Home > Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris > NexentaOS Alpha 3 ReleasedNexentaOS Alpha 3 Released Submitted by Tim G. Thom Holwerda 2006-02-23 Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris 22 CommentsNexentaOS has released alpha 3 of their OpenSolaris-based Ubuntu distribution. This new version includes OpenOffice.org 2.0 on both the live CD and the install CD, a storage subsystem, and OpenSolaris kernel build #34. Download locations. About The Author Thom HolwerdaFollow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 22 Comments 2006-02-23 7:09 pm Zedicuscan somone explain the advantages of using opensolaris over, say, linux?? 2006-02-23 7:35 pm SlapoWell someone could use some of the solaris specific features, for example. Others might want it on the desktop, because they have administered it as a server and loved it, etc. 2006-02-23 7:57 pm zemplarIndeed, there are many advantages of Solaris over GNU/Linux, but most are server oriented features that the average desktop Linux Joe may not notice since most applications on both systems are the same. However, OpenSolaris (base of NexentaOS) contains many great new innovative technologies to boost security, performance, administration, and reliability (to name a few). 2006-02-23 8:00 pm jamesdhere is a copy of a comment I made a week or so ago, it should help you see some of the technology in OpenSolaris/Solaris, not all of it is availible in neenta OS yet, but its coming.What makes Solaris Express the best….Zones – chroot/jails on steroids more secure and flexiblehttp://uadmin.blogspot.com/2005/03/zones-links.htmlZFS – state of the art, stable expandable filesystem chksumed from ram to disk, raidz (think raid5 with fast writes) 128bits, basicly limitless, and does snapshotshttp://www.google.com/custom?domains=uadmin.blogspot.com&q=zfs&…fireengine – brand new ultra fast written from the ground up network engine, this system will handle networking better than most other OSes on the same hardwaredtrace – the ultimate enterprise/production ready debug tool http://uadmin.blogspot.com/2005/03/dtrace-links.htmlSMF – replaces ancient sysV start up scripts, and it monitors the apps as well restarting if necessary, one command to see the status of all daemons running on the system.Predictive Self healing — interface to cope with and protect from hardware failure, a bad block of ram can be locked out and the system still keeps running, bad cpus are offlined, and will stay off lined untill the cpu is replaced.brandz — run native linux apps in a zoneRBAC — role based access control, allows you to assign a role to a user, and he is given the power to do his task, without complete root level access, user admin can create accounts. etc. individual apps can be given only the prevledges it needs, no longer must an app begiven root to open a socket lower that 1024All of the above are very stable and close to being production ready, in fact many companies have been running them on production systems without problems for months. 2006-02-23 8:27 pm AccidentThis would make an excellent Workstation!Now lets get KDE working. 2006-02-23 8:48 pm jamesdkde is allready working on solaris/opensolaris you can get it at http://www.sunfreeware.com, http://www.blastwave.com, or solaris.kde.org nexenta probably will have it shortly i beleve. 2006-02-23 8:55 pm AccidentThanks, after I burn the iso AND learn the inner workings of this OS. I will try to install KDE. 2006-02-23 11:01 pm amigascneActually Nexenta already provides the option of KDE or Gnome. It did so since the last release… 2006-02-23 9:02 pm 10ksnookerZones, ZFS, dtrace, those are the features I see as must have. SMF is far better than init. Other than that, it’s the same, just the kernel differs. All the rest is going to be the same as ubuntu-debian as I understand it — a very smart move. Since with brandz you can run Linux binaries, everything just works.The right way to look at it is to compare GNU/Linux vs GNU/Solaris. Linux is open source, but open source is not Linux. 2006-02-23 10:28 pm somebodyZones, ZFS, dtrace, those are the features I see as must have. SMF is far better than init. Other than that, it’s the same, just the kernel differs. All the rest is going to be the same as ubuntu-debian as I understand it — a very smart move. Since with brandz you can run Linux binaries, everything just works.Yes, if you talk about server or development setup. And linux has its own solutions to the same problems too.No, if you talk about desktop. In the end, Nexenta is derived from Ubuntu, meaning it is end-user centric.While I preffer Xen over zones (Xen does work on Solaris too), ZFS rocks, but features of ZFS are the least important to desktop user.Personally, I don’t find dtrace really special.Linux has far better coverage of hardware. While I can plug things in Solaris up to infinity with no result sometimes, Linux just works.Solaris has better mainframe coverage.SMF and init comparission? Not relevant for desktop user, but relevant for server admin. SMF is indeed better, but administration of services is not really hard anywhere.Well, I don’t really get enthusiasm about brandz. Which software? It is almost all OSS. Better to port things, than run trough the “should work solution”. Your “everything should work” can be tested fairly good. Run Domino in brandz, then talk. You can’t port Domino, can’t you?The right way to look at it is to compare GNU/Linux vs GNU/Solaris. Linux is open source, but open source is not Linux.Nah, this is wrong way of looking at it. Choose the best tool for your needs and choose carefully.But if your needs are the ones of end user, you’ll be using the same interface and software anyway. All that matters for you is better HW support.p.s. Now to be moded down from a fashionable Solaris perspective, since I just said that Solaris is not best everywhere 2006-02-23 11:21 pm jamesdAs I will show below you can’t just look at each technology on its own, its how they work together that really makes Solaris/OpenSolaris so powerful.While I preffer Xen over zones (Xen does work on Solaris too), ZFS rocks, but features of ZFS are the least important to desktop user.as you say Solaris gives you a choice of both, each has there own place. Solaris zones are much lighter than Xen, with Xen you deploy the whole OS, using over a GB for an average install of each OS, a Solaris zone can be as small as 50MB when you store them on a ZFS filesystem (compression enabled). ZFS also gives you to ability to deploy a new zone in 5 seconds or less. Using its snapshot ability. http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/jclingan?entry=zone_creation_with_…With Xen have you the headaches of patching each one as patches and software upgrades happen Solaris makes it apply once used everywhere. But if you need it Xen is there.ZFS does have a place on the desktop, its snapshot features give it the ability to take a static picture of the data before you make a large change. If you don’t like the new version revert to an old image. want to tryout new software package, take a snapshot of your data, install new package, you don’t like it? its buggy? simply revert to the previous version.Personally, I don’t find dtrace really special.currently dtrace isn’t that interesting for a normal desktop user, but as a developer or sysadmin it is a powerful tool to have availible. It has allready solved problems in numerous opensource packages, even those that run on linux.Linux has far better coverage of hardware. While I can plug things in Solaris up to infinity with no result sometimes, Linux just works.Yes linux has better hardware support currently. but that is slowly changing. Hardware makers are seeing the stability in Solaris ABI and love how they can do a driver once, and have it remain working even as it progresses towards the next release. How many people have been bitten by install a driver for hardware in linux then 3 to 6 months later you upgrade your kernel, and the driver is broken. This doesn’t happen in Solaris and hardware makers really appreciate that fact.Solaris has better mainframe coverage.Solaris doesn’t run on mainframes, it runs on large servers but they aren’t considered mainframes.SMF and init comparission? Not relevant for desktop user, but relevant for server admin. SMF is indeed better, but administration of services is not really hard anywhere.SMF is totally relavent to the desktop, especially when you have many desktops. Ever tried debugging a desktop where the user says my machine can’t reach google. In linux this can be multiple steps. In solaris 10 its a single step gets you info you need to solve the problem. Because its not just about services, its interlinked with Predictive self healing.svcs -x tells you what hardware and/or software services are not availible. If you have a bad nic or a unplugged network cable, or any of the other services that may be running.Well, I don’t really get enthusiasm about brandz. Which software? It is almost all OSS. Better to port things, than run trough the “should work solution”. Your “everything should work” can be tested fairly good. Run Domino in brandz, then talk. You can’t port Domino, can’t you?brandz by it self is pretty boring, untill you are in a corprate setting and your boss requires you to run a commercial software package that is only availible on Linux.When you mix brandz with other special features of Solaris 10 it becomes more interesting as well. You can use dtrace to debug a problem in a linux executable no recompile, no grabbing pre-alpha solutions recompiling the kernel its ready to go. Or add brandz on top of ZFS, and you can take instant snapshots of your data for backups. 2006-02-24 10:01 pm somebodyZonesEvery OS has its own. Linux has chroot, SELinux and few others. BSD has jails and efw others. I think everyone has Xen. And the beauty of Xen is that I can set up for example Solaris machine runing inside Linux specific services only.Patching? Ever heard for the reason why someone needs different kernels or glibc runing? In that case you don’t want to have central patching.Central maintenance? Ever heard of Xen and SELinux global policies?As for MB you mentioned. Drives and memory are cheap.Ever tried debugging a desktop where the user says my machine can’t reach google.Even in Windows which hasn’t got shell this is 3 step option with 1 command.ping gateway [NO? network doesn’t work or cable not present]ping one external IP, possibly provider [NO? gateway or link isn’t working]ping one http://www.google.com [NO? dns is set up incorrectly]3 liner in bash.3 commands in windows.3 liner on OSX.sorry, but I can’t remember once, when I would need to debug desktop problems to find out what is wrong.services with svcs -x? Woow, and I can simply write you 10 liner in bash. You will get everything there and it will be customized for your needs. Face it, *nix is flexible, everyone can do his own 1 minute solution tweaked for his needs. And I do that on Solaris too.dtraceI’m a developer, but I didn’t find it something really special.…ZFS…I said it is cool, but still it is not relevant to desktop user. Or does ZFS takes screwdriver, replaces the drive and transfers data by him self? If it doesn’t, well, not really improvement for Joe the desktop user.You could put 1m red flashing light with sirens screaming for indicator that disk is gona die. Believe me, Joe User will still just think his computer became a fancy night club.Yes linux has better hardware support currently. but that is slowly changing. Hardware makers are seeing the stability in Solaris ABI and love how they can do a driver once, and have it remain working even as it progresses towards the next release.Bull, not even one vendor (talking about cheap PC HW vendors here) writes drivers for Solaris (for example adaptec SCSI driver is really depresive), maybe this will change if Solaris would step out from near 0% of users, NVidia being the good citizen also. For now it is just too expensive to write drivers. Remember, we talk about Nexenta. Nexenta is desktop distro where PC user (who uses PC build from cheapest HW) will dominate. And probably not really a good thing for Solaris. I copied Nexenta to 4 of my friends and all returned back to Linux after few hours. Not even one was able to use his HW. More or less 50% of HW was in semi or not working mode. Maybe it would be better to port more drivers first and then try to attack desktop, because users rarely return if it doesn’t work from the first.SMFLinux has HAL and few others to take on this role, so what?brandzYeah, but does it run Domino?True about mainframes.In the end choice is what it matters here, not Linux or Solaris. Kernel? It won’t really matter to Joe user. Desktop software will be practically the same anyway. As soon as Sun puts out GPL/Solaris it will become even more interesting to watch the race between Linux and Solaris.Edited 2006-02-24 22:06 2006-02-24 12:57 am JakeZFS rocks, but features of ZFS are the least important to desktop user.In addition to the snapshot feature jamesd mentioned, desktop users would benefit from checksumming so they’d know when their cheap ATA hard drive is about to die. 2006-02-24 10:39 am evertbig deal, like checksumming for desktops is needed…http://sourceforge.net/projects/smartmontools 2006-02-25 12:48 am 10ksnookerThe problem for the *nix desktop is multimedia support. Until that is fixed … and I doubt it will be with the MS formats and DRM being slowly woven into the Windows desktop, the *nix desktop is not going to be able to play. Most users are simply not going to be able to get through the steps needed to get the multimedia stuff installed and working.The latest nexenta alpha has greatly improved hardware support.While I like XEN, having the feature basically built into nexenta, ie zones, simplifies use.I do agree that most *nix uses are best for servers, which is where I am coming from. 2006-02-23 7:56 pm joelito_prIf I read correctly the different articles and forums it’s easier to produce binary drivers for OpenSolaris. This makes it a better plataform for hardware vendors who can’t/don’t produce open source drivers but want to support OpenSolaris. 2006-02-23 8:42 pm Zedicuso.k. it does sound good. but still, we are just adding yet another OS sytem to a conjusted undersupport lot as it is. why not just add these features to something else? im not pushing a linux only thinking persay, it just makes more sence to me to build on something that is already stable and mature… i guess on that same thining, building on solaris prolly makes just as much sence… basically its just another platform im going to hafta learn how to operate at some time… 2006-02-23 8:46 pm CaptainPinkobasically its just another platform im going to hafta learn how to operate at some time…90% of the time Unix is just Unix. Maybe RC vs SysV init and libraries in different places but that’s mostly hidden from you. I could throw you down in front of BASH and you could be wokring happily away in XEMACS and g++ and never know the difference.If you are a sys admin, well, that might be a different story. 2006-02-24 6:48 am siskaI tried solaris 1/2006 and nexenta alpha2.They are useless for me due to lack of support of my pcmcia card.It’s a 3c572.A driver for 374 should work but I found it only in a commercial way:http://www.lynnsoft.com/solaris.htmThe 589 driver won’t work at all.http://homepage2.nifty.com/mrym3/taiyodo/eng/index.htmMy card seems a “bit old”, even if linuxes and bsds supported it well, so I don’t think the support will be added for future releases.Too bad that now that we can use solaris for free we have to pay for a driver !Edited 2006-02-24 06:48 2006-02-25 12:59 am pythonI think this os has a lot of potential i am currently downloading it. Hopefully it will be a good replacement for ubuntu. For me anyway…Edited 2006-02-25 00:59 2006-02-25 5:19 am Angel--Fr@gzill@BeleniX 0.4 (Alpha) Has just been released… Can anyone enlighten me (if you have ued all of them, so much the better) about the differnces, possibilities, good points or bad ones of/between:– NexentaOS Alpha 3,– BeleniX 0.4 (Alpha),– Solaris 10 OS,– Solaris Express– Any other Solaris or OpenSolaris OS or Distro…I mean:– usability,– what is good one for, that others are not…– what is bad one for, that others are not…– speed (any difference???)– easyness to learn– easyness to emploi– specific & useful software not included in the others– What are the diffrenences, if any between the Solaris kernel and the Open solaris one???– Better options for Desktop– Better options for Server– Availavility of sofware packages– Availavility/facility to upgrade via internet– Hardware recognition (any differences???)– Easyness of installation– Avantages and disavantages of using Solaris or an OpenSolaris Kernel based Distro ???– What can I do with them that i can not do with a Linux Distro ???That’s it, I guess … Angel 2006-02-25 6:40 am pfsamsThere are perhaps “too many Os’es & distro’s out, but if you look at the rapid pace of developement that has occured in such a short time, I feel that the innovation comming from all of this work is a good thing. It will bring more ideas and innovations. Linux has matured quickly, I think the argument about it being “Desktop Ready” is moot. PC-BSD, while not for me personally, is another example of what can be accomplished. I thik issues of hardware compatability and multimedia and so forth will become non-issues; not today or tomorrow, but look at the explosion of talent & developement going on. It can only be a benefit to people.