Solaris Archive

Solaris 10 zones on Tribblix

One of the interesting capabilities of Solaris zones was the ability to run older versions of Solaris than that in the global zone. Marketing managed to mangle this into Containers, and it was supported for Solaris 8 and Solaris 9. I used this extensively on one project, to lift a whole datacenter of ancient (yes, really ancient) Sun servers into zones on a couple of T5240s. Worked great. Ah yes, Solaris. One of Larry Ellison’s many, many casualties. Tribblix is a Solaris distribution that should feel familiar to longtime Solaris users, but with a set of modern packages on top.

PowerPC Solaris on the RS/6000

One of the weirdest times in computing was during the mid-90s, when the major RISC vendors all had their own plans to dominate the consumer market and eventually wipe out Intel. This was a time that led to overpriced non-x86 systems that intended to wipe out the PC, Windows NT being ported to non-x86 platforms, PC style hardware paired with RISC CPUs, Apple putting the processor line from IBM servers into Macs, and Silicon Graphics designing a game console for Nintendo. While their attempts worked wonders in the embedded field for MIPS and the AIM alliance, quite a few of these attempts at breaking into the mainstream were total flops. Despite this, there were some weird products released during this period that most only assumed existed in tech magazine ads and reviews. One such product was Solaris for PowerPC. Now Solaris has existed on Intel platforms for ages and the Illumos fork has some interesting ports including a DEC Alpha port, but a forgotten official port exists for the PowerPC CPU architecture. Unlike OS/2, it’s complete and has a networking stack. It’s also perhaps one of the weirdest OSes on the PowerPC platform. I love machines from this era. There’s some seriously weird hardware from that time floating around eBay for serious prices.

OpenIndiana Hipster 2020.04 released

OpenIndiana Hipster 2020.04 has been released. All OpenIndiana system software was rewritten in Python 3. Installation images now don’t deliver Python 2.7 interpreters or libraries, however some software still requires Python 2.7. We’ve moved to GCC 7 as the default compiler. OpenIndiana Hipster is a rolling release distribution of illumos, which in turn traces its roots back to OpenSolaris. The original intent of illumos was to replace the closed source parts of OpenSolaris with open source ones, but after Oracle discontinued OpenSolaris, illumos grew into a full-blown fork of OpenSolaris.

Solaris 11.4 SRU20 released

We’ve just released SRU 20 for Oracle Solaris 11.4, the April 2020 CPU. It is available via ‘pkg update’ from the support repository or by downloading the SRU from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2433412.1. The administrator of my organisation needs to supply me with a Support Identifier before I can do something as simple as read the documentation about this new version, so I have no idea what to tell you. I guess Solaris technically isn’t dead yet?

SPARCbook 3000ST: the coolest 90s laptop

A few weeks back I managed to pick up an incredibly rare laptop in immaculate condition for $50 on Kijiji: a Tadpole Technologies SPARCbook 3000ST from 1997 (it also came with two other working Pentium laptops from the 1990s). So, what makes this the coolest laptop of the 1990s? I used to long for a Tadpole SPARC laptop about 15 years ago, when they came with dual processor models. Amazing technology.

SunSolve Resurrected Independent of Oracle

If you have ever administered Sun machines, updates were a big part of your work. In the past, information about them were available on SunSolve, the Sun support website, to help sysadmins sort everything out. SunSolve has been decomissioned by Oracle and its replacement hasn't received a warm welcome from the Solaris community due in large part to technologies used (Flash,...). We Sun Solve was created to avoid this problem.

OpenSolaris Board Quits En Masse

The OpenSolaris governing board fell on its collective sword Monday and resigned en masse after Oracle continued to ignore its ultimatum to appoint a liaison guy to work with it on the future of the open source project. The move was anticlimactic to say the least. Oracle last week leaked an internal e-mail into the wild effectively saying OpenSolaris is dead. The news of the mass resignation, coupled with Oracle suing Google claiming Android infringes on its Java patents, had Adobe's director of open source and standards David McAllister casting Oracle as the New Microsoft and saying "the axis of evil has shifted south about 850 miles or so".

Oracle Kills OpenSolaris, Moves Development Behind Closed Doors

Well, Oracle went from one of those big enterprise-serving companies most of us don't deal with to one of the more hated companies in our little community. Not only did they just sue Google over Android and its use of Java-related technologies, they also just officially killed off OpenSolaris. Solaris will still be open source, but source code will only come after each major release - development will happen behind closed doors.

Possible OpenSolaris Fork?

A recent vague announcement on osol-announce hints that something big is rumbling for OpenSolaris: "A number of the community leaders from the OpenSolaris community have been working quietly together on a new effort called Illumos, and we're just about ready to fully disclose our work to, and invite the general participation of, the general public." They have a website, and they're going to be hosting a conference call on August 3.

RIP OpenSolaris

A Computerworld blog speculates that the open-source Unix distribution may live on, but Oracle won't be supporting it. At this point, "OpenSolaris' only real future is as a fork, which would not be easy to pull off. Still, with enough interest from developers it could be done. OpenSolaris is licensed under the GPLv3 CDDL and various other OSS licenses, so the base code is available."

OpenSolaris Governing Board Threatens to Shoot Itself In The Head

This morning, at the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) meeting, the following was proposed and unanimously resolved: "The OGB is keen to promote the uptake and open development of OpenSolaris and to work on behalf of the community with Oracle, as such the OGB needs Oracle to appoint a liaison by August 16, 2010, who has the the authority to talk about the future of OpenSolaris and its interaction with the OpenSolaris community otherwise the OGB will take action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter that will return control of the community to Oracle."

Korona 4.4.3 Released

Pavel Heimlich has announced the release of an updated version of Korona 4.4.3: "Korona is the live DVD adding KDE4 packages on top of OpenSolaris. It is intended to be the showcase of the current state of the kde-solaris project, definitely not a distribution for any serious use."