The light at the end of the tunnel.

Since I’ve joined Sun, I’ve been using Solaris/SPARC as my daily workstation (eventually I’ve got an x86 that I used for Linux testing). It got me a while to get used to the environment, and I’m absolutely thrilled about the core features (DTrace, ZFS, RBAC, Zones…) and the kernel side of the environment.

However, as a Debian guy, most of the development experience has been quite frustrating for me, the source of this frustration is in most cases directly or indirectly related to the lack of a decent packaging system on the environment, and the incompatibilities with the GNU world.

That’s why I got excited at the beginning of the whole Indiana thing around OpenSolaris. Ian and Glynn nailed exactly the problems that Solaris has to reach a wider audience and get its full potential, and the work done since the Indiana thing came into the scene has reached a point where I can see a comfortable Solaris enviroment for Linux guys as me.

Today I tried the development preview of Inidana, a try-before-install LiveCD iso image. That is, no more registration forms to try the cool Solaris features, no more neverendings DVD downloads, plus, bash as default shell, gnu userland as a first class citizen on the $PATH variable, ZFS as the default filesystem, graphical installer, network automagic, and tons of other cool stuff.

Congrats to all the people that have worked on achieving this, OpenSolaris is on it’s way now!

It actually booted pretty fast on my 512Mb x86 box, it had some problems to start the Gnome session, eventhough it started X smoothly. So I started with the command line, and started submitting bugs. And found some small bugs on the packaging system.

So I used the brand new bugzilla site for opensolaris and submitted my first two bugs (It’s actually pleasant to use the typical community tools that I’m used to for other projects):
#72 & #73


Now I’m looking forward to see some things happening around the community.
First is growth around the packaging effort as a community, there’s a lot of work done by the Blastwave and SFE guys, we just need to start providing IPS ports of that work.

Second, stop useless discussions about how important the shell is for some users on the indiana discuss list. I’m pretty sure you guys have strong reasons to prefer ksh or tcsh over bash, but try not to be selfish, the Indiana effort has a strong direction towards reaching more potential developers, which will end up with a bigger and healthier community.

The truth is, if you happen to care so much about shells, you have skills enough to perform ‘usermod -s /bin/myshell user’, people are getting sysadmin lessons on the universities using bash, the vast majority of the shell documentation you find out there, is bash.

PS: By the way Miguel, it turns out that OpenSolaris does cure cancer 😉


2 thoughts on “The light at the end of the tunnel.

  1. What’s the point in having Firefox and Thunderbird instead of Evolution and Epiphany?
    Solaris sounded so nice, but that setup is just not worth trying out^^


  2. Evolution is included, it’s just not the default mailer currently. Epiphany isn’t there, I suspect, because we’ve never built it for Solaris proper (customer demand was for Firefox only), and the Indiana guys didn’t have time to start pulling in apps that we’ve never built before.
    I totally agree that now would be a great time to get Epiphany building, running and at least available as a downloaded IPS package though.


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