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Debian Software Linux

Debian GNU/Solaris 213

An anonymous reader writes "Today "Nexenta" announced an initial pilot program of GNU/Solaris. Initial trials are limited to "Ubuntu developers and the entire Debian community". From the announcement: "As you might know, Sun Microsystems just opened Solaris kernel under CDDL license, which allows one to build custom Operating Systems. Which we did...created a new Debian based GNU/Solaris distribution with (the latest bits of) Solaris kernel & core userland inside. We'll open Nexenta web developer portal completely for the general public by mid-November. Today we are launching a Pilot Program. Ubuntu developers and the entire Debian community - you are welcome to participate in the Pilot!"
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Debian GNU/Solaris

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  • GNU/SunOS, surely?

    • Re:GNU/Solaris? (Score:2, Informative)

      by jedZ ( 571869 )
      From the article:
      "This is to announce Nexenta: the first-ever distribution that combines GNU and OpenSolaris. As you might know, Sun Microsystems just opened Solaris kernel under CDDL license, which allows one to build custom Operating Systems. Which we did... created a new Debian based GNU/Solaris distribution with (the latest bits of) Solaris kernel & core userland inside."
      • Re:GNU/Solaris? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I believe what the GP poster was refering to is that according to Sun the name of the base OS is SunOS (do a "uname -a" on a solaris box). Solaris supposedly inially refered to SunOS + OpenWindows 2.X + some other stuff... in other words it was the full distro. In fact, they retroactively renamed the complete SunOS 4.X distros as "Solaris 1.X" So if a project is dumping the GNU/Debian userland on top of the kernel/basic-OS from Solaris it would be more proper to call it "GNU/SunOS" rather than "GNU/Solar
        • they keep solaris' internal name, reported by uname -a, as "sunOS" for the same reason DEC/compaq/HP keeps the internal name of TRU64 as "OSF1". compatibility with older, unmantained apps and scripts.

          this information exists in several Tru64 documents. since many multi-plataform apps/scripts rely on the information from uname -a to identify the OS and adjust itself, changing the internal name would break compatibility with several important 3rd party stuff, which means users would have to spend lots of $$$ t
  • GNU/OpenSolaris (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @06:36AM (#13930812)
    Shoudn't it be named GNU/OpenSolaris?

    --AC

  • I had some contact with AIX, Linux is running at home but other than some minimal stuff I have no idea what makes Solaris different from the other systems. GNU/Solaris sounds like only the kernel is not linux.
    Can someone give me a hint why I should consider looking at it or switching my router/server/notebook to it?
    • by The Nine ( 320384 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @06:46AM (#13930833)
      GNU/Solaris sounds like only the kernel is not linux.

      Uhh, linux is a kernel, and nothing more.
      • What is popularly called Linux includes a userland mostly composed of GNU software. Therefore, it's not a strange question to ask exactly what parts of Debian GNU/Solaris are different from Debian GNU/Linux. IIRC, there are two versions of Debian NetBSD, one with a GNU userland and one with a NetBSD userland. Porting Debian to a non-GNU userland is probably a lot more difficult than porting Debian + GNU userland to a non-Linux kernel (because the GNU userland is already very portable).
        • What is popularly called Linux includes a userland mostly composed of GNU software.

          That's a strange definition of "mostly" you have there. Admittedly, it's some important components, but "partly" would be far more accurate.

          • What is popularly called Linux includes a userland mostly composed of GNU software.

            That's a strange definition of "mostly" you have there. Admittedly, it's some important components, but "partly" would be far more accurate.

            I think an even more accurate way to say it would be: What is popularly called Linux includes a userland almost entirely composed of software that is from GNU or depends on software from GNU.

            You might even be able to remove the "almost".

        • Debian GNU/Linux vs Debian GNU/Solaris.

          What could be different? Well it's not the underlying OS (Debian distribution) since it has that in common. It's not the GNU userland utils. Hmmm... :).

          In all seriousness, this is actually a fair question. I mean, the switch to a different kernel must have some other implications on the distro side? Can everything else really remain the same? Init scripts, supported programs (such as ones that make use of Linux specific API's and/or syscalls).

          Basically what advan
      • Uhh, linux is a kernel, and nothing more.

        According to W. Richard Stevens in Unix Network Programming: "The kernel is the operating system".
    • by Mancat ( 831487 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @06:51AM (#13930845) Homepage
      Besides the kernel it looks like it also uses the Solaris userland. That would include common commands (ps, ftp, m4, etc.) as well as Solaris-specific commands (psrinfo, prtconf, etc.). Also Solaris libc, as well as some other libraries. It will be interesting to see how much of the "original" Solaris userland will need to be replaced with, or supplemented with GNU tools. Some of Solaris' default tools are pretty bare in functionality.

      Apt and Solaris should be pretty cool, though Solaris has had BlastWave for a while, which works pretty similar to apt.
    • by Malor ( 3658 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:22AM (#13931060) Journal
      It's probably not the best choice for a notebook or a router. It might be a good choice for a server, depending on what you're doing with it.

      I've done some Solaris administration, but I have never been even remotely expert. I did get an idea of just how much I don't know, however.

      In many ways, Solaris makes Linux and the BSDs look like tinkertoys. There is a vast array of functionality inside. Solaris feels like it was designed 'down', by people who are used to working with mainframes; Linux and the BSDs are more designed 'up' by people inventing (and often re-inventing) things for the first time.

      There's a fundamental expectation in Solaris that the server will stay up under virtually all circumstances. If the hardware you're running it on is expensive enough, it's apparently pretty easy to hotswap almost anything... even RAM and CPUs. I believe it supports multiple running instances of Solaris on the same hardware at the same time, even different versions. And I'm fairly sure that a recent feature will let you upgrade OSes 'on the fly', though I think there would have to be at least a brief interruption of service. Pay attention to replies, if any. My knowledge in this area is very sketchy.

      It's highly optimized to scale to amazing degrees, given more CPUs to work with. But that means it's not very well optimized to work with only one, which was why it was called 'Slowlaris' in the early days of Linux. Running multiprocessor requires a lot of locking to make sure that different CPUs don't step on each others' toes. This locking takes time. So the first versions of Solaris/Intel were dogmeat slow in comparison to Linux. There was no chance of a conflict, because multi-CPU Intel boxes almost didn't exist, but Sun was and is more interested in having it run WELL than run FAST. Removing all that locking would have introduced bugs. So they left it slow. And most folks went with SPARC boxen or Linux instead, for better performance.

      At the time, Linux screamed on the same hardware, because it didn't worry about any of that. Up through 2.2, Linux had just a Big Kernel Lock... only one CPU could be in kernel space at any given time, and the rest of the CPUs either ran user code or sat around idle. Most user code makes fairly frequent kernel calls, so the extra CPUs blocked a lot. Running on one CPU was very fast, but there wasn't much benefit to adding more. A second was a moderate plus, adding maybe 50% overall throughput. Adding further CPUs did very little for most workloads.

      Solaris does exactly the opposite. It's slow on one CPU, though 'slow' is pretty relative on a multi-gigahertz processor, but as you add more, it scales almost linearly. 64-way Solaris boxes run very nicely. And they do it without crashing, too. That's an area where Linux, for instance, has had a huge amount of trouble... as they add in new locks and try to rearchitect to let more and more CPUs into kernel code at once, they introduce bugs, often at a furious rate. You don't see much of that in released versions of Solaris. A lot of what you're paying for with the expensive Sun equipment is their QA department, which must be just incredibly good. (if any of you are reading this, thanks!)

      Basically, this is enterprise-grade software. It's designed to run things like banks and air traffic control and medical equipment...stuff that just can't ever break or go down. It's not actually USED for air traffic control, as far as I know, but I'm sure Sun would be happy to sell systems into that market. If your hardware is good, Solaris can take an unbelievable beating... you can have loads in the thousands and still be able to connect to the box with SSH (eventually) and rescue it. It'll be slow, but you'll get in. Linux, in contrast, will often still die from dumb stuff like fork bombs. Yes, ulimits can prevent that problem, but Solaris will survive without the extra help.

      Basically, Solaris is the kind of OS that you can bet your job on, and remain employed. Linux remai
      • by foorilious ( 798451 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:08AM (#13931591)
        A few corrections / notes:

        There is no provision for running multiple kernels on the same hardware, aside from 'domaining', which is more like IBM's LPARing (prior to P5 and 5.3, that is - splitting a single server into two or more hardware partitions). But, when you do this, each partition really is its own machine, with distinct and non-shared CPUs, memory, and IO buses. You can move hardware from one domain to another (even without shutting down applications), but a given kernel is only ever running on one machine at a time.

        More recently, is the concept of 'Zones'. Here, you can install seperate copies of userland onto the same box, and when you are 'inside' of any one zone, you appear to have your very own box, complete with your own /etc and everything else (or you can opt to share parts of the install with the 'global' zone), however there is still a single kernel running all of the zones on a given server. Applying a kernel patch, for example, still requires a reboot of the whole enchilada to take effect.

        Actually, I believe 'Slowaris' was coined in 93 or 94 or so, when admins started switching from SunOS 4.1.3/4.1.4 to Solaris on SMP boxes, and ran into bug where no matter how many CPUs, every thread was being scheduled on the same CPU. I forget what version this was - maybe 2.3? I remember logging onto my University's student shell machine (back then, SLIP and PPP were still not being used by home users - you'd dial up to terminal into a UNIX machine to check email, usenet, or IRC). Anyway, I remember logging in and seeing a load in the thousands, just after the upgrade.

        You can "upgrade on the fly", in a way. The concept is you mirror your root disk, split the mirror, perform the upgrade against the inactive mirror, and finally reboot, this time off the upgraded side. It more or less works, but you do need to use your brain. Really what it gets you is the ability to immediately revert back to the pre-upgrade image with just a single reboot, and also shortens the outage window to one reboot. They've had this since Solaris 8, I believe, and you could use it to upgrade from say 2.6 to 8.

        Over time, 'Slowaris' did come to refer to the performance disparity between Linux and Solaris on x86. Until Solaris 10, Linux pretty clearly outperformed Solaris on like-hardware (x86). I think in part, as you say, due to Sun's lack of effort in optimizing for x86 and small servers, but also because x86-based benchmarks tended to focus on things like web-serving, and Sun's networking stack was long overdue for an overhaul (the first phase of which was completed for Solaris 10, and returned enormous improvements).
      • debian can be updated on the fly with minimal service interruptions (iirc zero interupttion to my source installed irc service and a few minuites down on web service though that could have almost certainly been reduced by manually telling it to upgrade apache first).

        and i did the entire process over ssh (the packagers take great care to make sure that existing ssh sessions are not terminated by the upgrade process).
        • debian can be updated on the fly with minimal service interruptions

          Sure, as long as you don't update the kernel. However, what we're talking about here is the "Live Upgrade" feature of Solaris. It's only available for Sun's higher-end hardware (it depends on features of said hardware) but it allows *entire OS upgrades* with no service interruptions, in fact *no reboot*. This is vastly different from the fact that Debian (or any other Linux distribution or *BSD) lets you upgrade userland server daemons with
      • It's not actually USED for air traffic control, as far as I know

        I don't know whether they still do, but Raytheon was using Solaris in their air traffic control systems in the '90s.

      • let's not feed urban legends: Solaris has its problems with various threading models than can also cause kernel panic, like LWP with some libraries. Depending on how kernel resources are set, one can run out of all kinds of needed stuff and the machine will sieze up tighter than, er, lead in a pencil
    • I have installed Windows, Debian Linux, and Solaris 10 on my ThinkPad. Usually I use Solaris (Now I'm typing on it), I have installed 2 Zones on it, one for my personal web server, the other for My Desktop, in it I have installed many many applications from blastwave.org [blastwave.org] using pkg-get [blastwave.org]; The global zone is not used yet, because if there was something wrong with the 2 local zones, I could easily setup a new zone! I'd like to say Solaris is very, very stable and like very power efficient (comparing with Linux)
  • eh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by baldass_newbie ( 136609 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @06:40AM (#13930822) Homepage Journal
    Could someone translate this into English?
    Much thanks.
  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by diegocgteleline.es ( 653730 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @06:47AM (#13930834)
    Don't get me wrong, but I don't think this is worthwhile. This is almost as stupid as the debian/freebsd thing. If you want to get the full power from freebsd, use freebsd. If you want to get the full power from solaris, use solaris. If you want to get the full power from linux, use....well....ubuntu? redhat? suse? :P
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      Because choice is good!
      Hypothetically, lets say SCO have an actual case (I know, but hypothetically!).
      Isn't it better that if, for some reason the Linux kernel is no longer an option due to patents etc, there is another GNU system ready to switch to?
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drgonzo59 ( 747139 )
      I'm gonna go out on limb here and ask what if someone wants a Solaris kernel but all the Debian extra packages and utilities?
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

        There's no need of debian for using GNU software. You can use pretty much any GNU utility (including gnome etc) in solaris right now, without wasting time in developing a new distro. Which is exactly my point. Why such waste of time?
        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:48AM (#13930965) Homepage Journal
          Duh. Because you don't have to search all over for packages, then compile everything from source, fix dependencies manually, follow dozens of security mailing lists, ... And of course, Debian's package management isn't only a gigantic repository with automatic dependency checking, it also lets you configure stuff, and in a much more pleasant way than Yast and other centralized tools. Basically, Debian is one of the best distributions of GNU.

          Look at it the other way: You want Debian GNU, but may need Solaris' kernel. That's when Debian GNU/Solaris is a good idea.
          • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

            You know, solaris has packaging tools (solves dependencies, etc) and there're packages for lots of software. http://www.blastwave.org/ [blastwave.org]
            • But can you use apt-get on Solaris?
              • But can you use apt-get on Solaris?

                Not that I know of, but with Blastwave:

                apt-get update --> pkg-get -U
                apt-get upgrade --> pkg-get -u
                apt-get install foo --> pkg-get -i foo
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Spit ( 23158 )
      Linux is only a kernal and in some situations leaves a lot to be desired, jack of all trades and all that. I'm not comfortable with a kernal that changes so much mid-release and I've seen some (documented) crashes that shouldn't be.

      I've worked with most Unix systems and was always impressed with Solaris kernel's stability, and now it has excellent performance. My standard build on 2.6 and 7 was to install gnu userland, and v8 on included them on the install disks. But it was always a chore to strip a system
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      You're missing the point: the Linux kernel is valuable, but on its own it's far from remarkable. There are plenty of other kernels around, some with sizeable communities. The two factors that make Linux the earth-shattering, ground-breaking force it is are:

      - The universe of utilities and software that make life fun and easy. GNU-licensed software certainly plays a huge part here, providing building-blocks that we take for granted today -- 'ps', for example. Have you ever tried using 'ps' on a Solaris box? I
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

        by pyrrhonist ( 701154 )
        Have you ever tried using 'ps' on a Solaris box? It's a massive pain -- I have to do 'ps -auxwww' rather than my default 'ps -ef' to get a decent printout of the processes.

        Yes, I have, and ps supports [sun.com] -ef just fine.

        Check your path. Solaris also has BSD tools for people who prefer a different version of ps [sun.com].

    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Well, the answer would be manifold.

      1. Linux is just a kernel, nothing more. So for all practical purposes most of the fanboys out there using 'linux' and loving 'linux' are probably ending up loving the latest version of KDE, or gnome or the nifty new GNU tools and not linux. Full power of linux ? So if you consider all the gui stuff and nifty userland tools that you are using, you are hardly getting the 'full power of linux'

      2. Getting a different base kernel over the rocking GNU tools and environments for
    • One major benefit to doing these kinds of strange things is tracking down bugs.

      Long standing but seldomly seen bugs (hard to solve what you cannot repeat) can become repeatable and very visible in different combinations of software or hardware.

      Different CPUs or architecture, different compilers and different kernels will all tickle and expose userland bugs.
  • by oztiks ( 921504 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:06AM (#13930881)

    Before people comment on why Debian is doing this i suggest reading Debains core statement of what they are all about http://www.debian.org/intro/about [debian.org]

    Esspecially this bit:

    Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide.

    However, work is in progress to provide Debian for other kernels, primarily for the Hurd. The Hurd is a collection of servers that run on top of a microkernel (such as Mach) to implement different features. The Hurd is free software produced by the GNU project.

    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:55AM (#13931177) Homepage Journal
      It's interesting because it's another proof that Debian doesn't need the Linux kernel. Sun is making inroads into BSD's territory. Not Linux territory. Their kernel fills a role similar to the *BSDs in the Open Source world. Technically interesting, used in some projects, and a far second to Linux.

      Linux has a huge independent development community and more huge companies than it is easy to count behind it, and nobody can keep up with the pace of development. The GPL is a very important factor. It's the only partnership that would keep it fair for the big guys and the little ones at the same time. What technical lead Solaris has is rapidly diminishing because they can not - and never will - keep up the development team that Linux and the GPL have spawned.

      And then there's the deliberately-incompatible licensing, Sun's lack of success at building Open Source communities (OpenOffice should have a community 100 times the size of the one it's got - IMO it's second in importance to the Linux kernel), and Jonathan's tendency to turn any gains that Sun makes in the Open Source community into defeat with his own words. All of these things hold them back.

      Solaris has a few features at which the Linux folks look hungrily, and you know what happens when those folks like features. Linux gets them. These are the folks who replaced Bitkeeper in a month.

      It would be fun to have a system that booted the same binaries into Linux, BSD, Solaris, and HURD. If someone makes that, it'll be an awesome hack. But at the same time it would demonstrate the futility of having all of those kernels do the same thing technically, while one of them does the community part much better than the others.

      Bruce

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:43AM (#13931423)
        It's interesting because it's another proof that Debian doesn't need the Linux kernel. Sun is making inroads into BSD's territory. Not Linux territory. Their kernel fills a role similar to the *BSDs in the Open Source world. Technically interesting, used in some projects, and a far second to Linux.

        Solaris is still very, very big in the commercial world. This is a sign things are probably going to change in the 'Open Source world' too.

        Linux has a huge independent development community and more huge companies than it is easy to count behind it, and nobody can keep up with the pace of development. The GPL is a very important factor. It's the only partnership that would keep it fair for the big guys and the little ones at the same time. What technical lead Solaris has is rapidly diminishing because they can not - and never will - keep up the development team that Linux and the GPL have spawned.

        You are confusing the kernel with the software that is available for it. Most of the development into 'Linux' isn't into the kernel, but the software that goes with it. The technical lead that Solaris has is harder for Linux to chase than the lead in x86 drivers that Linux has. It works both ways. A main advantage about the Solaris kernel is that it is very very stable with excellent backwards-compatibility. Looking at the poor quality of 2.6 due to the lack of a 2.7 testing kernel, Linux will not be catching up with this any time soon.

        And then there's the deliberately-incompatible licensing, Sun's lack of success at building Open Source communities (OpenOffice should have a community 100 times the size of the one it's got - IMO it's second in importance to the Linux kernel), and Jonathan's tendency to turn any gains that Sun makes in the Open Source community into defeat with his own words. All of these things hold them back.

        GPL code can't be integrated into BSD code either. What's your point? CDDL is a certified open-source licence. Quite frankly I don't think I would want the Linux and Solaris kernels to converge into one great big monolith.

        Solaris has a few features at which the Linux folks look hungrily, and you know what happens when those folks like features. Linux gets them. These are the folks who replaced Bitkeeper in a month.

        Not until they fix the developement model of the 2.6 kernel so that it becomes a lot more stable. The number of bugs in the 2.6 kernel is appalling. This isn't just about features, it's about rock-solid stability.

        It would be fun to have a system that booted the same binaries into Linux, BSD, Solaris, and HURD. If someone makes that, it'll be an awesome hack. But at the same time it would demonstrate the futility of having all of those kernels do the same thing technically, while one of them does the community part much better than the others.

        Some sort of unified binary format or flawless interoperability would be awesome.
        • You are confusing the kernel with the software that is available for it.

          Not at all. I was the second Debian project leader and understand all too well the totality of a distribution and what is in and out of the kernel. I remain very impressed with the Linux kernel team. More innovative work goes on there than in any user-mode project I know of.

          The technical lead that Solaris has is harder for Linux to chase than the lead in x86 drivers that Linux has.

          The technical lead of the entirely portable portion o

      • What is your criteria for calling the Solaris kernel a "far second" to Linux? OSS community involvement? x86 hardware support? ISV support on x86? I'll give you those three, but if you've got something else in mind, you'll probably get an argument from me and others who have used both kernels for a long time.

        I also don't see Solaris' lead diminishing, let alone rapidly. If anything, it appears to me that Sun further widened the gap with Solaris 10. Sun is regularly releasing very advanced and impor
      • Linux has a huge independent development community and more huge companies than it is easy to count behind it, and nobody can keep up with the pace of development. The GPL is a very important factor. It's the only partnership that would keep it fair for the big guys and the little ones at the same time.

        Oddly enough, Bruce, the BSD and Apache communities are full of "little guy" developers who do not feel they are being treated unfairly.
    • by asuffield ( 111848 ) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:07AM (#13931235)
      Read the article. This has got nothing to do with Debian, they're just trying to ride off our name. For one thing it's Ubuntu, and for another it's being done by some random person with no connection to Debian.
      • Agreed, but the fact that it outlines that it is a debian based system, therefore it is set to follow debians intended purpose and mission statement ... this is most likey the reason why debian a base was chosen instead of say redhat.
  • Sun Ray Client (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Vampo ( 771827 )
    Does anyone know if I'll be able to use sun ray clients with this? This could be the best news ever.
  • This is useful! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldacan ( 726222 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:09AM (#13930889)
    This is an interesting project: developers will have the power of opensolaris tools, like DTrace [wikipedia.org] (a very powerful tool to study the behaviour of programs - and optimize them) available for all debian packages...
  • Sweet! (Score:4, Funny)

    by dafunn ( 114459 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @07:45AM (#13930957)
    It's just what I've always wanted... the kludginess of Solaris combined with the user-friendliness of Debian.

  • About Time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    About damn time!
    While I'm mostly happy with Solaris 10 running on my Sparc system, I must confess that the Solaris userland could certainly use a little TLC before its my "primary" desktop (which Id like it to be).

    With any luck, the combo of a solaris kernel/core and a debian/ubuntu userland will provide some much needed juice to the solaris userland. Even if this does nothing more than get some more userland/"desktop" developers working on solaris, I cant see how this is anything but great news.
  • by kerskine ( 46804 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:09AM (#13931019) Homepage Journal
    Is this the end of recursive humor?
  • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:12AM (#13931025) Homepage Journal

    If they can keep virtually everything outside the kernel consistent with Debian, and replace only the kernel and drivers with Solaris versions, this would prove to be an interesting system for benchmarking and contrasting the two kernels.

    As it is right now, you can benchmark entire systems, but it is difficult to do any meaningful kernel benchmarks.

    If there is a significant difference in any particular area in either direction, I can forsee future server administrators choosing their kernel based on how well it performs in certain tasks. Perhaps the Linux kernels memory management is better, but the Solaris kernel's SMP scales better. Now you don't have to worry about changing your user or administrative environment, package management tools, or applications -- you can run the same on both, and just change the kernel architecture underneath in order to gain a benefit in an area important to you.

    Heck, I can forsee a day when what kernel you want to use is queried as part of the install process, and where you might have a mix of machines that all appear to be running Debian, but which may be using different kernels based on the needs of the system.

    We have competing web browsers that (generally) conform to the same interface standards (in terms of HTML rendering) -- why not have a choice in kernels, without having to sacrifice your user and administrative environment (or Open Source ideals)?

    Yaz.

    • virtualisation (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Did you read yesterdays piece about Redhat wanting Xen in the kernel? [slashdot.org]

      Maybe you'll actually run several kernels, managing different tasks - virtualisation can do this. Are we going to see an explosion of different kernels (similar to distributions now), as it becomes easier to try different ones out?
    • Presumably any benchmarks (meaningful ones at least) are going to interface with the kernel via core POSIX libraries such as libc and pthreads, which may also differ between the two. On Solaris one could also benchmark Sun libc vs GNU libc, but on the linux kernel that's not an option, nor is there a serious Linux/Solaris kernel-portable implementation of pthreads that I'm aware of.
  • Why GNU/Solaris? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rjw57 ( 532004 ) <richwareham@@@users...sourceforge...net> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @08:17AM (#13931043) Homepage Journal
    > Which we did...created a new Debian based GNU/Solaris distribution with (the latest bits of) Solaris kernel & core userland inside.

    So if it is a Solaris kernel replacing the Linux kernel and a Solaris userland replacing the GNU userland what is the justification for calling it GNU/Solaris again?
    • I would imagine that when they say core they are referring to really core things such as the module utilities, kernel configuration tools etc. not shells and file management commands.

      -Mark
    • So if it is a Solaris kernel replacing the Linux kernel and a Solaris userland replacing the GNU userland what is the justification for calling it GNU/Solaris again?

      I think because it says "core userland" that only the necessary or most reasonable components will be kept at that level. The rest of the entire operating system would be GNU, which would merit calling it GNU/Solaris. Even though it makes sense just to call it GNU, for some reason the kernel matters a lot to people, so I guess we might as w

  • Debian OpenBSD (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 )
    I've been daydreaming about as OpenBSD system (kernel and userland) with Debian package management. Imagine the security of OpenBSD merged with the package collection, quality, and ease of use of Debian!

    One of the things that plagues me about OpenBSD is that the base system is one large package, making it difficult to, say, only upgrade the kernel or sendmail if a security flaw is fixed in one of them. Another thing that has bugged me is that upgrading to a new release is difficult and error-prone, to the p
  • I once fancied I tried to set up a completely Free userland on Solaris, starting with glibc, but discovered that glibc wouldn't build on Solaris and efforts to make it build anywhere but Linux and HURD had pretty much stopped.

    If this means they have built a complete Debian userland including glibc on Open Solaris then it is a spectacular accomplishment! If they had to continue to use pieces of Solaris userland like the Solaris libc it is still an impressive accomplishment but not quite the same as just b

  • by samj ( 115984 ) * <samj@samj.net> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:45AM (#13931428) Homepage
    Why shouldn't Debian run on various kernels - Linux, Hurd, Solaris, Interix... the list goes on. I'd personally like to see Debian running on Microsoft's Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (Interix), which will be included with Windows 2003 Server R2 and apparently also future operating systems like Vista. Here's my post to debian-win32 from last week:

    To: debian-win32@lists.debian.org
    Subject: Debian GNU/Interix (Windows 2003 Server R2)?
    From: Sam Johnston
    Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 14:55:31 +0000

    Afternoon all,

    Windows 2003 Server R2 is to ship shortly with a POSIX subsystem
    (Interix 5.2 of Services for Unix fame) which "includes more than 300
    UNIX utilities and tools that behave as they would on UNIX systems,
    plus a software development kit (SDK) that supports more than 1,900
    UNIX APIs and migration tools, including make, rcs, yacc, lex, cc,
    c89, nm, strip, gbd, as well as the gcc, g++, and g77 compilers.".
    Apparently future versions of Windows (eg Vista) will follow suit.

    With a tweak of config.guess I have had no problems compiling
    bash-3.0, wget, etc. on Windows 2003 and am now interested in tacking
    some more interesting packages, like dpkg and apt, with a view to
    getting a full port of Debian running on it. The problem is that I
    have limited time and porting experience, and the fact that this was
    previously attempted under Cygwin is disconcerting; the debian-win32
    mailing list has been around for years and yet there there has only
    been one non-spam post in the last 18 months according to the
    archives.

    According to http://www.interix.com/ [interix.com] many interesting packages have
    already been ported over and are currently available for download for
    $30 as 'Interop Toolworks 2.2'
    (http://www.interix.com/InteropToolworks.htm [interix.com]). Presumably source is
    provided/available - I have posted the question in their Unix Tools
    forum as I figure this would be a good starting point.

    While there's no X server included, the X libraries are and the new
    release opens up the Win32 API which should pave the way for someone
    to build one. In the mean time Starnet Software do ship a free 'LX'
    version which will accept localhost connections only
    (http://www.starnet.com/xwin32LX/get_xwin32LX.htm [starnet.com]) .

    At this stage I'm looking for feedback about the viability of such a
    project, information about why the last one appears to have failed and
    any suggestions about what the procedure would be (eg build dpkg, then
    debootstrap etc.), how best to ensure its success, and so on. I would
    like to think it will be possible to bootstrap a base Debian
    installation (Debian GNU/Interix?) from an installer executable, or
    possibly even deliver it via ActiveX, eventually getting to the point
    where one can log into Windows and get a full Debian desktop complete
    with your favourite window manager.

    For the time being I'll be happy with bash, OpenSSH, etc. but it's
    interesting to consider what is possible... SFU/SUA was meant as a
    migration path *to* Windows, but there's nothing stopping it from
    being a two way street.

    Sam
    • You should really reinvestigate Cygwin. It is vastly superior to MSFU. It does have x.org as an option; fully ported, not just libs. I believe apt and dpkg work quite well also. Of course, Cygwin setup.exe does a good job of managing packages too.
      I bet you could even work it out so X and whatever window manager you choose could be the default shell. I know KDE is mostly ported, a good portion of Gnome, XFCE, openbox, window maker, etc..
      • no he was talking mainly about the next implementation of USFW that is FULLY Posix compliant in the way that USFW never was realy and that made Cygwin the far better choice. This next one is a big leap and its one of the things im eager to investigate abotu Vista. combined with their new "modular focus" and total rebuild... this could be very interesting to play with.
  • by samj ( 115984 ) * <samj@samj.net> on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @09:56AM (#13931490) Homepage
    Who is Nexenta Systems, Inc. (gleaned from the HTML title attribute of http://www.nexenta.com/ [nexenta.com] anyway, and why do they feel the need to hide their identity (http://whois.sc/nexenta.com [whois.sc])? They're referring to this Debian port as 'Nexenta OS', but then using the domain gnusolaris.org (where they have also hidden their details behind a Domains by Proxy registration). They have this to say on 'the future': "We do hope that at some point, sooner rather than later, our changes (so far for the most part just cleanups to build the DEBs in the new Solaris-like environment) will be integrated with the upstream. At the end of the day - this would be the right thing to do." - presumably they mean that they intend for this to become an official Debian port (eg Debian GNU/Solaris)?

    Registrant:
          Domains by Proxy, Inc.
          DomainsByProxy.com
          15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
          Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
          United States

          Registered through: GoDaddy.com
          Domain Name: NEXENTA.COM
                Created on: 15-Jul-05
                Expires on: 15-Jul-08
                Last Updated on: 11-Oct-05
  • Secure Debian (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:00AM (#13931508) Homepage Journal
    How about GNU/TrustedSolaris [sun.com]?
  • Debian GNU/MINIX? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GreatBunzinni ( 642500 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2005 @10:12AM (#13931620)
    And when will Debian start a Debian GNU/MINIX project? There is already a Debian GNU/Hurd project and MINIX is alive, well and ready for production. Now that would be cool.

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