How I Became A Great Fan Of Opensolaris

When reading this, which operating system (OS) does your computer run? Is it some version of Windows, Mac or even Linux? Well, OpenSolaris is another great OS, however, it's not as famous as the three mentioned above. Why? Is it worse? Actually, this is not the case. OpenSolaris appeared in 2008 and was derivered from Solaris - a great OS for enterprise servers and mainframes, produced by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle Corporation) since 1991. So why aren't Solaris and OpenSolaris common on standart computers? They were made to work on servers, not desktop computers and laptops. Do you already know what the servers are needed for? the server is a big computer that's used to host websites and other heavy loads. It means that Solaris and OpenSolaris have many enterprise features that are not common for Windows or Mac OS X. However many desktop programs (Skype, Chrome) are in the process of implementing but yet not ready for use. What are advantages of using OpenSolaris on your desktop? First of all, no virus will run on OpenSolaris - they simply don't exist! Next, OpenSolaris is known for its stability issues. While this is again more important for a server than a desktop, OpenSolaris will not hang or shutdown out of a sudden, you never need to reboot once you install a program. OpenSolaris is pretty fast when running on multicore and multithread processors, much faster than Linux for instance.
So how did I come to use OpenSolaris? Some 4 years ago I started to learn Java programming language. As you may know, Java is developed by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) - the same company as (Open)Solaris. Well, at that time (year 2007) it was just Solaris 10. Once I visited sun.com to get some Java tutorial and saw that ad: "Solaris - the most advanced OS on the planet!". At that time I was using Windows XP and I had lots of problems with viruses and soon my computer became completely unbootable. If reinstalling Windows again, why not to try to install Solaris 10 before and erase it later? I downloaded 6 CDs from sun.com (from my other computer) and installed! Well, I was so much astonished! It was completely different experience, especially the interface was completely different from that of Windows. When I was installing, it was running CDE (Common Desktop Environment). Now I know that CDE's look and feel has been borrowed from Windows 3.1 =). Also Solaris 10 used JDS (Java Desktop Environment) - another windowing system, very familiar to a Windows user. What was strange for the first time, was the file organization into /bin, /etc, /opt, /usr, /tmp directories. First, I could find nothing there! Where are the programs installed? Soon I came to understanding that system. I never installed Windows on that computer, however I still used it on my second desktop, 'cos my Solaris system often failed due to my poor administration and experiments. It I had to reinstall Solaris 10 or Solaris Express for about 15 times in the first half a year. What I liked most, was Solaris Express Developer Edition version. It was like standart Solaris 10 with additional features later incorporated into OpenSolaris with a beautiful Nimbus theme for JDS. When OpenSolaris was released for the first time in May, 2008 I installed it, but didn't like really. It was like a cut-off version of Solaris 10, it missed programs and utiities. I also tried BeleniX and Nexenta distributions but liked neither of them, so I came back to Solaris Express. In February, 2009 I bought a SPARC-based machine (SPARC is a processor architecture developed by Sun), namely Sun Blade 2000 with two UltraSPARC III processors (1.2 GHz). However I couldn't use it for 3 months before I bought a special Sun keyboard for it. After that till now I use it with Solaris 10 installed. I sold all my other Intel-based computers and happy with SPARC. Actually I have a AMD-based computer at University (well, it doesn't really belong to me) where I run OpenSolaris 2009.06. It became much more user-friendly than the first 2008.05 version. Recently I found that not many people know a thing about OpenSolaris, that's why I decided to write 'bout on forums. Also I started to translate documentation into my tongue language, Russian. By the way, Sun offers great documentation, but unfortunetely not so many has been translated in Russian. What I work now is "OpenSolaris Bible" translation with one another guy. I hope we'll produce the translation in paperback.
If you still don't know about OpenSolaris, search for it in Google and learn 'bout its enterprise technologies like ZFS filesystem, DTrace dynamic tracing framework, Service Management Facility, intelligent self-healing, Solaris zones/containers and much more!
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18-21, F
Aug 4, 2010