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Sun Microsystems Operating Systems Software Unix

Sun's Linux Killer Examined 544

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the one-killer-thats-not-so-killer dept.
gnaremooz is one of several users to mention Thomas Greene's look at Sun's supposed 'Linux Killer'. From the article: "If Sun gets very serious about Solaris 10 on x86 and the Open Solaris project that it hopes will nourish it, Linux vendors had better get very worried. That's because, in the many areas where Linux is miles ahead of Solaris, Sun stands a good chance of catching up quickly if it has the will, whereas in the many areas where Solaris is miles ahead, the Linux community will be hard pressed to narrow the gap." However, he goes on to describe many more difficulties with an install of Solaris than I seem to remember having with just about any recent Linux install.
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Sun's Linux Killer Examined

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:40PM (#13342458)
    You can't kill something that's non-commercial
    • Exccpt teh BDS's
    • you're right, but irrelevance is pretty bad too...

      I am not saying it will (i don't think so) but there are many os project's that have been abandoned. just take a look around sourceforge.

      the fact that big corporations(IBM etc) have embarked on the linux bandwagon, plus the large userbase/developers will probably make linux relevant on the long run.

    • by ciroknight (601098) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:49PM (#13342553)
      Sure you can, you just can't do it through strangulation like SCO is trying.

      Sun could kill Linux with starvation. If Sun could promote Solaris in a way that Geeks would start a mass sendoff from Linux to Solaris, then Linux would simply run out of developers, and thus, die.

      Only, that will never happen. Where Sun is the only company behind Solaris, Linux has hundreds of companies supporting it; Redhat, IBM, and Novell being the big contributors.

      If Sun decided to open Solaris about 5 or 6 years ago they would have had a chance. Now they've virtually assured that Solaris will die from the same starvation as above (Sun won't pay anyone to work on their platform if they can get people out of the company to do it for free, now would they?).
      • by bheading (467684) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:06PM (#13343517)
        What a lot of rubbish. Linux in the commercial world (which is what we are talking about here) is not about the geeks, it never was. It's about Red Hat, IBM, HP, Novell and all of these other companies who are backing it as a serious enterprise OS.

        I doubt the geeks are ever going to jump to Solaris. Linux has too much momentum. Why would anyone ever want to run Solaris on x86, what's the point ? Licensing and community aside, it's the same problem as faced by the BSDs - driver support and vendor backup.

        If you want to run Solaris in your business you splash the cash and buy a SPARC. If you want a stable and robust production UNIX environment and do not want to spend an arm and a leg on Sun's boilerplate hardware, you get a nice Dell or HPaq rack and Red Hat Enterprise.
      • In summary, you're saying BSD is dead?

        For your argument to have merit, by all measures, BSD should be dead. It's not. Heck, even the shy OS known as hurd keeps on crawling. Long story short, you can not kill off something that is free. Sure, it may die a nature death, but kill it off? Nope....at least not as you've put it forward...
    • by CyricZ (887944) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:51PM (#13342581)
      No, Sun couldn't outright "kill" Linux. But they could still turn around and provide a superior desktop/workstation system. Considering they're a corporation, and they have money, they may be able to convince other hardware providers to write Solaris x86 drivers. That is something that Linux mostly has not been able to do until quite recently.

      Of course, you could always get a Sun system and have a system that is nearly perfectly integrated.

      Ideally, Solaris could take the best of both Windows and Mac OS X in the workstation/desktop market: it could support existing, non-Sun hardware quite well (similar to Windows), while at the same time also being available as a highly integrated and controlled system (similar to Mac OS X).

      • by brokeninside (34168) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:06PM (#13342721)
        IBM discovered the hard way in the nineties that a hardware manufacturer trying to get competing hardware manufacturers to support their OS is a dead end. Discussions between IBM and the other PC vendors sounded a lot like similar conversations will if Sun tries to get PC manufacturers onboard the Solaris wagon:

        Sun: Hi, HP, what do you think about preloading Solaris on your workstations?
        HP: Yeah, right! Why would we want to license or support our competitor's operating system for our hardware?

        Sure, Sun might be able to get a few PC peripheral vendors on board. But, honestly, what kind of target market can Sun tempt them with? Solaris x86 has a smaller presence than Linux and you've already said that these same vendors aren't getting on the Linux bandwagon.
        • by CyricZ (887944) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:16PM (#13342806)
          IBM did it in a very half-assed sort of way with OS/2. First of all, they never marketed OS/2 properly. Unlike IBM, Sun is actually making some noise about x86 Solaris. Articles and reviews are being written. People are hearing about it, and trying it out. Its market share is growing, even if somewhat slowly at this time.

          Also, IBM ended up wasting far too many resources on the OS/2 PPC port. Insiders have described it as one of the main reasons why OS/2 failed. Had the resources been put towards improving OS/2 and its hardware support, perhaps the majority of PC users today would be using OS/2 rather than XP or some other version of Windows.

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:24PM (#13342857) Homepage
        Sun has already had 15 years to provide a superior workstation. They have been unwilling or unable to do so. What is so different now?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:52PM (#13342595)
      You can't kill something that's non-commercial

      My neighbor's cat was non-commercial...

  • by NorbMan (829255) * on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:40PM (#13342462) Journal
    From TFA:
    Unix has been around since Linus Torvalds was in short pants.

    Yeah, and Solaris x86 has been around since 1992 [berkeley.edu]. Hasn't killed Linux yet.

    • Well, it hasn't been open for very long either, but I completely agree with you. Linux, like it or not, is here to stay, and hopefully will only get better.
    • Yeah, and Solaris x86 has been around since 1992. Hasn't killed Linux yet.

      That, and if you read the article it sounded like installing Linux on a computer in 1994. The bios needed upgrading which needed a windows machine to do the update. The sound card did not work or it was a pain to convince it to work. The nic was not supported out of the box. Then they talk about running Gnome or KDE as the "desktop environment" which is better now than it was in 1994, but neither are that great.

      I can almost hear t
    • It wasn't until quite recently that Sun really started pushing Solaris x86 as an option. Before then it was mostly considered the feeble bastard brother of SPARC Solaris. Sure, you could run it somewhat on certain systems, but overall it was quite useless (mainly due to a complete lack of hardware support).
    • Just you wait... 2005 will be the year of Solaris on the desktop! :-)
  • by gtrubetskoy (734033) * on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:41PM (#13342474)

    from TFA: Solaris containers (aka 'zones') are also noteworthy. They're virtual environments a bit like BSD jails, only slicker.

    Though not part of the mainline kernel yet, there exists Linux Vservers [linux-vserver.org] project. I don't know much about Solaris zones not having any hands-on experience (though I did attend a talk [slashdot.org] on it), but I can say that Linux VServers beats the hell out of FreeBSD jails, which is sad IMO because in all other respects I prefer FreeBSD to Linux.

    So I think it's the other way around - the Linux community will catch up much faster with Solaris, if only to show that they can.

    Also this article looks like it could be Sun-sponsored PR [paulgraham.com] - Sun seems to do very well comparing itself to Linux all the time.

    • You've also got UML & Xen. UML actually works pretty well but it does require a fair amount of preparation (and frustration) to get it up and running.
    • "but I can say that Linux VServers beats the hell out of FreeBSD jails"

      Of course you can say that ;-) but I was wondering if you could give a bit more insights on why that is, I have only minimal knowledge of both jail system but on what I read I think the concept is the same, what am I missing?
    • I you're allowed to count every project in existance somewhere on someone's harddrive, then of COURSE Linux does everything! Comparing Linux Vservers to Solaris Zones is silly because one is shipping on production enterprise class systems and the other is experimental.
  • Worried? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:43PM (#13342487)

    If Sun gets very serious about Solaris 10 on x86 and the Open Solaris project that it hopes will nourish it, Linux vendors had better get very worried.

    Open Solaris is Free Software, yes? So if it becomes a "Linux killer", then the Linux vendors will simply become Open Solaris vendors. It doesn't matter if Linux dies if what is replacing it is just as free. Hell, the user-space applications are 90% the same anyway.

    If Linux isn't successful because something else is better at doing the job and just as free, then that's a cause for celebration, not worry. The only people who need worry about this are the zealots and PHBs who have latched onto Linux for its buzzword value and not its merits.

    • Re:Worried? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by skiflyer (716312) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:51PM (#13342572)
      If Linux isn't successful because something else is better at doing the job and just as free, then that's a cause for celebration, not worry.

      You're making the mistake by assuming that everything to do with linux is free, open source, and can be ported by a simple recompile.

      Do you expect hardware vendors to ever write drivers if the community switches a few times over a few years? What if a commercial vendor says sorry, we don't support that OS, either stick with Linux or lose our product (contrary to some of the opinions here you don't just switch products at the drop of a hat in the real world, a product doesn't just have to be better, it has to be better enough to warrant the pain of migration)

      There's a fine balance of amount of choice that's good, and an amount that's counter-productive.
      • I expect hardware vendors to tell me how the device works so I can write and maintain my own free software drivers or hire someone to write them for me. I'm not against hiring the hardware manufacturer to do the job, but I don't want to be pushed into a monopoly for support. I think the OpenBSD hackers are of the same mindset, given their requests to Adaptec and other vendors for technical specifications, not code. Having others write proprietary software for you just puts you in the position of begging
    • Re:Worried? Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mnmn (145599) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:57PM (#13342638) Homepage
      My feelings exactly.

      Think of it this way:

      Linux is free. That means if you dont like the direction, just fork it and improve it. You can still call it Linux. The better fork will win in the community.

      Now Solaris is free (kinda, I have reservations about the license). That means people have Solaris code available to them. If Linux is generally good, except for some solaris features, they'll just port those features to Linux. If Solaris is awesome except for some Linux features, the same will happen. In the end we'll have code that is good, does cool things and is free. Whether you call it Solaris because you think it was 'descended' from Solaris or Linux, is a political matter. Linux wasnt threaded or ran ELF in the beginning. It wasnt SMP. Now its all those. Can we say it is a Solaris with the Linux name?
      • Re:Worried? Why? (Score:3, Informative)

        by einhverfr (238914)
        Linux is free. That means if you dont like the direction, just fork it and improve it. You can still call it Linux.

        Only if Linus says you can call it Linux... Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds, after all....

        Same with Solaris and Sun.

        Now you can have a lot of cross polination of ideas. But that is about where it ends. And I think that Linux esp. with IBM's involvement will end up surpassing OpenSolaris on every level.

        FWIW I have never had any of those kernel instability problems mentioned
    • Open Solaris is Free Software, yes? So if it becomes a "Linux killer", then the Linux vendors will simply become Open Solaris vendors. It doesn't matter if Linux dies if what is replacing it is just as free.

      My feeling are that linux will copy the sucessful aspects that it can and Linus, being more engineer than anything else, can recognize the sucessful aspects.

      This crossbreeding of ideas goes both ways with Solaris.

      Because of this, I think it will come less down to features on paper, but the success of the
    • Better yet, if Solaris is free, why can't the linux community just take whatever cool ideas it finds in Solaris and put them into Linux?
  • by Pomme de Terre! (69783) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:43PM (#13342492)
    I already posted this on TechNudge.com:

    I'm not a big reader of The Register, and having just finished the article, I remember why. The article's premise: Solaris didn't crash *as much* as Linux, so Linux had better look out.

    Oh, but he couldn't even detect a NIC without the manual editing of conf files, and wasn't really unique or remarkable in any discernable way.

    How tone-deaf is the writer to the PC world, anyway? It doesn't take a Bill O'Brien to see that the OS market is supersaturated, and anything short of the second coming of MacOS X will be greeted with a great big yawn from the collective computing community. (Well, a very small band of users will love it and sing its praises. I mean people are still clinging to Amiga OS, for crying out loud.)

    This is aside from Sun's remarkable in its ability to ruin every good technology it creates through corporate nonsense and heavy-handed tactics (read: Java), and really, Solaris wasn't really all that thrilling on Sparc. (I spent my entire undergrad shackled to it.)

    Neither the article, nor Sun, answer the most critical question in the OS world today: Why should x86 users switch? Why should I leave my comfortable XP or Debian or Red Hat or SuSE for Solaris?

    Wait, let me guess: because Sun is including (insert Java widget here).

    Note to Scott McNealy: the magic Java dust has lost its power.

    Pomme de Terre!
    • by EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:56PM (#13342632) Journal
      Amiga is life, don't you dare act all superior!

      We may lack hardware support, modern operating system features, people liking us but at least we have... hmm, at least we have...

      So, remember! Amiga OS is better in every conceivable way!
    • "and really, Solaris wasn't really all that thrilling on Sparc. (I spent my entire undergrad shackled to it.)"

      People who use computers running things like Solaris use them as tools to do a job.

      No-one gets "thrilled" about a hammer or a drill. They just want something which performs reliably, and consistently well.

      "Why should I leave my comfortable XP or Debian or Red Hat or SuSE for Solaris?"

      Because there might just be some jobs for which Solaris on x86 is the better tool.
    • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:09PM (#13342746) Homepage Journal
      The article's premise: Solaris didn't crash *as much* as Linux, so Linux had better look out.
      Oh, but he couldn't even detect a NIC without the manual editing of conf files, and wasn't really unique or remarkable in any discernable way.


      I liked the way they compared the stability: Solaris didn't have a kernel-level crash once in their admittedly "limited experience." But they've been using Linux long enough to be able to comment on its stability with regard to a series of kernels, and have had a few crashes due to various odd things. Thus, even after admitting they "haven't taken a systematic approach to blowing up our Solaris 10 installations," they go on to declare a winner: "one gets the impression of a pretty bulletproof kernel and shell" in Solaris. Winner by blind assumption: Solaris.

      So, if I can get DOS 6.22 up and running for 10 minutes without a crash, will The Reg print my article that claims its stability is comparable Solaris? Seriously--my impression is that DOS is pretty bulletproof, too. Surface-to-air-missile-proof, in fact. Take that, Solaris!
    • Agreed

      Also, the review spent considerable effort bitching about how deleted messages show up in evolution under the normal mail folders. View - "Hide Deleted Messages" is pretty hard to find I guess.

      Drivel.

    • by inspector_grim (864400) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:59PM (#13343125)
      I just spent the last two weeks in hell at work trying to install, configure and use Solaris10/x86 (yes it is free to stuff around with at least: go here and download or order a media pack: http://www.sun.com/software/javaenterprisesystem/g et.xml [sun.com]

      I may be very rusty but I used to be a pretty hardcore SUN admin person and I was completely screwed: I found the documentation to be the worst kind of useless toilet paper.

      Just one pieve: SUN seem very confused about what kind of admin gui they really want: Swing, command line or web portal: for historical reasons they have them all... good luck !

      Going back to WinFriggen2K was a RELIEF... my idiot big button installers where all back. (for instance: compare the simplicity of installing a win32 service versus a service on SUN properly). The Java Desktop is very pretty though.

  • "That's because, in the many areas where Linux is miles ahead of Solaris, Sun stands a good chance of catching up quickly if it has the will, whereas in the many areas where Solaris is miles ahead, the Linux community will be hard pressed to narrow the gap."

    I've heard many good things about Solaris, and I can well believe Sun could quickly improve any problem areas. But one thing about Linux is it is free (no, I'm not talking about price). That's one of the key areas where Linux has been "miles head" of

    • Even if Sun does make OpenSolaris truly Free, there's no reason to assume it will take marketshare away from the various Linuxes (Linuces?).

      The *BSD operating systems are as free as Linux, freer, maybe, depending on your definitions. They're also more elegant an cohesive examples of the Unix design philosophy, at least according to BSD advocates.

      So why does Linux have the lion's share of the free-Unix market, and BSD have comparatively little? I don't know all the causes, but I'm certain 'momentum' is amo
    • Well, Solaris x86 is free - it's under an open source license.

      But is it as free as Linux? Well, no, I personally don't think it is. And so I'm supposed to ditch Linux for something with less driver support and less freedom? Why would I want to do that?

  • one minor issue (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Deputy Doodah (745441)
    Ummmm.....will Solaris be free?
  • I think SCO has finally proven to us all how important the GPL is; and how the separation between patented commercial IP and the Free/Open parts of code are. Unfortunately the CDDL which seems to be a deliberately more "patent friendly" license will never be safe to use; since Sun practically admits that it may contain patented code that they have the right to redistribute but that forks of their project couldn't.

    If Sun would remove such questionable (presumably licensed from SCO) components and release

    • Unfortunately the CDDL which seems to be a deliberately more "patent friendly" license will never be safe to use;

      I call either sheer FUD or that you havn't actually read the CDDL.

      since Sun practically admits that it may contain patented code that they have the right to redistribute but that forks of their project couldn't.

      This is absolute FUD. The CDDL *requires* the originator and contributors to automatically give patent grants, for good, to that CDDL code and its deratives - non-revocable.

      See also what R [zdnet.co.uk]
  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:47PM (#13342537) Homepage Journal
    If Solaris is available under a Free Software license, then who really cares which one "wins"? If I find myself using a Solaris kernel that incorporates the good stuff from Linux, I lack the imagination to see how I'd be worse off. If Solaris isn't available under a GPL-compatible license, then I can't see enough people migrating to it to make a huge dent in Linux usage. Once again, I'd be no worse off.

    I guess this just seems like a non-issue. Linux Killer? No way. Linux's Friendly Competitor? Welcome to the club!

  • by Plug (14127) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:48PM (#13342539) Homepage
    I was taking the article seriously until I got to this line:

    KDE is certainly more popular than Gnome among Linux users, and most would agree that it's by far the better of the two desktops.
    • KDE has a significant hold in Europe. Moreso than GNOME at this time. But that's not unusual, considering that KDE was initially developed in Germany.

      See this article from May 2005 for more info:
      http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/73035/gnome-set-to-inv ade-europe.html [pcpro.co.uk]

    • by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @06:17PM (#13343237)

      Er, but that's true. Practically every poll shows KDE has far more users. The majority of distributions default to KDE. KDE has more applications than GNOME. By any reasonable measure, it's more popular and most people think that it's better. Regardless of the technical merits of either desktop, this is true.

      It's quite reasonable to mention this. The only thing that makes it flamebait is that some people on Slashdot will take it and start arguments. Conveniently enough, you are here to start one by implying that mentioning KDE's advantage is unreasonable. It's not. Treating it like some taboo subject is unreasonable and taking offense, like you just did, is unreasonable.

      • by Plug (14127) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @07:32PM (#13343681) Homepage
        The majority of distributions, like Ubuntu and Fedora? The majority of commercial for-pay dekstop distributions, like Red Hat and Novell Linux Desktop?

        The majority of applications with "mindshare", like maybe, Mozilla/Firefox?

        I don't think it's fair to denigrate GNOME by implying that KDE is more popular than it, especially if it's based on poll results. It's not unreasonable to call it a success, but blatant "it is better because I Say So" is unreasonable, and singles GNOME out as an 'opponent' when there are other desktop environments, a divisive move that Free Software doesn't have the resources to make.

        Look at the fd.o effors to provide underlying infrastructure that can be shared by both projects. Working together where appropriate is the way forward.
      • by jsight (8987) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @10:36PM (#13344681) Homepage
        > Practically every poll shows KDE has far more users[...]

        I thought I'd do a quick test of this. I went to Google, and put in Gnome vs. KDE Poll [google.com]. The first result was this poll [neowin.net].

        I also found This Poll [iamnotageek.com].

        And then there's a recent OSNews Poll [osnews.com].

        Two of these three showed Gnome winning.

        Yes, I know this is not scientific, and doesn't prove that one desktop is better than the other, it's just the result of some random Googling.

        But, I do think it is clear that there is NOT a clear winner in the Linux Desktop space right now, therefore the statement that "obviously most prefer KDE" is false.
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:48PM (#13342542)
    We've experienced a number of application crashes since we began playing with Solaris 10, but none capable of pulling the kernel down with it. On the other hand, we've had sloppy JavaScripts immobilize totally, and at times actually re-boot, our Linux box (especially with 2.4.x series kernels); we've seen X oddities do the same, and have experienced several wacky incidents using Microsoft bugware with Wine that required a hard reset. While we haven't taken a systematic approach to blowing up our Solaris 10 installations, one gets the impression of a pretty bulletproof kernel and shell.


    That's basically it. The article goes on to basically say driver support sucks and it was kind of a pain to configure, make sure to use the Xorg server and app support is ok. But that kernel, rock solid! Without really mentioning what is happening in 2.6 kernel development or how that argument extends outward toward a better development platform overall.

    It's a lost cause, there can only be one. Read all four pages of the article, and ask yourself... would I be interested in creating a disk partition or two and running Open Solaris just to see? I did... and the answer was no... I'd rather spend my time working on my Debian system.
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:48PM (#13342547) Journal
    Not all the keys on the keyboard worked after (or during an install). For what you pay, all the keys should work from the get-go! Linux does! ANd I'm talking basis keys - home, end, I think backspace/delet to some degree and the like.

  • Non-sequitur (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sproketboy (608031)
    "However, he goes on to describe many more difficulties with an install of Solaris than I seem to remember having with just about any recent Linux install."
    This is the usual non-sequitur logic from a slashdot story... What does the ease of the install have to do with the overall feature set of the OS? You only have to install once. If you want an easy gui installer just use Windows or Mac.
    you insensitive clod :)
  • Yeah but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Linker3000 (626634) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:52PM (#13342591) Journal
    Sun will need to ensure that they understand their target audience - is it:

    1) Loyal Sun-based organisations that will follow them to the ends of the earth?

    2) People who are fed up paying for M$ stuff and want something 'free' that will do the job?

    3) People who want a *nix solution and will pay for it/support.

    4) People who need the 'technical excellence' or a special feature that can only be had in Sun's product(s) compared to 'vanilla' Linux?

    Number 1s will be a 'small' market sector

    Number 2s - hmm, that's a non-starter then.

    Number 3s - Sun joins the likes of Red Hat etc fighting for market share.

    Number 4s - well, if you want a 'LAMP server' or file/print server you're pretty safe with Linux so why throw money at a solution unless you fall into category 1 or 2. This implies that sales in this categofy will be 'niche'.

    I don't think Linux has much to worry about.
    • Re:Yeah but... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Linker3000 (626634)
      Sorry - meant to say:

      Number 4s - well, if you want a 'LAMP server' or file/print server you're pretty safe with Linux so why throw money at a solution unless you fall into category 1 or 3 ....
    • Re:Yeah but... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jiushao (898575)
      3) People who want a *nix solution and will pay for it/support.

      4) People who need the 'technical excellence' or a special feature that can only be had in Sun's product(s) compared to 'vanilla' Linux?

      I'll guess these two. Joining Red Hat and Novell fighting for market-share is not at all a bad idea, Sun has a few aces up its sleeve (being big, old and having a fairly good reputation makes making a dent quite possible). Sun really does have some real technical advantages also, not really running on the

  • come on... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phaetonic (621542) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:52PM (#13342593)
    Linux is to Solaris/sparc what the Mac platform is to the Intel platform. (At least before the whole Intel/Apple deal)

    You have Solaris/sparc which is rock-solid on its Sparc platform, with integration using the OpenBoot PROM to 100% compatibility with its Sun arrays, Sun NICs, Sun hard drives, Sun video cards (rebadged, but still labeled as Sun)

    Then you have Linux doesn't have a specific hardware platform so it is made to be as compatible as possible, and while a lot of hardware is known to work great with Linux, the QA team at Sun who is able to directly interact with Brocade, QLogic, and other vendors to address one-off issues provides a value-add that CIOs like which Linux does not offer, yet.

  • It seems to me that Sun has never gotten very serious about putting out Free Software for x86, not only because they can't make any money off it, but also because it cuts into the profits from their products that they can make money off of. Can somebody please explain to me exactly what Sun's incentive is to engage in a price war with Linux? Other than pure spite, there seems to be no rational reason for them to do this.
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @04:55PM (#13342616) Homepage
    > ...in the many areas where Solaris is miles
    > ahead, the Linux community will be hard
    > pressed to narrow the gap...

    After all, it's not as if Linux had the backing of a major computer company with a three letter name.

    Oh. Wait...
  • I've had considerable experience with Sun products. If I'm setting up a load-balanced web application or Oracle DB, I want Sun on SPARC. I've tried the x86 port in several versions and it made a nice little webserver, but did not scale well.
    If I want an open OS that I have to support myself, I'll go Linux - thanks. More driver support.
  • So lets just say that perhaps linux users switch to "free" solaris.

    then sun runs out of money yet again, and goes back to microsoft for more money. and then again. then the buyout.

    eventually all those "converts" are running MS Solaris.

    let the stampede begin?
  • It is the end of all file systems afterall, right?

  • This is almost silly, but what about all of the applications? It took 5 years roughly to start seeing a major number of commercial applications appear on Linux X86. Does that imply that these folks are going to have to support SUNx86 TOO...

    Granted that most all of them CAME from SUN on SPARC, but it is at least a recompile and ANOTHER OS to support...something that vendors don't take on lightly (one reason it has taken so long to get a critical mass of applications for Linux)
  • I used Solaris 2 for years and loved it.

    However, in the wake of the SCO lawsuit, why would anyone in their right mind touch anything tainted with System V code?
  • It can diagnose hard to find application issues, bugs and performance problems.
  • Riiight . . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by npsimons (32752) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:03PM (#13342690) Homepage Journal

    whereas in the many areas where Solaris is miles ahead, the Linux community will be hard pressed to narrow the gap.

    Right. That's what they said about Microsoft versus Linux.


    Snottiness aside, believe it or not, there are some who will not switch away from Linux. Just as there are those who have worked with Solaris for too long and "trust" Sun, there are those who have worked with Linux for too long and trust it. Not only that, but there is always the last important deciding factor for me: is it Free as in Freedom? Linux is. Solaris ain't.

  • by CyricZ (887944) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:04PM (#13342697)
    We're about to see a major war between three very large computing firms: Microsoft with Windows and .NET, Sun with Solaris and Java, and Apple with Mac OS X and Cocoa.

    Frankly, I think this desktop/workstation market conflict will make the UNIX Wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s look petty in comparison. In one corner there's Apple, offering extreme multimedia and usability via Mac OS X and Cocoa. Then there's Sun, with the extreme stability of Solaris and Java. And finally Microsoft, with .NET and the marketshare of Windows.

    It isn't just a battle over which operating system is better. It also involves three competing development environments involving three separate (yet similar in many ways) languages. I'd like to consider it more of a Systems Stack war. The vendors are competing on their ability to provide a coherent operating system/programming platform composition.

    I believe we will really see things heating up in the near future as each system attempts to draw the best features from the other. Windows will obtain the stability and security of Solaris; Mac OS X will obtain the enterprise connectivity of Solaris; Solaris will obtain the multimedia mastery of Mac OS X. We're living in very interesting times, folks!
  • The first line of the article is a big caveat - "If Sun gets very serious about...". Sun recently seems to be having an identity crisis. They can't really figure out what their niche is, and they keep changing directions. That's a big burden for them. Even if they did come up with something great, how many people are going to jump on their bandwagon without waiting to see if it will last more than 3 years.

    And then reading the rest of the article, I'd summarize it as: Solaris 10 is nowhere near ready for rou
  • Does Solaris come with an MP3 Decoder that is maintained? If so it could stand a chance at unseating linux.
  • unbelievable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sootman (158191) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:18PM (#13342821) Homepage Journal
    They claim this to be a Linux-killer, yet they go on to list almost a whole page of installation woes, including trying two different third-party drivers just to get the NIC (an unpopular but "hardly exotic" Linksys piece) to work! Fucking hell, give this guy a Knoppix or Ubuntu disc and he'll shit himself. Linux users haven't often had to struggle like this in years.

    Note to the author: if you write a review that says "There are a number of configuration files in /etc that you will have to edit, and even create, to get your NIC to work, once you've got it installed and recognized. If you're comfortable with ifconfig, you'll want to use it. Personally, I find ifconfig to be clunky, and prefer to do the setup manually." I can tell you one thing--it ain't fucking ready!!!!!
  • wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sootman (158191) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:22PM (#13342842) Homepage Journal
    Slashdotters, do yourself a favor. Read this article. If this guy can go through all the SHIT he describes and still put "Linux-killer" in the title with a straight face, *anything* is possible. Un, fucking, real.
  • Too bad... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by turgid (580780) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @05:54PM (#13343089) Journal
    ... they fired all the Linux Emulation engineers before it went back into Solaris. It was a killer technology. You could run Oracle for RHEL on Solaris 10 on Opteron and you could run Windows programs on WINE compiled for Linux along side Solaris x86 and Java apps.

    Too bad they continue to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a dead-end CPU architecture (i.e. SPARC).

    The application stack's all written in Java, right? So who the heck needs expensive SPARC when Opteron does the job faster at a fraction of the price?

    Who needs Solaris when Linux is catching up so fast?

    Who needs Sun, again?

  • "Linux-like" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Earlybird (56426) <slashdot@@@purefiction...net> on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @06:03PM (#13343150) Homepage
    This year's most ironic statement:
    • Solaris 10 and Open Solaris (which you build and install on Solaris Express) are both very nice, Linux-like operating systems.
    Linux is no longer "Unix-like", people. It's Unix that is "Linux-like".
  • by micromuncher (171881) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @06:08PM (#13343175) Homepage
    Its closing the gap argument missed some really important issues; for example, developers. There are some things that Linux doesn't do, and will never do because the benevolent dictator doesn't believe in them.

    For one, POSIX compliance. OpenSolaris IS compliant, so as a real-time junkie who loves his shared-memory mapped files, I'm bouncing up and down. Linux shared memory stubs some calls, doesn't implement the POSIX suite, while barely implementing older shm. How many MAN pages can you find that tell you "This isn't implemented." in OpenSolaris?

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday August 17, 2005 @06:39PM (#13343365) Homepage Journal
    I am more concerned with seeing an end to the duopoly of Windows and Mac for the consumer desktop. While some may not apply the term I think it fits. We really need a third major player for the desktop to get things moving again. Right now Apple and Microsoft are not moving forward, we are still bound to single processor solutions that are mouse and keyboard driven. We have been there for nearly 20 years now!

    Compare the situation to Cable. Since the 80s we have been stuck with a monopoly for delivery of video service. Along came satellite, which while it has made inroads to the tune of nearly 25% of viewers it still hasn't changed the way we use the medium. Now the Bells are coming and with plans of interactive TV. Yes the cable companies are also looking towards this but it took a third major competitor to get the other two out of their comfortable duopoly.

    It is going to take a third and major competitor to Microsoft and Apple to get the medium to move forward. Linux has been the poster boy for many years and yet nothing really truly has occured with it. Bluntly put, the Linux front is too disorganized to compete with the two entrenched systems and worse isn't changing the paradigm of what desktop computer is.

    I don't see Solaris doing much either but I figure that with enough prodding perhaps Ms or Apple will do something other than make prettier desktops. Hell its like the space program, resting on its laurels until people become bored by it.

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