OpenSolaris 2008.11 first impressions

Using the wonderful bittorrent, I got the CD image in next to no time (in contrast to the Solaris Express image I’m currently downloading via HTTP that’s taking forever).

Boot time in VirtualBox (off the ISO image) was rather quick, usual questions on keyboard layout and desired language (it’d be neater if these were GUI questions… but anyway). The GNOME desktop loaded up, popup window informed me that it had connected to the network. Awesome.

Package manager: opend quickly, using the repository and it does seem to have a lot of packages… even MySQL 5.0.67 (and 4.0.24). Not 5.1 though, but it is early days (and it was just released as GA the other day).

At least one unusual thing was SUNWgrub and SUNWgrubS (where the S is for source). I assume this is some packaging oddity as I don’t ese other packages like this.

SUNWii wins the odd package name award.

The Time Slider seems like possibly the most awesome thing ever. It periodically takes ZFS snapshots of your disk and presents you with a time slider in nautilus so you can just view your data how it was in the past (at previous snapshots).

I can’t see how to change the keyboard layout to DVORAK (at least while booted off the CD image).

The getting started guide also shows how to get a development environment going… this is quite promising. Will do proper install shortly and do a step by step “building drizzle on OpenSolaris 2008.11” post.

6 thoughts on “OpenSolaris 2008.11 first impressions

  1. how big is the installed image?
    (i’ve currently using kvm with “raw” format)

  2. 2.5GB fresh install – but will no doubt grow with dev tools etc.

    the raw format is probably much better performance as it doesn’t have to do all sorts of junk when expanding (and can’t become fragmented).

    Considering that with ZFS you can just easily take snapshots (and in the latest, automatically) I don’t really see the reason for having a VM that takes snapshots (unless you’re planning on doing deep ZFS hacking)

  3. +1 for the ZFS TimeSlider, its an awesome concept but make sure to set your quota or you can run out of local disk space pretty quick. I would not be suprised to see some variation of a time slider in next OS X (if ZFS is prominent) …

    Looking forward to the Drizzle / OpenSolaris combo article as Ive had some problems compiling :-\

    Thanks Stewart

  4. getting all the build dependencies can be an issue.

    Also, be sure to use SunStudio and not GCC on opensolaris (the GCC version is too old). On Solaris Nevada, we compile okay but there are runtime bugs. So be prepared for some debugging :)

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