New OpenSolaris Mirrors mailing list

OpenSolaris, Sun Comments Off on New OpenSolaris Mirrors mailing list

I’ve set up a new mailing list for those mirroring the OpenSolaris ISO images. If you’re interested in hosting a mirror, or a current mirror maintainer, please join us! OpenSolaris 2009.06 coming soon!

Mexican Substances for Release Time

OpenSolaris 1 Comment

If you had been following OpenSolaris development during the lead up to 2008.05 and 2008.11, you might have heard the developers talking about Mexican Coke getting them through (the tip may be thanks to the guys at Joyent). Now rather than believe the engineers are a bunch of crack heads, their addiction is only to a sugary drink made from sugar cane and not sweetener used in the US.

So, on the lead up to OpenSolaris 2009.06 with fond memories of our first release coinciding with Cinco de Mayo, I give you Mexican chocolate perfect for those early morning conference calls.

OpenSolaris at CommunityOne

Conference, OpenSolaris, Sun Comments Off on OpenSolaris at CommunityOne

The first travel of the year for me with Sun, with a trip over to CommunityOne and JavaOne. Of course OpenSolaris will be there, with a great line up of activities, and lots of fun parties to help celebrate the release of OpenSolaris 2009.06. Come join us and hang out!

Boycott DB Brewery

Brewing, NewZealand 13 Comments

If you had seen Campbell Live last night, or followed the NZ beer and brewing forums you know about DB Brewery’s bulling tactics against Green Man Brewery, a small organic brewery in Dunedin.

Unfortunately a while ago DB successfully claimed ‘Radler’ as a Trademark with the Intellectual Property Office, IPONZ. As many will know, the term ‘radler’ (defined in Wikipedia) is actually a beer style, much like lager, pilsner, or IPA. However, having wrongly claimed the trademark (and IPONZ are to blame here), they also wrongly defended use of their trademark against Green Man’s Radler beer and forced the company, after a short fight due to the costs involved to Green Man, to re-label their product to ‘Cyclist’. DB also have tried to register other beer styles as trademarks to mixed successes.

Fortunately a renowned law firm are getting involved on a pro-bono basis to fight the case, James and Wells, as announced recently, helping the cause of both Green Man Brewery and SOBA (Society of Beer Advocates). Other local businesses likes Rumbles are getting on board.

Now you can too! Here’s how – Simply boycott all DB products – Tiger, Heineken, Amstel, Tui, Export Gold, Monteiths and Budvar. It’s that simple. Help support the NZ craft beer industry by buying NZ craft beer, a set of great brewerys brewing for the love of beer, the availability of great beer, and the choice and freedom of all recognized beer styles.

#blackedout – appeal against S92A

NewZealand 2 Comments

Planet OpenSolaris.[es,de,it,fr,jp,…]

OpenSolaris 1 Comment

With a lot of help from Eric, I’ve finally had some time to fix Planet OpenSolaris, and add some feeds. This aggregator has been predominantly English only, but now have started to set up language specific aggregations. If you’re actively involved in the OpenSolaris developer community out, and you write your blog in a different language, give me a ping.

First prize goes to Planet, and Victor Fernandez!

7 Things You May (or May Not) Know About Me

Brewing, Climbing, Family, FOSS, Friends, General, GNOME, Indiana, Ireland, NewZealand, OpenSolaris, Sun 2 Comments

Wow, it’s grown from 5 to 7, but since I’ve been tagged many moons ago by Sara and now by Patrick. Where should I start?

  1. I am indeed Tim’s little brother. You wouldn’t believe how many years I got through Sun without people figuring that one out. When I joined, I had another brother in Sun, Duncan. That made 3 of us. The 3 amigos (though fortunately we never had a dance routine). I shared a bedroom for many years with Tim, and played my fair share of Top Trumps, Action Man, StarWars and Squares (and almost getting run over on my way back from the supermarket carpark across the road).
  2. I studied at Trinity College Dublin and loved my college years. I found out relatively quickly that while maths in secondary school was quite enjoyable, taking it to the next level felt like a massive step. I got through my course with a first, but I don’t think I developed a strong aptitude for what I was studying (memory monkey = results). However, I did find a love of Unix somewhere along the way. Duncan let me use his maths account to dial up to the internet, and I soon learned a love of MH, taught as many freshman classes as I could with their computing labs and generally found the computing side of my maths course a whole lot easier and enjoyable.
  3. At secondary school I learned to climb through Mr.Blackmore and Mr.Cryan. We used to head out to Dalkey on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. It was awesome fun, and I’ve kept that going right through college and was captain of the Climbing Club for a year, along with designing their website (though it’s a bit of a mess now). You can read a bunch of the old trip reports here for much hilarity.
  4. My current passion is brewing. Tim had a strong part to play in this one having started it first in the family. I’m loving it. I have a monthly subscription to BYO, a growing collection of brewing books (including John Palmer’s “How to Brew“, and Charlie Papazian’s “Joy of Homebrewing“) and starting to put some all grain beer together. I’ve taken recently to ordering from the awesome guys at, which conveniently means I can collect my grain just around the corner. I’m still learning the ropes, but this is definitely a career I’d change to.
  5. I’m getting married in 2 months time to Jayne. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve lived in NZ since 2003, have residency and a screwed up accent (though apparently I now have a US twang on the phone).
  6. I was rather fortunate to fall into free software, having picked up a job in the desktop group at Sun, Ireland (yay, nepotism!). Turns out they were looking at free desktop alternatives and chose GNOME. Always shared my code at college, so working on open source was a pretty easy step, and enjoyed spending my time on the IRC channels getting to know people, and them getting to know me (that’s Jeff’s influence, of which I am entirely indebted). I’m not so active in GNOME anymore, but I still lurk in the shadows observing and proud of where the project has come and my participation in it.
  7. Sara tried to hire me over to be a product manager of a new (at that time heavily secret) distribution, OpenSolaris. It took a weekend of her convincing me that I should do it and her persistence is something I’m entirely grateful for as I’ve enjoyed every minute (and worked with some really great people), despite the occasional rough times.

That’s it. And here are the rules of engagement:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

So, I hereby nominate: @comay, @epicbeer, @maupuia, @charliebird, @bogan, @basicbrewing and @marekkuziel as a rather eclectic bunch.

OpenSolaris 2008.11 Released!

OpenSolaris, Sun 7 Comments

So there we have it – another launch event and OpenSolaris 2008.11 goes officially out the door, blessed by holy goat pee. Another release out on time. Hooray for time based release schedules – they really are excellent, thanks GNOME!

There’s a couple of really big milestones for this release –

  • The pkg team have done wonders in this release. There are now a few new repositories – release, contrib, pending and dev, along with an encumbered repository (including VirtualBox and Flash for Firefox) and supported repositories on
  • I talked about mirroring the ISO images (thank you for those who have already signed up), and now Stephen has posted instructions to allow others to mirror the package repositories themselves. There’s still a few hurdles here, but this is a significant step for users right around the world.
  • Erwann has written extensively about Time Slider, and has has a lovely screencast demo of it that I’d encourage everyone to look at. More importantly though, it’s one of the first projects to really include the benefits of using OpenSolaris into an easy to use interface (ZFS + GNOME – mmmm, tasty!). Nice work Erwann, Niall and Tim!
  • Really, really excited by the pkgfactory and source juicer projects – along with Jim’s excellent guidelines for how users can contribute packages, I hope to see the repositories above be full of the best of breed open source software that are being used regularly on other platforms. It’s embarrassing to think that Solaris was such a second citizen when it came to open source software previously, and I’m thrilled we’re making progress on this front.
  • Continual progress from the Install team – with the likes of distribution constructor and automated install really coming along nicely. The team put in some really hard work in keeping the memory footprint to 512MB in the LiveCD (and absolutely delighted to see Jürgen’s work in improving the performance of LZMA compressed LiveCDs).

6 months has really flown, and it’s really been great to see some awesome progress being made. We’ve taken a leaf out of the GNOME community once again, and put together a What’s new in 2008.11 guide, similar to their release notes. This is a very graphically oriented guide to just a small selection of new features that you can get your hands on with this release – looking forward to seeing blogs and screencasts of the features that you are excited with.

If you’re updating from a standard 2008.05 install, make sure to check out Markus’ excellent screencast – there are some tricky bits here due to a couple of bad bugs in 2008.05, but once you get to 2008.11 you’ll never look back!

Mirroring OpenSolaris ISO Images

OpenSolaris 2 Comments

One thing we’ve taken very seriously in OpenSolaris is the opportunity of getting our software everywhere. That’s why we started the free media shipping program, and made our install image 100% re-distributable. There’s nothing new here, and other communities get the credit for coming up with the idea first. But it makes so much sense in today’s world, reaching out to new communities that we would not have reached previously.

A number of people stepped forward to mirror the OpenSolaris 2008.05 ISO install image. Thank you, thank you! – If any of you ever get to NZ, I’d buy you a beer in an instant. Now we’d like to ask you to do this again with the upcoming OpenSolaris 2008.11 release, and the following rsync instructions –

  rsync -avz .

The total disk requirements to mirror the ISO images is about 14GB at the moment, which includes 2008.05. We are restricted by 4 concurrent connections, but we can bump this up if there’s enough demand. If you do mirror, drop me a mail, so I can make sure to list you on

More details about mirroring the package repository itself coming soon. Thanks due to Stephen and his team for getting this set up.

OpenSolaris Repository Gets a Makeover…

OpenSolaris, Web 3 Comments

Dan mailed a heads up to pkg-discuss list today about the makeover that has now been delivered to, introducing a couple of great changes.

From now on, users will be able to choose between 2 streams of change

  • A stable stream which contains a snapshot of packages that have been tried and tested for a particular release. This repository may get an occasional putback for some particularly horrid bugs that may occur – if you have a Sun Subscription you get more support
  • A developer stream which receives the latest and greatest packages as and when they are available. This comes at a cost though – potentially less testing, and therefore more risk.

Switching is easy – for the upcoming OpenSolaris 2008.11 release the default authority will be the stable stream, so you do nothing! To switch to the faster moving developer stream, you can quickly use the pkg(1) command line –

  $ pfexec pkg set-authority -O

You'll also notice that the web interface has undergone some surgery too. Nice work Shawn, Brad and Brock (and others!).

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