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Solaris 8 Essential Reference

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the eau-de-berkeley dept.

Unix 101

Slashdot reader Adam Jenkins contributed the review below of John P. Mulligan's Solaris 8 Essential Reference. If you operate a Solaris box for fun or profit, this book may prove be a useful reference, though Adam has some reservations about the book's completeness, especially regarding the new features you'd expect a book updated for Solaris 8 to cover.

A New Book for a New Release

John Mulligan is known for his Web site SolarisGuide.com and the first Solaris Essential Reference. This is the second edition, updated for the Solaris 8 release. The technical reviewers of the book were Solaris administrators Jeffrey Meltzer and Nojan Moshiri.

Overview

In the Introduction we are told that the book emphasizes the essentials of SunOS 5.x rather than Open Windows since 'anything that can be done from a GUI can also be done from a command line.' While this old adage is true, and the command line is certainly a very powerful and standard way to use Unix, many of the recent additions to Solaris are designed to make administration easier by using GUI tools.

What's in it for me?

There are three main parts to the text. There is the General Use Reference, which covers text utilities, shell scripting, process control and network clients and utilities. Part II is a Developer Reference, covering compilers/interpreters, programming utilities and debugging. Part III is the Administration and Maintenance Task Reference, with sections on startup and shutdown, user management, network administration, filesystems, security, and system configuration and tuning.

The Appendices list Solaris version changes, common startup problems and solutions, Linux compatibility, the GNU Public License, list of Web resources, signals list, and a TCP/UDP port list. The Web resources list is well organized into sites covering administration, CDE, developer resources, hardware, lists of sources, magazines, online documentation (including SolarisGuide's RTFM documentation), security, software, Solaris x86 and Solaris PPP/NAT. The resources chosen seem to be tried and tested, as those that I tried were all still at the addresses given.

The port list only covers fairly standard ports, listing them both by service and by port number. The services list includes a note next to each with recommendations like disable or log for those known to have security issues.

What's good?

The security section includes information on the new Role Based Access Control (RBAC) as well as how to enable the Basic Security Module although more information on what the BSM does would've been helpful. There is a section on the LDAP utilities that come with Solaris 8 and how to use them.

What's bad?

Some of the examples are spaced out over two lines awkwardly. The ftp sites given in the Security section are no longer working since the directory structure at Purdue's COAST was re-arranged as CERIAS. This is not the fault of the author or publisher; it's just the nature of the Internet to be dynamic.

There is no coverage of IP Filters or firewalls, patch analyzer, Network Cache and Accelerator, the Sun Management Center, VPNs or the extra software that comes with Solaris 8 (Oracle, StarOffice, the Palm HotSync utilities, Forte, Apache and iPlanet). The Linux compatibility section was disappointing: it consists of just one page describing the utility called lxrun that lets you run Linux binaries under Solaris x86. There is also a glaring typo on the contents page: 'Admininstration.'

Conclusion

The title Solaris 8 Essential Reference is a fairly tough promise to live up to. The book is good as a Solaris reference, giving general coverage of the Solaris operating system for users, developers and administrators. However, it misses a lot of the main features of Solaris 8, which are probably the reasons most people would buy version 8 in the first place.


You can purchase this book at Fatbrain.

cancel ×

101 comments

Hello! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225631)

I could use a big hug! Pucker up, buttercup!

Re:Hello! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225649)

{{{cyborg_monkey}}}!!! LOL!

You could do with updating that journal, boyo. Are you still not wearing pants?

Re:Hello! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225692)

I never wear pants!!!

Re:Hello! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225667)


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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225634)

eat it, faggots

Re:fp (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225709)

Not even close, you in-grown cunt hair.

fun is cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225654)

> I you operate on a solaris box for fun

yes i love solaris, i love fun, sun is fun, and solaris is soooo cool, i love having fun with my great solaris box.

I you operate ... features you'd a book (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225664)

Spell check much, Timothy?

The title made me think this was (3, Funny)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225673)

an O'Reilly book. I really wish Tim would make a Sun book that would be *good*

Re:The title made me think this was (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225711)

&ltCynicism&gtThat's probably why they gave it that name.&lt/Cynicism&gt

Re:The title made me think this was (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225753)


_--_ _--_ _--_ _--_ _--_ _--_
( )~~~( ) ( )~~~( ) ( )~~~( )
\ / \ / \ /
( ' _ ` ) ( ' _ ` ) ( ' _ ` )
\ / \ / \ /
( `-' ) ( `-' ) .__( `-' ) ___
_--'`---_ .--`---'\ / /`---'`-' \
/ \___ / _>\ / / ._/ __
/ / ! \ / /-___-' ) /' /.-----\___/ / )
( < !__/ /' ( _/ \___// `----' !
\ \ /\ \___/`------' ) \ ______/
\--/ \ / \ ._ \ `< `--_____----'
`. )- \/ ) ___>-_ \ /-\ \ /
! ! `. / / `-_ `-/ / ! !
/ /__ \__/ ( \---__/ `-_ / / /__
(______) \__) `-_/ (______)

I AM PRACTICING KICKING YOU IN THE NUTS

ascii spork

Re:The title made me think this was (1)

db (3944) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225767)

What? Books have to have an animal on the cover to be good? You're rather open-ended, aren't you?

'Cuz Slashdot is pushing books: @# +1; Observant#@ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225865)

May I review "The Cold Six Thousand"?

A good review.. (3, Insightful)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225679)



A good review. I bought this book a while back to prepare for an upcoming Solaris certification test I was taking, and it helped out immensely. The good measure of a good reference book isn't its width -- Its wether or not you can open it up, and follow whats being discussed almost immediately without having to skip back 2 or 3 chapters to see what the heck theyre talking about. This is a well laid out book, and makes a comfortable amount of assumptions about the level of expertise the typical reader already has, and builds on it. Theres nothing I hate more than technical references that don't address the inconsistancies in how the OS presents a particular function to the user. It makes the learning process that much easier, without simply beating the reader over the head with "Here's what you do. Forget everything else, just do it like this and dont ask any questions".

Leave that crap for the math teachers. :)

Cheers,

Re:A good review.. (1)

Listen Up (107011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226006)


Leave that crap for the math teachers. :)
Why do you and other people think that way? As a Pure Mathematician I always seem to run into this attitude. The level of Math you know, which is enough to get a Solaris Certification, you don't need to know exactly how Math works. You just need to learn it's applications and outcomes. When you program, do you need to know exactly how the electrons in the silicon in the CPU are colliding on the Qauntum level? If you are so concerned Math teachers are hiding something from you, go to a 4 year college and take a courses in Proofs and Theorems. The 2 classes you will need to take are Comtemporary Abstract Algebra (Modern Algebra) and Advanced Calculus (Proofs and Theorems). With these 2 courses you will understand where everything from 1+1=2 to proving everything from the definition of an integral to topology (look it up). Computer Science professors hide a lot more by teaching you to code (without asking any questions) than Math teachers do by teaching you Mathematics.
If you think Computer Science is so much greater of an approach to teaching science and math, then why doesn't everyone program in Machine Language during their first ever course in college? Doesn't make sense, does it? The same is for Mathematics. If you don't need to know Mathematics on the same level as Machine Language, then why teach it to you?

Re:A good review.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2228532)

Hey math-punk: Fuck off. You are clearly a homosexual. Now shut up. Stupid faggot.

Re:A good review.. (1)

Listen Up (107011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2231790)


Too Pussy to Login AC? It is nice to know there are still retards like you to help fill up the void in the world quickly being filled with intelligent, career oriented people. People exactly like you will always gaurantee me a job.

Updated for /. (1, Funny)

UncleOzzy (158525) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225682)

especially regarding the new features you'd a book updated for Solaris 8 to cover.

Like verbs?

This is a feature ? (1)

*coughs loudly* (301749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225697)


Bit short, isn't it ?

Excellent book (1)

Marvin_Runyon (513878) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225699)

I've got a copy of this one, and I highly recommend it.

If you are a solaris admin, definitely keep this book on hand, it is invaluable as a reference and general guide book. It does miss a few of the new features found in solaris 8, but more then makes up for it with it's broad coverage of general knowledge.

-Marvin

nice reference, but not essential (4, Interesting)

ragnar (3268) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225701)

I have this book and it has been helpful, however I don't know if I would call it essential. It is good reading and handy. It saved me some time once, and that makes it worth the money. As far as the negatives the reviewer points out, this calls upon the definition of "essential" instead of "complete". The author I believe tries to document the basic and common aspects of the system, not every possible use, like firewalling and clustering.

They forgot to cover Sun's most essential command (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225825)

shutdown -r now

Re:They forgot to cover Sun's most essential comma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225861)

Yeah - especially after you apply the 2 dozen java patches to the operating system.

Re:They forgot to cover Sun's most essential comma (1)

ChaosMt (84630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226057)

{ahem} I believe you mean... reboot -- -r

However, I'd argue that one of the most important sun commands are "eeprom" and such. If you're not spending much money, the boot prom is the main advantage of having a sun system. Of course, if you have the cash for a big system, Sun's scalability is the reason to buy. Slowaris can get really good with the SMP, and I'd love to try out those sunfire systems; unix acting like a mainframe. Oh, and lest I forget the other *really* important commands; how to soft reboot (this will pretty much update everything except the kernel - useful for hotswapping)... killer feature. Oh, and one other note, use SEPP [ee.ethz.ch] (from the people who brought you MRTG!) or some other concurrent software control system for that java muck. You'll be much happier in the long run.

Soft reboot commands: (in /usr/sbin) drvconfig, devlinks, disks, ports, tapes, audlinks & /usr/ucb/ucblinks. -- no reboot (Take that Win2k!)

Sometimes silence is the most beautiful sound

Re:They forgot to cover Sun's most essential comma (1)

emc (19333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2228915)

no way.

The most usefull Solaris command is...
# uadmin 2 1

jizz (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225704)

I've got more jizz in my mouth than you could possibly imagine.

Re:jizz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225731)


///||
//// O
////@,_> INTIMIDATING ISN'T IT
////_ \
|( )]
|| ||
|< >|
##\ ||_________
( (_)__________)
| #
| /
L )
/ |
\ |__
(_____>

ascii spork

Re:jizz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225742)

damn, i desperately want to suck that... too bad its only ascii

Dual boot? (1)

Shanep (68243) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225721)

Does it speak of how to install 8 (x86) onto a hard drive with other OS' on it?

I've tried to install 8 10/00 onto my UDMA drive with Linux residing at hda2 and a blank partition where hda1 should be. It chokes, nothing I've tried yet works, besides having the whole drive completely zeroed out. SCO Unixware 7.1.1 is the same deal.

I see different challenges of getting various OS' to install in the presence of another partition, but none seem to be as stuborn as these two. OS/2 Warp4 and NT 4 are easier, and stuff like Linux, the free BSD's, QNX and BeOS are dead easy.

Seems strange, are they trying to dominate a machine or is the installed simply brain dead?

Re:Dual boot? (1)

R3 (15929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226002)

From my experience with Solaris/Linux on a same drive I can tell you that you should start from scratch, installing Solaris first (in the space you have empty in hda1), then reinstalling Linux after that.

I just finished installing Solaris 8 x86 on a middle of the road PC, (EFA Viking 3:VIA MVP3 Chipset, UDMA33 with AMD K6-2 450, 256MB RAM, Matrox G220 AGP, Intel EEPro/100) on an empty 10 GB drive and it was such an ordeal that I am planning to put Linux back on it. Hardware recognition (and conflict resolution) was nonexistent, and the whole installation dreadfully slow - it took me over 2 hours to install Binaries 1 and 2 and an additional 45 minutes for the Companion CD.

Everything has settled now, but the system is rather slow. I know that I am running it on not-so cutting edge hardware, but this box used to fly with pretty much any Linux distribution I would throw on it.

Re:Dual boot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2226999)

All you have to do is fdisk your drive, mark hda1 as Linux swap (0x82), and boot from Software CD #1 instead of the Installation CD.

If you had even made a cursory search for this on USENET under alt.solaris.x86, you would have easily found the answer.

Why doesn't this make sense to me? (1)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225735)

Quoth Timothy:
especially regarding the new features you'd a book updated for Solaris 8 to cover.

Did anyone else understand what he was trying to say?

Re:Why doesn't this make sense to me? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225740)


__
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<(_______.._______)>

IN EACH EPISODE I SUCK THE COYOTE OFF !!!!!!!!

I'M SO FAST NO ONE NOTICES HOWEVER !!!!!!!

MEEP MEEP !!!!!

ascii spork

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Re:Why doesn't this make sense to me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2227162)

This comment was brought to you by the same guy who was deeply offended by the "glaring" typo on the contents page. Thank you.

Re:Why doesn't this make sense to me? (1)

Adam Jenkins (121697) | more than 12 years ago | (#2232822)

Where did I say I was "deeply offended"?

yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225737)

There is also a glaring typo on the contents page: 'Admininstration.'

I thought so. GWB must have contributed his smarts to this one...

I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1, Troll)

Proud Geek (260376) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225744)

They've been losing market share to NT for years already, and now even comitted UNIX houses are switching from Solaris to Linux. Just look at the recent decision by SIAC to switch their mission-critical systems from Solaris to Linux. A combination of slow, overpriced hardware and an inability to compete on the software front has done them in. Even with the Java strategy, they have little hope of survival.

Why would anyone buy a Sun? Historically, they have offered excellent workstation-class machines. Now, their best single and dual processor ultrasparc based workstations are easily outclassed in every way by much cheaper boxes based on Intel and AMD processors. Performance that was once reserved for the most affluent corporate power users can now be found on the desk of the lowly janitor or student. The only place that Sun still distinguishes itself is in the large enterprise server with many processors and multiple layers of redundancy. Even there, solutions based on x86-64 and ia64 are arriving, and promise to offer all the same features at a much lower price.

On the software side, Sun makes an OS that is noted as being slow but scalable. With fast PC's, scalability on a single system is becoming less of a concern. Also, Windows 2000 already has many of the scalability features, and Linux is closing the gap quickly. Even five years ago, it made perfect sense to buy a Sun workstation for a developer. Now Linux fills that position, and a Sun machine is a waste of money. How long can it be before the same is true of high end workstations, clusters, and even enterprise big iron? IBM is putting their massive resources behind mainframe Linux. With Sun's proven inability to compete with Linux in any market that it has entered, they should be very afraid.

Sun's one bright spot is Java. With the massive adoption of J2EE for the middle tier in web infrastructure it is a powerful reminder of what Sun once was, and what they still can do when they get it right. Still, further analysis shows that Java is not a trump card for Sun. Far more than Solaris, two other operating systems are positioning themselves as "the best platform for Java." One is MacOS X, another proprietary UNIX by a more innovative vendor. The other threat to Sun is once again from Linux. With the failure of Java to catch on to the desktop, and the failure in the embedded market, Sun will have great difficulty leveraging Java to improve their financial situation.

The future does not look bright for Sun. Facing cheap hardware from Intel and AMD, and software competition from Linux and Microsoft, they have utterly failed to put together a competitive offering. With the failure of their Java technology to improve the outlook, they have all but curled up and died.

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225759)


/| |\
`__\\ //__'
|| ||
\__`\ |'__/ MOO
`_\\ //_'
_.,:---;,._ /
\_: :_/ /
|@. .@|
| |
,\.-./ \
;;`-' `---__________-----.-.
;;; \_\
';;; |
; | ;
\ \ \ | /
\_, \ / \ |\
|';| |,,,,,,,,/ \ \ \_
| | | \ / |
\ \ | | / \ |
| || | | | | |
| || | | | | |
| || | | | | |
|_||_| |_| |_|
/_//_/ /_/ /_/

ascii spork

Important Stuff:

Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
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Only way for Sun to survive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225770)

The only way for Sun to survive the competitive threat from cheap PCs and Linux is to charge a fee for J2EE. BEA Systems is a $6 billion dollar company built on the backs of Sun's Java enterprise library specifications. They merely implemented J2EE based on Sun's specifications. Sun did not make a nickel from this. The only way for Sun to recoup the costs is to start charging major $$$ for Java. It will happen sooner than later. Java is not Open Source, afterall.

Re:Only way for Sun to survive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225782)

The only way for Sun to recoup the costs is to start charging major $$$ for Java

And who's gonna pay major $$$ for slow, bloated shit?

Re:Only way for Sun to survive... (1)

erfoley (52334) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225826)

And who's gonna pay major $$$ for slow, bloated shit?

Lots of people buy windows

Re:Only way for Sun to survive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225846)

I will, but only if you're talking about the kind of shit that comes out of people's asses.

Re:Only way for Sun to survive... (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226459)

Actually, that would be a reasonably sure way to kill Java or J2EE. Stuff that starts out free has usually very tough time going back to for-profit.


One important thing to keep in mind, too, is that Sun is definitely not the only company or entity that has developed J2EE, or even Java itself. J2EE especially has been a big collaboration, and you could say many companies have already footed part of the bill by providing resources (from actual developers to committee members, ideas, feedback etc).


And saying they "merely implemented it" implies that you perhaps don't quite understand how much effort implementing the full J2EE suite (even without having to do JVM), including application servers and EJB systems actually takes. Really, if it was all that easy (and writing the specs was the hard part), there would be abundance of Free J2EE implementations, right? Well, there aren't (many? any?). One of the few essential Free/Open source things (and reasonably good one in some ways) in this area is Tomcat for Apache (servlet / JSP engine), but that appears to be about it.


Sun's Java strategy is more about collaboration than milking money from others, and that seems to more succesful way if measured by the rate of adoption. It doesn't generate direct revenue, but Sun has been more concerned with mindshare here. And being the leader kind of enhances value of the brand ("Ok these machines are made by same people who designed J2EE so I guess it's safe bet to buy Sun H/W to run J2EE-based systems") [I'm not saying this feeling is very sensible, but it's rather common from what I have seen]

"Mindshare" and a dollar == a dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2226667)

If the Internet bust has taught us anything - mindshare is completely worthless if you don't have products to sell. How is Sun making any money off of Java? It is not a revenue creator - quite the contrary - it loses money for Sun. They will be forced to charge for J2EE and its JVMs sooner or later.

Re:"Mindshare" and a dollar == a dollar (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2231154)


If the Internet bust has taught us anything - mindshare is completely worthless if you don't have products to sell.


I wasn't saying it would necessarily have tons of worth, I just pointed out that Sun considers it important (and I agree personally; mindshare or visitor count is irrelevant except for selling ads...). However, more to the point:



How is Sun making any money off of Java? It is not a revenue creator - quite
the contrary - it loses money for Sun. They will be forced to charge for J2EE and its JVMs sooner
or later.


No. That wouldn't make any sense. No one makes significant amount of money by selling standard, specs or guidelines. Money Sun would get would be peanuts, and most likely shrink the market itself (ie. Java/J2EE adopters).


However, note that Sun does sell products that implement the specifications. J2EE itself is but a specification; however, Sun sells IPlanet web/application server (with Netscape). Similarly, bare runtime engine/environment or language compiler can't really be sold (compare to libc and similar runtime libraries needed by other languages... or compilers). What can be sold are IDEs. And guess what? Sun sells Forte for Java (or whatever it's called these days).


This all is not to say Java would be profitable even after counting in IPlanet, Forte and other related products. And how much "mindshare" adds to h/w sales is of course debatable. However, Sun is clearly trying to find out how to benefit from its inventions/creations, and fortunately that doesn't include closing up things that need to be open to some degree (Java specs are reasonably open and available, ditto for J2EE, even if implementations have more restrictions)

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

n3m6 (101260) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225853)

I wish Linux was as scalable as Solaris..

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225886)

You forgot to indicate which way it was scaling. Solaris [b]can't[/b] scale down. Try to run it on 1 or 2 processors. It runs like a tank with a lawnmower engine.

Linux scales down, and they are working on scaling it way up.

Conclusion:

Linux scales down, and up to 8 or 16 processors.
Solaris doesn't scale down at all, and runs quite well on 64 processors.

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

I_redwolf (51890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226425)

That's bullshit.. the simple matter of fact is that Solaris is at home on a sparc/usparc because that's what it's designed for.. Whether it's 1,2,64 processors it doesn't matter. The older versions of Solaris sucked.. then again the older versions of alot of things sucked including Linux.. Infact Linux didn't truly become usable to the server enviroment till like 1.2.13 or so. Linux also sucks at scaling right now; it just doesn't scale as well as Solaris whether it be 1 processor or 64.

Why Sun over Intell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225868)

"workstations are easily outclassed in every way by much cheaper boxes based on Intel and AMD processors" Well that is not really True. Ultra Systems (With the exception of the SunBlades 100 and the Cheap netra's) have more chache (2x-16x) then a Intel or AMD system, wich makes those memory intensive apps fly. Also Ultra Systems have a wider bus then PCs do. Memory IO on a SUN system is a lot better then on PCs.
You also forgot to mention Solaris 8 stability. I found that Solaris 8 runs solid on a Sparc system. A Lot more stable then Linux is. This is due to the fact that Solaris is built around the archecture. While Linux is build to try to work with a bunch of different arcectures which makes it naturally more prone to errors.
Also you get what you paied for In my experence Sun Equiptment is build very solid compared to Dells or other PCs. Steel Frames, Fans that that dont die all the time, The expantion cards insert smothly and they click in place quicly. A lot of the cost in the Sun equiptment is just the fact that they are using higher quiality parts then PCs.

Re:Why Sun over Intell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225915)

oh bullshit, the last few years has seen a decline in the quality of the components in a lot of Suns hardware.

Re:Why Sun over Intell. (1)

ChaosMt (84630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226202)

For criticial business systems, I'd easily chose sun over intel systems. If you make a fair comparision, prices are about the same, but more stable on the sun gear. Compaq has a nifty but weird remote admin card/app for their servers, but it's very pricy. For Sun remot admin, a stock modem and a stock term server works beautifully (btw, the cyclades terms servers are the best I've ever seen or worked with). Of course, ssh port forwarding for exporting those graphic apps. If the system gets hosed (if it's not clustered), dial in, "boot net install", and do a full bare-metal recovery remotely. Elegent.

However, I still have to somewhat agree with the AC. Sun's hardware is still great, but it's not the same quality that it used to be. It's b/c of the switch from sbus to pic. It's made things somewhat more affordable, and certianly easier to pick up. I'd guess my ye olde sparc 2 weighs as much as ten of those new sun blade 100's.
--
Hearing all the words of many others, doesn't make a difference when they're wrong. -King's X

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

Carpathius (215767) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225917)

Well, most of that may be true for the lower end stuff, but I see little competition in enterprise class boxes. We run three major platforms where I work. AIX, Solaris, and NT. We use a lot of enterprise class Sun hardware. Hardware that really has no competition from Intel or AMD.


For smaller, more workstation type servers that don't demand an enterprise class solution, we're beginning to put in the odd Linux system. But we're not always succesful. I was on the sidelines of an attempt to meld Red Hat 7.1, Coldfusion, and Oracle. It failed. I don't know the exact details, but it had to do with Oracle and Coldfusion not being able to talk, and support only for RH 6.X. The project got moved to Solaris, where it now flourishes.


The point being that while Linux can be used in a lot of applications, there are still problems with saying that it can overshadow Sun. Linux is still not as well supported by enterprise class applications as is Solaris, and currently Linux doesn't run the larger, faster, more stable enterprise class boxes like you can get from Sun.


I do think Sun is getting complacent and is due for a fall, but I don't think they're in much danger from Linux. Not yet anyway. If IBM releases an enterprise class version of Linux, then who knows?


Sean.

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225918)

Solaris is an entreprise quality OS with excellent support and Linux is not there yet.

I will take Solaris over Linux any day.

Yes, Sun hardware costs bite. But the Sun's platform also is much cleaner and plain more fun to use than the PCs. I don't need to deal with the Limitations of a 20-year old BIOS and I can manage a Sun server via serial console. Scalability reliability and vendor support are excellent.

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

I_redwolf (51890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226386)

As long as you plug a term server into that serial connection otherwise you'll be screwed if the box you are using to control the Sun box crashes for some reason. However.. I like it too.. Sun should really try and sell their desktops though.. I want one and as soon as I'm able to buy one I will..

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2227267)


There are a number of serial solutions for PC's at present as the market wakes up and realizes that you can get >> processing power on the low end for $$.

Check out Intel's SMRK2 motherboard, it offers serial console.

In addition Compaq and IBM ship servers that can all do serial console.(Compaq's DL line and IBM's X-series)

You don't get the LOM of the Netra-T1, but it works.

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

Brandon Hume (73471) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225943)

Since Sun is essentially giving away Solaris away these days, I can't see why using Linux over Solaris would concern them.

This whole "Intel versus Sun" thing comes up again and again. As is repeatedly pointed out, an Intel machine with the strength and reliability of an equivalent Sun box costs effectively the same, and even those machines have to fight against the "cheap x86 crap" stigma that follows them up from the desktop.

Sun has always been about the datacentre. Yes, they're suffering on the desktop, but the few cases I've heard of of "admins" trying to replace a Solaris server farm with their favored Linux have always ended in disaster (and pink slips).

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

steadph (267458) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225951)

Everything you have said is correct. I'm
a solaris and linux sysadmin and I know
what you are talking about.

The only thing that keeps sun profitable is
the enterprise market where they have a strong
prescence.

Keep that away and they are dead. Hope sun
realizes this and they better innovate and
keep the ante on technology... be it hardware
or software.

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226127)

So true...

Recently we installed SUSE Linux for SPARC on one of our Dual Processor UltraSparc II 400MHZ boxen.

We were pleasantly surprised in the speed increase that a none-combursome OS running on some very good hardware could give. We tried RedHat and Mandrake versions, which were even faster than the SUSE version.

In effect, our SPARC hardware got a new lease on life with the software change. Try it, you might like it!

Re:I'd hate to be Sun right now... (1)

Jon_E (148226) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226502)

still the cheapest stable 64-bit box I've seen yet .. also keep in mind they bought Cobalt (stays linux + does a lot with the Chilisoft tools), and Solaris 9 starts closing the *nix gap with a lot more common linux sorts of interfaces and tools - also the only large scale commercial O/S I know of that pretty much gives away their source.

You part of the IBM technical advisory board? I'm sure you think Websphere is the greatest thing you've ever seen .. oh and like SAIC (assuming your typo) is a good example of house that makes wise decisions :)

It looks like you subscribe to hype more than you actually take time to investigate what companies are doing what and for what motivations ..

hate to feed the troll, but... (1)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2229570)

> Facing cheap hardware from Intel and AMD

Who wants to run their business on *cheap* hardware? Cheap hardware is great for Linux weenies to play with in their bedrooms but I don't want my insurance details stored on it.

Keep your book up to date ... (5, Funny)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225758)

The book is no good until you apply patches:

106542-12
102534-06
104234-04
107555-10
102432-02
103423-08

Um .. yeah.

Re:Keep your book up to date ... (1)

Doctor_D (6980) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226212)

106542-12 Solaris 7 x86 kernel patch
102534-06 Solaris 2.4 syslog patch
104234-04 Solaris 2.5 routed patch
107555-10 Solaris 7 ldap patch
102432-02 Obsolete Solaris 2.4 Sparc Storage Array patch
103423-08 Invalid patch id....

It would have been immensly funny if the patch id's were all for Solaris 8.... IMHO.

your mom sucks (-1, Troll)

GaylordFucker (465080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225765)

and so does Unix [lwn.net]
face it you Unix freaks... Unix is dead... built on the same old code... closed source mostly... proprietary... i don't see any point of "innovation" from here on in... maybe Unix is the cancer... the only acception being FreeBSD... thank you

Shoutouts:
cyborg_monkey
RagingIdiot
buttfucker2000
mackga
TroLLaXoR
SpanishInquisition
Vlad

No Shouts to:
CmdrTaco
goatse.cx [goatse.cx]
Paul Buffet
and last, but certainly not least, RMS (I need a shower)

FUCK ME!!! (-1, Offtopic)

GaylordFucker (465080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225774)

I forgot to close the tag

Re:your mom sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225776)


LET'S PLAY SIT AND SPIN
_
| |
| |
/ |___
______/ ____)
____)
____)
-------.______)

ascii spork

ps - where is my shout?

ACs deserve no shout (-1, Offtopic)

GaylordFucker (465080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225791)

because they are cowards in shame!

Re:ACs deserve no shout (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225799)

I have a 24hr ban. Otherwise I would be using my account [slashdot.org]

Re:your mom sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225836)

here's your shout. SHOUT !!

Timothy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225769)

Right now the only thing that anybody really wants to know is......

When the hell is Slashdot going to be fixed?!?!?!?

Re:Timothy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225925)

Well, the sooner you put your lips around my cock
the sooner we can get started.

Cheers,
Timothy

An excellent book! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225773)

This is a most excellent book.

I have a Sun Blade 100 at home and I really love Solaris.

ahh life is good... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225777)

jerking off while browsing at -1... mmm mmm mmm...

There's three types of computer books (2, Interesting)

ChaosMt (84630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225783)

These categories are especially apt for solaris books. First are the ones that are rushed to press, full of screen shots and man pages (Sams, Que, etc). Of these books in my library, I've found them most useful for holding up monitors. However, they can't be completely disreguarded. Sometimes it's nice to read a large man page on paper (csh, cvs, etc). Thus, IMHO, these two inch thick volumes should look *great* to the eye and be easy to read and STAY OPEN sitting on a desk. Alas, most of these books don't fit their niche. Their main assest is that they are cheap and first to market. I've also noticed that these books age quicker than milk left out on blacktop on a hot summers day. At least these books are made by using the product. There was a great thread [google.com] about "Solaris 8: The Complete Reference" in comp.unix.solaris recently that shows both sides (and expresses what a waste of time and money the book was for me).

The second type of books are the ones produced by or in association with the producer of the software. Think M$ press, Oracle Press and the God-aweful Janice Winsor books on Solaris. These seem to be produced by asking people about the product and then writing down their answers. Thus, you never seem to get the best answer to questions, but you get the correct answer for the Sun, or Cisco or Oracle point of view. This is vitial for the lame certification tests out there. The correct answer isn't the right answer, it's the Cisco right answer. Thus, the best books from this group are the test prep books. These books (which can be even bigger than the first category) are also useful for reference material that you may need once a month or so. I use these books as book-ends for the books I actually read and use.

Third, as you may have guessed, are the *good* books that you actually read, use and learn from. I am always impressed with the readabilty and content of O'Reilly [ora.com] books. There have been so few bad books from them. It also seems their books age quite well. An impressive feat for their market. Text books also end up in their category. Most texts are bad and overpriced. However, with time, the diamonds start to show from adison-wesley (tcp/ip books) and prentice-hall (unix systems administrator's handbook - THE must read for solaris and all unix).

The point of this rant is to look for the third type of books that you may *like* to read and that will age well. Try going to a college book store and look around; they have great book ideas there. Of course, you would NEVER buy anything there (try a local used bookstore or allbookstores.com). I am currently reading those type two books, and I can say that "Solaris Internals: Core Kernel Architecture" seems to be a good book so far. It's certianly better than most of "reference" books out there.

Re: Solaris Internals: Core Kernel Architecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225879)

The "Solaris Internals: Core Kernel Architecture" book you mentioned is good due to the authors. Both Jim Mauro and Richard McDougall are senior engineers at Sun. They are not outside people, like Janice Winsor.

Janice Winsor did get one Solaris book right though. "Solaris 8 - System Administrator's Reference". But that's solely because the book is a collection of man pages. ;)

Re:There's three types of computer books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225984)

Also falling into the *good* book category are the books published by Sun, such as the 'System Administration Guide I' II and III. At around $90 they aren't cheap though. :(

The AC can't read! (1)

ChaosMt (84630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226124)

Huh!?! I just took the time to say the Author of those books did not do a good job! Excuse me for not pointing out that the author of the aformentioned books is Janice Winsor. Those books are in category two -- NOT good. They are not cheap, and nor are they good. They'd make a better use soaking up coffee spills. I just said that books made in association with the product producer weren't all that hot, and were only good for (perhaps) passing the test. You might have missed that fact when you were typing in that the books were published by Sun. Oh wait, maybe I don't know these books and they are published by the egyptian sun god -- na, probably not.

The Janice Windsor books are only good if you can't do "man man | lp" As the Eistein quote goes, "the only infinite things are the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the former" -- Anonymous Coward; Walk the plank!! And someone tell Janice I want my money back! :)

Re:The AC can't read! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2226785)

Oh how stupid of me. Of course! How did I miss it? Yes, I can see it now. This book DOES have her name plastered all over it.

I still think these books are great. They are concise and get straight to the point, just like O'Reilly's books.

I just went to docs.sun.com and searched the PDF version of this book. NOWHERE does it mention her name. Blow it out yer ass.

MySQL & Msql (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2228921)

Probably the worst O'Reilly book published.

That, and the "Perl for System Admin" book.

2 horrible books.

Re:MySQL & Msql (1)

oingoboingo (179159) | more than 12 years ago | (#2229250)

Building Linux Clusters wasn't all that great either. I think they've withdrawn it from sale.

Weakest O'Reilly Books (1)

ChaosMt (84630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2232439)

That is an interesting thread. I wouldn't put 'perl for admins' in that category though; I really liked that book quite a bit, and use it often (not as much at the cookbook though). I will admit that I gave away my MySQL book. Personally, I've also avoided the bat book out of pure fear.

Operating Systems are now a commodity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225798)

With cheap PCs and free OSes - what differentiates Sun? Nothing. Even Java runs faster on x86 hardware than Solaris. I can see no reason why someone would want to use expensive hardware from Sun instead of cheap commodity PCs.

Re:Operating Systems are now a commodity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225920)

cheap commodity PCs

That's actually a pretty good sum-up of the PC genre: minimise the cost and maximise raw CPU/GPU speed.

I've assembled my own computers for the last ten years. Yet, something was always missing. The components were cheap alright, but to be honest: crap.

The fans would break down, the cases were all plastic that would crack and do nothing to silence the turbine engine like noise of the CPU fan and the hard drive inside. Yeah, you could get an insanely fast machine that way but could you live with it? I like to keep my computers running 24 h/day but the noise the modern PCs make is too much.

Six months ago I bought Sun Blade 100. It was quiet, it was encased in a solid steel case, had integrated networking and I could run Solaris with KDE and all the free software I wanted with it.

Sure enough, it doesn't crank up the same kind of ratings in the raw CPU power as modern PCs but it's quiet, it has got quality and it has got class.

Re:Operating Systems are now a commodity (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225939)

With cheap PCs and free OSes - what differentiates Sun? Nothing. Even Java runs faster on x86 hardware than Solaris. 1. I/O bandwidth that PCs can't dream of. 2. no BIOS limitations. 3. 64-bit platform 4. Scalability to hundresds of processors. 5. Mainframe class features (partitioning, reconfiguration,. etc) 6. Really good vendor support. I can see no reason why someone would want to use expensive hardware from Sun instead of cheap commodity PCs. Someone who needs entreprise class OS, scalability and reliability would likely choose Solaris/sparc as opposed to Linux/PeeCee.

Do you know about Quantum computing? (1)

ioman1 (474363) | more than 12 years ago | (#2225805)

I have been trying to post articles on Slashdot for a month now, but they are insistant on publishing other articles. I just posted an article on Quantum Computing. I think you will all enjoy it quite a bit. For those of you who do not know what Quantum computing is, the article explains it quite well. Here is the link [designtechnica.com] . You can post comments on the article below it. Please tell me what you think.

Re:Do you know about Quantum computing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225923)

What are you talking about? They post quantum computing stories on slashdot [google.com] all the time (far too many, IMO). They rejected your story not because it involved quantum computing, but because it was lame.

Do you know what trolling is?? (2)

HamNRye (20218) | more than 12 years ago | (#2227665)

Sounds to me like a lame attempt to get some recognition for your website by posting off-topic in the forums. If /. didn't post the story, they probably didn't find it interesting or informative.

I'm quite surte that if your articles were worthy of appearing here, they would be suggested by someone who doesn't have the domain name in his e-mail addy.

Then there's the fact that Quantum computing has been beaten to death over the years by /. But you might know that if your member # wasn't greater than the national debt.

If you would like to submit to a site that doesn't care how bogus a link is, try the search engines. If you want to whore yourself on slashdot, post on-topic. If the topic does not lend itself to your post, people reading that post will probably not be interested, and more than likely quite annoyed. I know that I will be skeptical of any links to designtechnica in the future, and I hopefully will never visit your site.

~Hammy

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225810)

I'm trying to post some offensive ascii art, but it won't post, it keeps saying "Junk character post". What can I do about this?

Re:Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225859)


|| __ ||
||=\_`\=||
|| (__/ || CLIMB UP MY BUTT
|| | | :-"""-.
||==| \/-=-. \
|| |(_|o o/ |_
|| \/ " \ ,_)
||====\ U /__/
|| ;--' `-.
|| / . \
||===; \ \
|| | | |
_______\"""' _/_/
(~|_______ | (_ \
/ .' ( | ) \\_/
|_ / ||| |\\
/ _)=====||| | ||
/ /| ||/ / //
\_/|| ( `-/ ||
||======/ / \\ .-.
|| \_/ \'-'/
|| || `"`
||======||
|| ||

ascii spork

Important Stuff:

Please try to keep posts on topic.
Try to reply to other people comments instead of starting new threads.
Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about.
Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)
Problems regarding accounts or comment posting should be sent to CowboyNeal.

Solaris is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225854)

Linux is good too. They are the best. Solaris and Linux are an awesome combination. That is what is great about this industry; you can choose one of two great operating systems - either Solaris, or Linux. If you have the inclination - run both!

Re:Solaris is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225869)

Linux and Solaris are an awesome combination.

Linux for the small-to-medium scale servers and workstations and Solaris for the multiheaded (more than 16 processors) monsters in the basement.

Re:Solaris is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225881)

I agree. Good analysis of where to deploy.

Re:Solaris is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2226078)

A business proposal for Sun?

A complete enterprise solution based on Linux and Solaris: Linux workstations running StarOffice for Sally the secretary and small-scale servers. All connected to the Enterprise class Sun servers down below...

wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225891)


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d88b8888888,b WHAT KIND OF FUCKED UP
d888PY888888=8 SEXUAL POSITION IS THIS
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ascii spork

face the facts.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2225940)

SLOW-LARIS IS DEAD

Dead as SpanishInquistion's sex life.

Re:face the facts.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2227390)

You must thing you are really funny... SLOW-LARIS WTF? First off, you didn't even spell it right, and secondly, just because you can't afford a nice UltraSPARC box doesn't mean you have to hate on us. FUCK YOU.

Solaris for fun (2)

room101 (236520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226328)

If you operate a Solaris box for fun or profit...

Arrg! why on earth would you run a Solaris box for fun! We all know that we run Linux for fun.

The first book on SOLARIS (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226351)

and this should not be marked as "Informative" not "Funny": Solaris [amazon.com] by Stanislav Lem (1961)

Essential Reference books by New Riders. (1)

bsquizzato (413710) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226380)

I own Linux Essential Reference by Ed Petron, also published by New Riders. The book is mostly man pages with a little clarity added to them, and a few detailed tables on complicated commands. I'm not sure what Solaris 8's book is like, but "chain books" like these tend to follow the same format. So if you already understand manpages pretty well, you don't need one of these books from what I've gathered.

i had no idea this was a solaris vs linux topic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2226401)

everyone does not have to get so defensive when
another os is mentioned. there are places
where linux excels, there are places where solaris
excels. yes, its true! deal with it, if you
dont have anything more appropriate to add to
the discussion--try posting under another story.

Not a very good book (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 12 years ago | (#2226567)

I think I agree with the review. I bought my copy of the book (from Bookpool [bookpool.com] ) few months ago when I had to start using a Solaris workstation (was using linux at home and work on some jobs, NT on others previously).

I know my Linux-box reasonably well, and although I was able to use the ultra-10 I have (with Solaris 8) ok, I knew there are lots of things that would make life easier. Unfortunately, the book was bit light on details. There were useful stuff in there (some of which may have been available on Linux too), but all in all it just left a stale taste.


The specific problems I had with the book that I can remember were:

  • I can use man-pages (or foobar -h) to get listing of command switches, I don't need the book. It would be more useful to explain the actual operation of the command bit more (instead of 2-liners), than to give command line switches with equally brief descriptions.
  • The author apparently has never heard of ssh? Even though he did warn about telnet's problems, it's a crying shame no secure alternative was presented. Especially since ssh appears to be installed on Solaris 8 by default?
  • Related to previous; there was no mention of the fact that ftp is equally dangerous as telnet.
    Scp fixes this nicely, too, but at least book should definitely warn about using ftp for file transfer (minus public ftp-sites with anon. login), so that people wouldn't have mistaken feel of safety ("it asks for password... how can it be totally insecure?")


I still have the book nearby, and occasionally do reference it. It's not completely useless... But I think it doesn't really live up to its title. Anyone have any suggestions for a better book? :-)
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