what was your impression of solaris 10?

Story: How serious is Sun about Linux?Total Replies: 13
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Feb 27, 2006
7:47 AM EDT

can you expound upon your comment "I tried Solaris 10 and they can keep it."?

What did you see that you didn't like?

Feb 27, 2006
8:50 AM EDT
Sun says Solaris 10 is a better Linux than Linux. What's that tell you?


Feb 27, 2006
8:57 AM EDT
That you have been drinking Sun's koolaid again. :-)

Solaris while a good OS in it's own right isn't linux. That being said Linux isn't a better Solaris than Solaris either.

Linux is a jack of all trades need to recompile to be a master of any specific one. Solaris is a erver OS designed for heavy duty serving. One doesn't play Tennis with Solaris. It will win every time it serves so well.

Okay and with that the bad jokes are done for the day.

Feb 27, 2006
8:58 AM EDT
> Solaris 10 is a better Linux than Linux. What's that tell you?

That the person has never really used either. :)

Feb 27, 2006
9:17 AM EDT
Well, that's what Sun says here under Spotlight:


Feb 27, 2006
4:03 PM EDT
I have a sailing buddy that has been a Senior Engineer at Sun for well over a decade. While we were racing a couple weekends ago he asked me if I had checked out Solaris 10, as they had completely rewritten the kernel. I got bored one day and decided to download the 4 CDs and install it on an extra drive I had to check it out.

I the words of softh in another thread: "The install was close to a trip to the dentist, the whole disk my ass, what a pain. The default GUI app/tool selection was abismal. Their implementation of CDE sux..."

I echo his sentiments. It took me well over an hour to install (after a lengthy registration sign-up and 4 CD download), and the desktop was virtually unusable due to the screen resolution, lack of configuration tools and configuration files hiding in places I could not find. It might be a great server OS on hardware that costs more than a new Ferrari, but it is definitely not an end user desktop operating system. I have installed and administered scores of BSD and Linux variants on both servers and desktops. My experience with Solaris was definitely the most dissatisfying of any in my personal or professional career. I'd rather switch back to RedHat 4.1 with fvwm.

In all fairness, though, I do not have any Solaris experience or documentation to study, so I don't know Sun's way of doing things. Perhaps I just lost patience...the newer Linux distros have spoiled those of us that used to stay up into the wee hours getting an installation configured. I do respect Sun's contributions, but their OS is not for me. Linux is light years ahead in my opinion, no matter what their new kernel's benchmarks may show. If one were to benchmark how quickly one could have a server up and running, secured and in production, Linux would be off the chart.

Desktop aside, I would not recommend Solaris 10 for a server on x86 commodity hardware...I'd go with Debian or a BSD variant. I would only consider Solaris if I were buying a very big and expensive Sun server w/Sun support. Which, BTW, I will not be doing.

Feb 27, 2006
4:22 PM EDT

You might want to check out Nexenta. Basically, it's the OpenSolaris kernel running with all of the usual Debian tools/utilities/and such. I still don't think it's particularly applicable for Desktop, but the server side may be interesting.


Feb 27, 2006
5:34 PM EDT

Thanks for the link. It is an interesting project that led to some real information about the benefits of Solaris' new kernel beyond the FUD, most notably SMF. http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2006/02/09/What-Does-...

It is definitely something to watch. However, I am quite content with Debian and its derived desktop distros.

It is interesting that Marc Andreessen's Spotlight did not specify the Linux and "Intel Commodity Hardware" vendors from which he got his rather disparate comparative numbers. It reeks of pure FUD.


Feb 27, 2006
7:07 PM EDT

A Debian desktop is my choice too. Solaris is really way behond any use (or intrest) I might have.

Feb 27, 2006
8:25 PM EDT
I appreciate the discussion. I really do. But, I looked carefully at the Debian implementation of the Sun kernel and it's not ready yet. I don't know why Debian is trying so hard to replace the Linux kernel. At some point they need to just admit that they play wonderfully in Userland and the kernel team does a good job of making Debian's userland work.

As far as your friend, tuxtom, he's mistaken about the rewrite of the kernel. I won't say he lied, but they didn't rewrite the kernel. That's Sun pride and joy. I can show you a quote to that effect from an article where I'm quoted along with an executive from Sun on that.

Sun's new marketing message is Solaris10 is a better Linux than Linux. What a fantastically insane thing to say. That's sort of like saying a dog is a better cat than a cat. Or, a Ford is a better Chevy than a Chevy. Worse still, it says that Linux is the context of the message. Like in context is the frame of reference for content.

tuxtom, saying in all fairness you don't have any experience with Sun is extremely polite and forgiving. But I have extensive experience with Solaris and what you report is accurate. It takes forever to install, etc. Basically, it's light years behind Puppy Linux.

Also, the jury is still out on SMF. I'll stay with init.d for now. I know people who have completely rewritten the init system for Slackware and I won't use it because it's unsupportable. I'm not sure I like the transparency of SMF.

Just thought I'd pipe in here.

Feb 27, 2006
9:30 PM EDT

I was just pointing out the project. I have no Idea how far along it is or how valid it is or will be. You've got to understand that there are a lot of different projects under Debian. Not all of them are Linux. the Debian BSD and Hurd ports are two other examples. All this indicates is that enough developers were interested in working on a specific project, no matter how irrelevant, or misguided, or even stupid, you or I think it is.

Personally, I can't see myself running a Solaris kernel for any reason, even if I thought that Sun was on the up and up.... Which I don't. But, that doesn't mean that I'm not morbidly curious about the project ;-).

Feb 28, 2006
9:20 AM EDT

I have both cd's in their orginial cardboard enclosure for Red Hat 4.1 I could sell you. I never could get it installed on my Packard Bell 486 back then. Oh well I kept trying for a couple of years.

continually trying to use linux made me choose (mostly) open formats for all my documents. In the end making my primary desktop switch to OS X extremely easy. I did say desktop not server. Of course my favorite thing with OS X is the ability to easily ssh into a server and run linux X apps across the network.

Mar 04, 2006
5:55 PM EDT

I'm glad I'm not alone in my disappointments w/Solaris. Having someone seasoned in Solaris agree with my observations gives me a sanity check. Thanks.


I'll pass on the RedHat 4.1 CD's. I happen to have in my hand right now a 6-cd set of InfoMagic's "LINUX Developers Resource" in the original case w/mini-manual. On it is RedHat 4.2, Debian 1.3.1 and Slackware 3.3, all running kernel 2.0.30. There are all kinds of vintage packages on there, like Metro-X, Apache 1.2.1, etc. Any takers? Make me an offer...

I did get the RedHat 4.2 on that CD running on my 486 DX4-100 and AMD K6-166 boxes of the era. I still have the AMD's motherboard hanging on my wall as geek art...ISA slots standing out proud.


Mar 05, 2006
10:57 AM EDT
Solaris 10 was a horrible trip back to BSD in 1998. No dual boot, no GUI, horrible x86 drivers, terrible package mgmt, and don't even think of trying on a laptop. One test - try typing backspace! I can't possibly imagine why I would every try such an experiment again.

BTW, of Sun's 4.x million Solaris 10 downloads, I downloaded it 3 times - once for SPARC for a very old SPARC box that wouldn't even boot S10, once for x86 and found it wouldn't even boot the install CD on a new laptop, then downloaded again because I figured on the second one maybe the disc was corrupted.

Sun can subtract my 3 downloads - I'll mail the CDs back if I still have them.

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