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Sun Microsystems Linux Business Operating Systems Software Unix

Linux Apps On Solaris 356

Posted by timothy
from the writing-on-wall dept.
querencia writes "Sun has announced that Solaris 10 will comply with the Linux Standard Base specification, thus allowing Linux apps to run unchanged on Solaris. This isn't emulation -- they claim that it is 'kernel-integrated and supported as an operating system feature.' While I appreciate the benefits of the Solaris OS, I've considered them on the losing end of the battle until now. Will the power of Linux apps put Solaris back into the running?" Update: 08/04 15:50 GMT by J : At OSCON, Sun reaffirmed that Solaris 10 will be open-sourced. They said it would be one of the OSI licenses, not sure which yet; that this was approved at the highest levels of the company; and (with the expected "we're just guessing" language), it could happen as soon as year's end.
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Linux Apps On Solaris

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  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IceFox (18179) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:35AM (#9878200) Homepage
    Just like with MS and OS/2 people will now make apps for Linux that oh yah work on Solaris not the other way around. As a developer it is a pretty easy choice to make and as we all know it is all about developers developers developers...

    -Benjamin Meyer
    • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mccalli (323026) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:59AM (#9878456) Homepage
      As a developer it is a pretty easy choice to make...

      Yes, it's the easy choice for these developers to make. It's not the correct one though - the correct one would be to figure out your environment and build accordingly.

      For example, thanks to the wonders of "./configure ; make" I now build similar software for the three Unix environments I regularly use - SPARC Solaric, x86 Debian and OS X (PPC). Never have to worry about 'personalities', it just gets compiled and run.

      It certainly is about developers, but it's about those developers becoming less sloppy and making fewer assumptions about environment. In many cases the sloppiness I refer to is entirely understandable: it was a pet project, only had to run in one environment, they only had access to x86 Lionux to test under etc.. All good arguments, but they don't really apply to the kind of applications you're likely to be running on your Solaris servers. These will be mostly custom-ordered vendor jobs, and the vendors should know better.

      Cheers,
      Ian
      (Oh, and hi Ben - fancy running into you here. I'm the person who helped you out with your old Mac format floppies).

  • You can think of this support for Linux apps on Solaris as the same way Wine works. It provides a layer of support by implementing the needed APIs without having to deal with a total emulation enviroment.
    • You can think of this support for Linux apps on Solaris as the same way Wine works. It provides a layer of support by implementing the needed APIs without having to deal with a total emulation enviroment.

      Score 1: informative? No you can not think of that as the way Wine works. The technical explanation was given they are complying with the LSB which is much like the POSIX. This is an inherent change to the Solaris Kernel not just an emulator or a set of libraries.
      • by isolation (15058) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:59AM (#9878463) Homepage
        The LSB defines a set of APIs and libraries along with the locations in the filesystem. This project adds a layer to intercept the Linux Syscalls and either redirect them or implement them as Solaris Native. This is the same thing the Wine does except that Wine exists only in userspace.

        A better example would be Linux emulation on FreeBSD. Solaris is doing the same thing the FreeBSD people have been doing for years.
  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes@xmsnBLUEet.nl minus berry> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:35AM (#9878203)
    There's at least one Solaris application I'd like to run on Linux: Adobe FrameMaker.
  • Could this be (Score:2, Interesting)

    The initial move of SUN towards an OpenSource OS, or even towards a linux based business model.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will Solaris simply comply with the LSB in a similiar manner as they supplied SunOS BSD tools with Solaris, or will it also be capable of running Linux ELF binaries unchanged? What about Linux-specific things such as clone()? That's not something you can emulate so easily.

    It seems a bit of desperate measure. There was a time when Solaris was the leading UNIX on any platform. Now Sun seem resigned to play second fiddle..
    • by aphor (99965) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:47AM (#9878334) Journal

      Look at the FreeBSD Linux support: a kernel module and an ELF loader that support all the Linux syscalls and can decide at load time which flavor of syscall to implement. The runtime linker/loader knows to go to a certain directory tree to get Linux shared libraries, and Solaris will probably work much as the sparc 32/64 bit stuff works now.

  • Linux APIs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sebby (238625) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:36AM (#9878218)
    "Will the power of Linux apps put Solaris back into the running?"

    I guess it can't hurt. Apple is also rumored to be integrating Linux API to future versions of OS X to help bring developers to the Mac side.

    • For the curious (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sebby (238625)
      I tried to find the original article mentioning it but could only find this [spymac.com], which indicates it was originally mentioned on MacOSRumors [macosrumors.com] (wow! they're actually back!).

    • I guess it can't hurt

      My guess is that this will be very popular among those that are planning to migrate. Now they can run things in parallell before they switch the bulk of their HW/SW....

      • Surely (clones of) most Linux software is already available through Fink?
        • Re:What about Fink? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Sebby (238625) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:03AM (#9878497)
          Right, but there might be some stuff that isn't - not all software is open source, though I really don't know of any Linux-only software not available on other platforms too, but I guess it could happen...

          Just think of it as Wine for Linux apps.

        • by walt-sjc (145127)
          Easy porting misses the point. One of the HUGE advantages of Linux is that it runs just about everywhere from watches, PDA's, desktop, servers, mainframes, to massive clusters. IBM realizes this, just as they realized the same concept with Java (which is why they do more with java than Sun does.) Getting somthing written on Intel linux to run on PowerPC Linux is trivial compared to porting from Linux to OSX.
  • I doubt it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by metalac (633801) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:37AM (#9878230)
    It seems that Solaris is having a real hard time getting trough no matter what. With the availability of so many BSDs and Linux distros Solaris is a lone wolf in the whole story. Also I don't think that people who are currently running Linux will be very eager to just jump up and switch since all of a sudden Solaris supports Linux binaries.
    • Re:I doubt it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hachete (473378) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:41AM (#9878268) Homepage Journal
      http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=17627

      and

      http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/08/0 4/ 1233241&tid=163&tid=155&tid=218

      If you join the dots, you might see a survival strategy if the Big Bad Wolf comes a hunting.

      h.
    • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Neil Watson (60859) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:06AM (#9878532) Homepage
      You've hit the nail on the head. The days of commercial Unix are numbered. It's sad and tragic. The big commercial Unix vendors have no one to blame but themselves. Unix was powering workstations and servers when Windows was still in its 3.1 days. That was a large lead that they petered away. Instead of spending that time improving their procduct (e.g. making their tools more functional like the GNU tools have become) big Unix sat back and did very little.

      • Why didn't Sun fix their tar utility to properly strip '/'?
      • Why didn't Sun fix their tar utility to add on the fly compression (-j -z anyone?)?
      • Why didn't Sun ever develop a useful packet filtering application instead of relying on the ipfilter whose releases can often be worse than beta quality?
      • Why are there so many different bin directories that the environment never pointed to (e.g. /usr/ucb/bin)?
      • Sed, Awk, and Vi all had room for improvement. Why did they do nothing?
      • Re:I doubt it (Score:4, Interesting)

        by njcoder (657816) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:46AM (#9878904)
        "Why didn't Sun fix their tar utility to properly strip '/'? "

        A lot of the times, sun doesn't fix stuff so that they can maintain compatability between different versions which is one of their strong selling points. If you don't need that kind of compatability you can use the GNU version.

        "Why didn't Sun fix their tar utility to add on the fly compression (-j -z anyone?)?"

        I wouldn't call that a "fix" that's a feature that they chose not to implement. Why put it in when people are happy to pipe the compression tools in themselves. It gives them more flexibility to choose the versions they want and it makes it easier for tar by not having to worry about those things. Each utility serves it's purpose and you can use them together. That doesn't mean they should be integrated. So I wouldn't call it broken.

        "Why didn't Sun ever develop a useful packet filtering application instead of relying on the ipfilter whose releases can often be worse than beta quality?"

        What about SunScreen? In Solaris 10, they're going to have Solaris IP Filter which they claim to be enterprise class. From what I've read there is some shared code between SunScreen and ipfilter. Not sure which way it goes. I read the ipfilter guy licensed code from sun but couldn't confirm it. Also, Sun's main deployment areas are corporate data centers, telco's and isp's. These people use seperate firewalls to secure all their servers. Looks like sun has been coming around to smaller deployment users since at least Solaris 9.

        "Why are there so many different bin directories that the environment never pointed to (e.g. /usr/ucb/bin)?"

        Again, this is for compatability reasons. /usr/bin is the Sun versions, /usr/bin is the berkley tools, /usr/local/bin is usually where the gnu tools go. One of the best things about sun is their commitment to binary compatability. You can develop on your workstation and deploy on a e25k without making any changes. You can also deploy most applications written for prior versions on new os versions. To facilitate that and still allow people to use other tools, they set up different directories. They're not pointed to because you should only point to them if you need to.

        "Sed, Awk, and Vi all had room for improvement. Why did they do nothing?"

        Beats me. But you can download the gnu versions of them if you need them. Those three things have never been a bother to me in any work I've done on sun servers.

  • by Chemisor (97276) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:38AM (#9878239)
    So what does Solaris have that Linux doesn't, except for the hefty price tag? It sure isn't multiprocessing anymore.
    • by chegosaurus (98703) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:49AM (#9878348) Homepage
      dtrace, zones, zfs, Sun support, source compatibility with Solaris SPARC, better stability (IMHO), and some people just prefer it. And it's not very expenive, if you pay at all.
    • by bsd4me (759597)

      I may be a little dense here, but what Linux binary-only packages or code that uses Linux-only system calls are available that you would want under Solaris?

    • Actually, solaris seems to be cheaper than the Enterprise branded linux distributions. In some cases WAY cheaper.
    • Hardware that CIO's and Lawyers tend to like.
    • What hefty price tag are you talking about??

      Soalris 10:
      $99 (One-year subscription) - Commercial Use
      FREE - NON Commercial

      Soalris 9: New Sun Computer Systems. The end user is authorized to use the latest version of the Solaris Operating System (or any other version still commercially offered by Sun) with the new Sun computer system and system board purchased from Sun or an authorized reseller."

      And if it's for development, or educational use it's FREE as well.
      "
    • How about a stable branch? Solaris actually has one.

      The only up to date versions of Linux that can touch Solaris in scalability terms are now development versions. It's up to the distros to figure out how to make it stable.
    • by stor (146442) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:37AM (#9878824)
      Solaris is still a more stable platform that responds to load very well.

      If I was asked what OS to run Oracle on in a large enterprise where rock-solid stability under load is the number one criteria, such as in a financial institution, I'd feel safer with Solaris but wouldn't see Linux as a particularly dangerous choice.

      Solaris has had superior (in terms of stability) LVM and VM for instance. This stuff can be important in certain situations.

      I have been very impressed thus far with Linux 2.6: it's the most stable and "polished" Linux Kernel series I've experienced. I haven't thrown it in production yet but plan to roll it out on a couple of the least business-critical machines in a few months time.

      I think it's inevitable that Linux will surpass Solaris (and all other Operating Systems, for that matter) in almost every way but it's not there yet: Linux has evolved at a fast pace and often features have been merged that didn't turn out well at all, requiring band-aids, re-writes, bug fixes, etc. and causing unknown bugs, regressions and unmaintained code. This seems to have slowed down a lot though. Maybe it's just me but some of the Kernel devs seem a lot more quality-focused and critical now. Praise Andrew Morton.

      If over the next year 2.6 keeps impressing me with it's stability, performance and responsiveness under load when I place it in production we could have a winner. Big time.

      Cheers
      Stor
  • by halivar (535827) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:39AM (#9878249) Homepage
    It's just Solaris with glibc.

    I can't wait for RMS to start demanding people call it GNU/Solaris.
    • 1) You need to emulate the Linux syscall interface. That means catching int 0x80 and treating it like a lcall into the kernel. It also means that when the kernel is entered via that method, that it uses a re-organized syscall table (possibly with differeing numbers of arguments and linux compatible wrappers).

      2) You might need to provide linux type headers (dev_t, time_t, etc.)

      3) /proc (I hope) and perhaps some /dev symlinks (I would think hd*, fd*, ttyS*...)

      4) ld-linux

      etc. No, it's not nearly as simple
    • by mslinux (570958) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:25AM (#9878692)
      I can't wait for RMS to start demanding people call it GNU/Solaris.

      RMS died of a massive heart attack when he discovered that GNU had been certified Unix... He kept mumbling, "How can 'GNU's not Unix' be 'Unix'," while drool ran down his chin.
    • Actually... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by devphil (51341) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @11:17AM (#9879211) Homepage


      I've used both Linux and Solaris for development for years. Was a sysadmin for both types of systems as well. And my dream operating system is something along the lines of GNU/Solaris.

      Meaning it the same way that wackjob RMS means it: the GNU userspace utilities, with the Solaris kernel. I /really/ like some of the things that Solaris offers, but I vastly prefer the GNU command-line utils. Putting them together would make a nice, nice system.

  • by grunt107 (739510) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:40AM (#9878255)
    Although it seems a doomed strategy, Sun could be allowing for an internal Linux development path which they could then back-port' to Solaris, allowing Solaris to expand its portfolio.

    This would, IMO, backfire since a potential customer would see Linux as the more influential and therefore desirable IT tool.
    • One word: Oracle. The database giant says, "Sun is our primary and recommended platform," and Sun enjoys a decade of dominance in the server market. Then Oracle says, "Linux is now our primary and recommended platform," and suddenly Sun is struggling to make ends meet. Coincidence? I think not.

      Go to www.oracle.com and click on "technologies". What do you see? You see Linux (and, to be fair, Windows). What don't you see? You don't see Solaris. Hmmm....
  • by MojoRilla (591502) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:41AM (#9878260)
    This only works on Solaris x86 machines, which has always been the ugly Solaris step-child.

    This seems to me to be a little desperate. Sun seems to be saying that Linux has won, at least in terms of software support.
    • by jgardner100 (559892) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:53AM (#9878393) Homepage
      Well, Solaris has actually allowed this for a long time via lxrun (all that's needed is to translate the linux system calls to Solaris, Xwindows etc remain the same) so all as they are doing is moving it into the kernel. It's a logical step as far as I can see. Does Wine mean that linux lost to Windows, of course not.
    • Makes me wonder about that "nominal 5%" performance penalty. Thats 5% slower than a binary that wouldn't require the translation, yes? But as I recall from earlier Solaris x86 postings slashdotters considered Solaris x86 a dog. So the real question is how much slower will linux binaries run on solaris than on linux? Has any optimizaton gone into Soalris x86? Or is it still a dog?
    • by illumin8 (148082) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:25AM (#9878690) Journal
      This only works on Solaris x86 machines, which has always been the ugly Solaris step-child.

      Your point is taken, but with the release of full 64-bit Solaris 10 for X86-64 and Sun's new 2-way AMD Opteron workstations, 2 and 4-way Opteron servers, and soon to be released 8-way Opteron servers, Sun is betting the farm on X86-64. The plain and simple truth of the matter is that Opteron offers two to three times the performance of current UltraSparc chips, and I predict that Sun will replace their entire product line, except for the extreme high-end, with Opteron, in the next 5 years.

      The other thing you should consider is that more Sysadmins know Solaris than any other flavor of Unix, so giving them the capability of running 64-bit Solaris with 32 or 64-bit Linux applications side-by-side is clearly a winning move on Sun's part. Now, if only they can execute properly. Some of the benchmarks on the new Java Workstations (I don't know why they call them that when they're really just AMD Opteron workstations) have them running the BLAST benchmark on Solaris 10 x86 up to 61 percent faster than a Dell Precision Workstation running Linux. [sun.com]

      Given the choice between a 32-bit Dell Xeon workstation with no console port, running Redhat, and a real 64-bit Sun workstation with a console port and everything, running Solaris 10, with full Linux compatibility (or dual-booting to Redhat if I so desire), at a lower price, guess which one I'm going to choose?
  • by njcoder (657816) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:43AM (#9878284)
    When linux first came out they had a Solaris emulation to be able to run apps made for Solaris. These days that are a lot more apps written for linux than there were back when linux first came out (not sure on the ration of software for linux vs solaris just linux then and now).

    Open Source Software isn't just Linux and the GNU userland software. It covers a wide range of different software including software that runs on Linux. In the whole sea of OSS, Linux is just a one small part. This is good for OSS projects because they now have the potential for being run on a wider range of platforms without porting issues.

    Solaris has always been a good operating system. You can tell the kernel devs know this as well because searching the mailing list you'll see that solaris is referenced more than any other commercial unix. There are comparisons of how the current kernel compares to the solaris kernel as well as trying to figure out how solaris does things.

    Solaris 10 is going to have a lot of improvements to it as well. There are a lot of sun hardware out there and still a lot of sun hardware being sold so it helps OSS projects reach further with less work.

    For the people that see open source software as only being about Linux, I don't think they'll respond as favorably.

  • Short Answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:43AM (#9878285) Journal
    Will the power of Linux apps put Solaris back into the running?

    No.

    The long answer, Linux adaptation is slow because the FUD says that Linux is too hard, so IT managers avoid it. Linux is only now gaining ground as linux devotees have waged a constant war against that FUD. The FUD sources also say that Sun is too expensive and only caters to those who can afford their proprietary hardware. Sun has not yet begun to fight the PR campaign which it will take to overcome that. My thought is that by the time Sun gains that acceptance Linux will have near equal penetration into the corporate environment as MS.
  • by sudohnim (248093) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:44AM (#9878295)
    You've never heard of CSW [blastwave.org]?

    What is blastwave.org?
    blastwave.org is a collective effort to create a set of binary packages of free software, that can be automatically installed to a Solaris computer (sparc or x86 based) over the network.


    We (CSW) don't provide "Linux apps", but we natively compile and package software for Solaris.

    Will the power of Linux apps put Solaris back into the running?

    The power of free software compiled natively for my SPARC has returned Solaris to being my primary desktop. (Now if only I could afford a Blade 2500....)
    • Errr... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ayanami Rei (621112) *
      I think the point of the linux compatibility layer is to run COTS linux binaries, not stuff you can ./configure; make; make install. Because I think that'd be sort of dumb... don't you? Why not run native...
  • News of the Weird (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Onimaru (773331)

    I find myself wondering what Sun's strategy is. I mean, they go to battle with MS, enter a closed room, and come out best buds. Then they rail against FOSS in favor of open standards and threaten to do a hostile takeover on a leading Linux company. So then you think they've gotten a big check and become a patsy, right?

    And throughout this blustering, they put forward the idea that through buying Novell they can somehow "own" the OS IBM is married to, which is kind of missing the point of Linux, but righ

    • Re:News of the Weird (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stinking Pig (45860)
      Their strategy is to be the Unix king again. They're slowly building up resources to make themselves an amenable home for all the FOSS geeks. Then when Microsoft comes out with all guns blazing in the patent litigation war, they'll be a safe haven because of the agreements signed.
    • Re:News of the Weird (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cajal (154122)
      Sun never threatened to buy Novell. It was essentially a random musing in a blog post by Schwartz that got blown way out of proportion.
  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nailer (69468) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:45AM (#9878306)
    Solaris can be considered a real Linux ;^)
  • by akaiONE (467100) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:45AM (#9878308) Homepage Journal
    The thing I quite don't get a grip on here is how Sun can claim that Solaris is so much safer when it now can run Linux-applications. For years Sun have been preaching that applications they have are better and more secure. When they now comply with the LSB, wouldn't that make their OS just as "insecure" as Linux supposedly are in their views?

    Their webpage says:
    "You can safely run Solaris and Linux applications side by side in the same container, or you can configure separate containers that isolate Solaris and Linux applications from each other and from system faults. If an application fault occurs and the application needs to be restarted, other applications continue to run without interruption. ".

    Okay, let's look at this. You can now run Solaris and Linux-applications side by side - This would mean a security breach in their previous views then? Or, you can choose to lock the Linux-applications away in their own container - This seem much more in line with previous statements from Sun.

    "Unlike technology previously available for running Linux in other non-Linux environments, Project Janus functionality is kernel-integrated and supported as an operating system feature."

    So, this LSB-compliance are kernel-integrated, and yet they claim Solaris is more secure than Linux? Can someone please help me out on this? I'll try to investigate myself, but I am not sure what I will find, as Solaris for now, still are, closed source.
    • ohmigod, marketing said something nonsensical... stop the presses!

      There's a reason why they're going to be first against the wall when the revolution comes, and it's doublespeak. Marketing blathers on about what they think you want to hear now. Remembering what they said yesterday is a pointless exercise, they were lying then just as much as they're lying now.

      I may be a bit bitter, I'm just about to present my company's product in a marketing event where one of the other vendors is going to tell people th
  • by YellowBook (58311) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:46AM (#9878319) Homepage
    Will the power of Linux apps put Solaris back into the running?

    Which apps would those be, exactly? Just about everything significant that's available for Linux is available as source, and most of those build with autoconf and GNU tools for portability, so installation on Solaris is just a 'configure; make; make install' away.

    There are a handful of proprietary applications for Linux that might be relevant, but I'd guess most of these are back-office type things that probably already have Solaris versions. That just leaves things like the Flash plugin, and I simply can't see that sort of thing as being very important.

    • You'd be amazed at how much non-portable garbage GNU-using developers cram into applications. Gratuitous GNUisms all over the place...

      Just browse through the patches in a BSD ports collection sometime if you want to see what I mean.
      • by upsidedown_duck (788782) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @01:36PM (#9880732)

        The ultimage gnutastic gnuventure: compiling GNUCash under Solaris. Not only is GNUCash a GNOME app, it's a GNOME 1.4 app, and libtool just barfs all over the place with doubly-listed libraries and unfound libraries. Bleh. There's a reason why pre-compiled GNUCash versions for Solaris seem to be stuck at 1.6. I did finally manage to get version 1.6.x compiled, but even then the graphing features segfaulted.

    • Absolutely. A couple of years ago Sun made a big song and dance about lxrun, which I guess is somewhere at the base of this thing, and in all my travels as a Solaris consultant I never happened across *anyone* who had used it.

      I think maybe linux has a more up-to-date Acrobat reader than Solaris, so I might use it for that. Nothing else springs to mind though.

      BTW,there's already a port of the flash plugin for Sol x86, and it works just fine.
    • Which apps would those be, exactly? Just about everything significant that's available for Linux is available as source, and most of those build with autoconf and GNU tools for portability, so installation on Solaris is just a 'configure; make; make install' away.

      A lot of Linux apps aren't portable to proprietary or non GNU Unix - they depend on glibc, for example. You could change that, but this takes away the need for that effort.
    • Drivers. The LSB specifies the kernel too, IIRC. Linux has a metric shitload more drivers than Solaris ever will.

      (PS. I'm not arguing with you. I liked your post.)
  • by M1FCJ (586251) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:46AM (#9878324)
    Oh well, it didn't help OS/2 around 1995, it didn't hel Unixware around 2000. Why would such a move help Solaris in 2004/5? People never learn from other's mistakes and have to experience failure themselves all the time.

    If you want your applications to run anywhere, use something truly portable. Java? PHP? Perl? ANSI C? Yes...

  • by Perl-Pusher (555592) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @09:48AM (#9878338)
    Isn't this just a "Linux Personality Kit" for Solaris? Is Sun infringing on SCO's IP? I can hear attack dog Darl growling in the distance. And the voice of his master Bill Gates saying 'Down Boy! We already own them!'
  • A slower death? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DCheesi (150068)
    It'll probably allow businesses to keep using their old Sun hardware a bit longer; they won't necessarily have to junk their Solaris boxes once they standardize on Linux for their core apps. However, I don't see it selling any new Sun product. "Oh boy, now I can pay thousands for Sun/Solaris HW/SW, so I can run the same apps I could have run on a $500 PC! Yay!!" :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will the power of Linux apps put Solaris back into the running?

    No.

    What does Slashdot have with this fallacy about something saving Sun? Sun's hardware is expensive - why should I buy another piece of proprietary hardware? Sun's OS isn't GPL'd (insert your favorite license) - why should I buy yet another piece of proprietary Software? Some say Sun has Java - yet another piece of proprietary software. No Sun has to compete in the open market - sink or swim.
  • Why not just start pushing a Sun Linux distro instead? I heard that was in the works, but I haven't heard anything about it in quite some time. I would use Sun Linux long before using x86 Solaris w/Linux compatibility.
    • Why not start pushing a Sun Linux distro instead?

      There's no room for yet another distro - customers don't want it and ISVs don't want to certify against anything beyond Red Hat and Suse.

      When Sun launched their Intel based server, the LX50, it came with 'Sun Linux', which was basically Red Hat 7.3. The plan was to make it a bonafide distribution, supported, developed, etc.

      Customers weren't interested. They either had a distro they were used to and preferred, or they had apps that needed to run on a cer
  • The most prominent Linux apps are open source anyway.
  • The power of linux is not "the power of linux apps", and so linux apps running on Solaris will not really make that big a difference for Sun.
  • by SQLz (564901)
    Will the power of Linux apps put Solaris back into the running?"

    I venture to say...hello no. This move stinks of SCO as well. Maybe Sun will try to position itself as the only 'Legal' Linux compatable OS.

  • useless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wobblie (191824) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:04AM (#9878511)

    Of course, Sun is not talking about free software here ... it's easy enough to get any of that running on solaris.

    They're talking about the software - proprietary - from vendors of theirs that are switching to linux because it's a cheaper (and better) platform for most apps. So, I really must ask, what is the point?

    Solaris will - for the forseeable future - still be king on the mid to high end server end. They're talking here about workstation apps in the scientific and engineering realms which are moving wholesale to linux. So in essence Sun is saying here "you can run your linux apps on your legacy Sun workstations", and not much else. It's a nice gesture, but it is no earth shaker.

    • So in essence Sun is saying here "you can run your linux apps on your legacy Sun workstations", and not much else.

      No.

      "Legacy Sun workstations" all use SPARC-based processors. This announcement is solely about compatibility for x86 Linux apps on Solaris x86. Sun just announced their first x86-based workstations (I'm not counting the ancient 386-based one from the '80s), which run Solaris x86, Linux and Windows. All Sun is trying to do is to make life easier on their customers who want to run Solaris x86.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:06AM (#9878526)
    I had a presentation from SUN yesterday on Solaris 10.

    Essentially Solaris 10 is going to be a huge change. SUN states they are aiming to be the best UNIX solution out there. With the amount of money they are spending/investing in developing Solaris 10 I believe they are making a very good attempt.

    1. Linux apps will run on Solaris 10 on Intel/Sparc. Someone said this is just for X86.
    2. DTrace a developer's sweetheart.
    3. A new filesystem that will be much better than UFS
    4. N1 Grid Containers. Making that purchase of the big iron more attractive. Equivalent to LPAR on mainframe.
    5. Even better Multi-Processor efficiency. Linux is making good ground here but Solaris still is years ahead on many cpu's.
    6. Of course, more efficient OS, better tcp/ip stack, security, etc. etc. The things you expect to improve with a new OS.

    In my opinion, Solaris 10 if it meets what they
    are marketing will prove itself. If not, watch
    the SUN set.....
    • The reason Solaris does so well on many processors is because Sun's strategy regarding "big iron" was "ultraslows, but many". It's very true that their target workloads (server-based) can exploit multiprocessing easily. Having good support for multiprocessors was simply crucial for the platform.

      In the x86 world things are quite different. Having been a desktop-oriented architecture for a long time, the main x86 chips (Opteron/Pentium IV) are pretty much the best these days at executing single-threaded st

  • Conspiracy Theorist (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ylon (656206)
    I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but this seems a little interesting.

    First the SCO/Microsoft connections, then the Microsoft/Sun settlement... Now this? It seems odd to me that they are running in this direction in light of all of the Linux hoopla that's going around. Just look at "City of Munich Freezes Its Linux Migration" posted a little bit ago here. It almost seems like they are trying to put themselves into the position of snatching up those who are wavering on the Linux/licensing front.
  • Now I won't have to fix up all the unportable gcc/linux code you freaks like to think is cross-platform. Hah!
  • OS Diversity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by akinsgre (758695) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:30AM (#9878755)
    The negative, among most posters, makes me wonder if OS diversity is good as long as all OSes are Linux:')

    Sun has lost ground because their OS/Hardware solution is comparatively expensive; not necessarily because Solaris is not a capable OS.

    It just amuses me that Windows homogeneity is bad; but Linux everywhere is good.
  • by shatfield (199969) * on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @10:39AM (#9878835)
    This is why the "GNU" part of "GNU/Linux" should NOT be forgotten. People in the Microsoft mind-set immediately think that "Linux" is what they see when they look at a screenshot of X11 running KDE. The situation really sinks in when you realize that Linux is just the kernel, and they could be looking at *BSD, or even Darwin (Mac OS X's base), running X11 and KDE. Why not Solaris? Solaris is going one further though -- how about not having to recompile those apps that have been compiled to run on Linux? Very cool stuff indeed... especially if/when they open source Solaris! If they do it right (meaning - GPL compatible), then we'll see "GNU/Solaris", and Stallman will have a whole new name to complain about...
    • This is why the "GNU" part of "GNU/Linux" should NOT be forgotten. People in the Microsoft mind-set immediately think that "Linux" is what they see when they look at a screenshot of X11 running KDE

      So is it GNU/KDE now? Since when did the GNU foundation claim ownership of KDE? If Stallman wants to call it GNU linux fine, but really shouldn't it be "KDE/GNOME/GNU/X.org/And a whole shitload of university students & profs/Many other bright people/Nasa ethernet drivers/NSA Security Enhancements/Linux"?

  • WHAT Linux apps? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JessLeah (625838) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @11:09AM (#9879133)
    This is not a troll; I'm a Linux user and have been since 1995, and I run Debian (so you know I'm a true blue old-skool dork, not some MS shill). But really-- WHAT apps? All the Linux apps worth running, with probably under a dozen exceptions, are either:

    1) Already available for Solaris
    ...or...
    2) Open-source and thus available for immediate porting

    Come on. Think of the commercial closed-source stuff that's available for Linux, but not Solaris.

    1) VMWare.
    2) Uhh... VMWare.
    3) Umm ..... VMWare?
    4) Ohyeah. VMWare Server.

    Oh, and *laugh*Accelerated-X*laugh*. Seriously. Who the heck uses that?

    Oh, and maybe some random assorted browser plug-ins. Anything else? Anybody? Hello? ... didn't think so.

    Seriously, why is this even worth Sun's time?! If I were a Sun shareholder (which I would never do, now that they have a "technology sharing" agreement with MS and are all buddy-buddy after accepting a settlement bribe from MS... well, I'd be frothing at the mouth even more than I am now. ;)
  • by Knights who say 'INT (708612) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @01:23PM (#9880602) Journal
    Someone wondered if Linux would ever get certified as an UNIX.

    Well, this is a true Unix getting certified as a Linux!

    We are actually winning. Amazing.

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