Home > Oracle and SUN > Sun Rising on the DesktopSun Rising on the Desktop Eugenia Loli 2003-10-28 Oracle and SUN 30 Comments“Sun has a desktop package that can be seriously considered by IT departments planning new rollouts“. First look at Java Desktop System shows it has potential, ComputerWorld says.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 30 Comments 2003-10-28 7:36 pm I hate it when screenshots are not included 2003-10-28 7:40 pm http://img.osnews.com/img/4549/sun.jpg 2003-10-28 7:53 pm http://wwws.sun.com/software/javadesktopsystem/details.html 2003-10-28 8:13 pm I like it! but isn’t it only available on SPARC ? 2003-10-28 8:16 pm No, Java Desktop System is available only on x86 actually. 2003-10-28 8:30 pm One of the main points that Sun is making is that they will leave Linux alone for the community to develop. The other thing is that they want to be compatible with Linux through Java, and also they are emphasising that Linux has a strong future as a client side platform.Some might be offended, however there are a lot of opportunities as a desktop platform, especially with games. I think that Linux would benefit by playing the role as a desktop platform, yet at the same time, it would not be limited by Sun. 2003-10-28 8:30 pm Is there any review of it? 2003-10-28 8:32 pm Never mind.Im reding it now. 2003-10-28 8:43 pm Fact is, they already have an OS and they could just as easily have stripped down a Solaris version in such a way that it could have served as a desktop platform.Now they have to expend resources on Solaris and Linux instead of just dealing with Solaris. While I’m happy to see SUN go after the desktop, I’m not too sure about the current strategy of focusing on Linux for the desktop.SUN has the best version of Unix out there, why the heck do they need to concede anything to Linux?.Solaris workstation for clients and Solaris Server for servers. 2003-10-28 8:56 pm Whoa there – are you kidding? Sure, Solaris is a great enterprise-class server OS, but on the desktop? It sucks quite royally. Slow, outdated tools, no software management tools, no multimedia, no pretty fonts, and a huge amount of work to get a decent desktop up and running on it. No thanks, I’ll stick with Linux on the desktop! 2003-10-28 8:57 pm > they already have an OS and they could just as easily have stripped down a Solaris version in such a way that it could have served as a desktop platform.No, they couldn’t. This JDS product is set to be used on random PCs, and Solaris has many hardware compatibility restrictions. Sun’s JDS product manager himself told me that this was the main reason they chose linux for this product: hardware compatibility and mindshare. 2003-10-28 9:00 pm Think about it. Sun and Microsoft produce a type of developer and it is aimed at businesses. North American businesses, it is more than a strategy to get North American businesses to use their software, but it is also a strategy to distribute this technology, to deploy it to Europe and developing countries. Those countries will work with .Net and Java, but in North America, we probably won’t use those technologies and I can’t say why, but there is a difference between specialists and generalists in terms of writing applications. In business it’s all about having control and creating an illusion that you are giving up some of that control. 2003-10-28 9:02 pm Something seems wrong with that launch button.. 2003-10-28 9:02 pm Solaris the best Unix ?? Hum I administrate over 700 sun servers and I m not very happy with… For me Linux issuperior; and BSD’s are the best… And for the desktop Solaris are really too big and slow ;Last point : the java desktop is a just a gnome desktop with some java apps (beurk!) and it has an horrible look.Get Out !!! 2003-10-28 9:06 pm No quality apps, no sale.Ding! Thanks for playing. 2003-10-28 9:12 pm Sometimes being the best is wrong, because the timing is wrong, and becuase you don’t have a strategy. You are new to the game and you break the illusion by moving forward too quickly, you are an amateur and too obvious and ignorant of the political side. Just think that if you had power, wouldn’t it be to your advantage to make people do things for you out of their own free will, rather than force them to act in your self interest. 2003-10-28 9:26 pm …Pass… 2003-10-28 9:34 pm Sun Java Desktop is a ‘lite SUSE Linux’, not a lot of packages. But it has all the important ones for an office worker that needs business internet and office apps. I am demoing it for a few company clients and so far they are impressedThis looks like a winner concept. Should go a long way towards allowing corporations to supply it as a worker desktop, I plan on installing it on the family home system for the family. Tired of re-building the windoze system. I will keep windoze around in dual boot since the wife needs a couple of windoze apps.Cutting down on the bulk may not appeal to the hobby tinkerer, but it sure appeals to the IT support people.One neat thing is it runs quite well on systems down to about 500mhz PIII 256mB(like most linuxes do). This allows businesses to get more miles out of older HW, which is attractive.Great product. 2003-10-28 9:39 pm raf (IP: —.w193-253.abo.wanadoo.fr)Solaris the best Unix ?? Hum I administrate over 700 sun servers and I m not very happy with700 systems? My hyperbole detector is going off the scale…I administrate about two dozen Solaris systems, ranging from an Ultra 2 to Blade 2000s. Solaris provides an excellent administration tool for both end users and administrators. While I do all my work from the command line, the users here are familiar enough with admintool and SMC to perform many administration tasks on their own, such as adding/removing users, or configuring NFS.… For me Linux is superior; and BSD’s are the best…Superior in what way? Solaris provides significantly more control of all aspects of the operating system’s behavior than Linux or any of the BSDs. Solaris provides excellent resource partitioning mechanisms out of the box, whereas Linux requires considerable kernel patching in order to achieve a portion of the same functionality.And for the desktop Solaris are really too big and slow ; This would be why Sun is selling Linux systems for desktop usage.Last point : the java desktop is a just a gnome desktop with some java apps (beurk!) and it has an horrible look.Get Out !!!The Java Desktop System is one of the most polished Linux distributions I’ve ever seen. It’s designed for enterprise use, which is something I’d expect you to be familiar with if you truly administrate “700 sun servers”rockwell (IP: 12.24.216.—)No quality apps, no sale.Ding! Thanks for playing.Again, this is *not* being marketed at the average consumer, it’s being marketed for enterprise use where the primary role of computer systems is an applications platform for the Microsoft Office suite. Sun will be deploying SOMS with a Java Enterprise System for use in conjunction with Evolution to serve as an Outlook/Exchange replacement, StarOffice 7 in place of MS Office, and Mozilla in place of IE. The entire system was placed through regression testing and usability testing by Sun, with many changes contributed back to Gnome and the respective applications. 2003-10-28 10:43 pm to the idiot who mentioned apps…this is for enterprises, not individuals, and sun seems to be selling it rather briskly at that, with companies replacing their windows desktops. just in one company alone, 45,000 desktops were replaced.on the other hand, sun should consider spinning off java so it can concentrate on what looks to be a succesful foray into corporate desktops.http://www.petitiononline.com/spinjava/petition.htm 2003-10-28 10:50 pm i wish Sun all the good luck…even if Sun’s Linux is not for you it has to be good for Linux development, so in the future i am sure this will help in development of other Linux distros too and not just Sun’s Linux distro… 2003-10-29 12:53 am It is always good to have a big company to get into the game. Especially when it is Sun. They are respectable in the community, and if they can do Solaris right, they may as well do Linux right.I heard that the pricing is $100/employee/year, but how about home and non-commercial users? And the price isn’t too attractive to small business when you can get more or less the same thing(other distros) for free. 2003-10-29 2:03 am of course not.they thought the idea of compiling several thousand gnu apps and maintaining them separately for solaris was a great idea.not. 2003-10-29 2:15 am No quality apps, no sale. Ding! Thanks for playing.Although that does sound kind of trollish, there is a teaspoon of truth in it.Attention SUN, ear-mark $1billion, go door to door paying for software to be ported to JDS; MYOB, Quicken, Adobe, Macromedia, Quark, Mono, Corel, mostly because of its Office Suite which includes a really good DB, aka, Paradox. The suite should now run nicely using wine without the huge cludginess it had before, and numerous other vendors.Its the reality. People don’t use operating systems, they use applications. The sooner the SUN’s, Red Hats and SuSE’s of the world get it, the sooner they’re create stronger ties with large software vendors to create a good network of ISVs, the sooner we’ll see Linux take over the desktop.What is the number one gripe for any user who has use Linux, either at work or at home? “Oh, I can’t get xyz software for it”, or, “oh, here is something but it is still in ultra-alpha stage and bloody unstable”. The fact remains that users can put up with ideosycracies between toolkits, a slightly different look ‘n feel between some applications but what they’re not going to put up with is Joe Geek telling them that they should put all their trust into some obscure application that is still in heavy development and not even mature enough for the author to use! 2003-10-29 5:22 am Solaris could be a great desktop OS, the foundation is there, some things could be added and taken away. Would rather SUN focus attention on that instead of desktop Linux.Slow Outdated Tools. Most current Linux software will run fine on Solaris once compiled.No Software Management. You must not be familiar with the Solaris Product Registry.The other stuff you mentioned could easily be added to Solaris if SUN were to focus on making Solaris a real desktop alternative. 2003-10-29 5:41 am Hogwash!..give me the number of that product manager so I can call and tell him what an idiot he is. He’s just trying to rationalize JDS to anyone who’ll listen.Ask yourself, could a company the likes of SUN not convince third party hardware vendors to support a serious desktop push made by the company with Solaris. I think so.As for mindshare, I think Java has more mindshare then Linux so using the Java Desktop System name is not such a bad tactic but still, the added confusion is totally unecessary when Solaris is already available. 2003-10-29 5:53 am Hmm…I’d be interested in hearing what exactly you’re not happy with. Solaris as is might be too big but as I mentioned earlier, Solaris with some things added and others taken away would be a fine desktop system. 2003-10-29 5:55 am What “quality apps” would you be referring to?. 2003-10-29 9:30 am Hmm…I’d be interested in hearing what exactly you’re not happy with. Solaris as is might be too big but as I mentioned earlier, Solaris with some things added and others taken away would be a fine desktop system.Like a previous poster mentioned…Solaris x86 has HORRIBLE hardware compatibility…of my six machines, 2 won’t even boot the install routine (i’ve tried booting both the install disk and the first applications disk), another one dies immediately after the hardware detection routine; and of the remaining three, only ONE is fully supported by Solaris x86. (The other two aren’t supported by Sun’s X Window server. Yes, I know I could install XFree86, but the target market for this product isn’t going to want to manually install and configure XFree86.)In short, A LOT of work would be needed to make this system really useful to most organizations. Also, as someone else mentioned, sound on Solaris sucks. Performance on Solaris has been heavily tweaked and optimized for server use, and thus workstation performance suffers noticeably. It is definitely the least performant of all of the x86 OSes I’ve ever run. (Hence its well-known nickname of “Slowlaris”)I think Sun’s strategy in all of this is brilliant, leave Solaris where it really shines (the server) and acknowledge Linux in a sector where Sun has never been a strong player (the desktop)NOTE: this was all done using Solaris 8, which they gave away for free for hobby use at one time. I don’t know how Solaris 9 plays with my hardware, but I would guess that it is similar. 2003-10-29 2:45 pm “Whoa there – are you kidding? Sure, Solaris is a great enterprise-class server OS, but on the desktop? It sucks quite royally.”Of course, you are entitled to your _opinion_. Solaris is a very good workstation OS. The main practical advantages to Linux x86 are the availability of miscellaneous programs, whose authors used non-standard aspects of Linux headers and the GNU build tools to break portability to other platforms. Also, vendors who used to cater to Windows’ popularity are beginning to release Linux versions of their products (especially if they already had a UNIX version, too). In this way, Linux x86 is becoming the “Windows” of the UNIX realm. This can be a good thing, too, so I’m not arguing against Linux, here.This is why I have a SunPCi card in my Ultra workstation…to run Windows and Linux for the few programs that require them. Otherwise, I can use rock-solid Solaris on the Ultra. The virtualization of the SunPCi hard drive works well for supporting multiple OSes, too. Quite handy.As for your claim regarding the lack of management tools, Solaris actually has plenty. For individual workstations, pkgadd, pkgrm, and pkginfo can be adequate (much easier to use than RPM). For heavier-duty stuff, there’s prodreg, smc, and JumpStart. Everything is described pretty well in the Solaris on-line documentation.