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223 comments

Year of the sell out (4, Insightful)

KnowledgeEngine (1225122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692605)

I am interested to see more stories that are not advertising or shout outs develop on laptops reading slashdot. Down with the "Check out my favorite thing" posts.

Re:Year of the sell out (5, Insightful)

INT_QRK (1043164) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694179)

I tried it. I installed it on my spare laptop (IBM T-41, ~4 years old). Pros include excellent speed, and easy install. Cons, especially when compared with consumer grade Linux distributions like Ubuntu, include extremely sparse OSS application repository to draw from, and wireless support that I just never could get to work. Having been there and done that, with a tee-shirt, I kept it for a week and reloaded Linux. Not ready yet.

Why? (4, Interesting)

drhank1980 (1225872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692627)

I know it is cool to try out different OSes from time to time, but is there really any solid technical reason why anyone would choose solaris on a laptop over linux?

Re:Why? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25692637)


Sure! Running ZFS on a single drive sounds cool to the other people working at the help desk.

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

Skinkie (815924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692705)

Now the fun of ZFS is that next to RAID-Z* it also has some nice snapshot send and receive features. So you could plugin your laptop and upon leaving, leave a snapshot of your work at another ZFS system has has many drives. Now that seems quite cool :) Another reason could be just using the features of the filesystem such as quickly sharing an NFS export for a presentation. Or making a snapshot of your latest work. ZFS like for example GIT as versioning system bring very interesting 'offline/on-the-road' use-cases. The integration that ZFS has to offer with xVM/Zones just proves the point that virtualisation is also available if you want it to. So yes you can use KVM/VirtualBox/Xen/VMware on your laptop, but as far from integration with the base OS, OpenSolaris has nifty features. Personally I run Linux on all but one system. That one system runs my cluster storage on OpenSolaris.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692797)

Sun's License vs. GPL? Solaris comes with multimedia codecs (such as MP3) that Linux distro's don't ship out of the box. Solaris (and maybe OpenSolaris) also comes with the proprietary nVidia video driver already installed for use.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692979)

I'm not going to name names, because I do not wish to enter the distro jihad, but the distro that I use comes with MP3 codecs.

LK

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

marafa (745042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693393)

jihad is an arabic word and i definetly am sure you dont know the meaning of the word nor how to use it.

this has been a public awareness message brought to you by :

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

phyrz (669413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693553)

Not really a troll. Jihad generally translates as 'the struggle'. There are several versions of it.

'Jihad as-sayf' specifically refers to 'the struggle of the sword', or the fight against non-muslims. This meaning is similar to the idea of defending the American Dream, or spreading democracy, except that some Islamic states have no seperation of state and religon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihad [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why? (0, Offtopic)

Curtman (556920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693691)

some Islamic states have no seperation of state and religon.

If there was a state that really had separation of state and religion I would move there.

Re:Why? (1)

thefekete (1080115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693653)

Sun's License vs. GPL? Solaris comes with multimedia codecs (such as MP3) that Linux distro's don't ship out of the box. Solaris (and maybe OpenSolaris) also comes with the proprietary nVidia video driver already installed for use.
--
Why Solaris? For me, it "Just works", and is "Ready for [my] desktop".

There, fixed it for you.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692915)

Binary drivers.

I am, at the very moment, trying desparately to get EeePC to work with Ubuntu.

If Linux had binary drivers I would just copy them from the original distro. Now it is huge PITA.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

flosofl (626809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693561)

I have a 900 (the one with the 900MHz Intel Mobile) and use it mostly for pentesting. I got it because it was a) cheap ($299) and b) has an atheros chipset (for monitor mode and packet injection). I usually spend most of my time on it in Backtrack on a 4GB SDHC --1.5GB for Backtrack proper, 2.5GB for results and persistent config changes. However, I carry the thing around with me to quickly check my IMAP accounts or do a little browsing and I found Ubuntu-EEE [ubuntu-eee.com] . It's 8.04.1 with the array.org changes and the Ubuntu netbook remix on the desktop. I haven't run into any problems with it.

Another great resource is the EEEuser Wiki [eeeuser.com] .

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693655)

http://array.org/ubuntu/

A one stop kernel package for the EeePC

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692993)

I know it is cool to try out different OSes from time to time, but is there really any solid technical reason why anyone would choose solaris on a laptop over linux?

If you truly are a Linux fan - isn't your first phrase answer enough? I've asked this sort of question about Linux enough times (e.g. "Do we really need another distro?" or "Do we really need yet another window manager?"), and Linux fanboys all think that "because we can" is a good enough answer in and of itself. That's fine; but if it's true when we talk about Linux, it's also true when we're discussing other operating systems.

Re:Why? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693299)

Not all of us, thank you. I'm a strong proponent of modifying the existing deployed toolkits and communicating with the authors to integrate your features or changes. This often works quite well, and the exceptions seem to be people who refuse to use the GPL. (Dan Bernstein and qumail come to mind, although he has since changed his licensing model.)

Re:Why? (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693689)

I know it is cool to try out different OSes from time to time, but is there really any solid technical reason why anyone would choose solaris on a laptop over linux?

If you truly are a Linux fan - isn't your first phrase answer enough?

What? All "true" Linux fans should use Solaris as their laptop O/S because trying things out can be fun? Bit of a non-sequiteur there, I can't help feeling. Besides which, if true it would also mean I had to have MinuetOS, Haiku, some flavour of BSD, ReactOS, and probably Windows Vista. Not to mention Ubuntu, RedHat, Debian and Slackware. All as my primary operating system. That doesn't seem feasible.

So: "is there really any solid technical reason why anyone would choose solaris?"

I've asked this sort of question about Linux enough times (e.g. "Do we really need another distro?" or "Do we really need yet another window manager?"), and Linux fanboys all think that "because we can" is a good enough answer in and of itself.

Good enough reason for developing a distro, certainly. Far from a compelling reason for trying it out. There are probably hundreds of specialist distros uot there whose user base is lucky to be in double digits - there isn't time to try them all, even if I wanted to do so. And if someone had a new Linux distro they were touting around the place I'd want to know what made that special too, before I tried it.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694115)

The availability of "yet another option" doesn't make any year "a year of that yet other option".

It's nice that Solaris x86 is finally not being treated like
an ugly redheaded stepchild. Although it's about 10 years too
late and that ship has sailed already.

I would imagine any OEM would have this nagging doubt in the
back of their mind about Sun and the future of Solaris and
what Sun might do in the future to screw things up again.

Solaris Features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693395)

Zones/Containers and ZFS.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693849)

I was thinking the same thing about MacOS. You get a full UNIX plus the benefits (zfs, dtrace) mentioned in the summary on top of an excellent platform with probably the best app support of any UNIX.

Re:Why? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694149)

If I could install MacOS on any random hardware
including a $300 mini laptop, I would be doing
back flips for the rest of the month. As a desktop
OS, Apple actually has something interesting to
bring to the table. Besides, I already have 2 MacOS
licenses that I'm not otherwise using.

Re:Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693977)

You sir are an IDIOT. I mean that in a nice way.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694005)

The Solaris kernel is very nice - good performance, good scalability, zones, ZFS, dtrace, an incredibly scalable TCP/IP stack, a stable driver ABI, and so on. It's fully supported by OSS (Sun paid 4Front to develop it) and I believe it now has a DRI implementation too. The userspace is a bit archaic - it's classic System V, which makes even a GNU userland look nice.

Or, to turn your question around, what is the compelling reason for choosing Linux over OpenSolaris or, say, PC-BSD, on a laptop?

Count me (0, Troll)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692635)

Count me among those who don't care.

It's Open Solaris. It will be a decade before Sun settles with Novell to grant the right to open Solaris, which right Sun previously bought from SCO, who didn't actually own it. In the mean time if you code for this your output's ownership will always be in doubt. It is better to code on a platform where the exegenesis is more certain.

Re:Count me (5, Interesting)

mritunjai (518932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692781)

Uh is it a new SCO meme ? Are you done with enough of FUD already ?

Solaris (and previously SunOS) were Sun's implementation of UNIX. Right, just like Linux and FreeBSD. As such Sun owns the copyright to it. Sun got it UNIX 'certified'. Thats right, just like OSX, Tru64, HPUX and AIX. There is no UNIX. It is a trademark of the Open Group, and they certify various implementations of it. Ever heard of SUS ? SYS V ?

Now onto SCO fiasco. Sun licensed some x86 drivers from SCO for Solaris 8 (yeah that old... Its like 10 years now). SCO's SCO UNIX was x86 based. Those drivers have long since disappeared! They dont even matter!

Whats all this infighting among Open Source group ? What is that makes some fanbois do thing and spread FUD that is most anti-Open Source ?

Guess some people just can never live happily with others!

It's a trap (0, Troll)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692819)

SCO did not have the right to grant Sun the right to open Solaris. This is a proven legal fact. Novell owns that right, and they have not yet granted it.

Open Solaris is and will be in doubt until Novell endorses it. Until then it's pirate software and no more legal than "Hot XP SP3 Warezz NOKEY" from TPB.

Re:It's a trap (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692829)

And by that tone so is all of the installs of Solaris from Solaris 8 onwards. I see no reason to think that Solaris is pirate software any more then Linux, Mac OS X, or *BSD are.

Re:It's a trap (1, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692867)

I can't do any better than to point you to a site where this is more completely covered. Go to groklaw [groklaw.net] and review the legal documents if you would become more informed on this issue. If you can't be bothered, well, then I claim superior knowledge of the subject because I did and have followed the conflict since 2003 (and have followed the products since 1980).

Re:It's a trap (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692895)

I guess I'll be having a sitdown at Groklaw this afternoon. I still doubt that SGI's IRIX and Sun's Solaris are effectivly pirateware, otherwise Novell would be taking action against them. (SGI also had some sort of license deal with SCO if you recall)

Re:It's a trap (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692907)

Yes, I recall. It takes a fine reading of the Court's opinions. Novell isn't pushing it yet because they're still in court but the day will come and these findings are definitive.

Re:It's a trap (4, Interesting)

lokedhs (672255) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693205)

I have also followed Groklaw basically since they started, and you are basically scaremongering for the purpose of getting attention.

You know full well that no one is going to read through all of those documents unless they're getting paid for it. I'm pretty sure you didn't read them either, but base everything off of people's comments on the blog. Esp. given the fact that PJ never said that Solaris was illegally open sourced. In fact, I believe she said that Sun already had that right, regardless of whether or not SCO had the right to sign the contract with them.

Re:It's a trap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693867)

Yes, I recall. It takes a fine reading of the Court's opinions. Novell isn't pushing it yet because they're still in court but the day will come and these findings are definitive.

Solaris has already been open-source.

Good luck unringing that bell, you pedantic jackass.

Re:It's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693685)

Both have legit licenses. In Sun's case, they got their license from AT&T, and actually worked with AT&T to combine the best of all worlds in regard to Unix: System V, Xenix and BSD Unix (this became System V Release 4).

Solaris, aka SunOS 5 and up were based on SYSVR4 (SunOS 4 and earlier were BSD-based). So, very much like IBM, Sun has one of those fancy "grandfather clause" licenses from AT&T (Novell can't retroactively alter that license, so there isn't much they can do)

In sort, no, Solaris isn't pirateware.

SGI didn't have a license deal with SCO. SGI's involvement in the SCO case was calling out SCO and taunting them to sue.

SGI released IRIX in 1988, licensed from AT&T. Novell didn't acquire Unix until 1993 (when they bought USL/Bell Labs, along with Unix and the associated copyrights), and SCO 'acquired' it from Novell in 1995. IRIX wasn't pirateware either.

Re:It's a trap (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694127)

No, the right of Sun to write and sell Solaris is not in doubt.
The right to free the code is in doubt, since SCO didn't own all of what Sun opened, and, apparently, Novell owns much of it. Since SCO was ostensibly working for Novell at the time, there very well may be some legal debate about whether Sun had the right to rely on SCO's representations.
Anyway, from a practical matter, the idea that Novell would cause trouble for users of OpenSolaris is dubious at best.
IANAL, etc., so don't rely on my post

Re:It's a trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25694013)

That's FUD. Are you sure that only AT&T owned all rights?

Re:Count me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693253)

Err... no: the device drivers were an excuse made up by the SCO legal team. Sun needed permission from the copyright owner to change the confidentiality agreement to the SYSV code in Solaris. This is the bit shared between Solaris, AIX and HPUX, etc. etc.

Unfortunately for Sun, the copyright owners are Novell. SCO were just a source code licensing subcontractor, with no rights to enter an agreement about Open-Sourcing SYSV without consulting the Novell.

Fortunately for Sun, Novell have indicated that they will not be persuing Sun (despite them inexplicably bankrolling SCO for "very old drivers")

Re:Count me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693633)

A few nitpicks.

Yes, Unix is a trademark. It's a trademark because it was the name of an OS (System V being the last release of it, IIRC).

There's no such thing as an "implementation of UNIX". Standards are implemented, Unix was an OS, not a standard. Unix was licensed out to various companied, first from AT&T, later from Novell, and it was tweaked to those various parties' needs. AIX for example isn't IBM's "implementation" of System V, it started off as System V. AIX is what IBM did to SYS V. Same goes for the other Unices.

Linux isn't an "implementation" of Unix. Linux isn't Unix, it never was, that's why GNU is called GNU (GNU's Not Unix).

FreeBSD is a full-fledged Unix, but not System V based. It forked from 4.4BSD, which, as a result of the settlements for the AT&T vs. Berkeley case, doesn't contain any System V code.

SunOS was a BSD-dervided OS, forked from the original BSD. Solaris is System V based. Worth pointing out, either way, neither is an "implementation" of Unix, both were forks of Unix.

As far as Sun owning the copyright to Solaris, that's not entirely true. Lots of the innards are licensed to them from elsewhere (such as AT&T), that's why they didn't just open up Solaris, and made OpenSolaris instead. They opened up the parts they own, and are building around that, they can open what they don't own.

It's the same reason IBM will never open up AIX, they can't, part of the codebase isn't theirs (though they did release JFS, which is part of AIX), just like they can't open up OS/2 either, since part of the code isn't theirs. Just like SGI opened up parts of IRIX (XFS and OpenGL) but not IRIX itself, since they don't own all the copyrights associated with it.

OS X, however is different, it's forked from BSD (4.3, I think), post AT&T settlement (at which point BSD and its derivatives were no longer bound by AT&T License restrictions, because it was stripped of System V code), which is why all of Darwin is open.

Yes, GP's post is full of FUD, but not for the reasons you think. System V based Unix vendors have to be very careful about which parts they open up, since the code doesn't all belong to them. They have three choices, they can't either open up the parts they own, and rebuild the parts they don't (like Sun is doing), or try to get permission from Novell.

There are two exceptions, companies like IBM who have grandfather clauses or so to speak, since their licenses were acquired from AT&T and which Novell has no jurisdiction over (this was IBM's best defense in the SCO drama, before it came to light that Novell is the actual owner of System V) and people (like Apple and the free BSDs) who ship forks of post-settlement BSD-Unix, which Novell also has no claim to.

So, yes, the x86 drivers may not be included in Solaris anymore, but the point is the core of Solaris is still System V at its heart, and Novell still owns the related copyrights.

Get the story straight, fighting stupid FUD with even more stupid FUD is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline, it just doesn't work, and you're causing more damage by trying.

Re:Count me (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694145)

SCO's SCO UNIX was x86 based.

Not always - c.1987 I used to administer & do cross platform development on a PDP 11/34 system (w/ removable 14" disk packs - nothing smells less like "victory" than the smell of a disk crash in the morning) running SCO Unix.

Mods, redeem yourselves (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692795)

Parent. Read it. Moderate it. And then moderate this post redundant. I don't care for my Karma, but I don't want rational viewpoints to be silenced, nor the moderation system to be abused. And if this gets modded down then that's the way it is, but at least you had a choice.

Don't code for anything besides Linux!! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25692825)

If you code on anything besides Linux the evil proprietary companies will steal your code.

Seriously though - if you write something for OpenSolaris - how is the ownership of your code in doubt? Just like an app written for Linux does not have to be GPL'ed, or an app written for Windows is not owned by Microsoft.

Typical Linux zealotry in action.

Zealotry? (3, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692897)

This is zealotry [engineeringnews.co.za] :

The world is a bridge; pass over it; but build not your dwelling there.

Look. We live in a litigious world. Although it's good guidance to tell programmers to avoid getting involved in discussions of, or reading, patents and their applications, it's a different thing to choose to be ignorant of your field, its history and the decisions surrounding it. The law is the law and it's a waste of time to develop applications that have been obviated by lawyers.

God bless the lawyers. Gently may they swing.

"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (4, Interesting)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692639)

I've never quite gotten what people mean by classifying operating systems in these two categories. Okay, it runs GNOME, office programs, and Firefox, isn't that enough to make it a desktop operating system? Hey look, it can run apache, sendmail, and bind, it's a server operating system too!

Seems to me it's just an operating system well-rounded for any task, and such vague categories don't really apply to it.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692669)

I would agree with you but for one point: The desktop arena is the general purpose 'swiss army knife' area, while server software has specific issues of speed, security, and robustness. Sure, they have overlap, but there are different generalized criteria for both.

I like what Solaris is becomming, and there are definite advantages to running Solaris in certain environments on certain hardware, especially when speed and robustness are critical factors.

Now I'm not talking about running DukeNukem, I'm talking about when an extra 100 transactions per second makes meaningful differences to your bottom line. This is when server OS software is a critical thing. Typically, desktop software OS is not what you want running a server with such critical issues under the microscope.

Solaris has historically been an OS which can be trusted in the server environment. I look with hope that they will continue and build on such a reputation.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (4, Insightful)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692803)

I disagree. Desktop OS and Server OS do not overlap. I know that Linux can and is BOTH but it is not really. A server OS is an OS built on stability and security. A desktop OS is one built on user experience and usability. There is sometimes a fine line, and a server can have a Desktop, but it is typically a trimmed version of a Desktop with many services not running that would be on the "desktop" release.

A desktop OS will have services and programs enabled that specifically disqualify it from being a server OS. Programs that listen on network ports, dont provide any kind of authentication to access devices or write to files, dont have a thorough firewall. A webserver should listen only on webserver specific ports and those necessary for remote admin. I can think of less than 10. (do a `netstat -a|grep LISTEN` and count the ports your desktop is listening on and then do the same on a server(http,ftp,ssh,rsync,and some specifics for server type like imaps or smb).

The analog here is a brand new Lincoln truck. Sure it looks like a truck, but its very nature says that it cannot be a worktruck without losing its status as a luxury vehicle. You could dis-acknowledge its luxury status and MAKE it a work truck, but then it is no longer a luxury vehicle because there has been consideration to the nice paint job, the chrome, the soft leather seats, etc.

So the point is:
Ubuntu 8.04 server is a server OS. If you add everything to make it a desktop OS, it is now Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692847)

I do not disagree. The kernel is where they overlap. UI is a matter of choice. Linux has shown that the same Kernel can be compiled to do the server job AND the desktop job. You can even compile the kernel and OS to do BOTH jobs.

The thing is that the 'idea' of server environment vs. desktop environment means that a successful OS for either area would have to meet the exacting criteria for that application. In this respect, server and desktop are the same underneath, yet different in operation. This gives them overlap in the eyes of many. The Linux kernel has blurred the distinction for many. Solaris (staying on topic) has been a server OS and not a desktop OS. Now, they are taking the Linux route and making two versions, just as your example of Ubuntu does. I happen to use both of these OS. I find that for a given application on given hardware, one makes more sense than the other for various reasons. In each case, a decision about server vs. desktop was made. In several cases, I have chosen a server setup that also has a desktop interface as that most suits the needs of the application.

I'm sorry, but you are wrong... they do overlap. Your particular needs for servers might not include overlap, but they do indeed have overlap in functionality and form.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692887)

Damn, clicked too soon. Server OS software has to meet those functions which are critical to servers, I.E. that extra 100 transactions per second. This same OS can have a desktop interface. There is one of several overlaps.

The point is that a generally good desktop OS might not be able to give you that extra transactions per second that you need, yet the OS that can, might also give you a nice desktop interface. This particularly is why I hope Solaris builds on their reputation. Server performance is not necessarily the performance you want for a desktop; graphics is a prime example. Despite that, the server CAN have great graphics performance and be configured to work most effectively in the role of server.

Again, desktop is the Swiss army knife application where server is an application specific configuration. The server needs to transfer data at some levels with great efficiency where the desktop can get away with less performance. A web server like Google uses has performance needs, yet the same OS might be compiled or configured to work in a different environment where that is not needed.

Both desktop and server need stability, reliability, and performance. It is only when you get to the point of needing an extra 100 transaction per second that it counts. This means that threads, forks, time keeping, cache usage performance, and other such things are important. The actual performance of such is not critical for Desktop, but is for Server applications. They do overlap, but in a one-way kind of manner. What makes a good desktop does not make a good server, and what makes a good server can ALSO make a good desktop.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693053)

In the various Unixes, Linux, and Windows, many of the distinctions between server OS and desktop OS are to some extent artificial. I mean, you said it yourself: Ubuntu 8.04 server is a server OS and Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop is a desktop OS, but they aren't different operating systems. Change the configuration and installed applications of either one, and you get the other.

So there generally is overlap between the server OS and desktop OS, and the overlap is the OS. Where they don't overlap is on things that aren't part of the OS, such as default configuration and pre-installed applications.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693319)

The difference is especially artificial in the RedHat world: the difference is primarily support levels and licensing for some fascinating tools that the average installation does not need, such as number of CPU's, number of virtual installations, and some very sophisticated clustering tools.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (5, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693121)

A desktop OS will have services and programs enabled that specifically disqualify it from being a server OS. Programs that listen on network ports, dont provide any kind of authentication to access devices or write to files, dont have a thorough firewall. A webserver should listen only on webserver specific ports and those necessary for remote admin. I can think of less than 10. (do a `netstat -a|grep LISTEN` and count the ports your desktop is listening on and then do the same on a server(http,ftp,ssh,rsync,and some specifics for server type like imaps or smb).

Huh? This sounds like a bad idea for both server and desktop alike.

Firstly, it's pretty well-worn knowledge by now that it's a darn good idea to run a firewall in any context, unless you positively, absolutely trust your local network.

Second, any extraneous services should either be disabled by default on a desktop machine, or be able to be disabled quite easily. As you mentioned, it's a trivial task to take a look at what ports are open, and is equally trivial to close those ports and/or kill the underlying processes if necessary.

Microsoft learned this lesson with Windows 2000. By stripping down their "Server" OS, they (possibly inadvertently) produced what was arguably the desktop best operating ever made by the company. Sure, it didn't come bundled with much, although that was a large part of the beauty of it. Most of the "value-added" features that came with XP were crap, and rarely used by anybody. For its time, it was fast, stable, secure, and quite easy to use. The architectural differences between the 'Server' and 'Workstation' versions were virtually nonexistent.

Unfortunately, they forgot whatever lessons they might have learned with Win2k, and came out with XP, which though a step up from 98/Me!, wasn't nearly as fast or secure as 2k, and eventually Vista, which predominantly added bloat, and none of the much touted architectural improvements that were supposed to have been in the pipeline.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25692931)

I disagree, most so called "specialization" in OS'es is due to pupose crippling of desktop versions and filling them with bloat.
The ultimate Windows OS is Server 2003 Enterprise R2: No bloat, no funny services, support of several gigabytes of RAM above the 4 GB "limit" (in 32-bit versions).
...and yes, we do see the same crippling in Linux... "server" versions usually support more CPU's than "desktop" afd "free" versions.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693659)

Kernels compiled for a server oriented distribution typically support more cpus and/or more ram because they are more likely to need it...
Enabling that support on a desktop system where it won't be used will just decrease performance, so it's off by default. There's nothing stopping you turning it back on if you want it.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (0, Redundant)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693047)

You are comparing OS to software. e.g. Linux is the OS. So is Linx a desktop or a server OS? That depends on the software you run on it.

So there is server software and desktop software and not so much server OS and desktop OS. e.g. I run openSUSE. Without telling what it does you have no idea wether it is a server OS or a desktop OS. (I do both and am aware of the existence of SLE). Many people run Debian. Is that server or desktop?

So even though there is different software, the difference between server OS and desktop OS is, at least with Linux, non-existing from an OS point of view.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692681)

The difference between a server OS and a desktop OS is not necessarily what they're capable of...most operating systems these days can serve as a halfway decent server or desktop system. The difference is really what each of them are optimized for.

A distribution or release that's designated as a "desktop OS" will tend to include a lot more software for that purpose, such as multiple desktop environments, 3D video drivers, drivers for various sound cards, calendar apps, word processors, and the like. It may also have a kernel optimized for those components.

A server OS, on the other hand, will likely be missing a lot of the eye candy, may not have any 3D or advanced sound drivers, and may be missing a bunch of the applications you would expect on a desktop machine. It may also come pre-installed with various server apps that would be of little use on a desktop machine, like a web or DNS server. Likewise, its kernel may be optimized for these server tasks.

For example, if you're building a desktop system, you might want something that will automatically install several desktop managers, the full suite of KDE and Gnome apps, etc on it. If you're looking for a server OS, such things are just a waste of space, and the installer adding them to your machine automatically is not desirable.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693037)

So the only difference is what software is installed on it? To me that means there is no difference between a server OS and a desktop OS. Instead of OS, there is a difference in usage. It also is not a black and white situation. This is made even more clear by you using the words will tend, likely and might

I run openSUSE. Without telling you what I do with it, you can not say if this is a server or a desktop. I have a server. Only CLI and LAMP. I also have a desktop with all the things on it. As you can not by name know wether it is a server or a desktop, means that there is no difference in the OS.

Is there a difference? Yes, but not on the OS level. There are indeed distrinutions that have an easier start to one or the other. That are just the applications that run on it initially.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694029)

No, the point is what they are optimised for. For example, a desktop OS will have a scheduler optimised for latency while a server OS will have one optimised for throughput. Other aspects, such as the memory allocation policy, filesystem, networking stack, and so on are all differently optimised for server and desktop use.

Some operating systems try to do both, but they generally do one better than the other.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (-1, Troll)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692937)

Solaris is certainly not "well-rounded" for desktop tasks, unless all you want to do is office applications (ala OpenOffice or StarOffice) or browse the web. After that it falls down...HARD. Multi-media? Ya..pretty much forget it. These days everything out there is either QuickTime or in a Windows Media format. There's the Helix Player for Real Media formats but the days of Real Media supremacy are LONG gone. Audio? There are some MP3 players out there for Solaris, but they aren't very good and lack a lot of features.

Even the stuff it does do lags behind Windows, Mac and Linux. Acrobat Reader, Firefox, Flash, all lag behind in versions. In fact when it comes to Flash there isn't even a player that handles all Flash content because some point in the past there was Flash and Shockwave-Flash and the Flash player for Solaris offered by Adobe only plays Flash and not Shockwave. So you can hit "Flash" content that is unplayable. The web is becoming more and more media dominated and if Sun (or the Open Solaris community) seriously want Solaris to compete as a desktop environment they need to get off there butts and put some pressure on other companies like Adobe, Mozilla, etc. to get applications developed. I would love to see a QuickTime player for Solaris, but since I've already been waiting 10 years I doubt it will ever happen.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (2, Informative)

anilg (961244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692947)

Are you a troll or woefully uninformed? VLC, Mplayer, etc run flawlessly on opensolaris (I'm using them on belenix).. and have had no issues whatsoever. look for the packages in the belenix or blastwave's repository.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

anilg (961244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692953)

To GP: Thinking about it, can you name one mainstream Linux app (heck, even a non-mainstream app) that you can run on Linux but not on opensolaris?

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693239)

so you have multi-channel sound and hardware acceleration working then?

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

msormune (808119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693235)

You could argue X Window systems are not really a suitable platform for a completely local desktop machine, and never was meant to be. In which case Windows XP is a better desktop OS by architectural design than Ubuntu, for example.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693667)

You seem to b e saying that a windowing system tightly integrated with the kernel is better than a network transparent, highly flexible windowing system which you can even decide to turn off if you want to, and just use the command line.

Are you bragging or complaining?

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693543)

Except it isn't so much the applications that decide weather it's a server or desktop operating system.

Solaris is designed to be a high end server OS. It's a specialized OS, and with specialization comes compromise. Optimizing for server performance entails things that adversely affect desktop performance and vice-versa. The priorities are different.

Running for example, KDE and OOo on Solaris doesn't magically make it a desktop OS (it's a server OS capable of running desktop software). A desktop OS isn't designed to do things like scale up to a few hundred processors, or run on (and take advantage of the hardware-level features of) things like Blades, a desktop OS isn't designed to run on hardware like the Niagara II or Rock II CPUs. There's no reason for a desktop OS to have things like ZFS, DTtrace, containers, SMF, etc or the extensive support for virtualization.

Just like a server OS doesn't really need to focus on stuff like GUI responsiveness, video performance or audio latency like a desktop OS is. Ease of administration is preferred over ease of use for a server, opposite for a desktop. A server OS doesn't really focus on user experience, either, since it isn't necessary, serving whatever it's serving is much more important.

There's a lot more to it that just the software it runs. You could easily get an httpd and ftpd running on Windows 9x, that didn't make it a server OS. Likewise you can easily get OOo and GNOME running on Solaris, that doesn't mean Solaris is a desktop OS.

Re:"Server" vs "Desktop" OS (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693701)

Well you could say the same about Linux, but Linux can be tuned heavily at kernel build time to suit your needs, it's possible to turn off desktop oriented features like sound, 3d graphics etc and enable server features like hotplug cpu/mem, support for large numbers of cpus and huge quantities of ram, serial consoles, scsi disks and raid controllers etc...

How to get on the Slashdot front page, in 3 steps! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25692661)

  1. Pick a recognized, but little-discussed "FOSS" operating system - At this point, GNU/Hurd should be ripe for this process
  2. Write a first-person narrative of your experience, where you use the system to do basic things, marvel at those basic things working, and take screen shots to prove you did those basic things. PROTIP: Use lots of emoticons in your writing- it makes you seem edgy, mavericky, and overall Web 2.0-y ;-)
  3. Submit your story to Slashdot late on a Saturday night. The editors are drunk and will think it's 'kewl'!

Note that this maneuver yields no profit.

RE: Open Solaris on a laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25692911)

Leave it to the *bsd honks to have the first post in comments on the original article. Need I remind the BSD crowd, at this rate Open Solaris will be just as capable on a laptop long before *bsd fully impliments ZFS properly. Not to mention, you *bsd guys? You might want to disable shmat() if it isn't necessary and turn of SYSV_IPC if you don't need it. There's a new 0day around that exploits what Theo and company didn't fix properly back in 04...*smirk*.

</troll>

Year of the Bullshit (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25692965)

You're doing this on purpose now, it's never the year of anything.
Plus 2008.11 isn't really a year

Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (3, Insightful)

sudog (101964) | more than 5 years ago | (#25692997)

If you thought the driver situation was bad for Linux, and worse for *BSD, it's even worser fro OpenSolaris. Yes, I said worser. It's worser enough for me to want to use a fake, worse word to describe it. :(

I mean, great idea guys, but in execution, any OS that locks up solid so you have to ssh in remotely and kill your login session so you can log in, or that makes compilation of something as simple as Quake practically impossible--installed GNU toolchain or not--is it really worth it on commodity hardware?

We have OpenSolaris desktop machines installed at work, and the amount of effort the OpenSolaris users go through.. my god, it's herculean. And I'm making this judgement call sitting atop a farm of NetBSD machines. So you fucking know--you KNOW--that when I say something's a rough ride, you better fucking listen.

Not that it's a complete dearth of utility. There's lots of stuff going for it. I'm just saying. Fair warning.

(P.S. Tinkering with it? Good luck.)

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (1, Interesting)

dfn_deux (535506) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693309)

any OS that locks up solid so you have to ssh in remotely and kill your login session so you can log in

If you can log in via ssh and have enough process control to kill a session then your OS didn't "lock up solid".

that makes compilation of something as simple as Quake practically impossible--installed GNU toolchain or not

A compiler toolchain isn't even part of an Operating system, but even if it was... I would hardly say that your inability to compile a game on a given OS has much to say about the valid uses for that OS especially when you follow that sentiment with your experience using it as "desktop work machines" which I wouldn't suppose would gain much additional usability from being able to easily and cleanly compile game software (unless of course your job is "quake developer"). Just my .02

For the sake of completeness I'll point out that I admin a LARGE cluster of solaris servers, but split my desktop usage mostly between various flavors of linux (general use) and windows (gaming and DRM media playback). I don't have any real desire to use solaris on any of my desktop machines until/if it supports full root ZFS on raw disk (not on parts/slices as it is currently implemented) and has a stable and recent enough hypervisor that I can reliably virtualize a windows or linux domu and have pci passthrough for my video, raid, and/or network cards.

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693597)

I don't have any real desire to use solaris on any of my desktop machines until/if it supports full root ZFS on raw disk (not on parts/slices as it is currently implemented)

That's an interesting quibble. Why does this matter to you?

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693857)

any OS that locks up solid so you have to ssh in remotely and kill your login session so you can log in

If you can log in via ssh and have enough process control to kill a session then your OS didn't "lock up solid".

True, but if you're describing how ready or otherwise the system is for a "typical user" (by which I mean someone who isn't familiar with Unix) to run on their own PC, there's not a lot of difference between "locked up solid login session" and "locked up solid OS".

(FWIW I think anyone who doesn't have a rough idea what they're doing needs their head examining if they really want to run Solaris, but it takes all sorts...)

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693355)

it's even worser fro OpenSolaris. Yes, I said worser.

Worser is an understatement. Its even worserer than that! Sun dont even support their own framebuffer cards properly. I use OpenBSD on my Sun servers, (I have 10 to manage) It doesnt supoport the fb's either. fortunately they are servers, and I ssh into them from Intel kit :-{ (or use the serial line for initial installation).

Sun hardware rocks, (We plan two years uptime, and I have not seen that fail in 15 years of Sun use) but their drivers suck.

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693749)

Err, so your sun servers run a non sun OS and you complain that sun don't support the framebuffers?
I'm sure if you put Solaris on your sun servers it would support the framebuffers just fine. What type of framebuffers are you having issues with?

On the other hand, they are servers, why the hell would you want to use a framebuffer on them? Serial is the only way to manage a server since then you don't need to set foot inside the datacenter.
All of my servers run from serial console, and most don't have any kind of framebuffer hardware fitted at all. The less time i have to spend in an environment designed for machines the better.

Infact, i wouldn't consider any machine that required local physical interaction to install or recover an OS as suitable for use as a server.

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (2, Funny)

mickwd (196449) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693563)

So you fucking know--you KNOW--that when I say .........., you better fucking listen.

Your way of expressing yourself would suggest otherwise.

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693715)

Yes, i agree with the lack of drivers...
But on Sparc systems the opposite is true, Solaris supports everything out of the box with zero hassle. In that respect it's a bit like OSX, you *can* run it on commodity hardware, but don't expect the smooth experience you get on hardware designed to run it.

Re:Wow. OpenSolaris is a rough ride. (1)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693845)

I used linux since it's beginnings, but switched to Solaris when it became available for x86 again a few years ago.

It runs extremely well on the brand new Thinkpad R500 on which I am typing this, as well as my 10 year old Thinkpad 600e.

I don't much give a shit, but youtube works fine. Also, contrary to a previous poster, the latest versions of Firefox and Thunderbird are available.

After several years of enjoying Solaris on my laptops, I can't think of any "Herculean" efforts. Do you have specifics to offer?

We have OpenSolaris desktop machines installed at work

Where do I apply?

Who needs other OS's? (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693069)

Linux is just fine OS. You can build software systems what you want top of it. Now we have over 400 such systems. Some people say that over 400 distributions are too much and those should be limited for 3-5.

Those who like to play with other OS's than just Windows and Linux (Who says two is enought?), they can get then this OpenSolaris or one of three BSD's.

But question is, who would like to get OS from OpenSolaris, when it is not so different of Linux distributions what use Gnome desktop environment?

OpenSolaris is like Ubuntu but the OS is "just" switched from Linux to SunOS. Both systems includes GNU tools and different system configuration tools (package manager etc) depending about Linux-distribution etc.

I have used OpenSolaris as my main system on laptop on last 3 months and problems are that there are few important drivers missing. Now I want to try this new release if at last, OpenSolaris would get sounds working.

So question is, if you are Windows user and Happy for it. Stick with it. If you ain't happy, think do you want to try Linux as your OS and if answer is "yes", then check what Distribution is best for you. Just forget the OpenSolaris and few *BSD OS's if you ain't ready to play the helpdesk for yourself.

Re:Who needs other OS's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693157)

> I have used OpenSolaris as my main system on laptop on last 3 months and problems are that there are few important drivers missing. Now I want to try this new release if at last, OpenSolaris would get sounds working.

For one the 3ware drivers are still missing.
(and i could go on-and-on)

Re:Self-helpdesking BSD (4, Funny)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693169)

I hear there's a company that sells laptops with a BSD OS and decent support... named after some kind of fruit or something.

But there really are only 3 or 4... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693917)

There's a ton of Linux distributions for sure, but isn't fair to say that many are branches off of some of the biggies?

There's the debian and cousin ubuntu, red hat, and suse...am I missing something?

Do evil (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25693387)

Sun's choice of license is bad. They're basically a closed source company, always was.

Better stick with the GNU bunch. Freedom comes first.

Firefox and Suspend makes not a year of the laptop (4, Interesting)

SkullOne (150150) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693593)

So this guy tests the Install process, running Firefox and navigating to Youtube, to find out he has to manually install Flash.
He then puts the laptop into suspend, with a successful resume.
Then he declares OpenSolaris the year of the laptop.

Am I missing something? Any additional unit testing? Benchmarks? Usability? Application availability?

Nice Slashvertisement.

Warning: I use OpenSolaris a lot as well, love it for the sake of some serious faults, but it does its job well. That job is NOT running on a laptop however. Good luck to the poor souls who try to use it as a daily driver.

Drivers? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25693913)

Does OpenSolaris have any device drivers for it? I don't mean to be a troll, but, how is OpenSolaris for running things like 3d graphics cards, SATA hard drives, etc. Will it reasonably install on a desktop with something more than a kick ass command line and basic VESA video drivers?

Re:Drivers? (1)

asaul (98023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694057)

Drivers support is good - Solaris 10 has come a long way in the last few years. I dont recall having to do many hacks on any currect hardware to get things going. To answer your queries:

Graphics - Fully supported driver from Nvidia covering pretty much anything past a GeForce 4. Some older Xorg drivers cover the rest ok. The 3D support is limited to the Nvidia cards at the moment I believe.

SATA - Marvell and Silicon Image SATA2 chipsets supported natively and now with NCQ (with more coming - Nvidia I believe). I have two 4 port SI-3124 cards running ZFS without a hickup and my performance is limited by the PCI bus. I have a friend with PCI-e cards getting 400Mb/s throughput with RAID-Z on a home grade opteron board.

Wifi is coming on board as are many other facets.

Serverwise it natively supports Qlogic and Emulex fibre cards and most current SCSI/SAS interfaces on Sun/Dell/HP/IBM kit.

Intel have allready put back kernel and libc optimisations specific for their processors (Solaris dynamiclly loads customised performance libraries depending on what platform it is on).

While its true Solaris is not as bleeding edge as Linux for new hardware, it does tend to do things right when they are released i.e properly supported by cfgadm or other interfaces, and tend to work out of the box etc.

Re:Drivers? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25694071)

DRI support for Intel cards was committed sometime around 2004. Not sure about ATi and nVidia - I was sitting next to someone at the XenSummit in 2005 from Sun, and he was running Solaris on his laptop with an ATi card, so I'd imagine it works. Sun paid 4Front to work on OSS 4.0 for Solaris, so it has very good sound support.
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