 Mhz pentium MMX with 128 MB of RAM. Hey, it’s what was easily available, and it performs *surprisingly* well, once tuned. And Centos 4 installed without a hitch. Should I try that with Solaris Express? 🙂 2005-07-24 9:51 pm Robert Escue RedHat has sar (through sysstat(http://perso.wanadoo.fr/sebastien.godard/)) which I am using, but it does not provide anything like this: TOTAL COMMAND SUMMARY COMMAND NUMBER TOTAL TOTAL TOTAL MEAN MEAN HOG CHARS BLOCKS NAME CMDS KCOREMIN CPU-MIN REAL-MIN SIZE-K CPU-MIN FACTOR TRNSFD READ TOTALS 49302 5027154.00 1753.30 54646.70 2867.25 0.04 0.03 2489534976 7764293 java 8 2725386.50 321.09 2910.70 8487.88 40.14 0.11 2472709120 7410149 httpd 724 2025181.25 1389.38 51367.43 1457.61 1.92 0.03 1740732032 180676 bpbkar 1 261226.50 33.52 84.68 7793.77 33.52 0.40 -1864368128 168832 This is part of the daily system accounting report from one of the webfarm machines at work, system accounting rules! On GNU tools, if you perform a Full Distribution installation of either Solaris 10 or Express you get GCC, gmake and most of the GNU tool chain, just look in /usr/sfw. One of the Sun SSE’s that does work for us calls us her “bleeding edge” site because of all the gear we have. This includes 3 SunFire 4800’s (one is still in the crate). We joke about getting a couple of 25K’s to run our web portal. Sun’s corporate “ego” I think has nothing on Larry Ellison of Oracle, that’s my observation based on interviews with him. Install Solaris Express on a Pentium 233 MMX, that could be painful (provided it is still supported)!! 2005-07-24 11:08 pm sbergman27 So that’s what they are calling sar these days. Thanks for the info. Also, good to hear that GNU tools are now included. I’d put Scott and Larry about equal on ego. But Scott is definitely more likable. And I do actually have a sneaking admiration for the guy. When the other commercial Unix vendors (and Oracle, as well) were hedging their bets with Windows (as they all still are doing), Scott believed in Unix and stood by his principles. I respect that. If Solaris won’t install on a P233 MMX, I think I can forgive it for that at least. It’s not like I work with them every day. But the occasional retro project can be fun. I did run into a post earlier today that suggested that recent Solaris Express releases incorporate some important changes to the way pnp bioses are handled, which avert some common early installation difficulties. Maybe I can now get it to install on something around here? 2005-07-24 11:43 pm Robert Escue Scott’s comment about IBM’s Regatta server, their equivalent to a SunFire (he called it “regretta”) was pretty good. I spent about 14 months working with IBM pSeries hardware and AIX, interesting stuff. You gotta love those crazy eights though (IBM hardware error code)! Solaris might run on a 233 MMX machine, I haven’t had one in years so I couldn’t say. The slowest thing I run Solaris Express x86 on is my dual PIII rig. I can attest to the code changes for PnP, my other x86 system uses an Asus motherboard that every time I shut it down, would not shut off. My dual rig uses a SuperMicro board and it works no problem. With the recent Solaris Express builds, the Asus system shuts right off. Let me leave you with a little humor about where I work, I can’t go into too much because I would probably be fired. We just stood up this web “portal” which was supposed to be the “solution” to a bunch of usability issues. Well the powers that be were bouncing around trying to figure out how much disk space users should have. You might want to sit down before you read the next line because this falls into the “WTFO” category. The number they came up with is 100 GB per user, that’s right 100 gigabytes for over 4,000 users for home directory space!!! We immediately lost it (this is where the SunFire 25K’s came into the picture) and we were asked to get the cost of this. I roughly figured $30,000,000.00 without the second SAN to back up the primary to disk before we went to tape! Have a good one! 2005-07-25 2:04 am sbergman27 What’s a gigabyte? And why would anyone need 100 of them? I’m still gettin’ used to these new-fangled megabyte thingies. 😉 And on a more serious note, thanks again for the sysstat reference. You know, you could have mentioned DTrace and blown me completely away. ;-0 You have a good one, too! 2005-07-23 9:03 am I really want to get the point across that I am not *biased* toward Linux at all even though it may seem in my original post. I am very objective when I try an OS outside of MS. I am a very competent and knowledgable with computers since the DOS days and probably have more experience than probably 95% of the others in here. I also am very patient and willing to learn as well as put time in to be sure I give a fair shake when I try another OS. Of all the Unix’s I have tried the BSD’s (Dragonfly and FreeBSD) are still my favorite for serving duties and such. So let me say that when *I* decide to try an OS it isn’t a typical Windows noob user install and then frustratingly give up. I was just trying to point out in the little space I have for a post (way too long as it is) my experiences with Solaris 10 on the PC Desktop. Of course they aren’t trying to go after home Windows users or maybe even Fedora (yeah right). But if you notice my attemtps have been as a corporate desktop replacement which SURELY Sun has they eyes set on judging from their marketing and obvious inclusions and such (gnome, etc). Solaris failed at that attempt numerous times in not only literally but subjectively. Maybe with some more Solaris experience I COULD get it to a point of really liking it. But the effort seemed to daunting for me in its infancy. I will download latest NV build (doing currently) and will try it again. I know they are more bleeding edge but so is Fedora compared to their “releases” and Fedora seems night and day ahead in terms polish for usability as a corporate desktop replacement. Installed first attempt onto the Evo. I also didn’t have to relearn the GUI concept either as it seemed very Windows-Like in its functionality. Which is GOOD if you ask me since 95% of the worlds computer users know it. Solaris on the corporate desktop has promise. I really DO like JDS. I sometimes can’t beleive it is Solaris underneath it. Now with the bugs and kinks worked out plus better hardware support Solaris could give linux a run on the corporate desktop (home desk is WAY off yet). Maybe even surpase the forked mess of Linux. I look forward to Solaris 11 as they are making great strides fast and it should be way better. In the meantime off I go to mess with new Nevada. *My home PC’s has only come into play when I couldn’t install Solaris onto two different PC’s at work (Windows will NEVER be replaced at home for me for as far as I can see). *To the post critisising what *I* do with MY time and what give ME enjoyment, buzz off. And continue to go watch TV and post meaningless drivel on the Net. eE 2005-07-23 9:18 am I totally agree with you. Anyway,I prefer to have a user point of view before downloading the thing and waste my time. 2005-07-23 1:01 pm Robert Escue It all depends on what you expect out of a desktop, for the most part Solaris can do what I need of it from a user or system adminstrator except play games. Every operating system has its quirks and Solaris is no different. And while Solaris might not match Linux, Windows or MacOS X in certain desktop features, there are things it can do that the other operating systems I just mentioned wished they could do. For resources you might want to consider the following: http://docs.sun.com http://blogs.sun.com http://sysunconfig.net/unixtips/solaris.html comp.unix.solaris alt.solaris.x86 2005-07-23 5:36 pm First off yes I do work for Sun. With that out of the way as I’ve mentioned before I strongly suggest anyone new to installing Solaris for x86/x64 start with Nevada build 14 or later. The new boot architecture (ACPI, Grub, etc.) gives Solaris a modern plug n play foundation which it didn’t have before (refer to Casper Dik’s blog entry – http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/casper?entry=the_end_of_realmode_b…). The lack of this in 10 GA or earlier Nevada build is the cause of numerous installation problems. If you didn’t disable PnP support or USB legacy FDD/keyboard/mouse support chances are high the installation will choke early. In fact with the new foundation you definitely want to have PnP enabled so avoid problems. In general with the new bits installation is a easier process plus there are a host of little things that make life easier (i.e. better support for USB memory sticks, nVidia drivers, etc.). You’re going to see power management for laptops, wireless drivers, better removeable disk volume management over the next few months and things will get even better (I have access to these things already – see my blog at http://blogs.sun.com/curtaintime for screenshots). I’ll post my detailed notes for installing Nevada on my Toshiba Tecra M2 soon so that should give folks a good starting point for getting the latest Soalris bits up and running. 2005-07-23 10:52 pm why do the express releases not have a dvd iso fo donwload? they ask the question as part of their survey but surely its not that hard to make a dvd iso image and add it to their download servers? they asked the question the last few times? why? i want to reply: “why ask – just do it – is it that hard?”. while they’re at it – get intelligent – use bittorrent – the number of times i’ve had to restart a half complete download is painful. 2005-07-23 11:11 pm Real quick follow-up. I downloaded the latest Nevada Build (17) to try again and since I am not at work for the weekend to try again on my work PC as a “Corporate desktop” I decided to load it on my spare PC at home. The one that has been used as a guinea pig for this sort of thing and is basically very standard older hardware (Intel motherboard, chip, ATI Rage, 1GB RAM, Intel NIC). The install went through with the first CD and upon reboot to continue the install after the first CD is loaded Solaris crashes (again) right at boot up. It happens so fast but I do get to see “failed”. It happens right after the SunOS 11 NV_17 text message. Maybe I will post to a message board to get some help in helping Sun team out with why this is happened but I sort of have no interest, So once again, Never had a problem with this testbed PC for ANY other OS I have tried over the past 5 years except for Solaris 10 Xpress. But Sol10 GA loads and runs fine on it but not interested. Solaris is now going on the backburner until maybe GA 11 or later. Maybe Looking Glass will be default by then… eE 2005-07-23 11:52 pm I’ll just add my experience here. It’s been a while since I have tried to install Solaris, but I have tried on 3 different machines in the past. (Both the OS versions and the equipment were from various time periods, more or less in sync with each other.) I never got it to actually install. It always blew up early in the installation process with various cryptic error messages that vaguely suggested problems in dealing with the hardware. None of these machines had any “exotic” hardware, and ran fine with various Linux distros and OpenBSD. Sounds to me like things have not changed much. Sun is too used to controlling both the hardware and the software. Much of their reputation for quality comes from the fact that the two have been so tightly wedded. But in the “real world” they don’t seem to fare so well. I wonder how long it will be before they notice. 2005-07-24 2:20 pm Robert Escue So did you try to boot it in Solaris Failsafe (or Single User) mode and examine the logs to see where there might have been any problems? It has been my experience with Solaris x86 (I have used it since Solaris 7) is just because another OS will install on particular hardware does not mean Solaris will install or run on the same hardware. I had a ABit BP6 motherboard that I could run Windows or Linux on just fine, but Solaris would blow up because of APIC issues. Solaris is finicy about what hardware it will work with, and I expect this to continue until more hardware is supported. Just how old is this hardware anyhow? This is why I also use SPARC hardware at home (Ultra 10, E3000). And why are you so insistent on Solaris Express? 2005-07-24 11:39 pm spotter I just installed OpenSolaris Nevada Build 18 on one of my systems at home. It’s based on an VA10 motherboard with an XP1200+ processor. No problems with the installation; the only thing missing was the network driver (still don’t support Rhine NICs out of the box), but it was really simple to search and download the driver. I’ve tried earlier releases of Solaris X86 on this system before and had problems. This one went smooth as silk. Solaris X86 is improving with every release.