Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Operating Systems Software GNU is Not Unix Sun Microsystems

Take A Look At Solaris 10 352

Posted by timothy
from the aughguha-it-burns dept.
SilentBob4 writes "There haven't been many reviews of the recent Solaris 10 release from Sun Microsytems, and even those which are available are thin at best... until now. Mad Penguin, normally a Linux-only site, has release the most comprehensive and well-written review of the OS to date."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Take A Look At Solaris 10

Comments Filter:
  • by stuffedmonkey (733020) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:54AM (#11811265)
    I am wondering, not to troll, but what kinds of uses does Solaris still find itself filling?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:00AM (#11811292)
      Enterprise computing. The names "Oracle" and "Solaris" are often spoted together, usually in the same sentance. Oracle may have made Linux a supported platform, hell it might even be their prefered platform, but dyed in the wool DBA's still tend to stick with Solaris.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:03AM (#11811306)
      Sun execs use it to lead investors to believe that the company still has a future.
    • by BlueUnderwear (73957) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:06AM (#11811316)
      but what kinds of uses does Solaris still find itself filling?

      I recently installed Solaris on my 2 Laptops. Reason: testing Solaris compatibility of software that I maintain! ;-)

      It has been an interesting experience anyways, because I ended up not only testing (and fixing...) my own software, but also testing Solaris' usability (or rather: lack thereof...):

      • Very fragile install process (pop in the wrong CD just once, and start over from scratch...)
      • Refuses to create a Solaris partition if a Linux Swap partition is present (... because both share the same partition id 82, but other OS'es at least give you the option of "ignore this partition, and create a new one instead!"
      • Poor dependancy management in the installer (the Solaris installer does flag broken dependancies, but unlike most Linux distros does not have a button to "resolve" these automatically)
      • No straightforward way to configure a Swiss-German keyboard
      • On one of my two laptops, X Display was all messed up after install. Fortunately, there was still an xf86config-like script lying around.
      • poor hardware support (on both laptops, I had to download extra drivers from the net to get Ethernet... and the only way to get these drivers on the Laptop in the first place was to burn a CD.... One of the two Ethernet cards was a via-rhine, not exactly uncommon hardware!)
      • Unobvious paths for some sundry utils /usr/ccs/bin/make, /usr/sfw/bin/gcc. Find is your friend, but locate has left you stranded...
      • by BlueUnderwear (73957) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:16AM (#11811362)
        Oh, and I forgot to mention:
        • On my AMD64 laptop the whole install was graphical, but for some reason, on the old (AMD 32) laptop, most of it was handled by a curses (?) base program running in a dtterm.
        • The author of the review critices the reboot that happens after the first CD. This is not that bad, some Linux distributions, such as SuSE do that too. However, it could at least pop out CD 1 after the reboot, or else, it'll just start over from scratch (which is a pain if you are not near your PC when the reboot happens). And yes, I did chose the option "automatically pop out CD" at the beginning of the install, but somehow it just doesn't happen...
        • There is no easy (GUI) way to install packages "after the fact" if you see that you need them. You have to manually rifle through your 5 CD's, copy the package files to /var/spool/pkg, and run pkgadd manually (or did I just miss something here?).
        • The drop-down menu to chose console login is nice, except for the case where you would need it the most: what do you do if the X installation is so messed-up that you don't see the lower half of your screen, including that menu? Oh, and telneting in from another machine is not an option, if your network card is one of the many that aren't supported out of the box...
        • How do you mount an USB keyfob, or similar device?
        • by Anonymous Coward
          On my AMD64 laptop the whole install was graphical, but for some reason, on the old (AMD 32) laptop, most of it was handled by a curses (?) base program running in a dtterm.

          Resources/memory differences on the two laptops?

          The author of the review critices the reboot that happens after the first CD. This is not that bad, some Linux distributions, such as SuSE do that too. However, it could at least pop out CD 1 after the reboot, or else, it'll just start over from scratch (which is a pain if you are not n
        • but for some reason, on the old (AMD 32) laptop, most of it was handled by a curses (?) base program running in a dtterm.

          Amount of memory most likely. The installer decides which to fire up based on RAM. Below X MB (I think 128, I cant remember) you get the text-install-in-dtterm-in-X. Below 64MB (iirc) you get text install from console - no X.

          I dont remember the precise MB figures, unfortunately. The 'switch points' could be 256MB and 128MB respectively, rather than 128/64, I dont quite remember.
        • by oldmanmtn (33675) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:14AM (#11811592)
          You have to manually rifle through your 5 CD's, copy the package files to /var/spool/pkg, and run pkgadd manually

          You don't have to copy them anywhere. Either "pkgadd -d /cdrom/..." and select your package from the list, or "pkgadd -d /cdrom/.../package_name".

          How do you mount an USB keyfob, or similar device?

          In theory, I don't think you should have to mount those at all. vold should do that automatically - just like it does for cds. In practice, getting S10 to recognize my iPod wasn't quite that easy. I haven't tried a USB device, so I can't say whether it will really work.

          If vold doesn't automatically mount the keyfob, then try rebooting with the it inserted. Once it has been recognized once at boot, it should be recognized automatically in the future.

          Oh, and telneting in from another machine is not an option, if your network card is one of the many that aren't supported out of the box.

          On a real PC, you can often redirect the console to a serial line and use "tip" (or some Linux equivalent) to get to the machine's console. That also gives you a way to get a network driver onto the machine without burning it to a CD. uuencode it to ascii, and then use ~> to copy the file over. Since console redirection often isn't available on laptops, this may not work for you.

          You can also try PXE booting your machine. Since the boot/install image is on a server, you can easily insert your driver into the image so it is available at install time.
        • by Listen Up (107011) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:48AM (#11812185)
          You are complaining about the x86 version of Solaris. Hardware problems are non-existent on the Sparc platform. And you are complaining about features that have NOTHING to do with Enterprise Server computing. USB keyfob? WTF? If you want Linux, then install Linux. Linux is slowly reaching perfection one day at a time. But, if you want almost limitless power, scalability, reliability, and security on huge SMP systems and distributed networks today then you choose an OS like Solaris. If you are someone looking to use Solaris to play MP3 files then you have no idea what you are doing.
      • by aaamr (203460) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:19AM (#11811370)
        While Solaris x86 is a supported platform from Sun, the bread and butter for Solaris has always been the Sparc platforms, so I'm not surprised the x86 version is not as polished.

        What does Solaris get you?

        - Guaranteed binary compatibility from the smallest SunFire V100 to the largest 96-CPU capable StarFire boxes.

        - Excellent platform stability and predictiability. I have never had to recompile my Solaris kernel to support a memory upgrade. Happened to me with RHEL 2.1 on a production site.

        - Excellent and consistent hardware quality

        - Reasonable price/performance for some situations. Last I checked, a 4-way SunFire V440 was cheaper than an equivalent Intel box, and far far cheaper than anything from IBM.

        I've worked with all flavors of Unix from AIX to Solaris, to HP-UX, to Linux, and I've been running Linux since 1998 in one form or another. My favorite production-grade Unix is still Solaris.
        • I am not trying to be a jerk, but how much memory did you add before you had to recompile your kernel?

          Do you run RH ES 3.0? Would that also be a problem with it?

          I run SuSE and have been up to 4GiG and haven't had a problem, and the motherboard offers up to 24GB or RAM support (Duel AMD Opteron with 64bit SuSE).

          Thanks!
          • It was an upgrade from 2GB to 4GB, and the installed kernel did not have large mem support compiled in. Just one of the steps that was overlooked in the process. If I recall, only 3.5GB was recognized before the new kernel was installed.
        • Solaris on x86 is supposed to come from the same source tree as Solaris for SPARC with only x86 bits being different. Given my previous experience with Solaris installer on sparc, I don't find the op's experience too surprising. Try a new feature or do something "non-standard" and it often blows up in your face.
        • > - Excellent and consistent hardware quality

          Your writing sounds good - but if anyone puts "quality hardware" and "sun" in one sentence they show that they have never working with any of it...
          RSC resets for no apperant seasons on v480s, v20zs that don't open, split expander issues on F15k, memory issues on a v490 that took 4 service calls (on premium support level), v440s that overheat at an amazing 42 degrees celsius... that's just a few examples of the issues that we have had on the last generation of
          • Well, your mileage may vary.... we've had about a dozen Sun boxes that have been running flawlessly for several years.

            Admittedly, I haven't worked extensively with the latest generation, so you may well be right there.
      • All your points are a bit moot when looking at this from the [insert big Corp]'s UNIX administrator point-of-view. Solaris comes installed on their own hardware and the unobvious paths are really the result of a long history.
      • There is a small community of people using Solaris on Laptops and Notebooks [tuxmobil.org] already.
      • by bbuR_bbuB (804723) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:39AM (#11812113)
        Very fragile install process (pop in the wrong CD just once, and start over from scratch...)
        That's funny, I install Solaris from a Jumpstart server, and it installs fine every time. What are these CDs you mention?

        Refuses to create a Solaris partition if a Linux Swap partition is present (... because both share the same partition id 82, but other OS'es at least give you the option of "ignore this partition, and create a new one instead!"
        Once again, I never had this problem installing Solaris on top of linux on my Sun Blade 100, Ultra 60, or Ultra 5/10.

        Poor dependancy management in the installer (the Solaris installer does flag broken dependancies, but unlike most Linux distros does not have a button to "resolve" these automatically)
        Do you really feel comfortable having a program automatically installing packages for you on an ENTERPRISE system? I know exactly what packages I want, and when I want them installed. Having a package manager 'know better' than me would be a huge mistake when people actually rely on your services.

        No straightforward way to configure a Swiss-German keyboard
        These [hta-bi.bfh.ch] people would probably beg to differ. Also, I think Java Desktop works wonders. Honestly, I know nothing about internationalization, so I'll shutup now.

        On one of my two laptops, X Display was all messed up after install. Fortunately, there was still an xf86config-like script lying around.
        Good for you! Where's the problem here?

        poor hardware support (on both laptops, I had to download extra drivers from the net to get Ethernet... and the only way to get these drivers on the Laptop in the first place was to burn a CD.... One of the two Ethernet cards was a via-rhine, not exactly uncommon hardware!)
        A laptop is obviously not the intended installation target machine for Solaris. Please stand by while I cry you a river that you had to install drivers. Don't like it? Use MacOSX or something.

        Unobvious paths for some sundry utils /usr/ccs/bin/make, /usr/sfw/bin/gcc. Find is your friend, but locate has left you stranded...
        They make sense to me. /usr/sfw -- sunfreeware. It's a pity that Solaris isn't set up exactly like Linux, isn't it? What's stopping you from installing your own Gnu Make (which is better than sun make) somewhere that you'd like?

        I'm glad we've come to the same conclusion -- Solaris IS NOT Linux. You're not using it in the way it was intended, so it seems clunky and difficult to manage. Your complaints mostly revolve around the fact that since Solaris is not set up exactly the same, and is not as easy to administer than Linux, that it's unusable. Solaris is a really crummy desktop system. I would say that if you went from Linux to Solaris with no training, reading, or prior preparation, you would probably find it quite unusable.

        Solaris is ornery on Intel hardware. Linux was pretty ornery too in its first few years on x86. I run a fairly large Solaris setup (15k+ users) and when we've looked at Linux, it takes a lot more work on the part of the sysadmin to ensure that the system doesn't flake out. Solaris on Sun hardware kicks ass for us. It may not kick ass for you. That doesn't mean it's unusable. I bet a tractor trailer would be unusable at first to your everyday SUV driver!
      • Refuses to create a Solaris partition if a Linux Swap partition is present (... because both share the same partition id 82, but other OS'es at least give you the option of "ignore this partition, and create a new one instead! I've seen this with Linux the other way round. Mandrake insists on selecting a Solaris partition as swap and won't let you change it. Brain dead Linux.
    • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:13AM (#11811349)
      Solaris will be used by the military for many years to come, its uses are as broad as there are uses for any operating system in existance.
      Not just databases or webservers, in my tiny little world we use it mostly for processing radio signals. This also includes demodulation of 'digital' signals through software, as well as de-multiplexing, removing overhead, decryption, stripping through reed solomon, trellis, etc, etc, etc... 'Infinite possibilities' comes to mind most frequently.
      • by rindeee (530084) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:04AM (#11811528)
        Solaris is THE OS in the US Federal arena. While there is a good bit of Linux and Windows in use, Solaris is the mainstay when it comes to production computing. The growth rate is also quite amazing 'round here. The raw number of new Sun boxen brought online on a weekly basis amazes me. It's a good, solid, dependable OS that runs on excellent and reliable hardware. What's not to love from the standpoint of a giant customer who wants to drop in a box and have it "just work". Also keep in mind that Solaris sells a pre-hardened version of its OS and specialized hardware to the Fed for use in high-security environments.
    • by Klootzak (824076) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:18AM (#11811365)
      Actually, there are many (mostly-legacy) applications that will ONLY run on the "older" Unicies.

      I worked for a number of years doing SysAdmin/Infrastructure-Architectural work for various global banks. The majority of the niche applications used to provide complex financial services are STILL not ported to "modern" unix-like OS's.

      As an example, DST International's (http://www.dstinternational.com) HiPortfolio product will only run on IBM's AIX and Sun's Solaris as it's Unix OS platform. The reason for this is the product is so damned old and ingrained into that specific industry, the company can afford to ignore their customers demands and not re-invest potential profit in expensive porting exercises... You can get away with murder by holding a monopoly on most of the large Asset-Management businesses.

      If a bunch of clever programmers got together and wrote some clean, horizontally-scaling, easily intergrated applications to destroy the hold of these monopolistic "niche" software products, they could really make some money (and the world would be better off with one less monopoly market).
    • I've seen lots of FPGA related software being used on Solaris, as well as EDA programs like Mentor Graphics.
      It is actually a big and vital part these products play for an electronic engineer.

      Of course, some may say, these programs run on x86 and probably Windows OS as well. If you want quality, go for the Solaris version on a Sun, prefferably.

      I have seen Mentor Graphics on an rather old Sun workstation behaving 10 times as fast as on a Dual Xeon opening/drawing the exact same layout.

      So I guess thats
    • Big databases, for instance. Oracle often runs on a couple of Suns in RAC mode (Real Application Cluster or something). Then the Suns are connected to a Veritas SAN. The database binaries (the software itself) are intalled on the Suns and they all write the data to the SAN.

      It works on Linux as well, but it's nowhere near as common as the above scenario.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:31AM (#11812054)
      Compare the install process for Oracle 9i on Redhat Enterprise 2 or 3 against that for Solaris 9 (on Sparc) and you'll see why Solaris still has a real future. To get Oracle to install on Redhat you have to downgrade libraries so that Oracle can link its executables and during this stage your machine is in an unbootable state until you upgrade your libraries.

      I've programmed professionally on Unix since the late 80's and been an admin on Solaris since the mid 90's. During this time I have seen the evolution of Linux and been a Linux user/admin since 1994 so I feel that I speak about both Operating systems from real experience.

      My conclusion is this: In a professional environment run Solaris unless you have a compelling reason to run Linux. Quite simply Solaris is industrial strength OS and Redhat (I can't speak about other distros) is not there yet.

      At home I run Linux because a couple of emulators (hercules and qemu) are only available on Linux (my compelling reason) and there is better device support.

      My prediction is that Linux will be a major force in the low end of the market but pentration into the higher end of the market will be limited because factors other then the cost of the OS become more important to the decision making process.

      Many Linux users have a PC-centric view of computing that leads to the rather naive question that started this thread.
  • by QuantumG (50515)
    does not an open source project make. Sun best get their act together and encourage active open development of their platform if they ever want to catch up to the momentum of Linux. Of course, maybe they're going the way of the BSD operating systems and think they can get by with a closed team of developers.
    • by REBloomfield (550182) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:00AM (#11811290)
      Or just maybe they're concentrating on their hardware like Apple do?

      While the hell does every company nowadays have to release source code just to be accepted by you guys? Sun have been doing their thing, and doing it well, for years. They don't need to pander to you Open Source hippies in order to succeed.

      • by 0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:03AM (#11811308) Journal
        They don't have to. They chose to. However, for Solaris to be considered truly open-source, they must open up development. That is what the grand-parent is trying to say.
        • "for Solaris to be considered truly open-source, they must open up development. That is what the grand-parent is trying to say."

          I suggest that unless you know the OP, you stick to what they DID say:

          "Sun best get their act together and encourage active open development of their platform if they ever want to catch up to the momentum of Linux."

          This is a clear statement: they must do X (encourage active development) if they want Y (to catch up to the momentum of Linux). You can argue with the specific

    • Yeah. I mean, it's only by encouraging OSS development of their platform that they'll finally, one day in the far distant future, be able to say that they've got a rock-solid OS that someone chooses to, say, deploy a large enterprise CRM or OLTP project. I mean, really, right now who the heck uses Solaris anyway? Just a bunch of amateurs in their basements.
      • WHen Solaris works (most of the time) it does very well.

        When it does not, you are almost on your own, no matter how much you are paying for support (you would be surpirsed what companies like Sun can get away with, even when dealing with big clients).

        With Linux, if the company providing support is ignoring you, you can try to solve the problem yourself (which is achievable in many cases) or ask somebody else to fix the problem.

        With Sun you are lost if your problem is not one of their priorities.
        • by elmegil (12001) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:27AM (#11812028) Homepage Journal
          When it does not, you are almost on your own, no matter how much you are paying for support

          BS. You've obviously got a big chip on your shoulder. Sun is far more responsive than any of their main competitors/"partners" in the data center space.

          With Sun you are lost if your problem is not one of their priorities.

          And this is different from getting a bug fixed in firefox or Gnome how?

    • > Sun best get their act together and encourage active open development of their platform if they ever want to catch up to the momentum of Linux.

      What might be good for Sun isn't always good for the community. Even with just "versions" (ok, distros) of Linux (mm.. GNU/Linux), running around - we're having "Debian Rocks" , "Gentoo Rocks", "Redhat sucks" kind of rants and splits in the community.

      For the sake of Linux and Hurd - I guess Solaris has to fail (or be the NEW GNU/Solaris.. RMS left enough

      • Solaris doesn't have to fail for Linux, Hurd, or BSD to succeed.

        Sun as a corporation is as much about hardware and service as it is about software, inspite of what they may have been saying lately. Sun will continue to run Solaris on it's machines for the forseeable future, just as Apple insists on running OS X. (Yes, I'm making comparisons to a niche market)

        Choice isn't what's splitting the community. Choice is what's driving it. Having options like FreeBSD, Debian, Gentoo, Redhat and even Solaris x

    • I think parent was trying to be funny, not troll. Of course, with the IQ on /. getting diluted down to 100, this is being read as a straight karmawhore comment :)
    • Sun best get their act together and encourage active open development of their platform if they ever want to catch up to the momentum of Linux.

      It's not the momentum of linux, it's the acceleration. Solaris has a larger momentum than linux as it stands, but linux's mass is growing.

      Why do people use Solaris? It's supported, guaranteed to work with numerous processors in large servers, and it's catered for large scale servers. Did I mention that it is professionally supported by Sun? If you open up the deve
  • by luvirini (753157) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @07:58AM (#11811282)
    But I think what would be needed more is a try to do things like actual stresstesting and comparisions under load.
    • But I think what would be needed more is a try to do things like actual stresstesting and comparisions under load.

      Yes, that would be interesting, but unless they broke something severe like they did with their TCPIP stack somewhere between version 8 and 9, handling a load is where solaris shines.

      I've always said, solaris is never fast, but then again it never slows down either.
  • Well-written? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by henrik (98) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:01AM (#11811296)
    Not sure I would classify this as well-written considering the author seems to have no idea of Solaris legacy nor why for example directory hierarchy is as it is. Seems like the normal uninformed Linux-is-the-real-Unix review.
  • by REBloomfield (550182) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:02AM (#11811298)
    You're right, in fact, a Google search for "solaris 10 review" only brings up 1,200,000 matches....
  • by davejenkins (99111) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavejenkins.com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:02AM (#11811300) Homepage
    While I wager most of the responses on this thread will be some variant on "so what, Solaris is dead", let me say that I met with a senior planner of a very large system integrator here in APAC, and he pretty much said the opposite: Solaris 10 will fill all their needs and that the whole Linux/penguin/RMS-sideshow was a distraction at this point.

    Sun has spent years playing in the biggest game with the biggest boys. Their gross holdings dwarf that of Red Hat and Novell. Solaris 10 has all the core functionality that the major major banks and conservative institutions want. Sun has dedicated salespeople who know these clients for years now. Do not count them out, yet.

    Sure, Solaris 10 seems like a Hail Mary, but think why the Hail Mary play is there: it works sometimes...
    • by luvirini (753157) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:11AM (#11811341)
      Indeed, one of the problems sun has is that their system and computers are "too good". A customer of ours is still running their heavily used website on a SUN from 1999. They have no plans to upgrade. Thus no need to buy new servers like you would on other types.
  • They don't go into it in the article, but Solaris has slowly begun more and more modular (kind of like NetBSD without all that pesky hardware support).

    So much so, in fact, that I have several stripped down versions running as various embedded "smart" devices around the office. One is obviously the router, but others include a firewall, file server, and PBX. The best hack I've done so far with this is the Solaris 10 Roomba, but the battery life is really bad.

    Solaris is great on the server, but don't disc
  • by MauMan (252382) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:06AM (#11811318) Homepage
    Google:

    Results 1 - 10 of about 3,780 for "solaris 10 review".
  • Review text... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:30AM (#11811402)
    Sun Microsystems has recently released Solaris 10. It is currently free, as in beer, and most of it is promised to be released under an OSI approved license in the second quarter of 2005. Most everyone reading this probably knows all of that. The release and subsequent open sourcing of Solaris 10 has caused quite an uproar in the Open Source community and the IT industry as a whole. Linux advocates have been fighting Solaris advocates on forums across the Internet. The zealotry and misrepresentation from both sides has been really quite impressive. However, I am a BSD user. I am not on either side and will do my best to allow neither zealotry nor misrepresentation into this review.

    Please continue reading after you have stopped laughing.

    All political issues aside, Solaris 10 is a very impressive OS. It has some features no other operating system can claim and some that are not necessarily new, but have been implemented in an excellent way. This is not to say it is perfect. There are definitely things I dislike and areas that seem quite unpolished.

    One of those aforementioned unpolished areas is the installation routine. It can be assumed that Solaris will not be installed by a novice. Even so, the Solaris install is painful and brings with it memories of Windows 2000 installs of old. This is not because its difficult, it is not. The installation is simply unwieldy. My main complaints are the following:

    * You must partition, install a small base system and reboot to finish the install. I expect an OS to be installable without a reboot.
    * For the first section of the install there is a web browser in the background, but for unknown reasons there is no browser in the second section.
    * You have to switch CD's during the install, which is fine, but you can't just switch and walk away. You have to wait for it to read the CD and display another screen and then press next. There is probably a reason for this, but I just find it annoying.

    Issues like these make the installation routine seem unfinished and just don't fit with the overall quality of the OS.

    Upon booting Solaris for the first time, you are greeted by dtlogin. This is the default graphical login manager for Solaris and plainly has CDE roots. At this point, there is a drop-down menu in which you can choose to go back to a console login or choose which wm/dm to enter, both CDE and JDS3 are options. I am sure CDE has many great features and I know that some people love it. However, I am not one of them. JDS3 on the other hand is a nicely polished GNOME desktop. The theme and general feel is much improved over Sun's earlier versions. Nothing is very remarkable about JDS3, except network browsing. I have never seen any GNOME desktop do as well with windows and NIX network browsing.

    There are things I dislike about JDS. As a media player, Sun has chosen the "Java Media Player." This program has no redeeming factors. XMMS or Rhythmbox would be much better choices. They also tapped Mozilla to be the web browser, not Firefox. With FF gaining more and more attention, this choice makes very little sense to me. However, those are my only complaints about JDS3 and they are small ones.

    Nobody is considering Solaris 10 because of JDS3 or its installation routine. They are looking at it because of new features like DTrace, Zones and the new Service Management Framework. Indeed, it has been quite awhile since we have seen a release of any OS with as many large features as Solaris 10.

    DTrace
    One of the main new features in Solaris 10 is DTrace, a dynamic instrumentation system. DTrace consists of a scripting language, named D (not to be confused with the fledgling D Programming Language), and loadable kernel modules named "providers." When called upon, these "providers" track and report system information. DTrace has several features that separate it from other similar systems:

    * It is dynamic. DTrace has no effect on system performance when not in use. Only those providers t
  • Rootkit? (Score:5, Informative)

    by puke76 (775195) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:34AM (#11811419) Homepage
    Ah, Solaris 10, the rootkit writers friend. [www.ccc.de]
    • Re:Rootkit? (Score:4, Informative)

      by thogard (43403) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:15AM (#11811595) Homepage
      But he didn't even play arround with the new services database. What a bummer even though his code is much better than the service db stuff I've seen.

      A lesson from Microsoft...
      Don't keep boot status info in a binary file that also can start programs.
      You can't tell if its been hacked without rebuilding it and you can't rebuild it with ease. The new services stuff for Solaris 10 is sort of a mix between init, inetd, cron and the windows registry. This is wrong and someone at sun needs to fix it now.
  • by Spoing (152917) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:38AM (#11811433) Homepage
    Go and install Solaris 10. Use an external machine and run nmap followed by Nessus targeting your new Solaris system. Use the defaults for everything (Solaris, nmap, and Nessus).

    Interesting, eh?

    Note: If you don't have access to a Nessus server or Linux, you can use almost any machine to run a scan yourself. Here's a simplified version of what to do;

    1. Get Knoppix and boot it; http://knoppix.org

    2. When the desktop appears, run the Nessus server;

    'Start' (the K in the lower left)

    System (note _DO_NOT_ use the Nessus on this menu yet!)

    Security

    Nessus

    3. Wait. This will take a few minutes and you may not see anything. If you want to be sure, come back in 5 minutes.

    4. Run the Nessus client;

    K

    System

    Nessus (note _NOT_ the one under the Security menu)

    5. The username should be knoppix.

    6. The password field should be blank. Enter knoppix for the password.

    7. Select the Target tab. Put in the IP address or DNS name of the target machine.

    8. Start scanning. Keep in mind that any firewalls or NAT devices between you and the target machine may give back bad results.

  • I can't read the artical as its /. but on thing that Sol 10 (and FreeBSD) can do out of the box is to split the host machine up into multiple smaller machiens using Zones (or jails). This means you can have seperate virtual machines on each machine so you can test things safely without having to keep reloading the OS

    Rus
  • The most interesting thing about Linux, aside from the social movement aspect, is the fact that it is the first Unix to run on x86. So we put Solaris on the x86. Now we have well over a million licenses of Solaris running on Intel and on the AMD Opteron.

    - Jonathan Schwartz, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

    Wow, for some reason that's not the kind of well informed opinion I'd want to be hearing from the company I'm buying a unix solution from.

    • Actually, the first UNIX to run on an x86 platform was SCO XENIX, way, way back in the early 80s. SCO also delivered the first 32-bit Unix to run on a 386 chip as well.
      • Actually, the first UNIX to run on an x86 platform was SCO XENIX,

        Followed by many others, such as Minix (who can ignore with a straight face [educ.umu.se] that Minix ran on the PC before Linux did?), Coherent ("first casualty"), misc BSD variants, and many many others. Linux was not the first Unix to run on the PC, it was (... and is...) merely the best ;-)

        That's why the grand-parent ironized about the "well informed opinion" of that Sun CIO... I'm just wondering, wasn't even SunOs (predecessor of Solaris) itself amon

  • More drivel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nemaispuke (624303) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @08:54AM (#11811483)

    I read this "review" when it showed up on OSNews and thought "yet another Linux/BSD/whatever user attempts to use Solaris and fails". Everybody seems to focus on what Sun is pimping (DTrace, Zones, Predictive Self Healing), what about actually using the OS?

    I have been using (and beta testing) Solaris 10 since August 2003, and there is a lot more to it than DTrace, Zones, and Predictive Self Healing. There are several password security improvements, a new installation metacluster (Reduced Networking Support), a new installation method (WAN Boot), the ability to wrap RPC connections so that connections get logged (TCP Wrappers). And so you don't have to download a ton of software, GCC, gmake, webmin, GIMP, and other tools are part of the Full Distribution installation.

    The problem with "reviews" is trying to meet the insaitable demand for "information" and not actually providing anything other than a rehash of publicity materials. How about everybody being paitient and hold off for a "quality" review.

  • Good review? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hrbrmstr (324215) * on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:05AM (#11811536) Homepage Journal
    *That* was a comprehensive and well-written review? Bah!

    Perhaps timothy should have read it before taking the poster's word.
  • by nachumk (863725) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:07AM (#11811544)
    My own background: Written linux and Windows NT/XP drivers, and I have set up many linux (mostly debian) and windows workstatiosn

    i have been assigned the job of writing my company's pci card driver for solaris 9, and for this purpose i was given an old ultrasparc IIe sparc workstation with solaris 9. After a bit of frustration with trying to setup paths for root, and login shells, and patches, and packages. I decided to just clean install solaris 10. After downloading 5 cds (not including documentation cd) from solaris, I proceeded to install the system.

    Installation:
    partitioning wizard sucks. defaults are fine, but if you want to change it, then it is just unpleasant.

    network setup : it doesn't request a Hostname, and for the life of my system, I have hostname unknown. No big deal, except for a few errors that it prints. I have looked at sun's site, and the recommended way of changing this is sys-unconfig - with a few changes to dhcpagent in /etc/default. but that doesn't work. And i didn't feel like going like going through cartwheels changing the large number of files required to do this manually.

    Configuration:
    I loaded up root's profile using the Java Desktop Environment (JDE). Nice looking. But it has no link to the Sun Management Console (SMC). I looked through all the menus and I couldn't figure out how to graphically (in the solaris way) add users. Of course I could've used useradd, but i really wanted to configure the system in the solaris prescribed manner. If you use Common Desktop Environment (CDE), then you do have a link to SMC. I had to run smc from console, and then I was able to set up users.

    I wanted to change root's shell from /bin/sh to bash. I tried this using the SMC, but that gave me an error, so I ended up having to do this from /etc/passwd.

    I installed the solaris 10 with a full (COMPLETE) install. Yet when I look for emacs either in the JDE menus or via the a call to emacs from the terminal, i get nothing. to get emacs and a large number of the other programs including gcc ld vim ... to work, you have to set up the PATHs manually. I did this via /etc/profile, although I was surprised that none of this was already done. As there was no word on what the proper PATH should be I had to guess a bit, and finally found what I wanted:
    PATH=/opt/sfw/bin:/usr/sfw/bin:/opt/csw/b in:/usr/c cs/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin

    emacs and gcc are in /opt/sfw/bin/
    ld is in /usr/ccs/bin/
    wget is in /usr/sfw/bin/
    i installed the package pkg-get, and that went into /opt/csw/bin/pkg-get

    If you run the SMC, and you try to add patches, it won't work, it says something about installing patch pro manager. You can't install that b/c it is not on the website, it only lists patch pro for solaris 8 and 9. I finally found that in Solaris 10, the patch manager comes built in, not that there is some easy way to know this. you must run pprosvc.

    Driver writing:
    I did a full install of solaris, yet I didn't get the program cc, and since all of their driver tutorials refer to using cc, this created some issues for me. (cc is installed with Sun Studio). I switched to gcc, but gcc doesn't accept the same parameters as cc, but i found out after lots of wasted time, that cc -xarch=v9 is equivalent to gcc -m64 -mcpu=v9. of course you can't use the ld from gnu, you have to use solaris's ld to link.

    I am now struggling to get some automatic dev links to be created in solaris, and as with everything else that I have encountered under this OS, it is being extremely painful.

    I can say one thing for Solaris 10, and that is that the JDE look great. (although it doesn't have links to the apps that I installed, and is missing the SMC). Visually wise it is nicer looking than some other windowing environments I have seen, as is much better looking than CDE

    nachum
  • more stuff (Score:4, Informative)

    by alsta (9424) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:19AM (#11811621)
    Some good resources for Solaris X86 extras and tinkering;

    http://www.bolthole.com/solaris/x86.html

    http://www.solaris-x86.org

    The author said that he was forced to use OSS to get sound to work. There are open source drivers for Solaris as well and they work pretty well. Note that they're compiled for Solaris 9, but they still work with Solaris 10.

    http://www.tools.de/solaris/audio/
  • Resource Manager (Score:5, Informative)

    by maitas (98290) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @09:50AM (#11811797) Homepage
    The reviewer miss in his zones explanation the part about Resource Manager. This is simply a zSeries like WorkLoad Manager tool. It allows to assign processing power per process and per zone, and also physical and virtual memory per user. Simply put, if you have 3 process running, you can assign each process 1/3rd of the processing power of the system, 1/3rd of the physical memory to each process (so no process force a page-out for all the others), and the same amount of virtual memory as the hole system memory (as long as the working set for each process fits in) to avoid memory leak problems.
    Other point is that the installer have a bug and although it asks if you want the 1st CD to auto pop-up, it wont work, you need to take it out before it starts the installation all over again. Some bouilds have a message reporting this error (instead of fixing it...).
    Binary compatibility is withit the ABI for the same platform (obviously, you can't move a SPARC binary to an Opteron box). The good part is that source files will written using the standar ABI will recompily straight.
    The main-point with any other OS than Linux is that rigth-now companies seems more likely to die than the hole Linux movement (or however you want to call it).
  • Solaris Noob (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:21AM (#11811976)
    First of all, I'm no Solaris expert. (Heck, I only switched from Windows to Linux full-time a month or two ago.) But I was curious, and thought it might be cool to run our main product on Sol-x86 along with the Linux and win32 versions.

    I figured I'd be filling up an otherwise uneventful weekend, so I threw together a 433/256 out of spare parts, downloaded and burned the ISOs, and made myself a large pot of coffee. The installation took about 2 hours and pretty much everything I needed worked right the first time, and now I've got myself a nifty little SAMP server for testing. (Running Solaris 10, Apache 1.3.31, PHP 5.0.3, and MySQL 5.0.2-alpha.)
  • by Loconut1389 (455297) on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:35AM (#11812089)
    Solaris zones are way cooler than one paragraph could explain- you can take a zone and move it to a duplicately configured machine (ala flash install or otherwise) in a heartbeat.. among other things..

    the reviewer had trouble installing without rebooting part-way through.. the way it sounded, he could only install the mini root and then reboot.. I just did a solaris 10 install friday on a Sun V480 box and not only did it install all 4 cds before rebooting into the actual OS, I did all of the package selection at the beginning and didn't have to wait for anything - magic of DVDs! In any case, i'm still pretty sure that you can do the package selection in front without having to twiddle thumbs between cds (eg package selection is not on a per cd basis)..

    Those were just a couple problems with the review I saw.. I don't think they really know solaris well enough to be reviewing it and have it considered worth much.
    • Sorry to post onto myself, but I forgot to mention something.

      The author mentions the name 'slowaris'- solaris, when left default, used to be rather slow indeed- but there are pages and pages ($1,500 worth of manuals we bought at one point in time before on-cd manuals) and many many classes you can take that teach you just how tweakable solaris is. The problem is that some of that tweaking to make it fast is incredibly complex and/or hidden away and you need an expert to show you.

      To the people who call it
  • Zones and Xen (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Tuesday March 01, 2005 @10:39AM (#11812110) Journal
    TFA says that unlike Xen and UML, Zones have a very small overhead.

    This isn't quite accurate - Xen does NOT have a large performance penalty (UML does, especially for I/O intensive workloads). Xen domains have almost the same performance as the native OS. Additionally, Xen VMs are not Linux kernels housed in a Linux host machine like UML, every Xen domain including domain0 runs under Xen itself. The only special thing about domain0 is that Xen passes off hardware access to domain0 rather than implementing all the device drivers itself.

    Xen is more like IBM's mainframe logical partitions (LPARs) than UML or Solaris's zones or BSD jails. It serves a different purpose to zones or BSD jails (but a similar purpose to UML).

    And Xen has very very good performance. I've been testing it recently and it blows away any other virtualization tools I've used on x86 including VMWare and UML.
    • Re:Zones and Xen (Score:3, Informative)

      by oldmanmtn (33675)
      TFA says that unlike Xen and UML, Zones have a very small overhead.

      Compared to other virtualization technologies Xen has a low performance overhead, but it still isn't 0. With Zones, the performance overhead really is 0.

      Was he talking about performance only, or other resources as well?

      With Xen, you have to staticly partition physical memory among the domains, which can be wasteful if the domains have different workloads. With Zones, the resources can shift between zones dynamically based on usage.

      Wit

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

Working...