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Sun's Linux Killer Examined

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the one-killer-thats-not-so-killer dept.

Sun Microsystems 544

gnaremooz is one of several users to mention Thomas Greene's look at Sun's supposed 'Linux Killer'. From the article: "If Sun gets very serious about Solaris 10 on x86 and the Open Solaris project that it hopes will nourish it, Linux vendors had better get very worried. That's because, in the many areas where Linux is miles ahead of Solaris, Sun stands a good chance of catching up quickly if it has the will, whereas in the many areas where Solaris is miles ahead, the Linux community will be hard pressed to narrow the gap." However, he goes on to describe many more difficulties with an install of Solaris than I seem to remember having with just about any recent Linux install.

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544 comments

Frist post attempt for female (-1, Offtopic)

lennyhell (869433) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342451)

Are you not so straight? Are you quite dark? If you answered "maybe" to both of these questions, then read more Slashdot!

yo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342456)

frist pst. heh. its all i need

Better luck next time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342458)

You can't kill something that's non-commercial

Re:Better luck next time (1, Insightful)

jolar (905312) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342506)

You can't kill something that's non-commercial

There are commercial Linux vendors.

RedHat should ring a bell with you.

Re:Better luck next time (2, Informative)

Pryon (181814) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342620)

RedHat should ring a bell with you

Repeat after me: RH != Linux.

If RH dies, Linux goes on.
If Sun dies, Solaris goes down with it.

Re:Better luck next time (1)

same_old_story (833424) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342528)

you're right, but irrelevance is pretty bad too...

I am not saying it will (i don't think so) but there are many os project's that have been abandoned. just take a look around sourceforge.

the fact that big corporations(IBM etc) have embarked on the linux bandwagon, plus the large userbase/developers will probably make linux relevant on the long run.

Re:Better luck next time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342531)

Didn't BSD die?

Re:Better luck next time (5, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342553)

Sure you can, you just can't do it through strangulation like SCO is trying.

Sun could kill Linux with starvation. If Sun could promote Solaris in a way that Geeks would start a mass sendoff from Linux to Solaris, then Linux would simply run out of developers, and thus, die.

Only, that will never happen. Where Sun is the only company behind Solaris, Linux has hundreds of companies supporting it; Redhat, IBM, and Novell being the big contributors.

If Sun decided to open Solaris about 5 or 6 years ago they would have had a chance. Now they've virtually assured that Solaris will die from the same starvation as above (Sun won't pay anyone to work on their platform if they can get people out of the company to do it for free, now would they?).

Re:Better luck next time (4, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342581)

No, Sun couldn't outright "kill" Linux. But they could still turn around and provide a superior desktop/workstation system. Considering they're a corporation, and they have money, they may be able to convince other hardware providers to write Solaris x86 drivers. That is something that Linux mostly has not been able to do until quite recently.

Of course, you could always get a Sun system and have a system that is nearly perfectly integrated.

Ideally, Solaris could take the best of both Windows and Mac OS X in the workstation/desktop market: it could support existing, non-Sun hardware quite well (similar to Windows), while at the same time also being available as a highly integrated and controlled system (similar to Mac OS X).

Solaris will have the same problem as OS/2 (5, Insightful)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342721)

IBM discovered the hard way in the nineties that a hardware manufacturer trying to get competing hardware manufacturers to support their OS is a dead end. Discussions between IBM and the other PC vendors sounded a lot like similar conversations will if Sun tries to get PC manufacturers onboard the Solaris wagon:

Sun: Hi, HP, what do you think about preloading Solaris on your workstations?
HP: Yeah, right! Why would we want to license or support our competitor's operating system for our hardware?

Sure, Sun might be able to get a few PC peripheral vendors on board. But, honestly, what kind of target market can Sun tempt them with? Solaris x86 has a smaller presence than Linux and you've already said that these same vendors aren't getting on the Linux bandwagon.

Re:Better luck next time (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342595)

You can't kill something that's non-commercial

My neighbor's cat was non-commercial...

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. (5, Interesting)

NorbMan (829255) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342462)

From TFA:
Unix has been around since Linus Torvalds was in short pants.

Yeah, and Solaris x86 has been around since 1992 [berkeley.edu]. Hasn't killed Linux yet.

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342579)

Yeah, and Solaris x86 has been around since 1992. Hasn't killed Linux yet.

Meanwhile, Linux has been around since 1991, and it still isn't ready for the desktop. [slashdot.org]

If upstarts like Firefox and OS X can increase their market share so much faster than Linux, why not a revamped/free-as-in-beer Solaris x86?

Or does Linux have a similar entrenched status to Windows, which gives it an inbuilt advantage in competition against upstarts?

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342670)

solaris 10 isn't ready for the desktop either. Could you imagine using CDE for the desktop? Your other choice is that Linux-distro desktop GNOME, I mean the Sun Java Desktop, which doesn't have much Java in it. Solaris x86 supports much less x86 hardware than Linux. It's definitely in worse shape for world domination than GNU/Linux.

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (4, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342679)

Meanwhile, Linux has been around since 1991, and it still isn't ready for the desktop. If upstarts like Firefox and OS X can increase their market share so much faster than Linux, why not a revamped/free-as-in-beer Solaris x86?

Probably because almost all of the desktop software available in Solaris x86 is exactly what is used on Linux: Xorg for X11, GNOME (or possibly KDE if you so desire) for a desktop environment. StarOffice (which is to say OpenOffice.org) for office applications, Firefox as a web browser, Evolution as an email client... the list goes on. What does Solaris 10 offer that Linux doesn't? DTrace and excellent developer and server performance tuning tool. Zones, and excellent server security and partitioning system. Really crappy hardware detection and configuration. A severe lack of drivers for standard consumer hardware. A packaging system that's great for updating servers but even worse than what Linux offers for desktop use.

Solaris 10 will be ready for the desktop a sometime after Linux is ready for the desktop and not before. The desktop software stack is the same, and Solaris offers nothing new for desktops at the lower level. It does have nice features for servers, but then so does Linux. I would expect Solaris to gain back some ground in the server space slowly, but I don't forsee how it could manage to somehow shoot up in market share any faster than Linux already is.

Jedidiah.

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342681)

Solaris and Linux use the same desktops. They should be about the same in desktop experience.

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342607)

Well, it hasn't been open for very long either, but I completely agree with you. Linux, like it or not, is here to stay, and hopefully will only get better.

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342653)

Lots of people doubt that it's open now -- not only is its license dodgy (signed off as OS during the OSI's period of OKing virtually *anything* as compliant), but also 100% controlled by Sun... and with extremely dubious patent clauses.

And finally: The open kernel is crippled as Sun keep several important parts closed.

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (1, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342608)

Yeah, and Solaris x86 has been around since 1992. Hasn't killed Linux yet.

That, and if you read the article it sounded like installing Linux on a computer in 1994. The bios needed upgrading which needed a windows machine to do the update. The sound card did not work or it was a pain to convince it to work. The nic was not supported out of the box. Then they talk about running Gnome or KDE as the "desktop environment" which is better now than it was in 1994, but neither are that great.

I can almost hear the fun in the stockholder boardroom now. "We are going to make more money by providing a free operating system to work on computers we do not sell. Linux will die!"

I hope Sun wouldn't say anything like that, but after providing a _Linux_ computer that was sold at Walmart, anything is possible.

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342610)

It wasn't until quite recently that Sun really started pushing Solaris x86 as an option. Before then it was mostly considered the feeble bastard brother of SPARC Solaris. Sure, you could run it somewhat on certain systems, but overall it was quite useless (mainly due to a complete lack of hardware support).

Re:The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342658)

Just you wait... 2005 will be the year of Solaris on the desktop! :-)

Its not windows (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342467)

So no one cares.

Slow down cowboy! its been 854965369432965 seconds since you hit reply! Our code sucks ass!

Sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342471)

Why not? Can't take them more than 24 years to write device-drivers.

For Zones there is VServers (3, Insightful)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342474)


from TFA: Solaris containers (aka 'zones') are also noteworthy. They're virtual environments a bit like BSD jails, only slicker.

Though not part of the mainline kernel yet, there exists Linux Vservers [linux-vserver.org] project. I don't know much about Solaris zones not having any hands-on experience (though I did attend a talk [slashdot.org] on it), but I can say that Linux VServers beats the hell out of FreeBSD jails, which is sad IMO because in all other respects I prefer FreeBSD to Linux.

So I think it's the other way around - the Linux community will catch up much faster with Solaris, if only to show that they can.

Also this article looks like it could be Sun-sponsored PR [paulgraham.com] - Sun seems to do very well comparing itself to Linux all the time.

Re:For Zones there is VServers (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342583)

You've also got UML & Xen. UML actually works pretty well but it does require a fair amount of preparation (and frustration) to get it up and running.

Is it free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342486)

It aint no killer otherwise.

Re:Is it free? (1)

ishmaelflood (643277) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342612)

Only if you value your time at zero. Which is probably the case.

To be honest if an OS saves me an hour at install time, that's worth sixty bucks to me. If an OS is stable and doesn't need re-installing every year, that's sixty bucks every time.

That's why I stick with NT 4. It just works, on my system. OS weenies will tell me that it can't do this and it won't do that. True.

However. It will run my applications (bye bye *n*x). It doesn't fall over (bye bye W98). It doesn't need re-installing.

Worried? Why? (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342487)

If Sun gets very serious about Solaris 10 on x86 and the Open Solaris project that it hopes will nourish it, Linux vendors had better get very worried.

Open Solaris is Free Software, yes? So if it becomes a "Linux killer", then the Linux vendors will simply become Open Solaris vendors. It doesn't matter if Linux dies if what is replacing it is just as free. Hell, the user-space applications are 90% the same anyway.

If Linux isn't successful because something else is better at doing the job and just as free, then that's a cause for celebration, not worry. The only people who need worry about this are the zealots and PHBs who have latched onto Linux for its buzzword value and not its merits.

Re:Worried? Why? (4, Insightful)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342572)

If Linux isn't successful because something else is better at doing the job and just as free, then that's a cause for celebration, not worry.

You're making the mistake by assuming that everything to do with linux is free, open source, and can be ported by a simple recompile.

Do you expect hardware vendors to ever write drivers if the community switches a few times over a few years? What if a commercial vendor says sorry, we don't support that OS, either stick with Linux or lose our product (contrary to some of the opinions here you don't just switch products at the drop of a hat in the real world, a product doesn't just have to be better, it has to be better enough to warrant the pain of migration)

There's a fine balance of amount of choice that's good, and an amount that's counter-productive.

Re:Worried? Why? (1)

Stephen Williams (23750) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342586)

Open Solaris is Free Software, yes? So if it becomes a "Linux killer", then the Linux vendors will simply become Open Solaris vendors.

Indeed. Speaking as a Debian user: it isn't about the kernel, it's about the environment. As long as the environment suits me as a user, it doesn't matter that much which kernel is providing the hardware abstractions needed for the system to run. Ten years from now, if Debian is still going, I might conceivably be using Debian GNU/Solaris.

-Stephen

Re:Worried? Why? (4, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342638)

My feelings exactly.

Think of it this way:

Linux is free. That means if you dont like the direction, just fork it and improve it. You can still call it Linux. The better fork will win in the community.

Now Solaris is free (kinda, I have reservations about the license). That means people have Solaris code available to them. If Linux is generally good, except for some solaris features, they'll just port those features to Linux. If Solaris is awesome except for some Linux features, the same will happen. In the end we'll have code that is good, does cool things and is free. Whether you call it Solaris because you think it was 'descended' from Solaris or Linux, is a political matter. Linux wasnt threaded or ran ELF in the beginning. It wasnt SMP. Now its all those. Can we say it is a Solaris with the Linux name?

Re:Worried? Why? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342730)

Open Solaris is Free Software, yes? So if it becomes a "Linux killer", then the Linux vendors will simply become Open Solaris vendors. It doesn't matter if Linux dies if what is replacing it is just as free.

My feeling are that linux will copy the sucessful aspects that it can and Linus, being more engineer than anything else, can recognize the sucessful aspects.

This crossbreeding of ideas goes both ways with Solaris.

Because of this, I think it will come less down to features on paper, but the success of the implementation.

This is also what irks me about these "Linux-killer" stories - everything looks great on paper until deployed enmasse - when reality hits.

Let me guess: it has Java! (5, Insightful)

Pomme de Terre! (69783) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342492)

I already posted this on TechNudge.com:

I'm not a big reader of The Register, and having just finished the article, I remember why. The article's premise: Solaris didn't crash *as much* as Linux, so Linux had better look out.

Oh, but he couldn't even detect a NIC without the manual editing of conf files, and wasn't really unique or remarkable in any discernable way.

How tone-deaf is the writer to the PC world, anyway? It doesn't take a Bill O'Brien to see that the OS market is supersaturated, and anything short of the second coming of MacOS X will be greeted with a great big yawn from the collective computing community. (Well, a very small band of users will love it and sing its praises. I mean people are still clinging to Amiga OS, for crying out loud.)

This is aside from Sun's remarkable in its ability to ruin every good technology it creates through corporate nonsense and heavy-handed tactics (read: Java), and really, Solaris wasn't really all that thrilling on Sparc. (I spent my entire undergrad shackled to it.)

Neither the article, nor Sun, answer the most critical question in the OS world today: Why should x86 users switch? Why should I leave my comfortable XP or Debian or Red Hat or SuSE for Solaris?

Wait, let me guess: because Sun is including (insert Java widget here).

Note to Scott McNealy: the magic Java dust has lost its power.

Pomme de Terre!

Re:Let me guess: it has Java! (4, Funny)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342632)

Amiga is life, don't you dare act all superior!

We may lack hardware support, modern operating system features, people liking us but at least we have... hmm, at least we have...

So, remember! Amiga OS is better in every conceivable way!

Re:Let me guess: it has Java! (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342702)

We may lack hardware support, modern operating system features, people liking us but at least we have... hmm, at least we have...

      Huuuuge... tracts of land?

Re:Let me guess: it has Java! (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342695)

"and really, Solaris wasn't really all that thrilling on Sparc. (I spent my entire undergrad shackled to it.)"

People who use computers running things like Solaris use them as tools to do a job.

No-one gets "thrilled" about a hammer or a drill. They just want something which performs reliably, and consistently well.

"Why should I leave my comfortable XP or Debian or Red Hat or SuSE for Solaris?"

Because there might just be some jobs for which Solaris on x86 is the better tool.

Re:Let me guess: it has Java! (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342746)

The article's premise: Solaris didn't crash *as much* as Linux, so Linux had better look out.
Oh, but he couldn't even detect a NIC without the manual editing of conf files, and wasn't really unique or remarkable in any discernable way.


I liked the way they compared the stability: Solaris didn't have a kernel-level crash once in their admittedly "limited experience." But they've been using Linux long enough to be able to comment on its stability with regard to a series of kernels, and have had a few crashes due to various odd things. Thus, even after admitting they "haven't taken a systematic approach to blowing up our Solaris 10 installations," they go on to declare a winner: "one gets the impression of a pretty bulletproof kernel and shell" in Solaris. Winner by blind assumption: Solaris.

So, if I can get DOS 6.22 up and running for 10 minutes without a crash, will The Reg print my article that claims its stability is comparable Solaris? Seriously--my impression is that DOS is pretty bulletproof, too. Surface-to-air-missile-proof, in fact. Take that, Solaris!

I for one... (0, Redundant)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342500)

Welcome our new Linux killing Sun overlords.

The good news is, in Soviet Russia, only Korean old people kill you.

In Japan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342698)

Linux is already dead!

Freedom? (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342501)

"That's because, in the many areas where Linux is miles ahead of Solaris, Sun stands a good chance of catching up quickly if it has the will, whereas in the many areas where Solaris is miles ahead, the Linux community will be hard pressed to narrow the gap."

I've heard many good things about Solaris, and I can well believe Sun could quickly improve any problem areas. But one thing about Linux is it is free (no, I'm not talking about price). That's one of the key areas where Linux has been "miles head" of several competitor OSes. It's going to be hard for Solaris (or anyone else) to "narrow the gap" in that area unless Sun is also willing to free Solaris, and I don't think that is likely.

Re:Freedom? (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342562)

Even if Sun does make OpenSolaris truly Free, there's no reason to assume it will take marketshare away from the various Linuxes (Linuces?).

The *BSD operating systems are as free as Linux, freer, maybe, depending on your definitions. They're also more elegant an cohesive examples of the Unix design philosophy, at least according to BSD advocates.

So why does Linux have the lion's share of the free-Unix market, and BSD have comparatively little? I don't know all the causes, but I'm certain 'momentum' is among them. And barring the entry of anybody other than Microsoft or Apple into the Free OS market, Linux is going to continue to have the momentum.

Re:Freedom? (1)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342564)

Well, Solaris x86 is free - it's under an open source license.

But is it as free as Linux? Well, no, I personally don't think it is. And so I'm supposed to ditch Linux for something with less driver support and less freedom? Why would I want to do that?

Re:Freedom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342718)

and I can well believe Sun could quickly improve any problem areas.

Quickly? Solaris does nothing quickly, including run. Believe you me, it takes months and 150-200 forms signing to change 5 lines of code in the kernel and get it into the official release.

And if all I did was install... (1)

SiggyTheViking (890997) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342512)

like, apparently, so many of these reviewers do,
I would care a lot more about how hard is to install.
Silly me, I USE computers.

linux is alredy dead... hail to the BSD ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342521)

linux is alredy dead... hail to the BSD ! ;)

sun overlords? bah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342525)

now that we have sun overlords

Linux is dying. ??

Not unless it adopts the GPL. (2, Insightful)

team99parody (880782) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342529)

I think SCO has finally proven to us all how important the GPL is; and how the separation between patented commercial IP and the Free/Open parts of code are. Unfortunately the CDDL which seems to be a deliberately more "patent friendly" license will never be safe to use; since Sun practically admits that it may contain patented code that they have the right to redistribute but that forks of their project couldn't.

If Sun would remove such questionable (presumably licensed from SCO) components and release under the GPL, I'd happily start supporting it. As it stands, it looks like little more than a trojan for intellectual property legal games.

Well you know (-1, Flamebait)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342532)

Sun's Java is overrated - proprietary, large memory footprint, awful swing interface for desktop apps.

Now if Solaris had .NET incorporated into it, with a good dev IDE like VS.NET, that would be something ...

Re:Well you know (3, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342642)

> Now if Solaris had .NET incorporated into it, with a good dev IDE like VS.NET, that would be something ...

And if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon.

You don't seem to understand the basic point: we use Linux/Solaris/HP-UX/AIX because we don't develop for Windows.

Re:Well you know (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342724)

PHP, Perl, Apache, mySQL, C, C++, CF, Ruby, Python, and many others all run under Windows as well. The point is not whether or not you're developing FOR Windows, but whether or not you're using a good tool for a specific job.

If Open == GPL, then who cares? (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342537)

If Solaris is available under a Free Software license, then who really cares which one "wins"? If I find myself using a Solaris kernel that incorporates the good stuff from Linux, I lack the imagination to see how I'd be worse off. If Solaris isn't available under a GPL-compatible license, then I can't see enough people migrating to it to make a huge dent in Linux usage. Once again, I'd be no worse off.

I guess this just seems like a non-issue. Linux Killer? No way. Linux's Friendly Competitor? Welcome to the club!

More Register flamebait (4, Insightful)

Plug (14127) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342539)

I was taking the article seriously until I got to this line:

KDE is certainly more popular than Gnome among Linux users, and most would agree that it's by far the better of the two desktops.

Here's the crux of the argument.... (4, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342542)

We've experienced a number of application crashes since we began playing with Solaris 10, but none capable of pulling the kernel down with it. On the other hand, we've had sloppy JavaScripts immobilize totally, and at times actually re-boot, our Linux box (especially with 2.4.x series kernels); we've seen X oddities do the same, and have experienced several wacky incidents using Microsoft bugware with Wine that required a hard reset. While we haven't taken a systematic approach to blowing up our Solaris 10 installations, one gets the impression of a pretty bulletproof kernel and shell.


That's basically it. The article goes on to basically say driver support sucks and it was kind of a pain to configure, make sure to use the Xorg server and app support is ok. But that kernel, rock solid! Without really mentioning what is happening in 2.6 kernel development or how that argument extends outward toward a better development platform overall.

It's a lost cause, there can only be one. Read all four pages of the article, and ask yourself... would I be interested in creating a disk partition or two and running Open Solaris just to see? I did... and the answer was no... I'd rather spend my time working on my Debian system.

Great OS, but it won't replace Linux (1)

SpaceAdmiral (869318) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342544)

Solaris is the first *ix OS I ever used, and I love it. (What I'm trying to say is, "Please hire me, Sun.") But it's never going to replace Linux; It's just a nice alternative.

Last Solaris I admined... (2, Funny)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342547)

Not all the keys on the keyboard worked after (or during an install). For what you pay, all the keys should work from the get-go! Linux does! ANd I'm talking basis keys - home, end, I think backspace/delet to some degree and the like.

Re:Last Solaris I admined... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342584)

those keys work fine under solaris, if you choose to use a shell that supports them. Choose the same shell you chose in Solaris in Linux and they also won't work.

Sun Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342552)

Linux/BSD Gangsters [linuxgangster.org] will take care of Sun. Don't you guys worry about Sun killing anything, Sun is weak. We got a pic to show who will kill sun, click here [linuxgangster.org].

Re:Sun Killer (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342754)

You're a closet-furry, aren't you?

Icy-Hot-Geekstas comes to mind. Take a look at the webpage for a good laugh.

Nice logo. Tool.

Wow will the terror never cease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342570)

It would seem that there is always some malignant force that is threatening to kill off Linux.
Or is this just another sensational headline?.

Non-sequitur (2, Insightful)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342577)

"However, he goes on to describe many more difficulties with an install of Solaris than I seem to remember having with just about any recent Linux install."
This is the usual non-sequitur logic from a slashdot story... What does the ease of the install have to do with the overall feature set of the OS? You only have to install once. If you want an easy gui installer just use Windows or Mac.
you insensitive clod :)

Yeah but... (3, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342591)

Sun will need to ensure that they understand their target audience - is it:

1) Loyal Sun-based organisations that will follow them to the ends of the earth?

2) People who are fed up paying for M$ stuff and want something 'free' that will do the job?

3) People who want a *nix solution and will pay for it/support.

4) People who need the 'technical excellence' or a special feature that can only be had in Sun's product(s) compared to 'vanilla' Linux?

Number 1s will be a 'small' market sector

Number 2s - hmm, that's a non-starter then.

Number 3s - Sun joins the likes of Red Hat etc fighting for market share.

Number 4s - well, if you want a 'LAMP server' or file/print server you're pretty safe with Linux so why throw money at a solution unless you fall into category 1 or 2. This implies that sales in this categofy will be 'niche'.

I don't think Linux has much to worry about.

Re:Yeah but... (2, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342619)

Sorry - meant to say:

Number 4s - well, if you want a 'LAMP server' or file/print server you're pretty safe with Linux so why throw money at a solution unless you fall into category 1 or 3 ....

install problems? oh please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342592)

Installation is a problem for desktop and amateur hobbiests.

If you say at work "Oh darn, this install is just too hard!" you will be quickly fired and replaced with someone who can handle a basic unix install.

Sheesh.

come on... (4, Interesting)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342593)

Linux is to Solaris/sparc what the Mac platform is to the Intel platform. (At least before the whole Intel/Apple deal)

You have Solaris/sparc which is rock-solid on its Sparc platform, with integration using the OpenBoot PROM to 100% compatibility with its Sun arrays, Sun NICs, Sun hard drives, Sun video cards (rebadged, but still labeled as Sun)

Then you have Linux doesn't have a specific hardware platform so it is made to be as compatible as possible, and while a lot of hardware is known to work great with Linux, the QA team at Sun who is able to directly interact with Brocade, QLogic, and other vendors to address one-off issues provides a value-add that CIOs like which Linux does not offer, yet.

too different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342600)

I just cant use an os without virtual terminal and I doubt Sun wants to add this to the kernel

Uh, whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342601)

What Sun doesn't realize is that all their "linux killer" does at ABSOLUTE BEST is address the reasons why users have been fleeing in droves from Solaris to Linux-- and it doesn't even address those reasons entirely, just mostly. Sun seems to think that if they look at the reasons why their customers are leaving them for linux, and then do those things too, then their customers will leave linux for solaris. Uh, no, you don't get it. That might (might) help you retain the customers you've still have, but it isn't going to win you new customers. And from staunching the loss isn't good enough, you need to reverse the trend. You need to provide not just reasons why your product isn't worse than linux, you need to provide reasons why your product is BETTER than linux. But you aren't going to reverse the trend and you aren't going to win any converts from linux by following in linux's footsteps.

WTF.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342602)

..is ScuttlyMonkey and why should I care about what he's saying?!

If Sun gets very serious?!? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342613)

It seems to me that Sun has never gotten very serious about putting out Free Software for x86, not only because they can't make any money off it, but also because it cuts into the profits from their products that they can make money off of. Can somebody please explain to me exactly what Sun's incentive is to engage in a price war with Linux? Other than pure spite, there seems to be no rational reason for them to do this.

Re:If Sun gets very serious?!? (1)

Iaughter (723964) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342707)

It seems to me that Sun has never gotten very serious about putting out Free Software for x86, not only because they can't make any money off it, but also because it cuts into the profits from their products that they can make money off of.

OpenOffice.org's GLOW [openoffice.org] directly competes with their Java Calendar Server [sun.com] software.

Sun developers work on Glow: http://groupware.openoffice.org/glow/team.html [openoffice.org]

Additionally, Sun knows that Sparc is dying, that's why they're handing over a lot of control to Fujitsu. Sun'll be concentrating on x86 in the next five years, and I believe will start to make inroads in the commercial server market.

That Poor Little "Community" (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342616)

> ...in the many areas where Solaris is miles
> ahead, the Linux community will be hard
> pressed to narrow the gap...

After all, it's not as if Linux had the backing of a major computer company with a three letter name.

Oh. Wait...

Of course Sun's x86 support will get better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342621)

I believe that Sun is now selling machines that are AMD64. Obviously, it would make sense if they shifted their focus from SPARC to AMD64 and commodity hardware, because commodity hardware is cheaper.

Does that translate into a Linux killer? I don't think so. I like Solaris. But if they shift their focus to commodity hardware, and now have a freely downloadable OS in both source and binary form, what is to motivate me or anyone else to buy a Sun machine? Nothing. So, there goes Sun's profits.

So, either Sun will have to lower the prices of their machines, or find another source of income (since their two greatest assets, Solaris and Java, are unprofitable as-is), or, die.

Generally, I like the stuff that Sun makes. It's really such a shame they're trapped in their no longer valid business models.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342630)

Solaris 10 makes a great Enterprise class unix for big hardware. When you need 'one big box' Solaris is the way to go. So what do you need a big box for? Not much I'm afraid - 90% of web apps can live on small boxen 4 cpus. Linux is perfect for the job. Poor Sun... they too will wither away like SGI.

Mumble Mumble Sun X86 (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342646)

I've had considerable experience with Sun products. If I'm setting up a load-balanced web application or Oracle DB, I want Sun on SPARC. I've tried the x86 port in several versions and it made a nice little webserver, but did not scale well.
If I want an open OS that I have to support myself, I'll go Linux - thanks. More driver support.

Convert to MS now and get it over with (1, Troll)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342649)

So lets just say that perhaps linux users switch to "free" solaris.

then sun runs out of money yet again, and goes back to microsoft for more money. and then again. then the buyout.

eventually all those "converts" are running MS Solaris.

let the stampede begin?

Re:Convert to MS now and get it over with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342683)

I think ur tin foil hat is on too tight.

Either that, or you're just a big fag.

Take your pick.

doesn't look too good to me (1)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342655)

Lets see.. A full PAGE of the article is devoted to getting very basic hardware to function (the NIC and sound card). I mean come on, I can run knoppix linux on my LAPTOP and I get a usable system with no configuration required (even wireless works). Windows is the same thing, you get a completely usable system once it's installed. OS X is the same (although it shouldn't count since apple has much less variation between models compared to the PC world). For hardcore UNIX needs, I don't see why anyone would use SOLARIS over their favorite BSD variation.

Plus KDE is the standard desktop environment used now, not GNOME. GNOME is pretty but barely functional, KDE comes close to the ease of use of the windows GUI.

Re:doesn't look too good to me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342756)

For hardcore UNIX needs, I don't see why anyone would use SOLARIS over their favorite BSD variation.


I think this about sums it up with half the people commenting here: you're not real pros. I've said it once, I'll say it again: give me a 64 cpu Solaris box clustered with another just like it hooked to a SAN and you've got industrial strength material for business. Ditto with IBM.

With linux you can risk a cluster on a render farm, but forget mission critical.

Not a chance... (1)

Lost+Found (844289) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342671)

I'm thrilled (rolleyes) that Sun wants to "embrace" the Open Source community again with a "free" technology.

It's true that Solaris 10 has a few handy features Linux may be currently missing.

But Linux has *far* more developers, and will continue to until Solaris 10 becomes portable to over 20 architectures and begins to include tons of hardware support.

And while they're working on closing that gap, Linux will tie up any loose ends. When Sun surfaces from their driver-writing festival to get their bearings, they're going to be eating Linux's dust.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not a Solaris hater per se - in fact, I think it's the closest thing Linux has to UNIX competition at this point. Calling it a "Linux Killer", though, is damn foolish.

Besides -- how are they going to manage to get a thriving community of brilliant open source developers to work on Solaris when it's looud and clear just what Sun thinks of real open source?

What about APPLICATIONS? (1)

stevew (4845) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342673)

This is almost silly, but what about all of the applications? It took 5 years roughly to start seeing a major number of commercial applications appear on Linux X86. Does that imply that these folks are going to have to support SUNx86 TOO...

Granted that most all of them CAME from SUN on SPARC, but it is at least a recompile and ANOTHER OS to support...something that vendors don't take on lightly (one reason it has taken so long to get a critical mass of applications for Linux)

Re:What about APPLICATIONS? (1)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342731)

The effort required is:

Move code to a Solaris x86 box (or Sparc box with cross compiler).

"make"

...how hard can this be? Even for Linux weenies ;-)

Not touching it (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342675)

I used Solaris 2 for years and loved it.

However, in the wake of the SCO lawsuit, why would anyone in their right mind touch anything tainted with System V code?

I might install solaris just for dtrace alone (1)

Serveert (102805) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342686)

It can diagnose hard to find application issues, bugs and performance problems.

Riiight . . . (2, Insightful)

npsimons (32752) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342690)


whereas in the many areas where Solaris is miles ahead, the Linux community will be hard pressed to narrow the gap.

Right. That's what they said about Microsoft versus Linux.


Snottiness aside, believe it or not, there are some who will not switch away from Linux. Just as there are those who have worked with Solaris for too long and "trust" Sun, there are those who have worked with Linux for too long and trust it. Not only that, but there is always the last important deciding factor for me: is it Free as in Freedom? Linux is. Solaris ain't.

Where was the argument? (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342691)

I'm sorry, I didn't see any reason why someone would switch to Solaris in that editorial. It was mainly minor bitching about the details of installation and Sun's GUI choices.

Three Big Vendors are preparing for battle. (4, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342697)

We're about to see a major war between three very large computing firms: Microsoft with Windows and .NET, Sun with Solaris and Java, and Apple with Mac OS X and Cocoa.

Frankly, I think this desktop/workstation market conflict will make the UNIX Wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s look petty in comparison. In one corner there's Apple, offering extreme multimedia and usability via Mac OS X and Cocoa. Then there's Sun, with the extreme stability of Solaris and Java. And finally Microsoft, with .NET and the marketshare of Windows.

It isn't just a battle over which operating system is better. It also involves three competing development environments involving three separate (yet similar in many ways) languages. I'd like to consider it more of a Systems Stack war. The vendors are competing on their ability to provide a coherent operating system/programming platform composition.

I believe we will really see things heating up in the near future as each system attempts to draw the best features from the other. Windows will obtain the stability and security of Solaris; Mac OS X will obtain the enterprise connectivity of Solaris; Solaris will obtain the multimedia mastery of Mac OS X. We're living in very interesting times, folks!

SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342713)

Did anyone see the latest SCO stance [tinyurl.com] on the Sun project? All I can say is not again...

Yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#13342752)

..does it run on Xbox?

That's a big "if" (1)

richmaine (128733) | more than 7 years ago | (#13342765)

The first line of the article is a big caveat - "If Sun gets very serious about...". Sun recently seems to be having an identity crisis. They can't really figure out what their niche is, and they keep changing directions. That's a big burden for them. Even if they did come up with something great, how many people are going to jump on their bandwagon without waiting to see if it will last more than 3 years.

And then reading the rest of the article, I'd summarize it as: Solaris 10 is nowhere near ready for routine production use today. You have to fight to make it work on even very common configurations. But if it ever does get to be a good product, then it might be a good product, because it has a few nice features. Sorry, but I don't find that very convincing.

Note, by the way, the lack of any mention of significant numbers of people that actually *ARE* jumping on this particular bandwagon. Nothing but one user's abstract thoughts about some features.

The system that I see that noticeable numbers of actual Linux users *ARE* moving to is OS X. I have, and I know of many others who have. I've done Sun (and many others) in the past, and I've done Linux. Still do Linux. But I'm currently moving on. I now do both Linux and OS X. I'm not alone. In my case, note the "moving on" rather than "moving back". I see nothing here to tempt me back to Sun. I don't think I'm alone.

And as others have said, so what anyway? If Sun does really come through with a better product, then that's great. I like better products, and I'll use them. I'm far more interested in seeing better products that do my job better than I am in defending any particular religion... I mean OS.

In the early '70s, I thought that CDC systems were great.... and I still think that I was right.... for the times. I've been though quite a few different favorite systems since then. Silly to think that I might never see a new favorite someday. Or maybe it would be sad instead of silly. Whatever.
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