Trying out Solaris

I installed Solaris 10 on a extra machine at work in order to be able to do some tests in regards to a customer of Fluendo. The experience so far has been mixed. The main issue is the utter lack of drivers bundled with Solaris, especially since this includes network drivers this is a pain. There is actually a large driver writing community around Solaris, but Sun doesn’t seem to bother pulling those drivers back upstream. So after a lot of extra effort spent downloading drivers, compilers and so on, burning cd’s and getting the driver installed I also found that Solaris features absolutely no tools for configuring anything. So getting my new network driver to work was about creating lots of files in /etc using online howto’s.

The pleasant experience is that JDS on Solaris is fast, much faster than GNOME is on my GNU/linux system. So either there are patches in JDS optimising some stuff (like the gnome menu always snapping open with all icons instantly) or its just some underlaying Solaris processes being better able to drive GNOME.

A point of frustration now is the lack of an update tool. Nothing like apt-get, yum, red-carpet or redhat-agent.

So if Sun manages to get more drivers included in Solaris, get some configuration tools working (like port the GNOME Setup Tools) and integrate one of the many update tools out there then Sun could have a winner on their hand.

Making product and sales materiel

Been working this week mostly on writing some kick as product brochures and leaflets. People are constantly writting us asking for information about our current and upcoming products and the information materiel I have had so far hasn’t been as nice as I wanted it, nor as informative. Been a suprisingly fun thing to do as our products and goals materalize very well through the process too.
It can be compared to when Dom asked me about GStreamer 0.10 last week, listing the improvements up for Dom helped me ‘remember’ how much nice stuff we have actually got into GStreamer 0.10 (plan on doing a proper writeup soon). And writing these brochures helped me ‘remember’ how much great stuff we have done in Flumotion for instance, it is easy when you are closely involved with the development to get overly focused on the bugs being worked on or features you have planned, instead of lifting your eyes and seeing the beautiful landscape of what have already been acomplished.

Maybe something a lot of people both in GNOME, but also in the community at general should do. Take a look up from their day to day hackery and see what great things we have achieved already.


Every group of people have their core topics. In our little social group the topic of eating cheese and the topic of eating moosecock seems to resurface at regular intervals. As mentioned in an earlier blog my uncle is in town these days for the annual meeting of EU vetrinarian group for poultry. Having worked with Norwegian food production all his life he can get hold of almost any kind of food. So he brought a box of moose-cheese which I had the pleasure of handing over to Wingo today.
So the next time he tells the joke about the two hunters the answer will not be moosecock, but moosecheese.

7 thoughts on “Trying out Solaris

  1. Many of your problems, particularly the lack of drivers, will be (and are being) addressed by OpenSolaris, of course… maybe you should get involved over there.

  2. There are no magic patches in JDS. Apart from maybe the
    mediaLib patch that makes image scaling faster by using
    a highly optimised imaging library. We pushed all patches
    upstream whereever it made sense.

    And we are not satisfied with performance either and
    working hard to make GNOME 2.14 really ROCK! (;

  3. You are right about there being many drivers out there, but few were allowed into Solaris in the past due to the Solaris “super-stable” quality requirements. Here in Beijing, Sun has a large group doing drivers for x86, so this will help things over time. The policy around this will likely change a bit to support OpenSolaris, but the details haven’t been worked out yet. I think a lot of people believe if Solaris has better driver support, and a few usability changes, it could totally kick ass, and that’s what we are working towards. How quickly we get there depends a lot on the help of folks participating from the community. :)

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