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OpenSolaris Indiana Released 359

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the strangers-tempting-you-with-candy dept.
Lally Singh writes "The Linux-friendly OpenSolaris Indiana has been released! A new, modern package manager and all the goodies of Solaris: ZFS, DTrace, SMF, and Xen on a LiveCD that was designed for Linux users. 'Why use the OpenSolaris OS you ask? It's pretty simple, you'll find it full of unique features like the new Image Packaging System (IPS), ZFS as the default filesystem, DTrace enabled packages for extreme observability and performance tuning, and many many more. We think you'll be quite happy to came by to take a look!'"
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OpenSolaris Indiana Released

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) * on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:33PM (#23305188) Homepage Journal
    Without all that free crap.
    • Re:Hey! It's Debian! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Curtman (556920) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:58PM (#23305942)
      No this [nexenta.org] is Debian.
    • It's not Debian. Debian has had the ability to fully encrypt the root partition during installation since Sarge I think. Etch for sure. Ubuntu can do it too with the alternate installer. OpenSuse and Slackware have excellent docs on how to get / file encryption. Disk Encryption is essential for laptops and removable media in 2008. If Solaris wants to get adopted by government and financial sectors for use on laptops it will need to have some form of serious disk encryption. To be fair to the OpenSolaris
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OriginalArlen (726444) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:35PM (#23305206)
    I assert that it's too little, too late. If Solaris had been freed in the early part of the century, it might have made some headway against Linux. As it is, it'll be stripped of anything useful and portable and will be as irrelevant as HP/UX or OpenVMS for all but locked-in legacy users.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by njcoder (657816) on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:02PM (#23305978)

      I assert that it's too little, too late. If Solaris had been freed in the early part of the century, it might have made some headway against Linux. As it is, it'll be stripped of anything useful and portable and will be as irrelevant as HP/UX or OpenVMS for all but locked-in legacy users.
      This is an idiotic statement and I can't believe anyone modded you up. The source for OpenSolaris has been available for years. When will the stripping start? Where is ZFS for Linux? Where is DTrace, Zones, or any of the other cool new stuff?

      Those are just some of the big items that get mentioned. Solaris' resource management and auditing tools are very impressive and I haven't seen anything comparable in linux that can give as much control for as little overhead.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by spinkham (56603)
        They're in FreeBSD.
        There's more to free unix then Linux you know..
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zsau (266209)
        They're not there for licensing reasons. If Solaris had good enough drivers I would run it on my laptop --- but again, for licensing reasons that's not going to happen either. Both the GPL and Solaris's licence have advantages and disadvantages, but this is the reason why all free software should use compatible licences.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Code is flowing freely between FreeBSD and Solaris. FreeBSD has adopted ZFS and there's no legal reason not to port *BSD drivers to Solaris.

          but this is the reason why all free software should use compatible licences

          Which excludes the GPL. Linux's GPLv2 isn't even compatible with LGPLv3 due to some of the extra requirements placed on it (a problem we've encountered just after moving a large library to GPLv3 and getting complaints from developers of GPL applications that include code from places like xpdf that didn't have the 'or later' clause).

  • Anyone here know what's so special about the Image Packaging System? I found the homepage [opensolaris.org], but it didn't really explain how it differed from traditional packaging methods. (More annoyingly, it didn't even explain that intriguing name!) A quick check of Wikipedia doesn't offer much help, either. Anyone know the scoop on this (new?) system?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Nothing. It's a piece of shit actually. Sun is all about Java so many of the tools like IPS are written in it. It eats memory like no tomorrow and performance suffers. Don't even think of running this stuff on a machine with less than 1GB of RAM.

      And the stuff that isn't newly written in Java is like a throwback to the early 90's. Cryptic and hard to use. Sun uses a lot of GNU software but it's a big mix of bastardized custom stuff, stuff from the old Solaris, and GNU tools. It's difficult to get stuf
      • Sun is all about Java so many of the tools like IPS are written in it.

        Except that IPS is written in Python, not Java. See the FAQ [opensolaris.org]:

        "The Image Packaging System (IPS) software is a network-centric packaging system written in Python."

        That much is easy enough to find. What Sun isn't saying is how this differs from existing packaging systems. i.e. The rational for creating a new packaging system rather than adopting an existing packaging system. And why is it called the "Image Packaging System"? Using the term "i

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The high level parts of the system may be written in Python but the underlying tools it uses are Java. You can actually run some of the command line tools to save memory.

          It doesn't help much but it does help. It only took 48 hours to run the updates on a fresh install on my Blade (LOL, it's ridiculously slow, using the GUI version probably would have taken a solid week to finish running).
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by AKAImBatman (238306)

            The high level parts of the system may be written in Python but the underlying tools it uses are Java. You can actually run some of the command line tools to save memory.

            You use the term "underlying", but then refer to the ability to run command-line tools directly. I think you're confused. You're probably thinking of the Sun Management Center [sun.com], a graphical tool that allows you to manage your Solaris-based system. It is based on Java, but it's also sitting ABOVE the command-line tools, not below them as you

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by anilg (961244)
          I've tried to explain the use of "image" in my other comment http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=543728&cid=23305852 [slashdot.org]
    • by atrus (73476)
      Its a vast improvement over Solaris' previous "package" system (if you could even call it that). The exact technical details? No idea.

      Why they didn't just choose apt/dpkg is probably having to do with licensing.

    • by anilg (961244) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:49PM (#23305852)
      "Image" in the name refers to the ability of the packageiung system to install to a chroot-like enviornment. The Distribution constructor (what actually builds the iso) basically creates an "image" area, installs the packages to this are, compresses it, and converts it to an iso.

      Apart from that, you can also create partial images, which is a space you as a normal user can install packages to. These link back to the libraries already installed.

      I'm sure some of these features are available in existing linux packaging systems. But these are things the Opensolaris community has wanted for a long time.

      Apart from these features IPS also has automatic snapshoting (using ZFS in the background), so you can revert your system back to earlier snapsots.

      All in all a very effective packaging system
      • That actually sounds like a pretty decent system. A bit heavyweight for non-enterprise users, but pretty smart none the less. Thanks for the info!
  • ...a hat and bullwhip?
  • With ZFS you can smash a hard drive and keep the system running:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=CN6iDzesEs0 [youtube.com]

  • by atrus (73476)
    For someone who has been using OpenSolaris (SXCE) as a server platform for Apache, ZFS, etc for awhile now, I welcome an easy to upgrade and improved userspace Solaris. Will try this one out. Solaris has had a relatively poor userspace experience for someone used to Linux machines. The kernel is top-notch though.
    • by njcoder (657816)
      I'm still using Solaris 10 for a project I'm working on but am looking to move it to OpenSolaris before release.

      Project Crossbow [opensolaris.org] is one of the projects I wish was currently available now. It looks like the easiest way to set up virtual switches and networks which is a great feature to use along with zones. Right now I'm using a hack I found online to do this. Crossbow is a lot easier and integrated with SMF. I haven't really had time to really focus on making a management script for the hack yet. It's
  • zfs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trybywrench (584843) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:47PM (#23305324)
    I've played around with ZFS, it's very cool. I mean very very cool.

    It's a crying shame the licensing issues keep it from being ported to Linux as part of the kernel
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by eudaemon (320983) *
      LOL, that's because Sun views Linux as a stepping stone to Solaris, me boyo.

      No reason to give away the toys to the "hobbyists." :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thermian (1267986)
      The primary difficulty with OpenSolaris is that is part of a new breed of corporate controlled Open Source.

      Much as they might trumpet that it is, it isn't actually proper open source. I can't take it, rip out any bits I want and use them elsewhere. No matter what the license says, if I can't do that, it isn't 'Open', and as you point out, some bits you can't.

      Also, it has hardly any developers not already on Suns payroll, and those that are independent are shackled by a lack of proper tools.

      Sun doesn't want
      • by Santana (103744)
        from a BSD point of view. If good open source software makes into their distribution, good for them and all their users. Goal accomplished.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by larry bagina (561269)
        Apple didn't have a problem putting dtrace and ZFS into darwin/OSX. FreeBSD didn't have a problem putting ZFS into FreeBSD.
    • the true shame... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:49PM (#23305850)

      is that ZFS, despite all its goodness, lacks some incredibly basic features compared to 99% of the hardware and software RAID and LVM systems out there. You can't grow (please pay attention here) a ZFS pool except by adding similarly-redundant vdevs, and there is no way to remove a vdev from a pool, unlike LVM2.

      So. Got a 4-drive RAID-Z2 array, and you want to add more space by buying another drive to add in to your 5-bay hot-swap cage? You're shit outta luck. If you have a zpool with a vdev that consists of a pair of mirrored drives, you CAN add another vdev of two drives, then another, etc. You also CAN replace the drives in a vdev with larger drives. That's kind of half-okay, but still not on par with RAID cards of a DECADE ago. Even Linux's MD can grow RAID5/6 across more devices!

      Someone suggested the ability to grow redundant pools by single devices, and the reaction amongst solaris ZFS developers (!!!) was "now why would you want to do that?", and then when THAT was explained, "well shucks, I wonder how they do that" (they = almost every hardware and software RAID solution on the planet.)

      Absolutely astounding that a Solaris filesystem developer would not be able to at least guess as to how a RAID5 array would be re-striped to add a new drive.

      Far as I know, they've been working on the grow capability for more than a year and we have yet to see it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It's apparently on their radar, but at a frustratingly low priority. I agree that the omission of this seemingly simple feature was a major oversight on their part. Here's a link to blog post by one of the developers at Sun:

        http://blogs.sun.com/ahl/entry/expand_o_matic_raid_z
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by njcoder (657816)
        I'm not sure if this is the case, but I got the impression that RAID-Z isn't the way they'd like you to use ZFS because you'd get better reliability and performance from just adding multiple mirrored sets to the pool. You can add multiple RAID-Z sets to a pool and that will give you better performance than adding one big RAID-Z. I can't find the link but there was a blog posting comparing IOPS in different setups and the recommendation was to use a max of 4-5 drives per RAID-Z vdev.

        I haven't played around
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        You can't grow a ZFS pool except by adding similarly-redundant vdevs.

        This is not exactly true. No matter what your pool config is, you can always grow it by adding any sort of top-level vdev to it. For example if you have a N-drive raidz, you can add to it a 1-drive "mirror" (no redundancy, not recommended), or a 2-drive mirror, or a 3-drive raidz, or a 4-drive raidz2, etc.

        I think what you tried to say is that it is not possible to convert a N-drive raidz/raidz2 array into a (N+1)-drive array. The r

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:51PM (#23305362)
    The darn thing never even boots successfully on most all of my machines - on the one machine where it does - the network card (wired) is not detected making it unusable. OpenSolaris seriously needs a bunch of smart driver developers contributing drivers and general x86 workarounds - just not suitable for x86 hardware as of today (unless the h/w happens to be Sun).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by njcoder (657816)
      I ran into a similar problem. In a lot of cases, the drivers for the network cards are actually available. The problem seems to be that there is no mapping of the PCI id in /etc/driver_aliases. I've found that in many cases you can just add a line in that file with the appropriate pci vendor and product id and the nic will work. You can find the pci vendor and product id using prtconf -v and searching for the Ethernet Adapter section.

      There are also a bunch of free network drivers for Solaris can be foun [nifty.com]
  • Has nvidia gotten around to allowing OpenSolaris to distribute their driver, or do you still have to download and install it manually?

  • Indiana... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stele (9443) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:57PM (#23305428) Homepage
    We named the dog Indiana.
  • installing now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:57PM (#23305432) Homepage
    I'm installing it right now. It looks like a copy of Ubuntu. It has a LiveCD, standard GNOME desktop, and an online package manager (called pkg).

    Don't take that as criticism. Cloning Ubuntu is probably the best design decision an OS team can make these days.

    Personally, I don't care whether it's Solaris or Ubuntu or *BSD underneath it all, so long as it supports my hardware and runs my applications.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tranzistors (1180307)
      If I remember correctly, they swapped linux kernel with sun kernel and added some tools. Since debian (foundation of Ubuntu) is kernel agnostic (but linux is the working kernel), SUN just ported Ubuntu to solaris.
      More on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexenta_OS [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by njcoder (657816)

        If I remember correctly, they swapped linux kernel with sun kernel and added some tools. Since debian (foundation of Ubuntu) is kernel agnostic (but linux is the working kernel), SUN just ported Ubuntu to solaris.
        More on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexenta_OS [wikipedia.org]
        What you said relates to Nexenta which is a distribution of OpenSolaris. Indiana is the distribution from OpenSolaris.
  • by spikenerd (642677) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:03PM (#23305492)
    therefore, it is *not* Linux-friendly
    • by mkcmkc (197982)

      therefore, it is *not* Linux-friendly
      Huh? If it has a GPL-compatible license, wouldn't that be Linux-friendly?
  • by Rob Riggs (6418) on Monday May 05, 2008 @06:11PM (#23305548) Homepage Journal
    Given what's happening to SCO lately, how valid is the license that Sun purchased to allow them to release the source code to Solaris?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by njcoder (657816)
      Sun had a lot of rights under previous licensing agreements before Novell even purchased the rights to Unix. The SCO deal seemed to be for some additional licensing and some drivers. Novell has claimed they won't be suing anybody over Unix anyway.

  • Thanks SCOSource. Without Unixware 7.x, this release would not have been possible. The previous releases based on Sys V were really crappy.
  • While ZFS is cool, it will someday be ported to Linux (the market forces are such). The advantages over ext3 etc. are simply not compelling enough for me to abandon an entire universe of software and hardware I have gotten used to with Linux distributions.

    I see no use for Dtrace as I use nothing more fancy than Matlab for analyzing my data. No fancy number crunching or developing here. I used to do a lot of heavy duty Fortran 95 programming, but that is history (which will not be repeated).

    So, Sun wants me

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