Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Sun Microsystems Operating Systems Software Linux

Sun Says OpenSolaris Will Challenge Linux 405

E5Rebel writes "Sun Microsystems has ambitious plans for the commercial and open source versions of its Solaris operating system. The company hopes to achieve for Solaris the kind of widespread uptake already enjoyed by Java. This means challenging Linux. 'There's an enormous momentum building behind Solaris,' according to Ian Murdock, chief operating platforms officer at Sun, who was chief technology officer of the Linux Foundation and creator of the Debian Linux distribution. Isn't it all a bit late?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sun Says OpenSolaris Will Challenge Linux

Comments Filter:
  • OpenSolaris (Score:5, Funny)

    by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:00AM (#20462551) Homepage Journal
    Won't a new one tear us,
    Unless they first
    Have Ballmer chair us,
    Great documentation--
    Now that could scare us.
    Burma Shave
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by arivanov ( 12034 )
      Great documentation--

      This is probably correct. With a "--".

      I recently had to try to read the spagetty which is the OpenSolaris TCP implementation and frankly it felt exactly like this "--". Great documentation--; for very line, through the entire monolythic single multimegabyte .c file.

      No thanks, compared to that I will actually take BSD any day. That is actually documented. Both outside the code and inside it.

      It is quite entertaining to see Murdock making such claims. He actually forgets that the greatest
      • Mr. Murdock hasn't forgot about Linux's strengths (or weaknesses for that matter), he's just paid to say other things. Ironic as it is, since he's the one who founded the most free linux distribution to date, one that will never be ran by a corporation and one that does not bend to officially include non-free software.
        • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:4, Interesting)

          by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:39AM (#20464813) Journal
          How long would he have a job if he said "Sun is fifteen years behind Linux in penetration. The distance between Linux and OpenSolaris is insurmountable. We may find a niche with some enterprises, but we will never overtake Linux."

          To be honest, I think it's all a good thing. Lots of free operating systems give guys like me more cud to chew, more options to bring to our bosses and/or clients.
      • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:5, Informative)

        by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:42AM (#20463481) Homepage

        I recently had to try to read the spagetty which is the OpenSolaris TCP implementation and frankly it felt exactly like this "--". Great documentation--; for very line, through the entire monolythic single multimegabyte .c file.

        What? [] I'm not exactly sure what you mean, but it seems pretty good code to me. It's big, and there are some gotos, but it's all well explained. It definitely doesn't seem as bad as you make out.

        • ...I'd give him a raise!

          I see absolutely nothing wrong with that code, other than you have to be a decent programmer to hack on it...and understand many details about TCP implementation.

          Which is totally reasonable, considering what it does! It's a not a recipe database, it's a freakin' protocol stack!

      • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hjf ( 703092 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @10:48AM (#20464109) Homepage

        It is quite entertaining to see Murdock making such claims. He actually forgets that the greatest strength of Linux is that most of its codebase is understandable. While it may be missing some high end enterprise bells and whistles a relative newbe can sit down and understand most of the code straight away. Granted, his attempts at coding anything for it may end up being futile, but he will like it none the less.
        I wonder how many Linux users are actually programmers? Like 1%, I guess? Sure, in 1991 when it was released, every user was a programmer. But now it's the opposite. Few users will do so much as recompiling a kernel, and even so, you don't need to be a programmer to do that.

        On top of it he has the greatest possible documentation - the code and it is readable.
        What? Are you on crack? Code is NOT documentation. You HAVE to add a manual somewhere, else it's "just a program". And that's the biggest problem with Linux. Documentation. There's a million things you can do and very few of them are documented. So you have to google everything. You'll have to end up at some obscure list server (which WILL be offline when you click on it, so pray that has a copy).

        The other day I had this situation: A SCSI drive failed and md was degraded (raid-1). The drive was unaccessible, I didn't know that. So I went ahead and installed a new kernel. LILO was bitching about not being able to find /dev/sdb. So I go an run LILO again and forget to add the "-t" switch. WRONG - bootloader is fucked now.
        I had to boot Debian Rescue, mount my drive (it's a LVM on MD). I figured, what I had to do was just very simple:

        mount the partition
        lilo and read the config file from the partition... that didn't work, the files weren't there

        ok, so I chroot into the directory. lilo. didn't work either, something about /proc
        ls /proc. empty. what the hell? mount /proc. ls /proc. all there. lilo. bingo!

        I would love to see a newbie doing all that guesswork just to recover a fucked MBR.

        Regarding to the "high end enterprise bells and whistles": ZFS alone made me switch my Linux server to Solaris. I lost, completely lost, 320GB of data due to the piece of shit Truecrypt for Linux, supposedly "stable". Now I have a zpool with iscsi-exported zvols, that took like 2 minutes to make.

        The great about solaris is that it WORKS. Right there and then: it just works. If it doesn't work, that's it. They don't pretend that it works only to have it hang at the worst moment (or worse: fuck 320GB of your data). I think that's another problem with Linux: version numbers. Serious programmers put 0.0.1-pre-alpha on their versions, so you kind of know what you can expect. Others just go and version 1.0 (and when you try to run that program, you realize that this isn't a 1.0 version). I don't think corporate folks like beta software, and that's what keeps Linux off the enterprise too.

        Linux makes a great LAMP server, Asterisk server, etc. But that's because of the support behind those products. Asterisk, PHP, etc are backed by serious companies.

        And don't let me get started on the stupid fights about the scheduler, while this isn't an issue on Solaris ( uler_old_solaris), because that's what really makes me doubt about the Bazaar way of software development. Don't get me wrong, I think that's great, but when shit starts to fly around, I start looking for alternatives.
        • Re:OpenSolaris (Score:5, Interesting)

          by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:21AM (#20464557) Homepage
          I would love to see a newbie doing all that guesswork just to recover a fucked MBR.

          As someone who has had to recover Solaris software raid out of f*** state on multiple occasions I can ensure you that it did not use to be any better. In fact it was worse. Booting, repopulating devices, devices missing, having your MBT f**** up. Yep. Been there seen that. An all of the great three - linux, bsd and solaris. All of them suck equally bad so I will not recommend a newbie doing any software raid in the first place. Disclaimer - I have not tried opensolaris for this though

          I lost, completely lost, 320GB of data due to the piece of shit Truecrypt for Linux, supposedly "stable". If you have 320GB of data, if you are brave enough to play with LVM and software RAID and you also smack TrueCrypt on it. Well... You are expected to have enough clue to have backups... If you do not...

          The great about solaris is that it WORKS. Right there and then: it just works. May I suggest that you run a couple of hundred of servers with it in an Internet facing environment first. I have suffered from it and I have seen the lot. F*** up filesystems, MBR cockups, software raid bloopers, applications managing to make the kernel through the Sparc equivalent of GPF from the depth of the scheduler (something linux has not done for a very long time), the lot. Granted it has been a while, and most of it was not under OpenSolaris which has supposedly been "improved". Though as people say, once you get burned you stay away from it.

          the scheduler, while this isn't an issue on Solaris. Now do not get me started here either. Since the day of 2.5 every Solaris release has been released with a scheduler that has been heralded as the best and above the rest. In every f*** release the marketing droids has screamed that Solaris is right, everyone else is wrong everyone's else scheduler sucks and Solaris is the best. After that they accepted "everyone else" scheduler concepts in the next release. Sorry mate, people here have not forgotten the abomination of lightweight threads. People have not forgotten the screams of Solaris marketing droids about the greatness of the N:M model. There are also people who have had to program the actual scheduler internal priority tables and retune it for job loads different from default. All of this just to find out that the next release completely fucks it up to move to different semantics from the ground up. Rinse, repeat...

          Do you like it or not scheduler is always a flamewar because every scheduler sucks. Just it sucks differently for different people so there will always be one to flame away (especially after failing a testcase miserably).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by 00lmz ( 733976 )

          Regarding to the "high end enterprise bells and whistles": ZFS alone made me switch my Linux server to Solaris. I lost, completely lost, 320GB of data due to the piece of shit Truecrypt for Linux, supposedly "stable". Now I have a zpool with iscsi-exported zvols, that took like 2 minutes to make.

          ZFS sounds great, but I don't think it's fair to compare TrueCrypt (which is not included with the kernel, and doesn't have too many users testing it) with ZFS (which is one of Solaris 10's most valuable feature

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by DeepZenPill ( 585656 )
            Hey it was 320GB of some really freaky porn that nobody else was supposed to see. What he didn't realize is that the Truecrypt process took a look at it and decided he shouldn't be watching those movies either.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by heelrod ( 124784 )
          I'm gonna have to agree with this.

          back in the day, the people using this stuff were programmers, so the code made for good docs ( kinda ) because it was new, untested, and really just a toy. Today, it is a big player in real world applications and systems. Most people just hang on to what we said over 10 years ago. It's starting to sound like a broken record. The Linux zealots keep yelling the same thing. I write drivers, port drivers and all that crap, and I'm sorry to say Linux needs to come up with
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rossifer ( 581396 )
        Funny that you mention the TCP code. In my experience, the TCP stack is one of the places where Solaris (and presumably OpenSolaris) does things right and Linux has some significant problems.

        We have some servers with multiple NIC's in the same subnet due to limitations of our hosting provider. On Linux, if a request comes in on NIC 1, the response may go out on NIC 1, 2, or 3. This causes no end of havoc as the server claims the response went fine, but any firewalls between the client and server will fai
  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:00AM (#20462557)
    What's the point of an operating system when you've got Java running on top of whatever is there? The OS is just a bootloader for the Java VM.

    Sun's interest in pushing two separate platforms is baffling.
    • by setagllib ( 753300 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:08AM (#20462595)
      Sun has a lot more than just Java software, and has a lot to gain from having firster-than-first class support for Java in the operating system (e.g. kernel-level code caching, pushing code into kernel space, etc). Linux can technically have it all now too, with Java being GPLv2'd. But really, Sun has packages like StarOffice, which needs a lot more than just a JVM.

      I encourage more competition for Linux. A free market is built on competition. Now that Microsoft is becoming a competitor rather than an oppressive regime, it'll be naturally selected out and increasingly powerful Unix systems will dominate the market. A Linux monopoly is not a good thing either, and whether BSDs or Solaris share the market, we all stand to benefit.

      It'd be even better if we had some license consolidation, but hey, that's a pipe dream. I'd rather have license-incompatible code than no code at all because people refuse to use GPLvX.
      • "pushing code into kernel space, etc). Linux can technically have it all now too"

        thanks but we don't a wanted a Big Bloated Java Kernel. we want a lean c one...
        • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:42AM (#20462921)
          we want a lean c one...

          Dr Tanenbaum, please come back.. all is forgiven [] :-)
        • by setagllib ( 753300 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:46AM (#20462969)
          Allow me to clarify. The JVM currently has a lot of clever optimizations like lock coarsening. It's proving it's pretty smart. Now, imagine if the JVM could detect a certain procedure is doing a LOT of user-kernel switches, and therefore can be moved to kernel space. When it needs to communicate memory back to userspace, it can be moved back in, ideally, only one switch. This is a pretty simple optimization which has a lot of room for improving performance. Some processes like servlet containers and their servlets could, in theory, be moved entirely into kernel land, without having to program any kernel code at all. I wonder if this is planned for any JVM?
        • I don't think he was referring to coding the kernel in Java (which would IMO be a really strange use of Java since Java is intended to be interpreted, though I suppose a Java kernel would be more portable), he was talking about coding the kernel in such a way as to be able to run Java apps more efficiently. Sorry if you knew that, your post became a bit ambiguous to me when you mentioned C.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:28AM (#20462781)
        The concept of competition does not apply to free software because competition implies a winner and a loser. In OSS, there is no winner, nor is there a loser. OSS projects progress by the input and enthusiasm of the users. There is no reason that a single "monopoly" project would necessarily lead to lower innovation. Since the project itself is not in any competition to lure users away from a competitor, there is no incentive either way to innovate except for the "itch" to keep making the project better.

        A monopoly-style OSS project would lead to more innovation, in fact, because with more users wanting more features, the project will have both a larger pool of ideas to choose from as well as a larger pool of developers to implement and grow the project. Growth encourages growth, at least as far as OSS is concerned.

        Competition, OTOH, draws finite resources away from the developer pool. While ideas may be freely shared, developer time cannot be, so a project that gets X number of hours of work will have monopolized that time for that project. Sometimes this work can be easily shared among other projects, but most of the time it cannot be shared without significant porting and adaptation. Competition fragments the development effort of all OSS projects.

        The only competition that truly exists in OSS is the competition of ideas. The actual implementation of code is where this is fought. If idea A has more support than idea B, it will be idea A that gets implemented. In this way, in democratic fashion, the best ideas (alternatively, the most popular ideas) get turned into reality. When the small group of idea B supporters break away from the main project to proceed with implementing their idea, only time will be able to tell whether idea A or idea B was the right way to go. But it is an unnecessary competition and draws resources away from the improvement of the platform.

        Competition against Microsoft or Sun is not the reason Linux improves over time. Rather, it is because users who want to use Linux implement the features that they want so that the platform grows to fit them. As it grows to fit them, it also grows to fit everyone. The additive nature of OSS sees to it that the best ideas stick around and the lousy ones get tossed away. That's not to say that Linux isn't stuck in the Unix rut, because it is. It's that if there were no Linux, there would be something else.
        • OSS projects progress by the input and enthusiasm of the users.

          Be sure that your definition of "input" extends to cold, hard cash, and "users" also includes companies.
          A variety of companies in one market, say, CPUs and motherboards, might avoid significant cost by sponsoring a consortium to write a kernel that scales across architectures and configurations. Linux is an example. The trick is to find an HMFIC with enough technical skill and managerial talent to keep the wheels on the bus.

          The only competi

        • by setagllib ( 753300 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:53AM (#20463043)
          You've missed an important reality of FOSS development, which is that most projects have a core team (or, often, a Benevolent Dictator) which decides everything. No matter how much the users might want, that core team still decides what gets implemented and widely deployed. Look at Python vs Ruby - they're competing in a very similar space, and both growing in different directions, with uses for both of them. They simply cannot become one project without losing their individual advantages. But they can co-exist rather nicely, and cross-pollinate ideas that are compatible with both.

          Linux has Linus as the benevolent dictator. Linux is freakin' awesome, but other projects do things differently, and can often justify them one way or another. If these projects are allowed to bring those ideas into reality, and demonstrate their value, Linux could copy the ideas.

          Look at BSD's kqueue, spawned in FreeBSD. It's really good. Around the time it was spawned, Linux still had poll, and then later epoll, but epoll isn't that great. Now Linux is getting new event notification systems, of varying sanity, because kqueue has shown it can be done much better, even if the Linux guys don't quite agree with it in its entirety.

          For all we know, Linux might end up re-architecturing to have natural SSI like DragonFly plans to have. DragonFly can be a great proof of concept. And if, a few years from now, the market situation is such that implementing drivers, software support, etc. is easy, the developer resources can focus on making a competitive, usable product instead of playing catchup with basic hardware support. We'll see an explosion of useful, interoperable operating systems, that would have otherwise died just trying to be runnable at all. *Especially* with virtualization platforms reducing the amount of code necessary to get a live kernel, and improving debuggability, deployment flexibility, etc. The mere anticipation floors me.
        • by Alioth ( 221270 )
          You're making a false assumption. A monopoly OSS project might not necessary garner any more developers than a non-monopoly one. For example, if KDE didn't exist, it wouldn't mean that all KDE developers would be working on Gnome - because those developers in all probability still wouldn't want to work on Gnome (and may work on a totally unrelated project). KDE and Gnome both exist because not all developers want to work on KDE and not all developers want to work on Gnome. The disappearance of one or the ot
        • by trifish ( 826353 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:19AM (#20464547)
          In OSS, there is no winner, nor is there a loser.

          If 90% of people used a particular open-source program, I'd dare to call that program a winner. And if nobody used a particular open-source program, I'd dare to call that program a loser. The rest is idealistic crap.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by kimvette ( 919543 )
          Yes. Look at Xfree86 as an example. For a long time they were pretty much the only player in town, and that effective monopoly resulted in lots of innov--- wait a second, I see a problem here. anyone? Xfree86 was stagnated and falling way, way behind OS X and even Windows and it took forking the project to move things forward.

          Monopolies are rarely a good thing - either closed/proprietary or free/open.
      • by Starker_Kull ( 896770 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:30AM (#20462801)

        I encourage more competition for Linux. A free market is built on competition. Now that Microsoft is becoming a competitor rather than an oppressive regime, it'll be naturally selected out and increasingly powerful Unix systems will dominate the market. A Linux monopoly is not a good thing either, and whether BSDs or Solaris share the market, we all stand to benefit.

        Your faith in Microsoft being 'naturally selected out' is.... amusing. Considering, after years of barely adequate products, they still have 90% plus marketshare of desktops, and last I checked, they were still oppressing various standards bodies, hardware manufacturers, small software houses, etc., I think the corpse is still walking around, talking FUD, and otherwise making a nuisance of itself. The Linux Monopoly you fear is... a bit far-fetched just yet, IMHO. When I start seeing KDE desktops in some of the small offices I walk into, then I'll believe it.

        Of course, this move by Sun is to try and make that happen; many non-computer people like 'simplicity', in the sense of getting everything from one computer vendor with minimum fuss on their part, assuming that things will work together more smoothly then. So, Sun offers a machine running OpenSolaris, with StarOffice preinstalled, as well as a really fast JVM. Worth a shot...

        • by setagllib ( 753300 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:00AM (#20463091)
          Why do you think Microsoft is scrambling for OOXML standardization? Because the document format lockin is a huge, huge part of Microsoft's monopoly strategy. If they're forced to be an equal player in the office suite space, making Office largely replaceable, then Windows is largely replaceable too. When Linux + KDE + Firefox + can replace a Windows + Office + IE setup with lower costs, minimal training and solid vendor support (Canonical, Red Hat, ...), how much incentive is there to run Windows any more?

          Gradually the government switches, corporations switch, and finally users switch. The numbers indicate it's happening anyway, and the format war is just going to nail the coffin on Microsoft's monopoly. They never even had a monopoly on servers, gaming technology, etc. so the office is their last stand, and in a matter of days it will be confirmed that they have lost that too.

          And of course, as the demand for Linux installations grows, and more vendors sell pre-packaged Linux, then hardware contracts will also require useful drivers or even documentation, and the hardware situation will be largely solved too. Sit back and relax, freedom has won and the liberation continues as planned.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Why do you think Microsoft is scrambling for OOXML standardization? Because the document format lockin is a huge, huge part of Microsoft's monopoly strategy. If they're forced to be an equal player in the office suite space, making Office largely replaceable, then Windows is largely replaceable too. When Linux + KDE + Firefox + can replace a Windows + Office + IE setup with lower costs, minimal training and solid vendor support (Canonical, Red Hat, ...), how much incentive is there to run Win

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mihalis ( 28146 )

      The OS is just a bootloader for the Java VM.

      Not even close. the JVM does not implement a filesystem, or a network stack, or virtual memory management system, or any device drivers, or threading, or low-level graphics operations, or ...

      Java is fine, but don't confuse it with an entire modern operating system.

  • Solaris (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Borongo ( 794885 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:08AM (#20462597)
    The kind of Solaris penetration sun really wants is at the corporate
    level. There are a lot of Sun Servers out there so they'd like to increase
    that further in companies who want cheaper hardware than the sparcs.
    From a TCO point of view, add Solaris X86 to your existing Sparcs isn't
    that big of a deal and Sun has made pretty good progress in making Solaris
    10 much more on equal footing with Sparc based Solaris so now you only
    need admins who are expert at one OS, you've got easier compatibility
    with your software etc. Then from there I see a push to companies who
    don't use Sparc hardware.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:09AM (#20462607)
    I don't think so, but then again, I'm still holding out for an Amiga comeback.
  • by inflex ( 123318 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:10AM (#20462629) Homepage Journal
    Consider MS with IE and then Mozilla with Firefox.

    MS Word vs WordPerfect 5.1

    What about Linux, itself was probably considered "too late" or such at the time "Everything's been invented/done".

    What about when Redhat was top dog - who'd have thought that Ubuntu would come along and change a lot of things.

    The point is, it's [almost] never too late, just sometimes you have a harder job ahead of you.
    • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:14AM (#20462661) Homepage
      yes, and there is something that solaris has that linux doesnt. ZFS.

      If zfs is not ported to linux due to license problems, Ill install solaris on my home file/backup server.
      • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:15AM (#20463209) Journal
        ZFS is irrelevant to the desktop user, though. (How many desktop users care what filesystem they have?)

        However, a stable kernel ABI - which Linux doesn't have - is FAR more important, as it means hardware manufacturers are far more likely to release drivers for your platform that can just be installed with the hardware. If Solaris on the desktop started outnumbering Linux on the desktop, my bets would be it would have everything to do with hardware manufacturers being able to ship a driver for $random_hardware, and little to do with ZFS.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Karellen ( 104380 )
          "[a stable abi] means hardware manufacturers are far more likely to release drivers for your platform"

          No it doesn't. I run Linux/PPC and I *never* see hardware manufacturers releasing drivers for their hardware on it. Heck, it's hard enough to get decent drivers for Linux/x86-64 from them. I don't see them doing decent drivers for a other chipsets that run on systems that use standard hardware interfaces (PCI, etc...) either. They're just not interested.

          The only way to get a decent driver for Linux (Not Lin
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by xtracto ( 837672 )
          Ahh! and this is why I think competition from solaris is very good. If indeed OpenSolaris starts competing against Linux on the Destkop, and due to its "more commercial" (less zealotry) policy allows (or even promotes) closed source drivers to interact with the kernel via a stable ABI or whatnot making it more "commercial harware vendor friendly", then maybe, just maybe, a lot of companies will start publishing hardware drivers for it and it will support the newest hardware better than Linux.

          I would love th
      • There's something that Linux, and some of the BSD's have that Sun insists on not having - a wide range of hardware support. Sure, it's not going to run on the Sun3 easily, but non-Ultra sun4's that can take the load aren't beholden to bmc giving them the HCL blessing.
    • by fymidos ( 512362 )
      Timing is important though, 8-10 years ago this move would have changed the world. But at this point, i just don't see it...
  • unix, unique, union... nothing more detached from the truth: Unix companies are always fighting each other, building conflicting standards, and letting the real enemy safely escape...
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:10AM (#20462633) Journal
    What can Sun Micro Systems bring to the table that rest of the Linux could not? Its name, some kind of relationships with corporations and provide "not a bunch of amateurs in their spare time, this OS is backed by professionals" kind of sales talk. But that niche is already occupied by IBM. As for SUNW's vaunted professionalism, they fumbled the lead they had in unix and are struggling to keep up. As for their corporate vision, these guys never realized until it was too late, that Windows OS was the loss leader, in grocery store parlance, and the real deal is the vendor lock in office documents, email addresses and calender applicaions. MSFT might have fumbled many balls and lacked vision on the technical side of the market, but when it comes to business side, MSFT has been nothing less than visionary in gunning for monopoly and achieving it. Now SUNW is going to take on Linux? yawn. Nothing to see here, move along, folks.
    • by gvc ( 167165 )
      Try this on yer a-ver-age Linux system:

      bash-3.2$ df
      Filesystem kbytes used avail capacity Mounted on
      zpool1 17193093120 39 17193092990 1% /zpool1

      • by pyite ( 140350 )
        Judging by the zpool there, I think you meant to say ZFS, not XFS. ;-)

      • Sure, XFS (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:43AM (#20462933)
        I can do XFS too (I know you made a mistake, and mean ZFS). However, I will point out:
        $df -h .
        Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /mnt/t/something 16T 1.1M 16T 1% /mnt/t/t
        $df -k .
        Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on /mnt/t/something 17100669952 1056 17100668896 1% /mnt/t/t

        I just ran this on my laptop (an 'average' system, though I assume your system with 16 TB of storage is not really 'average'. I too can have big block devices with a single filesystem, big deal. Go commercial, ala GPFS and you can do bigger ( ystems). I just have a hard time having enough storage to build such a filesystem. The biggest real block device (not sparse) I have readily available not on GPFS is an 8 TB ext3 filesystem.

        ZFS's power is not the filesystem size. It unifies a lot of things historically in different layers. I.e. software raid, storage pools, dynamic new filesystems, long term snapshotting. Most of these can be done without ZFS, but the creating filesystems and long-term snapshotting can be done with such ease and efficiency when all the 'layers' work together, and that is what ZFS brings to the table. I will say ext3cow would give me the single feature that most appeals to me about ZFS, and the rest I can do using LVM and such.

        In the end, ZFS is the single point that tempts me in general about Solaris, but I'm not about to jump platforms when I know enough 'tricks' to get 'good enough' out of my existing platform.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Eivind Eklund ( 5161 )

          In the end, ZFS is the single point that tempts me in general about Solaris, but I'm not about to jump platforms when I know enough 'tricks' to get 'good enough' out of my existing platform.
          I hear and understand you.

          So does everybody that use Windows.

  • How can we lose? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:12AM (#20462647)
    I was first going to write a blurb saying "Great! How can we lose! Let the best OS win!"

    But on second thought, I can think of one bad scenario: OpenSolaris and Linux end up with different groups of users, where-as they previously would have mostly used Linux. This makes it harder for *either* open-source OS to get enough market share to attract ISVs, manufacturers writing device drivers, etc.

    I guess the best of both worlds is if Linux and OpenSolaris kind of merge, resulting in a single OS with the strengths of both (for example, the goodness of getting dtrace into Linux).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      But would the people who would have used GNU/Linux have all used Ubuntu?

      Or would some of them have used Fedora, and some SuSE*, and some Slackware, and some...

      Really, you don't need Solaris to fragment the base. It's also worth mentioning that back when I used BSD, I had no problems with the fact GNU/Linux had the marketshare and all the binaries because pretty much everything only available in binary form, from RealPlayer to Netscape, "just worked" with COMPAT_LINUX. Unlike, say, Windows via WINE, it'

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mdhoover ( 856288 )

        I have no idea of Solaris already has Linux ABI and GNU/Linux API support
        BrandZ (or whatever it has been rebadged as) lets you run RH linux userspace in a solaris zone on x86...
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
          It's worth noting that you can do something similar with FreeBSD jails and Net/OpenBSD sysjails; have an isolated environment presenting a different ABI and running a completely separate and isolated userland. The Solaris implementation is currently a lot more polished, however.

          It has some interesting potential for consolidation; you can pull a hard drive from a Linux server, plug it into a BSD or Solaris machine, and with a tiny bit of tweaking have the system run as a virtual server.

  • by pomakis ( 323200 ) <> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:12AM (#20462649) Homepage

    Isn't it all a bit late?

    No, I don't think it's too late at all. If it's a decent operating system and has certain advantages over Linux (regardless as to whether or not Linux in turn has certain other advantages over it), then it will eventually catch on. In the world of software, it's never too late to introduce competing technologies.

  • by udippel ( 562132 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:13AM (#20462657)
    (Just missed the FP, but still)
    this chance was missed a few times. The last one was when Nexenta was treated like a mother-in-law.
    If SUN wanted acceptance instead of l33t, GPL(v3) would have been the order of the day.
    As long as they dangle about with CDDL, they might as well pass away. Don't get me wrong, CDDL ('cuddle') is quite a good FOSS licence. But it has its problems with a coexistence side-by-side to GPL. And GNU is, love it or hate it, thousands of great applications; and moreover a licence accepted by the majority of FOSS developers.

    I hope(d) Ian would have the power to apt-ing Solaris, but he doesn't seem to. And when you read the OpenSolaris lists, you find as much ego-tripping as on OpenBSD or Mac. They rather sink with pkgadd.
    And I cry for them, yes, because SunOS is the greatest kernel around, with limited hardware support. Back to licencing and square one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If SUN wanted acceptance instead of l33t, GPL(v3) would have been the order of the day.

      How could they have chosen this as the license already when it was finalized just a few months ago?
    • The embedded space is where Linux is most widely accepted but with the (harmless in reality) anti-Tivoization clauses in the GPLv3, and the amazing levels of FUD that IP lawyers are dumping on CTOs everywhere to get more billable hours, embedded device makers are getting more and more scared of anything GPL. If the kernel goes GPLv3, Linux will lose a majority of that market whether the worries are well-founded or not. If Sun plays it's cards right (there's a first time for everything), they could pick up a
    • by jimicus ( 737525 )
      Solaris isn't really being aimed at the hobbyist crowd.

      Most major Linux developments these days are sponsored, and so I would expected it to be with OpenSolaris.
    • by Eivind Eklund ( 5161 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:01AM (#20463093) Journal
      No, the GPL has the problem of co-existing in the same app as CDDL.

      Place blame where it belongs - GPL is the one bringing the heavy restrictions creating license incompatibility with EVERYTHING that cannot be converted directly to the GPL (including all BSD style licenses, if you do an exact reading of the GPL and BSD licenses.)


  • by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:16AM (#20462667) Homepage
    I remember when Solaris was going open source and everybody was saying how they would over take Linux... well, it hasn't happened... not even close. So why the optimism from Sun now?
    • by E-Lad ( 1262 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:36AM (#20462847)
      So what you're saying that you expected it to happen overnight?

      I recall people saying similar things, only about Linux, back in the 90s. "Linux is the next big thing", Pundits and advocates trumpeted "Corporations will move to Linux as their preferred server/service platform", and so on. That pretty much did happen, but it took the better part of a decade to realize it. It took the one thing that a not even the most talented coders can't create during an all-night coding binge: Time.

      OpenSolaris is a hair over 2 years old now. If you think about it, most decently sized shops change out comodity infrastructure every 3-4 years, a time frame pimarily goverened by hardware warranties. If an organization says "Let's try another OS the next time around... lets try Solaris" then the proper time to do that would be consumate with normal upgrade cycles. In other words, no one can reasonably expect one thing (Solaris in this case) to massively gain meaningful, measurable share instantly. It takes time. Just like it did with Linux.

  • fine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SolusSD ( 680489 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:32AM (#20462807) Homepage
    as long as Linux distros and Solaris play nice together. An open source solaris can only be good for the OSS community as a whole and will hopefully guarentee compatibility
  • by TooTechy ( 191509 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:35AM (#20462835)
    Solaris has known stability in certain supportable configurations. Linux supposedly does too. I know that statement will get a lot of hackles raised but just hold on. I am a continuous Linux user since 0.99pl8 and I love it. But, as time moves on I see some instabilities creeping in as complexity rises and hardware moves on.

    One of my boxes downstairs, a recent machine (less than 6 months old) running stock Debian (amd64) without a mod to the sources.lst has a slight instability (almost certainly in a driver) and crashes every week or so.

    Now, one could say that I should replace the hardware which has the suspect driver (always seems to be on a disk access). Or I should get on the Debian lists and report it. If it was a Sun Solaris box I would know that the hardware I had was (or was not) supported. The word 'Supported' in the Linux world really (I am sorry) does not mean as much as it does to Sun.

    Now I have other Linux boxen, (a little older) which have uptimes of over a year. No problems. But on odd occasions as this I would like to have stability and I can't find it. (Read, maybe don't have the time at the moment). And I need the box UP. I can't rebuild it AGAIN! I am on the 6th distro in an attempt to gain stability. That's an aside.

    In Sun's world. You pay a little more for your hardware and 'Know' it is going to work.
  • by Tanuki64 ( 989726 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:36AM (#20462845)
    ...or *BSD, or Linux. I am working with Linux, I am developing under Linux. My programs compile for *BSD and for Linux. I am pretty sure they would compile and run as fine under Solaris. So why am I using Linux? It has the best driver support, the best documentation, the best software support. Would I change when *BSD or Solaris get the same quality of support? No, why should I? They have to be better and solve at least one problem, I have with Linux. Currently I have no problems with it. Would I change if there was a problem, which one of the others solve? At once. As I said, I could not care less, which one of the three I use.

    So please could anyone tell me, what are the USP's of Solaris?
  • by tji ( 74570 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:37AM (#20462861)
    After looking at newer Solaris offerings, one thing that struck me as a good option is to use Solaris as my Host/Hypervisor OS, and use Linux within Xen VMs on top of Solaris. You get Solaris advantages at the root { ZFS, Solaris Zones, Stable Unix platform, good management tools } while still running any instances of Linux I want, enclosing my services in lightweight Linux VMs.

    Last time I checked, Xen was not fully ready for prime time on Solaris. But, that was quite a while ago. If it's Xen is stable, and has good management tools, Solaris would make a good hypervisor. For security reasons, I think it's also nice to have different OS's in the hypervisor and VMs -- making it less likely a single exploit can rip through all layers.
  • There's an enormous momentum building behind Solaris

    And where's that? In the Sun break room? Look out! It's a Solaris Tsunami!

    Don't think so.

  • Nobdy expects the Spanish INQUISITION!

  • 2 powers houses (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JeremyGNJ ( 1102465 )
    Windows + .NET
    Open Solaris + Java
    Linux + ????

    Basically leaves Linux as the bastard step-child with no framework of their own. They kind of have MONO...and they DO have java....but how long til "incompatibilities" start popping up, now that Sun is pushing into the OS market?
  • Not convinced... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:56AM (#20463053)
    Sun has done an excellent job of astroturfing. I know a lot of technical people who have tried it once again, and got the 'neat' factor of ZFS, was not that impressed with DTrace (we know how to do most of this sort of stuff in linux already), and containers, well, are nothing unique to the platform. So ZFS remains the cool thing that, while Linux has facilities to kinda-sorta get there, can't get there as smoothly and flexibly. Meanwhile, they were bitten by a distinct lack of drivers, and their random whitebox platform they used to evaluate was being strangely flaky in the face of Solaris when it seemed solid with Linux.

    So on the technical front, there remain kinks to work out. In the meantime, Linux has incredible momentum, incredible talent in the market, and from a business standpoint, is in an advantageous position. Linux has more corporate backing (you want serious software support for Solaris, you have only Sun to choose really, while in Linux, well, at least Novell and RedHat are serious software support contenders, and more hardware vendors embrace Linux than Solaris).

    The other sad thing was the Solaris platform package management. Nexenta was a refreshing thing to evaluate, but looking at the community at large it seems Nexenta gets the shaft. It's all up to Indiana to see if they can pull off a well-accepted, decent package/repository system. I have to admit, this is by *far* the biggest thing Linux platforms have going for it (apt/yum) and very much outweighs the benefits of ZFS (it's like apples and oranges, true, but when you have to pick one or the other...). Of course, the Nexenta situation points to them not pursuing the other thing they need to be a Linux contender, they'd have to allow other companies to have control and be able to provide software support on their own without any help or money exchange with Sun themselves. The question is if they did that, would Sun's share of the Solaris market still be more than the current Solaris market in the face of a dominant Linux market, and I really have no idea. They might just have to lose out on Solaris to make it have a chance, and that really gets them nowhere. It's a fine line to walk and it wil be interesting to see what they do to try to pull it off.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Back when linus released linux as open/free software, there were no other choices for a free operating system:

    - Minix had switched policy to 160$ for the diskettes.
    - The BSDs said that they were going to go free, but the board of directors didn't want to lose potential profits and that was constantly delayed.
    - MS-DOS is not an operating system.

    We were in a deadend. Linux was the right thing at the time.

    *After* linux took off, the others got scared and as a *reaction* to linux, started giving out open/free o
  • Given their haphazard application of their HCL (sun4m - need I say more) and the cutting out of perfectly usable sparcstations (no dtrace and crippled KCF is fine enough tyvm), it's left a sour bit in more than just a few.
    • by E-Lad ( 1262 )
      It's not going to take over anytime soon because Solaris dropped support for hardware that has been EOL'd for 10 and more years? The future is forward, not reverse. Solaris isn't looking to court the computer museum curators of the world.
  • It works sure, but it is no where close to a Windows desktop, and far behind Linux Desktops. You would think they would have solved printing in some nice way but not even that is available.

    Though their Sun Ray clients are easy on the administrator and the best on the market, you just got to love a thin client with two monitors at 1920x1200 (Sun Ray 2FS) []. They are also pretty ceap $200 - $600.

  • So that means they'll create a successful product that's bloated, overly strict, and was open-sourced too late? Perhaps OpenSolaris has the advantage being that it has had a decent amount of attention since its source opening, but the comparison to Java should stop there.

    Personally, I already think Java's becoming obsolete [], but I don't see the same fate for OpenSolaris.
  • Sounds good to me.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by target562 ( 623649 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:20AM (#20463251) Homepage
    ...After years of migrating most of our datacenter operations from Solaris & IRIX environment to Linux, we have pretty much migrated everything back to Solaris. Reasons? Cost - Solaris licenses are free. Support is good, and also relatively inexpensive. Cheaper than RedHat Enterprise. Stability - We're talking interface stability, backwards compatability, etc. Storage - Linux's storage subsystems are still a joke. A hodgepodge of filesystems, and don't even get started on enterprise storage technologies such as fibre channel & multipathing, where the linux solution requires a spool of duct tape, a pack of chewing gum, and some string. Compatibility - Solarisx86 has had no problems running on any enterprise-grade server hardware (Dell, IBM, Sun). Many complain about Solaris not having the "driver base" of Linux -- but the question is, would you really want to run that hardware in your enterprise?
  • Yawn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:22AM (#20463273)
    Wake me up when Sun has:
    * Has as much open drivers as Linux has;
    * When it has ALSA (I know, it sucks sorta, but it works at least);
    * When it has very vibrant and lively developer and user community;
    * And when you don't have to release such PR to say 'momentum is building behind OpenSolaris'. I know hyping is sometimes quite cool, but it is just sick.

    People hype about ZFS. But do really there are mass defection to OpenSolaris because of that? I don't.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:24AM (#20463299)
    1.) Ditch the inhouse CLI tools - they suck and will never catch up with GNU. Maintaining them is pointless. Use the full spectrum of GNU CLI tools.
    2.) Use a pimped zshell as shell with a prime quality default setup and some good-looking, neat tutorials to get the Bash crowd in line for it.
    3.) De-suckify the entire grafical desktop stack, unifing GTK and QT with the same, one and only default theme that looks good.
    4.) Use APT as distribution system.
    5.) GPL Solaris and remove the distinction between Solaris and OpenSolaris.
    6.) Build a marketing army to push Solaris as "Mac OS X" for all non-Apple computers and 'the better open Unix variant / the better Linux' at the same time.

    There's only one big problem in all this: Sun. They are a technology driven company. Gigs like Apple or Canonical (Ubuntu) are vision driven and have a single boss who's considered king. They have a vision and they convey it to any opinion leader in the industry they care about.
    Suns staff wouldn't know a well designed desktop or a constently marketed brand if you showed it in their face. Just look at the video presentations from JavaOne. Anyone delivering such a presentation at Apples MacWorld would lose his job the next day. Sun is putting out CEO computable marketing babble and if at all they will only come through half way.

    Mind you, Solaris overtaking Linux is possible. Theoretically. Solaris has the prime advantage of not having an image torn to tiny bits and pieces by a thousand distributions - if Sun would do all the things mentioned above they could seriously capitalize on this distinction to Linux. But as I mentioned allready, they lack the vision and conceptual consitency to really pull through with it. That's my experience anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Arethan ( 223197 )
      I see two conflicting ideas in your post:

      5.) GPL Solaris and remove the distinction between Solaris and OpenSolaris.


      Solaris has the prime advantage of not having an image torn to tiny bits and pieces by a thousand distributions

      These two concepts are mutually exclusive. GPL'ing Solaris will undoubtedly create a thousand distributions. I believe the biggest problem people have in understanding the situation is that Solaris is an OS, not just a kernel (like Linux). Sun doesn't have to beat Linux as a whol

  • by ballmerfud ( 1031602 ) * on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:29AM (#20463355) Journal

    It's been two years and still there is no self-hosting OpenSolaris distribution. Again, there is no self-hosting OpenSolaris distribution. Again, there is yet to be ANY self-hosting OpenSolaris distribution. Not Nexenta, not Belenix, not Schillix, and sorry but Solaris Express is not open nor freely redistributable.

    Source or no source, if that damn thing can't even be made to be self-hosting, and the resulting product freely-redistributable, then it can't even be compared with Linux, much less overtake it. Enough with the smoke and mirrors already

    I fell for this hype two years ago when all the rage about Solaris 10 came out. Here's the deal: ZFS - great. DTrace - amazing. The Solaris kernel - truly exceptional. The userland, installer, package system, and general feel of the OS - horrendously bad ... so awful that it sent all of us who tried it screaming back to Linux and BSD. And they are still going to stick with that awful package system -- even after Nexenta has done all the work to get Apt working, even after hiring Ian Murdock. And that's the amazing thing: Nexenta is a shining example of a budding community that has filled in almost every glaring gap that Solaris was lacking and rather than gobble it up, Sun has basically patted it on the head like a good little wannabe and marched right on by drunk in its typical, massive, NIH syndrome.

    Not a chance. Keep the press releases coming, hire all the Linux people you want, but at the end of the day, I have at least two choices for a self-hosting, community-driven operating system with package systems, installers, and userlands that work now, not in years to come.

    And Sun, please stop with the "we're gonna beat Linux" crap. Haven't you learned by now that that doesn't help you. The whole "us verses them" mentality has no place in the community, and just makes you look like an ass. Linux earned its place. Earn yours, with action, not press releases.

  • The TV Ad (Score:3, Funny)

    by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:32AM (#20463375) Journal
    [To be read in that barely restrained anticipatory baritone half-growl so favored by TV and movie ad voice-overs]:

    SATURDAYsaturday, at the WORLD SOFTWARE FEDERATION'S OPEN SOURCE WARS, see Son of Java take on the Mighty Herd of Penguins in a STEEL CAGE GRUDGE MATCH!

    Watch as the up and coming challenger ROARS its defiance and CHARGES! Watch as the hoard of cute little defenders mass together TRANSFORMER-LIKE into the implacable foe we know and love!

    Will OpenSolaris be able to take the away the WSF crown away from Tux?

    Will the Penguin bide its time and then DESTROY the challenger with righteousness like it did with last week's challenger SCO?

    Will the lumbering, slumbering giant from Redmond wake up and SPEW OLD CODE to join the fight or will it continue to snooze and pretend NOT TO NOTICE?

    SATURDAYsaturday, see the UNMOVABLE FORCE take on the UNSTOPPABLE OBJECT at the OPEN SOFTWARE WARS from the WSF, where YOU the VIEWER are in... connnTROOOLLLLLLLL.........

    (Offer not valid in any country according to Microsoft; side effects may include multiple reformattings, several competing discussion groups, too many vaporware announcements on Slashdot, flamewars, and paying different prices for different versions of free software; for external use only, your mileage may vary, do not taunt Happy Fun Ball).
  • by ChrisA90278 ( 905188 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @12:14PM (#20465345)
    "Isn't it all a bit late?"

    So you assume the wold is closer to it's end than it's beginning? No, there are thousands of years still to go. we are only just beginning with computers. It is hardly "late".

    Most end users could not tell the difference between Solaris and Linux. Users interact with the graphical desktops system, web browsers and text editors. Most sys admins deal with the server software, like Apache or the shell. All of this is exactly the same on both Linux and Solaris. The differences are closer to the kernel and how each handles virtualization and the file systems. Thinks most users don't know much about.

    Today I think your hardware drives the choice between Linuux and Solaris. If you need high end SPARC hardware Solaris is the way to go but Linux runs better on commodity PC hardware. And Linux has been ported to embedded processors and I doubt Solaris ever will reach for the low end
  • by KidSock ( 150684 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:01PM (#20466025)
    ... on big servers but not on just about anything else. Solaris is the flat-bed 18 wheeler of OSs. It scales well are machines with a lot of processors, it has good supported drivers for "big" hardware like fiber drive arrays, there's good support from Sun and third party providers and, most importantly from a Linux prespecitive, it will be easy to GNU-ize the system to get "GNU/Solaris". But it will be very hard to supplant Linux on Pee-Cees. If you think you have problems with wireless and suspending on your laptop you can forget running Solaris on it. With Solaris you have to buy the hardware to fit the OS whereas Linux is the best *nix for commodity hardware.
  • On kernel talk (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vexorian ( 959249 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:46PM (#20466781)

    Let me go kinda off-topic, I find it odd that when people talk of the wonders of Linux they are rarely talking about the kernle itself.

    Take ubuntu for example, all what makes it "Linux for human beings" are actually things outside the kernel.

    More and more the user experiences less of the kernel and more of other things like X or a DE

    Everybody (In the linux world) seems to have an inclination about gnome or KDE or another de over windows' and name the advantage

    Another big group prefers it for open source in general and not really for the Linux kernel itself.

    I like "Linux" for most of these reasons, open source, gnome being customizable in a way I like, the unix file system structure and symlinks. None of this is specific to the kernel itself.

    And solaris got symlinks, and is unix like, and can run gnome. This said if it gets a GPL license it will get more attention from the world and if it gets a GPLv3 license I might even consider switching.

  • by SwashbucklingCowboy ( 727629 ) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:49PM (#20466837)

    But it just may be slowing it down:

I've got a bad feeling about this.