OpenSolaris vs Linux

Operating systems

So you've been playing around with alternative OSes for a while and you reckon you've got this Linux thing mastered. Maybe you're tried Mac OS X and found it a bit too restrictive (or expensive); perhaps you've kicked the Hurd's tyres and thought you'll come back to it when it's something more than just a clever name.

If you're looking for something else to play with, we humbly suggest OpenSolaris. Like Mac OS X, which we looked at recently, OpenSolaris is based on Unix; also like OS X, it's best known for running on a specific processor (in this case Sun's SPARC architecture) but now works on a range of architectures including x86. Unlike OS X though, OpenSolaris is open source, so you can download it for free and start fiddling with it.

We're not interested in a direct, head-to-head comparison, because for many people it's largely a matter of taste which one they choose. But we do want to help people see what makes OpenSolaris a little different from Linux, so read on for our quick-start guide for Linux users wanting to dip their toe into OpenSolaris and see which they prefer...

The source code to Solaris (well, most of it) was released to the community in June 2005, and to make sure that it became a usable home system rather than just a server OS, Sun hired Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian project, to produce OpenSolaris. The first release appeared in May 2008 and the distribution adopted an approximately half-yearly release cycle: after OpenSolaris 2008.05 we got versions 2008.11 and 2009.06.

Sun advertises its operating system as a full-blown distribution, including the Gnome desktop. But is OpenSolaris interesting enough for a Linux user? If you're happy with your favourite Linux distribution, why would you try OpenSolaris? In some aspects it's much like a regular Linux distribution, but in other aspects it's completely different. Do the exciting features of this operating system outweigh the trouble of learning another Unix environment with other tools?

Installing OpenSolaris

Just like most Linux distributions, OpenSolaris comes with a live CD and a graphical installer that asks you for the standard information, including your location, preferred keyboard map, time/date etc. This will be familiar for Linux users, and if you're installing OpenSolaris as the sole OS on a computer you'll hardly notice the difference, but if you want to create a dual-boot system with OpenSolaris and Linux you might run into problems at the disk-partitioning stage.

The OpenSolaris installer considers all logical partitions on the disk as one extended partition, so it can't be installed on a logical partition. If you choose to install OpenSolaris on this extended partition, all enclosed logical partitions get overwritten. Second, OpenSolaris uses ZFS instead of ext3 as its filesystem. Linux has no ZFS support in the kernel because the Free Software Foundation doesn't consider it free enough to be bundled with GPL software, so if you want to get access to your OpenSolaris documents in Linux you have to mount the ZFS filesystem with Fuse as a filesystem in userland.

A third issue is that the standard Grub version that comes with Linux distributions doesn't understand the ZFS filesystem. So when you install OpenSolaris first and then your favourite Linux distribution, you can't boot into OpenSolaris anymore. The solution is to first install Linux and then OpenSolaris, and add the section for your Linux distro to Grub's menu.lst in OpenSolaris.

Some filesystem differences

Linux directory OpenSolaris directory
/home /export/home
/var/log /usr/adm, /var/adm, /var/log
/tmp /var/tmp
/sys /devices
/dev /dev
/lib/modules/foo/* /kernel/drv/*
/boot/grub /rpool/boot/grub

Some command line differences

Linux command OpenSolaris command Aim
sudo pfexec Execute a command as root
apt-cache search foo pkg search -r foo Search for a package containing foo
apt-get install foo pkg install SUNWfoo Install package foo
apt-get dist-upgrade pkg image-update Upgrade all packages that have updates available
lsmod modinfo List loaded drivers
insmod modload Load a driver
rmmod modunload Unload a loaded driver
top prstat List the running processes
free vmstat List the free memory
cat /proc/cpuinfo psrinfo -v List processor info
ifconfig ifconfig -a List all network interfaces
parted format Format a disk

Hardware support

Linux has a big advantage over OpenSolaris in that it supports a lot more hardware, but OpenSolaris makes up for this by having a fixed device driver interface. Where the Linux kernel developers give priority to adding features even when they break compatibility with hardware drivers (which creates more work for the distro makers) OpenSolaris keeps the driver interface static, so if your printer worked with OpenSolaris 2008.05 it'll work with 2009.6 - users can even run 10-year-old drivers written for the original Solaris platform.

OpenSolaris also gives you a clear overview of what is supported, rather than the suck-it-and-see approach favoured by Linux. The best way to find out whether specific hardware components are supported is by searching the Solaris Hardware Compatibility List online.

Another option to test hardware support on a computer is simply to fire up the live CD. The Device Driver Utility icon should show up on the desktop, which detects all available hardware and lists which driver supports it, even if it is third-party. For example, when I fired up the Device Driver Utility on my Dell laptop, the program said that it didn't have a driver for my WLan chipset (from Broadcom), but referred me to a website where I could download a third-party driver.

There is also a related utility, the Device Detection Tool: this is a Java program giving the same information, which you can run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. So with this tool, you get a perfect overview of the hardware support before you even install OpenSolaris.

OpenSolaris's hardware support is a lot more predictable than it is in Linux, though not as extensive.

OpenSolaris's hardware support is a lot more predictable than it is in Linux, though not as extensive.

ZFS: the Zettabyte File System

One of the most important reasons to use OpenSolaris is its filesystem, ZFS. Conceptually, ZFS is simple: disks are assigned to pools, and data sets are made of pools. Filesystems and volumes are two types of data sets. For pools, OpenSolaris has the administration command zpool and for datasets OpenSolaris has the administration command zfs. We'll focus here on pools. This is how you list the available pools:

$ zpool list 
NAME	SIZE	USED	AVAIL	CAP	HEALTH 	ALTROOT
rpool	15.9G	1.28G	14.6G	8%	ONLINE	-

Rpool is the default pool created by the distribution's installer. With the zpool status command, you can display the status of all pools:

$ zpool status
 pool: rpool
 state: ONLINE
 scrub: none requested
config:
	NAME	STATE	READ	WRITE	CKSUM
	rpool	ONLINE	0	0	0
	c7d0s0	ONLINE	0	0	0
errors: No known data errors

One of the outstanding features of OpenSolaris is related to the filesystem: snapshots. A snapshot is a point-in-time copy of a ZFS filesystem or volume, saving the state for later reference or recovery. You can create a snapshot with the zfs snapshot command, but OpenSolaris 2009.06 has integrated this functionality in Nautilus and the Gnome Administration panel Time Slider.

Step by step: Take snapshots with ZFS

Enable automatic snapshots

Enable automatic snapshots: Go to System > Administration > Time Slider and click on Enable Time Slider. Now OpenSolaris will regularly take snapshots of all available ZFS filesystems. If you would like to fine-tune which mount points will get snapshotted, click on Advanced Options. You can also adapt the maximum proportion of filesystem capacity that should be used. The regular snapshots take a lot of space, so by default Time Slider reduces snapshots when storage space usage exceeds 80% of filesystem capacity.

Restore a snapshot

Restore a snapshot: If you suddenly realise that you've accidentally deleted or overwritten an important file, it's time to use the snapshots. Open Nautilus and navigate to the directory your file is in. If you click on the Restore button, you can navigate the snapshot history of the current location. For example, if you deleted a file you can use the slider to navigate to the time when the file still existed. You can open the file to see if it is the right version, or you can right-click on the file and select Restore To [directory]".

Compare different snapshots of a file

Compare different snapshots of a file: If you want to browse the file history of a given file, right-click on it and select Explore Versions (this option is only visible when there are different versions of the file to choose from). The Time Slider File Version Explorer window now shows you the different versions of the selected file. If it's a text file, such as code or plain text, you can compare the differences: just select an older version and click the compare button. If the file is an image, you'll be able to see the differences immediately.

Take or delete snapshots manually

Take or delete snapshots manually: To take a snapshot of a directory manually, just click on the camera icon on the right of the time slider in the directory. If you've moved the slider to a previous snapshot, you can delete this one by clicking on the Delete button. If after a time you discover you have a lot of space wasted by snapshots you don't need anymore, just open the System > Administration > Time Slider panel again and click on Delete Snapshots, which presents you a list with all available snapshots. Select the ones you want to get rid of and click on Delete.

Virtualisation with OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris supports a variety of virtualisation technologies with different degrees of isolation, flexibility, performance and ease of use. Of course it runs VirtualBox, but it also has a port of Xen, called xVM Hypervisor. A lesser known but equally interesting virtualisation technology in OpenSolaris is Zones, a feature resembling Linux-VServer, but with the advantage that it's not a separate patch set but supported in the official kernel.

Processes running in different Zones are completely isolated from each other. This type of virtualisation is called operating-system level virtualisation. Although each zone appears as a standalone operating system, in reality there's a single instance of the OpenSolaris kernel running behind all of them, which means that Zones are relatively light on processing power. Here's how to set up virtual instances of OpenSolaris with Zones:

Configure a zone

First we create a filesystem for the zones to reside in. Then we create a zone and configure the path where the root directory tree of the zone is placed. We add a virtual network interface to the zone and wire it to the physical interface nge0, and in the last-but-two line of code we configured this network interface with a specific IP address.

$ pfexec zfs create -o mountpoint=/zones rpool/zones
$ pfexec zonecfg -z myzone
myzone: No such zone configured
Use 'create' to begin configuring a new zone.
zonecfg:myzone> create
zonecfg:myzone> set zonepath=/zones/myzone
zonecfg:myzone> add net
zonecfg:myzone:net> set physical=nge0
zonecfg:myzone:net> set address=192.168.1.50
zonecfg:myzone:net> end
zonecfg:myzone> exit

To see all zones, we execute the zoneadm list -cv command, which shows the status of the myzone zone as we've configured it:

$ zoneadm list -cv
  ID	NAME	STATUS	PATH	BRAND	IP
  0	global	running	/	native	shared
	- myzone	configured	/tank/zones/myzone	ipkg	shared

As you can see, there's also a zone called global. This is the OpenSolaris installation itself.

Install the zone

Now that the zone has been configured, we have to install it. Essentially, this creates a second installation of OpenSolaris inside the zone:

$ pfexec zoneadm -z myzone install

This command could take several minutes to finish, after which the status of the zone will have changed from configured to installed.

Boot the zone and log in

Once our zone has been installed, we can boot it with the command pfexec zoneadm -z myzone boot. This takes only a few seconds, after which the status will change from installed to running. Now you can log in with pfexec zlogin -C myzone. During the first login, you have to configure the host name, time zone, root password etc, just like a regular install does.

Now you can execute commands in the zone just like you do on the global OpenSolaris install. You can also halt, reboot and shut down the zone from within it, but you can also halt a zone from within the global zone with the command pfexec zoneadm -z myzone halt.

OpenSolaris on the desktop

Because OpenSolaris is advertised as a desktop distribution, it's fair to compare it with current Linux distributions. However, the first thing you notice is that the operating system is much slower than Ubuntu on the same hardware, so don't think about installing it on older hardware. For the rest it looks like a fairly standard Gnome desktop, although NetworkManager is replaced by an application called Network Auto Magic, which does more or less the same thing but has fewer features.

While most high-profile applications (including OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Thunderbird and Rhythmbox) are installed or available via the package manager, you have less luck if your favourite application is less known. For many Linux users this will be a showstopper, although packages can be ported.

And finally... YouTube!

We told you OpenSolaris is a proper desktop OS, so naturally you'll want to get Flash installed and stimulate your left brain. To get Adobe Flash Player, go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer and click the Agree And Install Now button (the website will automatically detect that you're using Solaris). Select Save File in the window that pops up, then click OK, which saves it to your Downloads directory. Then open a terminal window and execute the following commands:

cd ~/Downloads
mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins
bunzip2 flash_player_10_solaris_x86.tar.bz2
tar -xvf flash_player_10_solaris_x86.tar
mv flash_player_10_solaris_r22_87_x86/* ~/.mozilla/plugins/

When you next restart Firefox, Flash 10 should be working. There - an advanced filesystem, easy virtualisation, Firefox, OOo and more. Could OpenSolaris be the new Linux? Give it a try and let us know in the comments below!

Some differences under the hood

Under the hood OpenSolaris is very different from a Linux distribution. You can see this in a different filesystem layout and different base commands. For many tools, OpenSolaris has two versions: the Solaris ones are in /usr/bin and the GNU ones are in /usr/gnu/bin. Because OpenSolaris wants to ease the transition for Linux users, /usr/gnu/bin comes first in the PATH environment variable.

Other tools are available only in a Solaris variant, which can be confusing. Ifconfig is such an example: as a Linux user, you'll soon find out that the syntax is different from what you expect. Even the network interfaces are called differently: the standard interface is not called eth0, but for example nge0 or bge0, reflecting the driver used. All in all, you have to relearn a lot of commands, which requires some effort.

First published in Linux Format

First published in Linux Format magazine

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Your comments

I'm not mistaken

"Big mistake. Stallman is anarchist, nor communist (don't mix the two). And he particularly limits his anarchistic approach to technological issues filtering out other stuff."--- passer

anarcho-synacalism is communism practicality speaking. What it is in theory exactly is not important.

I'm not mistaken

anarcho-syndicalism is communism practicality speaking. What it is in theory exactly is not important. I had to repost that

mentally challenged Linux bitch

"This quotes are absurd. Didn't you find anything more intelligent? They should learn at least the difference between anarchism and communism first." -- passer

It is not absurd you are just another mentally challenged Linux bitch or defender.

Linux bastards are grinding me down

""Seriously. WTF? Would you please stop make BSD users look so bad?" -- Scorp123

translation : I'm too illiterate and stupid to understand your post about emergent properties and to read the chapter from Schopenhauer's book that you posted."

___

this is the original reply from me which has mistakes in it :

"Seriously. WTF? Would you please stop make BSD users look so bad?" Scorp123

translation : I'm too illiterate and stupid to understand your post about emergent properties and to read the chapter from Schopenhauer's book I postd.

No edit function plus constant assault by penquin fanatics equals lots of mistakes. Illegitimi non carborundum.

I think my job might be done here.

I think in spite of some of my mistakes (most of which were just typo and grammar issues I could easily fix with an edit function if it existed) I still basically devastated my opposition for the most part. There is one post that I didn't get back to though that is left hanging but it is really reasonable for me to answer every reply to me ? I don't think so. So I came, I saw and I devastated. Now you people can play around in the ruins (fallout if you want).

Reality check ....

The author wrote ...

"Because OpenSolaris is advertised as a desktop distribution, it's fair to compare it with current Linux distributions. However, the first thing you notice is that the operating system is much slower than Ubuntu on the same hardware."

The real issue is that OpenSolaris has been pushed into the desktop/workstation domain with many mature pieces of server-like technologies such as dtrace, ZFS, predictive self-healing, etc. Technologies like these, at a mature level, do not exist in the Linux distros. Assuming it is possible to incorporate these technologies in Linux can you guarantee that Linux's performance will not suffer ? Can you guarantee that Linux's kernel/etc. design has good scalability so that it can incorporate newer technologies without significant detriment to performance. Or will portions of Linux need rewriting ?

Anyway, I use 64-bit OpenSolaris on a HP xw9300 (4GB RAM) system as a C++ (SunStudio) development environment and am very happy with the usability of the system (I patch using the "dev" repository).

People need to realise that one advantage of the Opensolaris code base is due to it's Solaris lineage, where the latter has had significant experience in various enterprise-level sectors of the market (ranging from financial, engineering/science, university,..). with the advantage of having a single innovative company (i.e. Sun) providing a concentrated push/focus into these sectors. Also, opensolaris runs an all of Sun's hardware. Where do you think the mature big iron multi-CPU-processing and multi-threading kernel functionality in (Open)Solaris came from ? It came from the need to be enterprise ready for customers years ago; SPARC or x86 version. Contrast this with Linux's general big iron experience (SGI's version is specialised case of custom hardware married to custom Linux kernel and not indicative of the general Linux distro).

With IBM and HP, They flip-flop between Linux and their own closed-source UNIX.

Which is the go ?
Linux ? AIX ? HP-UX ?

At least Sun's message is consistent ...

i.e. Try (Open)Solaris.

Don't feed the troll

Guys that Anonymous NetBSD User is the dumbest and most pedantic troll I've seen in my life.

I've ever seen a troll so retarded as to correct his own grammar faults on follow ups in an Internet forum.

Just ignore the idiot as he's just trolling.

Now go ahead my dear Anonymous NetBSD User and call me any names you want.

I'm old and rusty, my heart is crusty, you cannot hurt me.

errors

This should have the word 'practically' instead of 'practicality' :

"anarcho-syndicalism is communism practicality speaking. What it is in theory exactly is not important."

If you want to blame someone for me fixing my grammar like this when you probably already understood what I was saying or trying to say anyway then blame the grammarian here who chastised me for not spelling 'benighted' right (I said beknighted) etc.. here in this thread. He was right (even though I tried to dialectically bluff otherwise) but still people focus on such trivialities because they are shallow. In the USA class distinctions can be made by diction among other things. In the USA people put an absurd premium on colleges/university education because they have no long history of bloodline based nobility like Europe does. So the way people speak can signal ones education and class. Now the middle class doesn't speak as bluntly as the upper class and lower class does in the USA. The middle with its terror of ideology, opinion and sharp meaning are the main cause of the euphemism, jargon, gentility and verbal slop that wash over us. I'm talking about this now because class is related to Communism. Now what is the best way I know how to make a classless society ? I speculate that exterminating the neolithic humans (90-130) would create a classless society or the closest thing to a classless society that humans are capable of. Class and religion have nothing to do with the core values of the cognitive elite except as a means to pursue their (our ? I dunno my IQ ) cognitive interests. Now I realize my idiosyncratic ideas can be potentially revolutionary or otherwise anti-social. However, I don't care. I think just for the sake of thinking ( I will focus on ideas for their own sake). Normal people who notice me focusing on ideas for their own sake think that it is nerdy and don't understand it (they think it is delphic). Class is so much more complex than just an economic condition or relation (as Karl Marx would have us believe). The lower class in the USA thinks that money confers class. The middle class admit that money has something to do with it but they think education and the kind of work you do is equally important. The upper class thinks that thinks taste, values and ideas are indispensable criteria for class no matter what kind of work you do or how much money you have. (I'm talking about the U.S. class system here) etc.. etc.. it is a complex sociological issue that is not simply an economic one (as Marx would have us believe). Here on the internet ideas should reign supreme there is no need for class jockeying here. You may not be able to escape the ramifications of class in the real world but in cyberspace you should be able to (at least in some formats or forums). Idea supremacy is what I'm talking about here not class supremacy. So I think Karl Marx was wrong (not completely wrong on everything thing though). A classless cognitive elite society wouldn't be Communist. The only reason why a cognitive elite society would be classless or relatively classless is simply because the cognitive do not have strong social consciousness that pays a lot of attention to social structures and relationships like the neolithic humans do. It's really that simple.

*Disclaimer : I'm not responsible for any potential violence that happens in the real world as a result of my ideas here.

Opensolaris is Great

I am working in data center which is mainly SOLARIS shop and we are slowly moving towards linux.
This attempt is on for past 3 years and we are stll not happy with linux as server OS.
Linux is far inferior than Solaris 9 or Solaris 10.
I am talking about stability, usuability, scalability
We manage more than 15 thousand servers and face little problem with deployments, upgrades, patches, stability with solaris than RHL.

RHL build breaks every now and then, upgrades are crappy and non-compatible, bugs are more than what you could find in your house. After working on Solaris to migration project for 4 years, I would definitely say that Linux as commercial Server OS is still way beyond commercial alternatives like Solaris and AIX

lol @ Warriors

"Whatever, one of your stupid tribesmen is the catalyst for me correcting my grammar on follow up posts."

This doesn't makes you less retarded for doing so.

"Doesn't matter anyway because I refuse to sign up here because that would make me a member of a Linux forum."

Don't worry mate, your dick won't shrink even more for that.

"For a picture of a Grammarian then follow this link below :"

Guess what ? I don't give a heck about your links, they only show you are so retarded that you *must* link third party opinions to look more clever.

Stop googling to link ideas of others more clever than you.

Tell your only brain cell to work a bit instead.

"Because of Grammarian's obvious weakness most Warriors ignore him."

That one make my day, rofl.

Geeeeez here I come with me Axe, be prepared stinky Linux userz !!!

blah blah blah ...

This doesn't makes you less retarded for doing so." -- anonymous

Your mother is an ugly retarded bitch. If it annoyed just one Linux user here than it was worth it.

"Don't worry mate, your dick won't shrink even more for that." -- anonymous penquin

Your father's penis was so small at your conception that your mother had to use a turkey baster to impregnate herself.

"Guess what ? I don't give a heck about your links, they only show you are so retarded that you *must* link third party opinions to look more clever." -- anonymous penquin

Yeah because wssting my time reinventing the wheel or restating everything in my own words through Herculean synptopical research methods here is worth my time ? I don't think so because Linux users are too stupid for me so it would be a waste of my time. That doesn't make my understanding any less profound than an analytical syntopical one per se it just means that I am not formally following academic rigor here because this is not an academic setting.

"Stop googling to link ideas of others more clever than you.

Those are not websites that I am googling like I have never read them before. I have very good memory so I remember a lot of websites, periodicals and books that I read. I'm not just now stumbling across these websites and using them. It's convenient and it would be less clever of me to waste my time stating everything here in my own words.

"Tell your only brain cell to work a bit instead." -- anonymous penquin

Your one and only brain cell exploded while shooting your shallow vacuous mental wad here in your last post. It was such an effort on your part that your plebeian simian brain could not handle such exertion.

"Geeeeez here I come with me Axe, be prepared stinky Linux userz !!!" -- " anonymous penquin

The warrior thing is a metaphor but since your last brain cell right before it exploded was unable to process that subtle distinction since it needed the help of other brain cells communicating through myelin sheaths (via electrical signals that) that were non-existant in your brain prior to the explosion of your last one.

@anonymous cow-herd

"I've read through your postings and find them most humorous." --anonymous cow-herd

At least someone here is enjoying themselves.

"I'm not laughing with you at the Linux users, I'm laughing at you."

Your mother is laughing at your small penis

"I agree, slighly, that Linux (you are generalizing far too much), or more specifically Ubuntu, is for newbies - I set my brother up since he is new to computers and doesn't understand how to avoid viruses, and he loves it!" -- anonymous Cowherd

Fedora , Ubuntu, SuSe etc.. etc.. ? I'm not seeing much difference here all inferior choatic, buggy, bloatware.

"However, the more you post, the more you reveal about yourself. The fact that you refer to SunOS as "Solaris 1" illustrates your lack of experience and youth. " --anonymous cow-herd

The fact that you call solaris 1 'sunOS' shows that your mental faculties are decrepit from old age and hence what you say is not worthy of consideration.

"SunOS was, indeed, BSD based, having a BSD kernel and the BSD silly double-boot (boot ro, fsck, reboot rw) and a kernel that had to be recompiled to make minor adjustments.
Solaris (2) is AT&T based, using an AT&T kernel, loadable kernel modules, runtime adjustable components, etc. It was massively more advanced than the old BSD version.
FYI: The difference between Solaris 9 and Solaris 10 is nearly as enormous as the difference between SunOS and Solaris, but I doubt you've paid enough attention to understand what you are missing." --- anonymous Cow-herd

So the fact that SunOS was more primitive was the fault of BSD ? No I don't think so. Right now I'm my NetBSD system I don't have a 'silly double boot'. I have loadable kernel models through lkm and I can change run time settings on the fly with sysctl. So what you are saying is pointless to me. The newer Solaris versions after Solaris 1 are still powered by BSD to some degree.

part of a NetBSD man page LKM (4)
NAME
lkm -- Loadable Kernel Modules interface

SYNOPSIS
options LKM

DESCRIPTION
Loadable kernel modules allow the system administrator to dynamically add and remove functionality from a running system. This ability also helps software developers to develop new parts of the kernel without constantly rebooting to test their changes. Various types of modules can be loaded into the system. There are sev-
eral defined module types, listed below, which can be added to the system in a predefined way. In addition, there is a generic type, for which the module itself handles loading and unloading. The lkm interface is used by performing ioctl(2) calls on the /dev/lkm
device. Normally all operations involving Loadable Kernel Modules are handled by the modload(8), modunload(8), and modstat(8) programs. Users should never have to interact with /dev/lkm directly........

part of the NetBSD System Manager's Manual SYSCTL(8)

NAME
sysctl -- get or set kernel state

SYNOPSIS
sysctl [-AdeMn] [-r | -x] [name ...]
sysctl [-nq] [-r | -x] -w name[?]=value ...
sysctl [-en] [-r | -x] -a
sysctl [-nq] [-r | -x] -f file

DESCRIPTION
The sysctl utility retrieves kernel state and allows processes with appropriate privilege to set kernel state. The state to be retrieved or set is described using a ``Management Information Base'' (``MIB'') style
name, described as a dotted set of components. The `/' character may also be used as a separator and a leading separator character is accepted. If name specifies a non-leaf node in the MIB, all the nodes
underneath name will be printed.

.....

"As far as NetBSD being used by NASA... let's all try googling.
First search "site:nasa.gov netbsd"
Second search "site:nasa.gov solaris"
Third search "site:nasa.gov linux" " -- anonymous cow-herd

Do you see somewhere where I claimed NASA only used NetBSD exclusively ? I don't. I have no idea you are talking about here. NASA does use NetBSD though.

"Mature and stable (top)

"The BSD codebase can be traced back to the early 80s at UC Berkeley, and has been open to public scrutiny ever since. NetBSD continues this tradition and works ever harder to promote clean design and functionality over hype. NetBSD is being used at NASA's Numerical Aerospace Simulation facility for a reason. Their main platforms are Alpha systems with lots of RAM and diskspace (terabyte and up), and they need a good, stable, codebase on which they can build custom projects. NetBSD was also the first free OS to make a y2k statement. See our testimonials for more success stories! " -- netbsd.org

"Network orientated
TCP in satellite networks (NASA Lewis) (top)

NASA Lewis Research Center - Satellite Networks and Architectures Branch use NetBSD almost exclusively in their investigation of TCP for use in satellite networks. They are currently examining several proposed modifications to the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) protocol. Extensions are being tested in an attempt to improve satellite communication. However, the extensions are also being tested in terrestrial environments. Among the extensions being tested are restransmission mechanisms based on selective acknowledgements (e.g., FACK TCP) and TCP with larger initial windows. They are currently testing the mechanisms' performance benefits and their fairness to other traffic. They are also working with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)'s TCP Over Satellite and TCP Implementations Working Groups." ---netbsd.org

"If they love NetBSD so much, please explain why NASA, those who wrote Beowulf, chose Linux. In its infancy, no less (it was only 4 when Beowulf was released, while NetBSD was far more mature, at least age-wise)."

NASA didn't write Beowulf AFAIK. Rather Beowulf is based on an original NASA aystem. AFAIK Beowfulf clusters can use BSD, solaris or Linux.

"Note the Beowulf supercomputer clusters at LANL, LLNL, and many dozens of other sites around the world.
How many OpenSolaris systems are listed top500.org?
How many Linux?
Now how many NetBSD? " -- anonymous Cow-herd

Why should I waste my time figuring that out when you were seemingly too lazy to tell me yourself ? A better question is how many of those systems are running Unix and how many are running Linux. I'm not using the word Unix here in it's trict Unix (TM) sense but rather I'm differentiating by saying Linux is an inferior second rate knockoff of Unix unlike BSD and Solaris which are derived from tried and true Unix unlike Linux (which was written from scratch basically by Linus originally which was inspired by Minix rather than Unix). If it is not unix it's crap is my saying (at least up until now in the human history of computing. What the future holds I dunno.) I'm not saying Unix is perfect just that it is better than everything else.

"You're right... you are MUCH smarter than all of the lead scientists in the world. Please get in your Star Trek shuttle (still in the original package) that you picked up at Comic-Con and fly away so you may be in peace. "--- anonymous Cow-herd

Since you are not one of those lead scientists apparently you are not smart enough to comment here and hence what you are saying here is worthless.

Why not FreeBSD?

FreeBSD supports ZFS and has jails which are basically the same thing as zones. FreeBSD runs on all kinds of hardware, and has some desktop friendly distros like PC-BSD and DesktopBSD. It also works on many different CPUs like amd64, i386, ppc, sparc64, etc. It may not have company backing like Linux, Windows, or Solaris but it's license insures that everyone can contribute. Many supported packages, and an interesting approach to package management will make you wonder why you ever used anything else. Why should we fight over operating systems? In the end don't we all just want to use our computers?

Linux, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD are all great if you want to use Unix. Even though they might have come from different places, and have different development processes they are all Unix!

Re: Richard Stallman is a Communist Jew

Then why isn't Israel communist?

why isn't Israel Communist

"Then why isn't Israel communist?" -- anonymous penquin

I know the answer to that question but it would require a long answer because you are probably ignorant of the Jewish question. It is not my responsibility to educate you on this matter (especially since it is way off topic).

@anonymous cow-herd

"SunOS was, indeed, BSD based, having a BSD kernel and the BSD silly double-boot (boot ro, fsck, reboot rw) "--cow herd

Not only do I not have any so called silly double boot in order to clean a filesystem that was not shutdown properly (uncleanly) and remount it again in readwrite mode for use. Also starting to with NetBSD 5.0 we have WAPBL (not just softupdates) from the now defunct WASABI systems (which means it wasn't written by clueless unpaid useful idiot Linux bitch Communists apparatchiks. In otherwords it is quality code since Darrin B. Jewell was paid good money to code it.) WAPBL (Write Ahead Physical Block Logging) : this feature offers various advantages, for example after crash a file system check at boot time won't be needed, in fact the log is just replayed taking only a few seconds.

DESCRIPTION
The WAPBL driver provides meta-data journaling for file systems. In par-ticular, it is used with the fast file system (FFS) to provide rapid file system consistency checking after a system outage. It also provides better general-use performance over regular FFS. WAPBL currently maintains its journal in one of two locations: - After the file system The journal is placed in the same partition as the file system, but between the file system and the end of the partition. - Within the file system The journal is allocated as a special contiguous file within the file system. The journal file is not visible via normal file system access. A new journal is created automatically when a file system is mounted via mount(8) with the -o log option. If no journal size has been specified with tunefs(8), then the size of the journal will be based on 1MB of journal per 1GB of file system.

O.o

apt-get install foo | pkg install SUNWfoo | Install package foo

WTF!!!!!!!!!!!! i mean, apt-get is for flinstonebuntu (aka debian), *buntu and others but apt-get isn't the standard package manager in Gnu/Linux, actually there's no standard package manager in Gnu/Linux ¬¬

Be Careful

Hello all,

Before you trust your precious data to ZFS, do yourself a favour and join Sun's ZFS forum and read some of the posts there about data loss. ZFS is a really promising, great concept, that works well and is quite simple to use. It also has a lot of new, ground-breaking capabilities.

However, it is NOT very mature when it comes to data recovery. Lots of people are finding this out the hard way. Don't trust it. Do your backups. You've been warned.

Linux, in my daily life...

Hi everyone(no matter which operating sys. you use , i greet everyone),

First, i'm perfectly satisfied with Ubuntu and Suse Linux too(9.04 and 11.1)and i tried other distros too, but i stay now at these two(not i need both, just interresting) and don't get shocked please: EVERYTHING works perfect! HD monitor, media studio, my mobile phone as broadband modem also work automatically, mp4 player, etc... But i still respect all computer users, no matter what os they prefer, it's their choice with, i'm sure, a good personal reason. There is no war necessary! We all enjoy our computer on our personal way(PC- Personal Computer, hehe).Image: what could happen, if all professionals, developers from all kind of os would work together on 1 single, new system. Maybe we could get 1 really perfect(almost) system, without war!

That's all folks.

Greetings to ALL!

Dropped failsafe boot option?

"I stopped using opensolaris when they dropped the 'failsafe boot' option from the installation. I think that gets back to the comment above about no command line. For me no single user boot option meant a re-install every time I broke something. Has it been brought back ?, don't know, gave up."

OpenSolaris may have dropped failsafe boot option, but we have something far far much better now. We now have BE (Boot Environments)! Rejoice!

Before you upgrade/patch/install a package, an automatic ZFS snapshot is taken - this is called BE. When you reboot, you will see all BE in GRUB. Just choose which environment you want to boot into. The environment before your patch? Or after? Or far earlier?

All bits are preserved, via ZFS snapshots. This means the old BE are not touched or altered. All new changes are written to a new place on your drive. This is really really brutal. You can patch while the system is online, and then just reboot. If it screwed up something, reboot into the original environment.

Now you can do truly safe rollback in a second. Without having to issue commands and so. Just reboot, choose which BE in GRUB and you are done.

This is true versioning, just like SVN or Gits on your OpenSolaris installation.

If you prefer Ubuntu, you can try distro Nexenta. It is Ubuntu but with the Solaris kernel. This way you have ZFS and Ubuntu userland.

Hooray Anonymous NetBSD user!

I love watching Anonymous NetBSD user here. Nobody else here is even playing the same game as him, much less at the same level. My hat off to a successful and talented troll! .50 caliber prairie dog hunting comes to mind. Everyone responding to him so far should at least recognize their intellectual (if not necessarily moral) superior in Anonymous NetBSD user. He's playing with you like toys! XD

I'm giving NetBSD a ride on my Mini 9 for a couple months in your honor.

I've been using Opensolaris for a while. It works better than Linux (stability of network interfaces and X) or Free/OpenBSD (64-bit nVidia blob drivers primarily) on my laptop, and everything in my desktop/workstation/server/multipurpose-stationary-computing-platform runs in Opensolaris just perfectly. I didn't special-select my hardware to run it, I just didn't add anything stupid and/or gimmicky when I built it. Hardware support isn't it's strong point, but give it a spin, the hardware support impressed me because my expectations were so low. Supports my TPM and webcam.

The reason Linux dominates the top 500 chart isn't because Linux is particularly fast or good at scaling to powerful systems. It's just easier to strip unrelated functionality out of. This is a specific quality which doesn't make it particularly suited to most tasks, and the resulting kernels are nearly useless outside their particular HPC domains. It certainly doesn't do any good for desktop Linux.

It's so annoying to see Linux fanatics touting that, who clearly have no idea what got Linux so many spots on the chart or how applicable that is to how popular or good or secure or high-performance or reliable under load any particular OS is. Sure, the nominal use of Linux-based kernels in the most extreme computing environment ever has applicability to an article about Desktop usage of opensolaris and a NetBSD user who says Linux sucks (and is right).

Lighten up guys

Wow, so much 'panties-in-a-bundle' perspective from so many geeks!

Anyway, just come here to say that I am playing with Solaris for the first time because I have heard good things about ZFS performance with backuppc. I currently look after 9 CentOS Linux servers and we now have a newbie running Open Solaris. The article (remember that!?) was very useful so thanks to the author.

There's certainly a bit of a learning curve 'getting into' Solaris (wot, no "cat /proc/cpuinfo", 8-character user names preferred - how quaint! etc..), but overall I am seeing the whole experience as a useful string to my bow.

Only comment I'd pass as this stage is downloading Sun Studio to get a working c compiler is taking forever...

OK, I'm ready for the next philosophical rant, who's next - oh, and has this thread been Godwinned yet!? Maybe I missed that one!?

An interested reader

While I like the article and lots of comments of the users; I must comment the following:

There are a lot of nice BSD users, also a few that will make a driver for you if you have a problem with it without even being asked specifically.

Linux now is basically selling out to the masses, and I think it is a good thing, I can safely give a kubuntu live to a 15 year old nephew and he'll manage to make it work and look spiffy even on an old comp.

Some of the attitudes in these comments

Ever think of why our jobs are being shipped overseas? What we have here are some over paid elitist pigs who well practiced at speaking they way they have in this forum and then turn and wonder why an MBA has made a decision to ship our jobs to a country where people ask how high when they are asked to jump. Trust me, I know, I've worked with enough of them and have had to train enough of them.
They only thing I can say to these folks is "Thanks" for selling us all out with your attitude. It has forced me to go back to school, spend less time with my family to find work outside of a field of work that I truly love to do.
90 percent of the folks in this world do not care about the things mentioned here. They want to know that it works when it is supposed to work and that the people that are supporting these systems have their best interest in mind. Tell me the business case of any of the issues described here? How is using one system over another going to provide competitive advantage. Rather than the protracted rants and elitist rambling about why suits can't just port their own device driver, think about how a given system can provide a competitive advantage for business. Even more so, think about how employing American IT workers can provide completive advantage over our much more gracious foreign counterparts.
In closing, most people go to work to work. They use computers as tools to facilitate that work. When they are not at work, they are focusing on spending time with their families or activities that do not revolve around computers. I know that “we” computer folks think the world revolves around computing and expect the rest of the world to think the same. Truth be told, it doesn’t. Truth be told, I’m thinking it is “we” who have gotten it all wrong and the all the “others” who have it right.
Its OK to stay in your elitist world of self-validation if you’d like, but you’ll eventually find yourself very alone in the end and unemployed. Nobody really cares about your passion for an operating system. In the grand scheme of things, its really not that important. There are much bigger problems in this world than which OS is more bloated, or this or that.

I'm sorry that you're having

I'm sorry that you're having trouble getting a job in a field you want to, but you're blaming entirely the wrong people for it. See your local mirror for a more accurate perspective on your problems.

I don't even know what you think you're ranting against because your post lacks any overall direction or coherence, you're just rambling and trying (and failing) to make this discussion appear pointless as if you were reinforcing your moral superiority in a position as hapless victim deserving of sympathy. But you really just come off as angsty and seeking vengeance on those who cost you your job, neither of which give you any image of that, and you're still hiding behind anonymity.

How do these systems give competetive advantage? Deploying reliable systems that don't falter under load or require much attention per system means you can spend more money on systems and less money on people to maintain them, have less downtime, and can be more productive. Code bloat affects performance, reliability and security, two of which directly affect downtime and staffing requirements, drivers support the ability to deploy the most streamlined systems on certain hardware, etc. There are legitimate business reasons why these things are discussed. Hobbyists and business have many of the same needs from their computers.

I would say the elitism is generally deserved collectively if not necessarily individually, though individuals are showing their inferiority though incompletely thought-out replies. And I'm not familiar with elitism leading to being alone and unemployed, and am having a hard time seeing a direct correlation there. University professors tend to be quite elitist and are hardly unemployed. As long as you are genuinely elitist and not elitist in a futile attempt to make yourself feel superior to others (i.e. fake), the only complication with elitism is others' perception of you. Which may not even always be bad. Some are impressed and drawn to those with knowledge even when they are elitist. Some (fake) people flock around elitists to think they are on the same side as the elite, which empowers the elitist. So long as the elitist is careful not to let his sense of elitism become more elite than he is (and thus fake) there are no unexpected complications, and none which would lead directly to unemployment and lonliness.

My experience where I work has demonstrated that when you give instructions like "jump" to people who ask "how high?" you are not hiring the kind of thinking, inquisitive, flexible, learning individual you want managing your computer systems. It may appear so in the distorted visions of decisionmakers who count beans and collect statistics (see: "lies") from afar without personal involvement, but those who interact with cheap labor doing complicated (especially computer-centric) tasks rarely leave without intense feelings of frustration.

@mentally-challanged-anonymous-penquin

"Linux now is basically selling out to the masses, and I think it is a good thing, I can safely give a kubuntu live to a 15 year old nephew and he'll manage to make it work and look spiffy even on an old comp."

Yeah, and how is that attempt at 'selling out' to the masses working out for you mentally challenged Linux bitches ? Last time I checked Linux has no more than 1% (probably less) of the desktop market share. Linux is a Unix clone. Unix is user friendly--it's just picky about who its friends. Trying to 'sell out' to the masses e.g. mainstream Linux distros destroying themselves in order to convert 5 more windows users obviously isn't working out. However, you mentally retarded Linux bitches haven't realized it is a failed strategy yet. BTW, Linus Torvalds on 22nd of this month said that the Linux kernel is bloated. It is obvious that it is not just the kernel either. Mainstream Linux distros are a bloated, chaotic mess userl and kernel.

fix error

This was truncated in the above message :

"Unix is user friendly--it's just picky about who its friends"

should have been :

"Unix is user friendly--it's just picky about who its friends are"

'userl' in the above should have been userland. Gee thanks for having no edit function here (for us anonymous users) thus making this thread a clusterf*ck. Humans make mistakes otherwise they wouldn't be human. Therefore an edit button is logical but linux bitches are not logical hence I have no edit button to fix the above post.

@Anonymous OpenBSD user

The title: @mentally-challanged-anonymous-penquin is also misspelled.

backups

One of the posters hit the nail almost on the head. "Do your backups, you've been warned." ZFS? How about...ext2, ext3, ufs, xfs, reiserfs...your underlying filesystem doesn't matter, if your entire array shits the bed.

The real problem with backups, is that you don't need em, until you need em. If you don't have em, pack up and go home.

these article comments...

It's a fine article but the BSD flame comments really ruin the mood here. It is the envitable fate of unmoderated forums... is Usenet dead yet?

I was going to post a big pro-solaris post, but I'll keep it short:

- I been a sysadmin for 20 years
- Opensolaris and ZFS are awesome! In my opinion!
- I still dual boot Windows XP. I'll never buy Windows 7 or Vista if I can help it.
- I will continue to install SUSE, OpenWRT, Ubuntu as I feel the desire to. I like linux too.

I'm always in favor of MORE options, more choices. Google brought me here. Isn't Freedom grand?

Both have their own sets of Pros and Cons

Linux has something like pvm
pvm is not working fine here.

Its equivalent,
Open Solaris has something like Zones
Unable to create a NFS share/start NFS daemon inside a Solaris Zone.
It has got manufacturing defect not solved yet.

ZFS of Opensolaris reliability might be better than EXT4 Filesystem of Linux, when both Machines are abruptly powered OFF & ON.

Linux Boots Faster than Opensolaris.

Many Schools & Colleges, focus in academia on a learning curve inclined towards Linux/UNIX and not Solaris, due to wide spread acceptance of x86 architecture in College labs etc. And absence of Sun Blade Servers at college labs.

Solaris running on x86 is rarely found.
Linux running on x86 is more commonly found.

Sun acquired by Oracle.
Opensolaris future unknown

Linux future unknown, in
Operating System Wars between Google OS, Microsoft Windows

Linux EXT4 doesnt hav Filesystem Snapshot feature of Solaris ZFS

Opensolaris ZFS has filesystem snapshots feature
Linux EXT4 doesnt have it.

Linux 2.4.82 Kernel was not supporting Bandwidth Restriction using iptables Firewall rules.
It could only control No of Connections per second and queue length
Newer 2.6 versions I have to check.

Does Solaris Firewall support it?

Fills a gap

I've been using Linux for 10 years and Ubuntu for 3 years, which I found to be the "best" distribution. However, Linux has always lacking something compared to Windows and MacOS. I like opensource systems but when it comes to serious work and getting things done there is always problems. Ubuntu's biggest problem is lack of maturity in development and reliability. under the years I've been using it it has been much problems with driver support, bugged upgrades, changing features (sound) and other things that makes every upgrade a big project and a lot of time goes wasted. For a business time is very expensive and Linux/Ubuntu has a long way to go to make it worth the extra time needed. That is the biggest advantage of OpenSolaris, a grown up and reliable system that just works. Sun have the experience of software development and enterprise systems that Ubuntu does not have. It fills the gap between opensource and serious business systems. I'm looking forward to follow the development of this project since it is exactly what I've been looking for in Ubuntu but never found.

Some Commonsense

Anonymous NetBSD (not verified) wrote on 15 September 2009 at 03:43:

"........ Ubuntu is popular because most people on the planet do not have much intellectual capacity to work with and they are lazy when it comes to configuring and interacting with their computer. They just want everything to work automagically no matter how much bugs, spaghetti code and overhead that brings to the table. People are stupid."

(1) People can be both stupid and lazy even if they have high IQs. But that is NOT the essential point of using computers.

(2) Computers are supposed to work for mankind and reduce the amount of work previously required by human beings - not the other way around. In simple terms minimum human effort into a computer should product maximum machine output from the computer.

(3) The best operating systems work with minimum effort. Bugs - embarrassing program errors - ought not be to present in any form of software issued to the public whether free or not despite Micro$oft making US$ billions of profits by repeatedly selling expensive bug enhanced software since MS-DOS 1.

(4) Wanting a simple and straight-forward life is a commendable objective. Only a stupid person would dare to pretend endless days and nights bug-solving is a desirable form of human existence.

(5) Every good programmer wants to deliver a perfect product. Hoping for and expecting bug-riddled products instead of workable perfection is sheer lunacy.

(6) I've been programming longer than many of you have lived. I've witnessed more your can imagine and become proficient at recognising computer crap at 1 km distance. Slagging-off a computer operating system on the basis its supporters want it to work perfectly out-of-the-box first time merely illustrates the moaner is anxious to broadcast to the world how stupid HE is.

(7) We all acquire considerable skills by using, learning and trouble-shooting but no one but a nincompoop ever wants software to fail or to be difficult to configure.

(8) Intellectual capacity should be reserved for enhancing products not for debugging them or for trying to understand dreadfully confusing instructions. Lets have pride in good products that work rather than screw-up on first instal.

Honeywell H-120 & BBC Micro B+ fan (never used the KDF9)

Wow, Classic Dam-Zells In Dis-STRESSES.....

Classic!

My Wife Just Shaking Her Head At Me As I Am Laughing Like A Drunk Monkey Shaking Her Head At The MailBox....

Anyway, Approximately 99.8% Of These Views, Comments, And Expressions Are Dead On From A Human, Enthusiast, Co-Worker, White Collar, And Geek Point Of View.

When Frito Covered Fingers, And Red Bull Become Your Staples In Your Parents Basement; Sometimes OS Variants Seem Like The Most Important Things In The World But Truth Be Told, It Comes Down To What Your "Geek" & "Tweak" Shall Be, Porn, Girls, Guys, Cars, Puters, Movies, Money, Bla Blah Blah... Everyone Should Have A Passion In Life. Some Geeks Though Get Juiced Up Way To Much Over Which OS's; Who Cares....Get A Grip And Chill Out.

I Have Tested And Tried A Vast Majority Of OS's Out There And I Have Enjoyed Most All For Various Reasons.....

One Of My All Time Favorite OS's What Whatever Came On Apples 'Apple II E'...I Am To LAZY To Even Google It Right Now As I Have More Important Things To Do Like Balance My Little Laptop On My Lap; While Petting My Cat; And Eating Clam Chowder Soup.

O-Solaris Seems Great To Me; Though I Love Sun & Oracle As A Business Entity And Environment. Personally Working For Most Of The 'Biggies' In San Jose: Fairmont Hotel, Intel, M.Fee, Sun, C.A., Adobe....For Years Sun And Their Development Environment Give Even Better Incite Into The Type Of 'Product' They Develop.

O-Sol seems a bit slower; but I Love Stability
One Can Always Tweak Things For Performance; And As Far As The Tests Go; ZFS Wins Hands Down As A File System....Then Open VMS....Then Bar Drops Significantly To Those That Kill Their Loved Ones But We Won't Go There..

I Have Ported & Ran Solaris For Years On Various Servers, Desks, And Laps.

Great Sturdy Puter Environment, I Give It 8 Frito Thumbs
Out Of 10

My Favorites:
Windows: 2000 Server, XP Home Stripped Down With Lite PC Product, And The Rest Make Great Coasters For Coffee Or Tea.

BSD's/Unix: O-BSD, Net-BSD, O-Solaris, DesktopBSD

Linux: Fedora 9, CrunchBang, Scientific Linux 5.3

BinaryThread Relays; And Favorite Of All Time: Open VMS

I Loved The OS's That Ran The Amiga Puters, And The First TI-92, Not The Calculator But The One Where You Could Code 'Mr. Bojangles' To Dance....

This Laptop I Am Writing On Right Now, A Mini...Aspire One Netbook; I Have XP Pro Customed, Open BSD Console, Scientfic Linux 5.2, Crunchbang 9.04.1, & O-Solaris 2009

All Are Very Useful; And Wonderful To Use. They Work Flawlessly And Witin Range Of Expectations On A Little Lap-Book. (120 GB)HD, And 1.5GB Mem

So Go For A Walk, And Get Out And See Some Nature
Death To Technology, 'At Least Someday Maybe...'

My Wife Loves Clay Aiken...Scary To Think I Wrote You This While Listening To "It." Different Strokes For...

Be Well
Out Of 10

OpenSolaris RULEZ!

Using it on a mini-itx Atom 330 board with a 4 SATA consumer grade disk RAID-Z. Just works.

The best feature by far is the "scrubbing" of a ZFS pool: detecting if any data has changed due to silent disk degration.

Before OpenSolaris I had within a year 3 disks corrupting data without mostly noticing it (if MPEG2-DVB files get corrupt you can't tell where the error came from, because it could be a transmission error...).

ZFS is THE feature why I got interested in OpenSolaris. Digging deeper into it I have to admit that this is a server OS how a server OS should be.

Linux is something for embedded devices or single application appliances. This is where Linux really shines.

MacOS X is the finest desktop OS available.

So at the end of the day there should be enough room for OpenSolaris / Linux / MacOS X to survive. Its just fine that everyone could choose what he wants and needs.

Solaris vs. OpenSolaris

i am a linux user, but i was looking at solaris and opensolaris and realized solaris is now free?

so can somebody elaborate on the differences between solaris and opensolaris

Sun Hardware Engineer Opinion

I have been working with solaris in the enterprise environment for 8 years now and during that time played with RHL and Debian as well. Solaris IS the most stable server OS available, but it has always been a nightmare to install on non sun hardware. Now with OpenSolaris all that has gone. You still get the stability but 150% useability. e.g. Toshiba M10 laptop. Install Opensolaris and EVERYTHING on the laptop is supported. What more could you want from an OS. If you don't want to play with ZFS then don't. It'll always be there but you'll never know. But if you do then you'll find a whole new world.

If your looking at Solaris / Opensolaris and you don't have Sun Hardware then start with OpenSolaris. If however your like me and enjoy playing get a lowend sun server e.g v100/v120 and install Solaris10.

Have fun

Paul JJJ, epic moron for the epic fail

You're a moron. AnoNetBSD was arguing against complexity and bugs, in favor of simplcity. You don't seem to have enough programming experience to have recognized the value of simplicity.

Stupid users want easy. Sophisticated users want simple. Simple != Easy

I've wasted more intellectual effort trying to get my mouse to work properly with HAL-using Xorg than I spent getting it to work properly using xorg.conf. It's not a bug, it's complexity, but it still doesn't work so it might as well be a bug. Documentation on creating HAL policies wasn't the easiest to come by either and I couldn't find what I needed in man pages. By OpenBSD standards that's a bug. Automagic can be complicated and when automagic is wrong, it's a huge pain to fix it. And even when there aren't any bugs, it sure feels like a bug.

If you value easy bug-free software then don't defend bloated complex automagical nonsense.

Many thanks for this

Many thanks for this article. In the past I had some interest in Opensolaris though never got it to work properly. After reading this article I gave Opensolaris a renewed try and guess what....it works. I got even the Flash-plugin installed with command line, what I was never really able to do with Linux. Don't know why. Also my Ralink wireless I got up and running with the help of the instructions by Opensolaris. All quite simple and I am in a way really surprised. For people like me Ubuntu and the likes will do however I followed up the author's thought to do something different. What I can say now is that Opensolaris seems to be rock solid and once you have registered (optional) there are quite enough programms to install. Even with one click. Great.
Still I do not understand the whole bitching between different camps. I am no geek (far from it) and more or less thanks to the likes of Bill Gates I am able to handle a personal computer. In a way Microsoft and Apple are instrumental in bringing the computer to the masses and today we have Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu who tries to do the same with Linux. Great guy! Command lines are fine for people who have time to do so but for the every day men or women who needs a computer to do something functional the GUI is heaven. Hope Opensolaris will become a kind of Ubuntu or Opensuse in the sense of Desktop approach.
Many thanks for the article!

Try Belenix

After trying out Ubuntu 9.10 and Fedora 12, both very good apart from a few niggles. The main two being:

Pulseaudio on Ubuntu being one of the let downs for the brown OS. I know it will get sorted eventually....

The nouveau driver on Fedora 12. This shows a lot of promise, nice clean install, graphics all work, but limited to 2D graphics at present. Installing the nvidia driver, was slightly more difficult than it used to be, coupled with the fact that you have to fiddle with selinux, enable the update-test repo on rpmfusion, ensure you totally disable nouveau which was marginally more complicated than it should have been. This let the blue OS down a tad.

At the end of the day all I wanted was a stable *nix with simple uncluttered menus (anything more can be done on the CLI), and a spinny cube, because it's cool. I did a bit of digging and found Belenix. This ticked all the boxes, when you select xfce & compiz on boot. Plus you get all the benefits of a stable open solaris system, with zfs and most of the needed free software available in the repos.

Belenix is definately worth taking for a spin.

I was curious but not anymore...

I came into this site looking for information about OpenSolaris, just in case I would try it together with my Linux O.S.
After reading the comments of AnonymousNetBSD ("Linux is for bitches and dumb ones at that" and "Who cares?") and Yourmommycalled ("Yet another Unix user"), I have decided never again consider Solaris or OpenSolaris as an alternative...
Either these two stupid guys are Solaris's staff, either they are so terribly stupid and nerds that they just consider themselves the "kings of mambo" and they feel very proud of attacking other people that are not so "cool" as they are...
Pathetic!
Why don't you attack Windows users? In the open-source community I have never met so stupid and pathetic people like you (sorry if I leave you out of this community, according to my point of view).
Congratulations! I have read about freaks like you on the net, but I did not believe that such Middle Ages stupid people were real in the 21st century... But I have realized that these freaks are very near to us!
Once again, congratulations! I will do my best so that no one near my influence area will ever try Solaris or Unix!
Such stupid freak people....!!!!
Bye to the all good people here, but I will never again consider Solaris or other hetherodox thing other than Linux... thanks to these two stupid freaks!!!

OpenSorais too complicated and buggy

I am an FreeBSD user for may years but it lacks
important features like virtualization, so i was looking for another unix.
I tried opensolaris, but I stopped:
even simple things are complicated:
- try static ip configuration from the gui (it wont work)
with a lot of magic hazzle in /etc i get it to work.
- ipv6 autoconf doest work
- some simple zfs tests make the zpool command hang

Solaris has a lot of nice features which would like to
use: zfs zones smf ...
But basic configuration just cost too much time to learn.
In these times where IT people are overloaded with
knowledge , you cant expect admins and developers to learn
all details of an os to use nowedays basic features.

Maybe in a few years it will be more usable.

Fed up with Geeks

Many years back now I started using Linux instead of Microsoft's Windows and today I am into Opensolaris. However...after reading quite a few of the posted entries here I would rather be a Windows whatever user (but I won't).
Many so-called Geeks in this forum should get a life and first brush up their literacy level.
A computer is to help one in life not to pass time with with utter Geek waffle.

@AnonymousNetBSD user

First of all, Mac OS X runs the Mach kernel, not the FreeBSD kernel. That makes its kernelspace != FreeBSD. FreeBSD userland is *not* (mainly) coded by FreeBSD developers, thus != FreeBSD. Perhaps you should learn to read before you spew your incompetency all over the public namespace.

Secondly, I am not a Linux user but use FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD, so I am not a dumb faggot penguin bitch (though I fail to see what my sexuality would have to do with anything, had I been...).

Thirdly, precisely the type of attitude you display is what I'd expect from Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD fame, except he can back it up with actually having created significant contributions to the world and, thus, does not need to claim anonymity -- and he's a far nicer person, of course, who is above using words like "faggotry" and "bitch", preferring instead to argue his case in a sobre manner as befits an adult.

You, my fiery friend, is obviously neither competent nor coding nor caring to look up simple facts. Instead you belong to a church -- which makes you a "FUD-eating flock-following pushover lamb".

Take care.

@ anyone choosing OS based on...

A couple of users of Whatever-OS let their feelings get away with them and you make your choice of OS based on that?

That actually plays into the hand of them. Choose based on technical (and other) merit, not on the fact that someone disagrees with your choice. That's one of the *actual* points of the narrow-minded guy who pretends to be elite around here -- and a good one. Don't make yourself less smart just because he likes to tell you you're stupid.

By extension, mr. anonymousnetbsduser should stop confusing Linux The Kernel with Linux The Distro with Linux The Actual Install, or I'd have to ask him which userland he's referring to...

Linus Torvalds is a brilliant guy who's quick to judge, but he's also quick to code and his judgement is often (but not always) merited. Own up more, speak less. That'll earn you the respect of the BSD community, which I can safely assume you crave and safely say your type does not have.

An aside:

For the desktop, boot time matters. For the server, hardly, unless it is prolonged significantly by the need to rebuild a file system. A server is supposed to be running, not rebooting. Boot behavior -- say, the ability to trace faults by eliminating services at boot time -- on the other hand, is a most useful feature on the server side, as is anything that avoids a fsck or raid-rebuild.

I challenge anyone to come up with a reason *not* to embrace features that make your life as sysadmins easier and at the same time substantiate a claim that you have a life (outside of your op room).

Geez...

"If Linux is so superior then why were the special effects for the movie The Matrix done using FreeBSD instead of Linux ? The people who did the special effects for The Matrix said at that time that they did not think it would have been possible using any other operating system."

That's why they were doing special effects for movies, not giving lectures on OS-design...

Just goes to show why argument-by-reference is a dead end. Their statement is *obviously* wrong, since *any* networked operating system can be made into a compute cluster, and since computing CGI-frames is not a real-time exercise. That Hollywood should be advancing use of clusters for entertainment is no surprise. That their spokesmen and hired sysadmins tout the virtues of "couln't have done it without" is just comic.

The comments on jews in here...

When you run out of arguments, attack an easy target -- Hitler and Himmler did wonders with conspiracy speeches like that. As usual, you put your complete ignorance on display to get attention.

Beckham is an old english word, thus, etymologically it has its origins in old norse.

Stallman is an old english family, dating back to 1202, with, admittedly, Saxon origins (though that hardly makes them jews).

"15 years later Israel was born, and the citizens were all from eastern europe. That explains why all jews has german names."

Yeah...Israel is in the Middle East, eastern Europe is not Germany, and Israel was founded after most German jews were exterminated. Your sense of logic is now transcending mere belief.

Israel was founded as an American outpost to make sure the abundance of oil in the region kept flowing into your SUVs. That is why you entered Yugoslavia (hint: the largest pipeline in Europe terminates there), and that is why we had 2 Gold Wars. It has *nothing* to do with jews, be they rich and lobbyist or not. It has *everything* to do with keeping the average American a happy consumer.

But I am too far off-topic and getting tired of your poser attitude. NetBSD is *clearly* inferior to OpenBSD and FreeBSD, and Windows Vista is better because it's slower. Such is my oppinion, and I'm entitled to it blah blah blah.

Typonese

"...That is why you entered Yugoslavia (hint: the largest pipeline in Europe terminates there), and that is why we had 2 Gol*F* Wars."

"Gold Wars"...now that would be something... :-)

Choise problem OpenSolaris vs Linus

Great Article!

Its a pity of all the wrangle, it makes no sense.

I'm using FreeBSD now for years at my work and as a
home firewall/server. But FreeBSD definitly lags behind
Linux. It has no facitilies for virtualisation.
I am doubting between Linux and OpenSolaris.
When I look a the features, I think Solaris still is superior
to linux in some respects like zones + virtual network + booting from zfs, more?
But Linux has a far greater community and is here to stay.
I dont want to put a lot of effort in an OS that might dissapear. Many Unixes are gone already, it would be great loss if Solaris is the next.
What will Oracle do with Solaris?

ZFS - nuff said

-OpenSolaris for the "real" production servers...ease of administration, ...
-Linux for web servers, and some Workstations,...
-Apple/MacOSX for ALL clients(multimedia everything).
-(OpenOffice for all your eye-candy office needs, and its such an obvious replacement for MSOffice.)
-"ZFS" used by, and, for ALL of the above OS's.

The Windows phenominal monopoly can fill in for some cool games for a little while longer, atleast until all the above take over, then its 'ba-bye Microsoft -> into the Smithsonian.!

But then again, I'm also wishing for the perfect "car".
:)

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