[AUUG-Talk]: More Journeys with OpenSolaris...
lloy0076 at adam.com.au
Fri Jan 12 17:26:59 EST 2007
A few months on and I haven't thrown OpenSolaris away. In fact, I think
I've come to understand operating systems much more now that I've taken
the plunge and used one of the eldest ex-proprietary Unix operating
systems that one can now intall for free.
I'm not sure if the "real" BSD was ever proprietary.
A few notes:
GENERAL DESKTOP USE
Solaris Community Express Release (SXCR) uses the Gnome desktop. It's a
very usable instantiation of the Gnome desktop with the latest release
incorporating most of what one would need.
I would note that I lack a good image viewer such as "gqview". I can, of
course, use Nautilus but I seriously, seriously dislike Nautilus.
Managing my files and such, I still prefer to do via the commandline,
although interestingly I'm quite happy to manage my Desktop files and
images with the click and point paradigm.
For general Desktop use, I see no reason why OpenSolaris couldn't just
replace a Linux. It has all the major browsers (except for Iceweasel ;P)
and The Gimp, StarOffice 8 [i.e. OpenOffice 2.X], Evolution, Thunderbird
and the works.
Whilst it can take a while to work out "how" to compile things on
OpenSolaris -- Sun Studio's and GCC's linkage of C++ libaries/files are
not compatible and can cause you grief-- anything that's not been made a
package you can generally just compile.
There's a number of places which give you an "apt/yum" type experience
as well, such as blastwave (http://www.bastwave.org/).
DEVELOPER OPERATING SYSTEM
I've currently taken to developing a Java application. Here's the tools
that I use:
* Java 1.6.X
* Jboss 4.0.X
* vim (not emacs)
As one might expect, Solaris is a good fit for Java development. With a
little bit of fiddling you can even get SWT [from IBM] to run natively
on Solaris...my technique is to "steal" the libraries from Eclipse and
put them where the system can find them.
Whilst I've not developed any major C or C++ applications on Solaris, I
would note that Solaris' make and GNU make are not compatible. Working
out which is "better" appears to be religious flamewar material, however
one thing I have found is that if a build seems to mysteriously fail and
it's a GNU or open source thing you're building, take extra steps to
make certain that GNU make is being used.
I also do PHP development. Because I don't use blastwave -- I decided
I'd learn more about Solaris if I didn't cheat and use prebuilt packages
-- I have had to compile PHP5 myself. I also compiled Apache2 myself
only to discover that Apache2 is part of the SXCR consolidation. MySQL
release Solaris packages for both x86 and Sparc architectures.
Compiling PHP5 is a PITA. There's too many options but it gets there
eventually. Getting Apache2 to compile *sensibly* is also a PITA.
However one gets there eventually.
The one thing that I simply cannot get to behave itself is the LATEST
version of Subversion. There are Sun blessed subversion packages but
they're old. Trying to compile Subversion was, for me, a total
nightmare. Essentially the Sun linker and the GNU linker wouldn't play
nicely with each other and it wasn't worth the effort.
With Subversion, I cheat. I use Eclipse to manage that.
Oh, that's another thing. Getting Subclipse for Eclipse was looking like
an absolute nightmare but I chanced upon the actual leader of Easy
Eclipse (or something like that). He told me that the Linux version
would probably work [it IS Java after all] ... which it did.
I was really chuffed. Not only did the installer JUST WORK, I managed to
get help from the guy who actually pilots the whole project. And they
say that open source support isn't existent...I wonder whether I'd be
able to get Bill to help my friend next time his computer gets swamped
by Windows viruses...
I've got it to the point now, where my OpenSolaris is a rock solid, open
source development environment.
So, now I've got to work out a way to see what OpenSolaris is like as a
server operating system. It's probably quite good and I've started
experimenting with containers and zones.
I suppose I'm rambling, but heh, it is the talk list...
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