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Sun Is Giving Away Solaris 10 DVDs 248

Tarmas writes "For a limited time only, just like Ubuntu's ShipIt service, Sun Microsystems lets you order Solaris 10 absolutely free of charge. The operating system comes on a single DVD supporting both the x86 and SPARC versions. Also included is Sun Studio 11."
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Sun Is Giving Away Solaris 10 DVDs

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  • I wonder (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rolfwind ( 528248 )
    Is this a sign of desperation? (Not bashing Sun here, just heard that the company is going through a tough time.)
    • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bladesjester ( 774793 ) <slashdot AT jameshollingshead DOT com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @04:58PM (#17605662) Homepage Journal
      Actually, it's just a way to drum up interest in a new product. A lot of companies do it.

      Microsoft does it with the functional betas of a lot of their software including Visual Studio and they aren't really hurting for customers
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by ceeam ( 39911 )
        Oh, and if Sun wants to ship me an Acer Ferrari notebook with Solaris 10... where do I send them my postal address?
        • by hdparm ( 575302 )
          Let me know once you've finished testing and I'll send you my address. There will be a suggested option to return the thing if you wish. Ignore the address in that suggestion and use mine instead.
      • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Informative)

        by 222 ( 551054 ) <> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:24PM (#17605966) Homepage
        Microsoft also did something along the same lines with their Power Together [] program, although the end result of that was a fully functional copy of Office or Vista.
        You actually had to watch a few webcasts (Hit play and go to sleep) but its essentially the same thing.
        I'll be getting a free copy of Vista as well as Solaris, but more as a novelty than anything on both counts.
        • Wish I had known about that when they started it. I wouldn't have turned my nose up at a free copy of the new Office.
          • by binkzz ( 779594 )
            I think it was only for businesses, and then only for the first 300 who applied.
            • by joeljkp ( 254783 )
              I did it, and I'm not a business. It expired pretty quickly, but it did last a couple days (long enough for me to get in there and register).

      • by Kenneth Stephen ( 1950 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:50PM (#17606214) Journal

        In the good old days, when Sun was making money, they had their guns trained on IBM. These days, there seems to be a tacit acknowledgment in their strategy that they are no longer in the same league as IBM. They seem to be aspiring to compete with HP, Dell and *shudder* Gateway. You dont see IBM giving away their AIX operating system for free, do you? And this is despite the fact that AIX soleley exists to exploit IBM hardware (it doesnt run on anything else) and therefore, could legitimately be given away, since IBM's objective is to sell hardware.

        The bottom line is: yes, its a way to drum up interest in a new product, but they appear to be targetting the lower-end market segment with this gimmick.

        • I'd say that they're probably going the support route with this one. They give away the software and then sell their support contracts kind of like Redhat does.

          I've known a couple of people who worked for Sun going on-site to locations to do support and I would assume that they have phone based packages as well.

          Personally, I have to say that, if I had the spare cash, this might make me want to buy a Sun box. I love their hardware, having worked on it in labs for several years. It's just that buying the n
        • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @07:10PM (#17607008) Journal

          You dont see IBM giving away their AIX operating system for free, do you?
          No, but then I don't really see IBM selling AIX, except to those people already using it. They seem to be doing everything they can to gut it and put everything that makes it worthwhile in to Linux. They are pushing the Linux brand hard, because Linux is cool at the moment. This could backfire for them, since people will start to wonder why they should by from IBM, rather than some other random Linux vendor.

          Sun, on the other hand, is trying to position Solaris as a Linux competitor. Technically, it's superior in most regards (driver support being a big exception, but this is not a problem for servers, since they are certified for the OS or not sold). It already has the reputation. It has a license that the FSF call Free, although some people have problems with it. At the really high end, systems like OpenVMS and z/OS still rule. Solaris can't compete with these, and neither can Linux. Yet. At the bottom end, there is Windows or Linux (or the *BSDs, but even though I use them I realise they are a tiny percentage of the market). Solaris lives in the middle, where the volumes are small and the margins are high. The bottom is creeping up on the middle though, and so it is important for Sun that they focus on the bottom.

          Personally, I wouldn't try to compete in the top end. IBM are there, and they are welcome to the market. SIG used to be there; remember then? There are some people who can't make do with commodity hardware, and there will be for a long time, but this segment grows smaller every year. Sun are focussing on the bottom, because as technology increases, more and more people are adequately served by the bottom. The trick is to have a differentiator. Sun sell Linux and Windows systems, but they also sell Solaris systems. Now, anyone can sell a Solaris system as cheaply as they can sell a Linux system. Why is this good for Sun? A few reasons:

          1. They can say 'Look at all these other Solaris sellers[1]! No vendor lock-in here.'
          2. They can say 'Look, Solaris is better than Linux, buy Solaris'
          3. Most importantly, they can say 'sure, you could buy Solaris from those guys, but isn't it more sensible to buy it from us? After all, we wrote it. If you need support, we have people who know the source tree inside out who can quickly track down and fix any bug you find. Just sign here for our platinum support. In blood please...'
          The hardware will be cheap. The software will be free. Having someone who can fix whatever problem you might encounter on call will be very expensive, and for a lot of people will be worth every penny. How much does ten minutes of downtime cost you?

          [1] They already had Fujitsu as a second source, which has helped them a lot.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            I've wondered about the AIX/ Linux strategy for IBM, because I design systems using p-series machines from IBM. From what I can tell, IBM is making money better than anyone in services, which explains the SUSE Linux as well as Red Hat Linux work that they do. The top two Linux distros are those, and IBM wants to be your preferred service provider; they will happily settle for backup at a premium.

            AIX exists, though, because it can utterly exploit power CPUs. What I can have my sysadmin do with a p595 and
        • You dont see IBM giving away their AIX operating system for free, do you?
          Doesn't matter, nobody'd take it anyway... Seriously, AIX feels like System V was translated to Japanese, went through a generation or two of development, then was translated into English again. It's got some nice features (the first Unix I used with an LVM, lo these many years ago), but it's...I dunno, got an accent or something. It's just not right...
      • by rbanffy ( 584143 )
        But Solaris 10 is not a new product...

        About a year ago I was handed a Solaris 10 DVD, a Solaris 11 beta and a CD for Nexenta (Ubuntu on top of a Solaris kernel)

        I like Solaris, but I would like a very cheap Niagara ATX motherboard much more than a pressed DVD. And it doesn't even need to be for free. I think that would drum up the interest on Niagara, Solaris and Sun in general.

        They also need to re-hire Frog Design. We need something as cool as a Sparcstation 1 and a Sun monitor to match.
    • by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:03PM (#17605724) Homepage
      At least in downloadable form. I remember getting Solaris 8 iso images from them almost 5 years ago. Theres plenty of hobbyists and admins that need or want to run it at home. Their attitude is much better than SGI, IRIX cds still cost plenty on ebay. O2 and Octane workstations are dirt cheap now.
    • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AchiIIe ( 974900 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:15PM (#17605864)
      Canonical: Free Ubuntu cds shipped!
      Community: Whoa, great innovative, breakthrough, sign that ubuntu is a serious contender

      Sun: Free Solaris dvds shipped!
      Community: Whoa, sign of desperation, they can't even give their os for free.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *
        Canonical: Did it first.
        Sun: Shouldn't need to.
        • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

          by Fyre2012 ( 762907 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:59PM (#17606322) Homepage Journal
          Canonical: Did it first.
          What about AOL?
          • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *
            Last time I checked, AOL doesn't have an OS, although it can feel that way. I know I didn't define "it" but I figured I was talking to fellow human beings that didn't need a definition of every preposition I used in my statement. Just for the robots out there: it == provide a free service for mailing operating system installation media to anyone who requests such service from a web site. Now back to cleaning the kitchen Robbie.
            • Last time I checked, QuantumG doesn't have a sense of humor, although it can feel that way. I know Fyre didn't define "funny" but he figured he was talking to fellow human beings that didn't need a definition of every joke he used in a statement. Just for the robots out there: funny == a joke. Now back to cleaning the kitchen Robbie.
        • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Informative)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @07:53PM (#17607386)
          Canonical: Did it first.
          Sun: Shouldn't need to.
          Oh, baloney.

          First release of Ubuntu was October 20, 2004.
          Sun was giving away solaris on DVD since at least May of 2002. []
      • Apples and oranges. Ubuntu was never a closed-source product, and the people who put it together were motivated by the desire to put together a better Linux bistro that they always knew they'd have to give away. Solaris/SunOS has been a closed-source product, and a significant revenue source for Sun, since 1982. (Let's not quibble about whether Solaris and SunOS are the "same OS".) Sun giving away Solaris, either by opening part of the source or by giving away free media and licenses, is a major shift for t

        • Sun giving away Solaris, either by opening part of the source or by giving away free media and licenses, is a major shift for them. "Desperation" might be too strong a word, but Sun is certainly going through some collective soul searching.

          The Solaris 2.6 CDs that I got, free of charge, sometime around, oh, 1999, 2000, under exactly the same concept, disagree that this is new, or a "major shift." Or the Solaris 7 CDs, for that matter.

      • Re:I wonder (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @06:19PM (#17606508) Journal
        You mistyped:

        Sun: Free Solaris dvds shipped!
        One random guy on Slashdot: Whoa, sign of desperation, they can't even give their os for free.

      • Re:I wonder (Score:5, Funny)

        by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @06:54PM (#17606860)
        You're apparently new here. Let me explain the Rules of Slashdot.

        1. We love Apple (especially when they do something just like Microsoft, and even more if their product is vaporware).
        2. We hate Microsoft (especially when they do something just like Apple, and even more when their product is vaporware).
        3. Steve Jobs can do no wrong (especially when he does the same as Bill Gates).
        4. Bill Gates can do no right (especially when he does the same as Steve Jobs).
        5. Any story that is positive about Bill Gates or Microsoft will get tagged "fud" or "troll".
        6. Any story that is negative about Steve Jobs or Apple will get tagged "fud" or "troll".
        7. "One Laptop Per Child" is the second coming of Christ.
        8. Nicholas Negroponte is Christ.
        9. We ignore Sun (especially when they dominate any specific industry).
        10. We adore Java (even though it was developed by Sun).
        11. It has been "The Year That Linux Takes Over the Desktop" for about 8 years.
        12. It has been "The Year That Microsoft Dies" for about 15 years.
        13. It has been "The Year That Apple Overtakes Microsoft" for about 10 years.
        14. Ubuntu is God's chosen Linux distribution.
        15. All other distributions of Linux are wannabes...especially the ones that have been around longer than Ubuntu.

        I've got $5 US that says this reply gets moderated as "troll" or "flamebait" because it contains so much truth about the attitudes of the majority of the Slashdot community.
        • No troll or flamebait points. So give me my $5.
          • by davmoo ( 63521 )
            Too late. It's very first moderation was "-1 overrated"...same thing...which I thought was amusing since how can it be overrated if no one had even rated it first :-)
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by corsec67 ( 627446 )
          16. Any post containing the disclaimer that it will be modded down will instead be modded up.

          (This post will be modded down. But, by saying that, people will mod it up. Does claiming that it will be modded get people to mod it down?)
          • by davmoo ( 63521 )
            Actually, and really not surprisingly either, the very first mod it got was "-1 overrated".
          • I modded your post and then canceled the mod by posting this to tell you that I did it. I'll leave it to you to guess what mod points I gave you.
        • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
          Dude, I think you got Slashdot and digg mixed up again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This is a sign that Sun is coming to terms with the economics of the Free/OpenSource movement. Get your OS out there and you will make more friends, sell more hardware and services. I think Sun has the right idea, whereas HP still does not know what to do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thogard ( 43403 )
      Is it desperation? I think so.
      There are lots of Solaris shops that looked at Solaris 10 and told sun to come back when its done.
      Solaris 9 wasn't impressive as a development environment but for a production system you could rip out all the bloat and have a very lean system that was rock solid. The core system rarely needed patches and if you kept careful track of what modules where needed and checked what got patched, you would find that most patches were for things that wouldn't even be loaded on a secure
    • by Skater ( 41976 )
      Not really. Sun gave away (or sold cheaply, don't remember which) an earlier version of their operating system that ran on Intel machines. I don't remember whether it was SunOS, Solaris, or whatever, and I don't want to call it something because I'll probably pick the wrong name and version number, and I don't see my copy nearby.

      As I recall, the deal was, you ordered it and paid for shipping, they waited 6 weeks, then sent it overnight. Yeah, thanks for charging me $50 for overnight shipping AFTER waitin
  • Source (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vga_init ( 589198 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:00PM (#17605672) Journal
    Is the source code included? It says only "Solaris," not "OpenSolaris," so I'm guessing that it's not. If it were, that would be cool.
  • by nxtr ( 813179 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:03PM (#17605722)
    It's the only way I can keep my productivity up; I install an operating system on my computer that won't run any games.
  • by hildi ( 868839 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:22PM (#17605934)
    im giving away my SUN stock as well.
  • by ufnoise ( 732845 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:22PM (#17605944)
    When I installed Solaris last year, there were no drivers to support my hardware. I was able to get it to work in VMware and it worked great. There was file which you had to tweak for the interface, but that was about it.
    • When I installed Solaris last year, there were no drivers to support my hardware.

      What hardware might that be?

      There are 3rd parties developing drivers that work on Solaris, if you just look around.

      For network cards, you can often find manufacturers officially supporting Solaris, and offering drivers for download. The BSD drivers are also commonly ported to Solaris, such as these: []

      OSS offers soundcard drives for just about every popular card. It doesn't use the

      • by ufnoise ( 732845 )

        When I installed Solaris last year, there were no drivers to support my hardware.

        What hardware might that be?

        Unfortunately downloading the NIC driver is hard when your NIC is not working. I couldn't get either of my network cards working. Also not fun is getting the NVIDIA graphics card to work. The drivers I am using now in Linux for my Nforce 4 chipset are:


        I was able to download drivers and burn them to the CD. Unfortunately I was either unsuccessful comprehen
    • by rho ( 6063 )

      Nobody has ever given me a compelling reason to install Solaris. I put the x86 version of Solaris--7 or 8, I forget which--on a machine, and then tried to set up netatalk for some Macs on the network. It was a pain in the ass. Solaris also likes to put shit all over the disk--in /opt, in /var, in /usr/local/etc/var/ in /ramalamadingdong. I understand why--they have to provide compatibility. But it's just a pain.

      Unless you're running highly specialized Solaris hardware, what advantage will you get over Cen

      • What you will get is 1)Containers 2) a kick ass fast TCP/IP stack 3) Mil-Spec Security and those are just off the top of mind. I used to work for Sun as an Architect so I used to get this question all the time.
    • Sort of takes the effect away if you dont run it on the hardware..
  • Now that it's on /. you can basically not expect to receive your copy for the next 6 months with the flood of /.ers filling in the form!
    • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) *
      Let 'em have it. Last month I downloaded Solaris Express [] build 53, which includes a much newer GNOME (2.16, as opposed to 2.8 or whatever in Solaris 10) and firefox 2.
  • by lorg ( 578246 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:31PM (#17606040)
    Yay! Free coasters for everyone :)

  • I've used the Free version Open Solaris for a while on a 4 way box. Works very well and uses Gnome desktop. No serious bugs, except that dragging and dropping a file on the desktop can make Gnome lock up.
  • It's true (Score:5, Interesting)

    by faragon ( 789704 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @05:58PM (#17606308) Homepage
    I received the disks on december 8 '2006, postal box labeled as:

    Sun Solaris 10 Media Kit Program
    Fulfillment and Customer Service by:
    BrandVia Alliance, Inc. - Fulfillment Center
    2300 Zanker Road Suite E, San Jose, CA 95131, USA
    Telephone: 408 955 1750
    Reference: 23072-588

    To *Your Name*
    Air Mail $5.05

    Contents: Free Solaris 10 Software Media Kit. Commercial Value less than $10

    Postal service used: UNITED STATES POSTAGE, from ZIP CODE 95131 to Barcelona (Spain)

    The package include 3 DVD:

    * 6/06 Solaris 10 Operating System (SPARC DVD)
    * 6/06 Solaris 10 Operating System (x64/x86 DVD)
    * Developer Tools (Sun Studio 11, Sun Java Studio Creator 2 Update 1, Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8, NetBeans 5.0)

    The DVD box shows a photo of castellers [], quite curious, as it is typical from where I live (human tower, representing that the union make you stronger, etc.).

    Corollarious: I'm glad the DVDs crossed the ocean. Thank you Sun! If Solaris become GPL v3 licensed, I would consider to use it for homebrewed hacking. Although I love Linux, and I will not leave using it, I like the possibility of have a GPL v3 alternative... just in case!
  • I ordered it.

    Figure can't hurt to load it on VMWare, or VirtualPC and take a look, perhaps learn a thing or two. Knowing a little bit about yet another OS can't be harmful (unless it's Win ME).

    I guess they figure if enough people do like me, they may win some people over. Couldn't hurt.
  • Yeah but (Score:2, Informative)

    by thomasa ( 17495 )
    Now they are charging you for the patches. Try getting the
    Solaris 10 recommended patches without a contract.
  • by mritunjai ( 518932 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:49PM (#17608814) Homepage

    The Solaris 10 DVD program looks aimed at pro users primarily.

    If you want to start on SunOS (kernel) and Solaris (the OS from SUN = SunOS + userland) and you are primarily an enthusiast, may I recommend you OpenSolaris and its distributions.

    OpenSolaris - It is the opensourced core OS + networking components of the Solaris OS. Solaris 10 and all future Solaris releases shall be based off it.

    There are a number of distributions of OpenSolaris-

    1. Solaris 10 - The official distribution from SUN and officially supported. (ROCK SOLID)

    2. Solaris Express - Stable builds of development code. Supported by SUN.

    3. Solaris Express Community Release (SXCR) - Bi-monthly development builds. Reasonably stabled (haven't seen it crash on the machine I have here in 3 months... 24x7 up, development server). [THIS is what you probably should be running if you want a SUN release to play with!]

    4. NexentaOS - [This is what Linux folks should try] This is built off same code base but with GNU userland. It is based on Ubuntu with OpenSolaris kernel (SunOS).

    5. BeleniX - A crazy fun distro of OpenSolaris. Also available as LiveCD

    For more info please look at []

    Thank you

    - A Solaris Fan
  • Quit Whinging! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:51PM (#17609274)
    Christ on a crutch. Sun is giving away a current/recent version of their OS and you lot are going on and on about pissing on them for it. It works. It's rock steady. Besides which, it's the first *nix version I learned.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein