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Sun Microsystems

Free Solaris 8 344

quakeaddict writes "It seems Scott McNealy has some new ideas for Solaris 8 according to this article. " It's not free as in software, but free as in "no license fees". Evidently, this is going to be the center-piece of their new public-relations campaign, with the official rollout of Solaris 8 starting in February. However, a top Sun official also went on to say that Sun will "never" adopt Linux and expressed amazement that folks like IBM and others were "chasing after" Linux.
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Free Solaris 8

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  • I think this is GREAT! It carries the message that Linux started delivering to it's logical conclusion. The OS isn't a profit point anymore, but merely part of the iron. Sun makes the majority of their money from the HARDWARE!

    But ol' Microsoft can't say that. How do they justify thousands of dollars for W2K when their largest competitor (in the server arena in particular) isn't charging ANYTHING!

    I just love it!
  • by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:50PM (#1339951) Homepage
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then they join you? Sun is clearly somewhere between the ridicule and the fighting stages.
  • Apparently Sun's versioning scheme goes "one, two, skip a few, eight, nine..."

  • A point well made.... Win2k is very stable and quite good (no flame intended), now if i were an admin in charge of a large server system i would rather run it on a commerciall supported *nix than somthing coded (no offence) by the general public. Linux is wonderful but commerce breads commerce. Beos is a multimedia system and will find its own snug corner in the market - but i think linux will co-exist nicely with win2k on the desktop/office workstation....
  • What I'm waiting for is the release of the OS-X source.
  • Hello, I am a fairly new linux user, but I am sure others have the same question:

    What are the differences between Solaris and Linux?

    From what I've seen, they look very similar. Thanks to all.
  • I can't say I'm suprised how they "scratch thier heads" in confusion at the way other co.'s like Linux. They do have their flagship product and they probably like it too (tho selling hardware is their bread and butter). Linux eats away at their smaller sales, which probably isn't all that imporatant to them.
    Whats the phrase, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, at least for the moment.

  • by / ( 33804 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:52PM (#1339957)
    It's not just an operating system. Solaris is an "operating environment".

    Let's see. Solaris=environment while linux=penguin. Environments (as we all know) get abused by developers whereas penguins swim around and micturate [] on the environment. Highly metaphorical, no? Ok, maybe no.
  • They will change their minds...

    I always laugh at any place that makes such a bold statement as "we will never use Linux"...

    In 1997 an administrator for a local .edu [] once told me that they would NEVER use linux on their network... (They were an NT and Novell shop)

    They have now converted several of their servers to use Linux... (about time; even though hey were "enlightened" about it ~1996...)


    They will come around.. it may take a while... but sooner or later those disbelievers will realize that Linux is here to stay..... and can only get better.. :-)
  • Sun just got tired of Microsoft claiming that buggy version 98 of Windows was somehow better. It's not Sun's fault that they only need to go through a couple of decimal versions to get something working....

    (ObHint: Solaris 8 is still SunOS v 5.8. Can you say "Marketing"?)
  • zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2426200,00.html [] says that the source is opened under Sun's Community Source License. Now, I know this isn't as free (as in software) as Linux but it is certainly more free (as in software) than it is at the moment.
  • ...maybe now that dumbass who posted it on every other thread for the last few days will shut the hell up. Why exactly did you have so much invested in this particular story, Mr. AC? I mean, it's not THAT big a deal.

    Especially since it's not exactly unexpected or undercovered. Past slashdot stories on this theme...

    "Sun to release Solaris source code" by HeUnique on Friday October 01
    "Solaris to be Community Licensed" by sengan on Thursday February 25
    "Sun plans open source Solaris?" by CmdrTaco on Tuesday January 12
    "Solaris 7 available for $10" by sengan on Tuesday October 27
    "Solaris 2.6 free" by Hemos on Monday August 10

    See a pattern there?
  • There are times when I'll take free beer over free speech. Because sometimes you just want to shut up and drink some beer. But it's good to see that the Open Source community is having an effect on traditional business models, even if traditional businessmen still don't get it.

    Yeah, it'll probably be released under the SCSL again. Big deal. We need a generic, DFSG-compliant (or whatever it's called this week) software license that doesn't scare corporate lawyers. Convincing them to use that because its good for them would be a big step for hackers everywhere.

    (Almost as big as stopping people from taking our stuff because we code programs that lawyers do not like or understand. My favorite, IIRC, is probably when they did this to Steve Jackson Games in The Hacker Crackdown. That was a classic.)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • What has been the major objection of many PHBs to using Linux on servers or workstations?
    "We're not willing to trust something that's free".
    Now that a defintively mainstream OS has become free (as in beer, alas, not as in speech yet), perhaps they'll start taking Linux more seriously.
    Just my $0.02.

    "If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.
  • by dsplat ( 73054 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @06:59PM (#1339967)
    IBM is still embracing Linux, regardless of what Sun says. I think the real point is that Linux is portable across an amazing range of hardware. It is easy enough to leverage a known OS, with a good reputation, and an active community of open source developers. If you want it on your own hardware, you dedicate a team of programmers to writing device drivers and any other code you need specific to your iron.

    Now I am well aware that AIX has some things going for it that Linux doesn't have ... yet. Solaris can say the same. But the question is whether Sun can sustain Solaris development as a freebie. If it gives them a platform on which to sell other stuff, probably for a while. I don't know what their costs and margins look like. We'll all have to watch and see if it works for them.

    I for one am not going to criticize them for keeping Solaris closed source. It isn't my choice. It doesn't detract from the open source OSs that I have to choose from. Hmm. Linux CDs are still here. FreeBSD was still on the bookstore shelves at lunchtime.
  • Yes, please boycott /. That would make many users happy :)
  • As a comment in the article stated, if they were serious about this, then they would have done it a long time ago.

    Solaris may be more robust in some ways, but the fact is that they simply cannot compete well against Linux. This is, to me, just a simple admission of this fact.

    They're playing catch-up now against an OS with much greater potential and much greater momentum. This is encouraging, though. This means that the OS is starting to become a commodity. MS will be the last to go... but when they do, it'll be spectacular.

    If you can't figure out how to mail me, don't.
  • All they did was rename what was going to be Solaris 2.7 to Solaris 7, since it became obvious they weren't getting out of 2.x in the observable future.

  • I don't think this is really the case.

    First consider the large number of manufacturers that have adopted linux as a second OS. It's likely that a few of them will migrate to Linux as their MAIN OS. Certainly SGI seems to be putting a large piece of their efforts into such a path.

    Then there are the manufacturers like VA Linux that use it as their MAIN OS. These guys could go with another OS like one of the BSD's...but Linux has the most momentum (and external support..)

    Solaris being "free" doesn't enable either of these two classes of manufacturers. It takes a third player.

    Lastly - the open source movement has it's own reason for being and is it's own success story beyond linux. Solaris doesn't play into this part of the story at all.
  • Apple is just releasing the code to the core of the operating system. It is called Darwin. Most of the APIs will be closed sourced. They have released a networking API under the APSL.

    Darwin and such []
  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:02PM (#1339974) Homepage
    The most important difference is that Linux sucks substantially less.

    More specific differences:

    • Linux runs on a proper superset of the platforms Solaris runs on.
    • Solaris is pretty strictly system V, while Linux is some SysV, some BSD, and some "other."
    • Solaris uses the UFS filesystem. Linux uses primarily the Ext2 filesystem
    • The obvious differences, like licensing (Linux is Free, Solaris is only pseudofree), sourcing (Solaris is single-source, Linux gives you choices), etc.
    • On common hardware, Linux tends to be faster, especially for interactive tasks.
    • (Personal observation) Solaris is stuck in the 70s and has obsolete administration tools; Linux is much more modern.
    • Solaris might be faster on machines with 16 processors or more.
    • If you need to do Java work, no surprise, the environment for Solaris is MUCH better.
  • Or maybe the Linux community is.

    Bear in mind that statements like that don't get remembered by losers. And, by the way, this isn't a contest, remember?


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by Oscarfish ( 85437 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:05PM (#1339978) Homepage
    Free is one of the most misused words to ever have been thrown around, however, and I wonder exactly how much people will have to pay...

    There's always something hidden. My school [] offered "free" OEM copies of Microsoft software this past semester (Win 98 SE, Win NT Workstation 4.0, FrontRage 98, etc.) through this agreement [] and naturally I was interested in picking up a few "legit" copies of Win NT. You guessed it, it wasn't exactly free - they weren't letting people take the CDs as they please.

    Instead, you paid $5 for the "media" (although I don't believe it costs MS $5 to burn a CD in volume). Fair enough, I say, here's a $5 bill. Now hand me my NT!

    Nope, you have to sign a contract first. Oh, this is some fun shit. I'm supposed to use it only on one machine, and only when it's in the best interest of the school, and I can forget about reselling it, or anything I sign the contract and get my CD. Part of the contract I signed said that I'm only able to buy one copy - I guess MS isn't sympathetic to people with more than one PC, because if I can't buy more than one copy, and I can only use the one copy I do get on a sinlge machine, I'm SOL. Now was the software *really* free, or was it equal to the cost of the media plus agreeing to the contract?

    Anyway, I got four friends to each buy me a copy and I slipped them each a $5 bill as soon as I got out of the university bookstore.

    [bs]By the way, I have a couple copies of NT workstation available, $15 OBO :) Just kidding. I saw an anti-piracy expo at a recent computer fair [] this past weekend and it turned me into a fine Internet citizen(TM). I even destroyed those other four semi-legally acquired copies of NT as per the agreement I signed.[/bs]

  • by bbk ( 33798 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:07PM (#1339983) Homepage
    At my work, we got a bunch of new solaris boxes. Solaris has a pretty nice install, and is decently polished out of the box. On the flipside, it is missing a lot of things people take for granted if you come from the Linux or *BSD world, like gcc, perl and apache.

    On a sour note, I had a bad experience with Solaris 7. If you wanted to set up diskless clients, you were out of luck - out of the box, setting them up was broken. To get the patch, you had to have a service contract with Sun (ie lots of money!) and then search for it for quite a while. It wasn't in any of the free patchsets they distribute over the net - its like buying a car and then having to pay the dealer to fix something that was wrong with it when you bought it! This really sucks - documentation and fixes should be free!

    Solaris 8 supposedly has a lot of GNU tools (including the ones mentioned above). They're finally getting a clue it looks like....
  • by sansbury ( 97480 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:07PM (#1339984)

    IBM, Solaris, Digital, SCO, SGI. They all used to crow about how their UNIX was better than everyone else's.

    Bill Gates, meet everybody. Sorry guys, your UNIX is no longer needed.

    Fast-forward to 1999. Microsoft is everywhere. While the UNIXes argued, the fox made off with the chickens. Everybody, meet Linus.

    Most of the UNIX vendors decided to support, if grudgingly so, this tiny little OS we all built for the hell of it. Oh, shucks, it's kinda good, ain't it?

    Scott McNealy, meet Linus. You tried to own the desktop, but that didn't work. You declared year X the year of the Network Computer. Sucks being ahead of your time by a year every twelve months, doesn't it. You tried to own JAVA, and you may yet. Ever heard of a "Pyrrhic Victory?"

    It sucks taking Bill Gates' sloppy seconds, doesn't it Scott? You don't get no respect. Here's a stinking, good-for-nothing, operating system getting ten times the attention your precious darling ever could, and will.

    But really, Scott, who's chasing who here? Free Solaris? Who'd a thunk it! So what, now you're going to just make the $ on hardware, right. That's what we've been trying to tell you along, if only you'd listen.

    Fragmented UNIX is dying, and if you want to go down with the ship, don't expect us to come along. I don't want your operating system, not because it's expensive, but because you'd be just as bad as your Big Brother Bill, if ever given the chance.

    So you'll give me Solaris. Thanks, but no thanks. Okay, it's more stable than Linux by a long shot. But the gap closes every day, old chap, and you're feeling the heat. So what, now you think we'll suddenly all switch, and wait for you to pull the rug out from under our lemonade stand like you're trying to do with Java? Fat @#$%ing chance.

    We're not going to let you. Not now, not ever. IBM? Anybody remember how close to the brink they were, ten years back? I don't know about you, but they had a near-death experience, and they see the future.

    Scott McNealy, meet the ghost of Computers Future. It doesn't include Solaris. Whether it includes Sun or not is up to you.


  • ...this will mean that Unix as a whole will move up in the enterprise as an alternative to W2K, Novell, etc.

    Plus, more interestingly, it will put the pressure to Linux to become better. For one thing, NT was too easy a target ;-)...

    engineers never lie; we just approximate the truth.

  • It's funny that Sun says that Linux is "low end", while my company beat Sun (and IBM and HP and SGI) on a $15 million dollar supercomputer bid with a cluster running... Linux.

    I guess that's just too little money for Sun to be interested.
  • If you want to bother to get that right, it should be *cough*RED HAT*cough* since they did that BEFORE Slackware, and were the main reason that Slackware did that in the first case.

    Solaris is no different in this instance. It's still a good thing. What F*&*ing difference does the number make? CAN YOU USE THE D$$$ THING OR NOT?

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • by WombatControl ( 74685 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:14PM (#1339997)
    Actually, as a web server platform, Solaris is top-notch. The only thing that made it less attractive than Linux was the cost factor. For Sun, releasing a free version is a Very Good Idea. The whole point of the exercise is to get people hooked on your OS and therefore evangelize it to others. The same theory applies to the decision regarding BeOS 5 and others.

    This is a good thing for several reasons, even though these aren't being GPLed. First of all, it gives Linux a little extra incentive to progress, as it better have more to offer than just being free. If Linux wants to survive, it had better be able to compete. As we all have learned by now, competition makes for better products.

    Also, hobbyists like myself get a chance to play around with a new OS and see how it ticks. I intend to install BeOS when it comes out and see how it runs, and now I'll add Solaris to that list. I probably will only dabble in both, but it is an opportunity to broaden my OS horizons.

    The only drawback I can see is that we may yet have an OS market Balkanization. With all these free OSes flying around, we need common standards to make sure that the free exchange of data can continue. Things like XML and other open file formats are crucial. The Linux ELF binary format is supported by both BeOS and Solaris via an emulation layer, but that's only a start. It would be nice to have the same apps work across multiple OSes.

    Still, despite that, the release of Solaris is a good idea for all involved. Hopefully this free software boom will continue as companies find new ways to maintain good software development and expand new technologies while keeping the results of that research free for all.
  • How do they justify thousands of dollars for W2K when their largest competitor (in the server arena in particular) isn't charging ANYTHING!

    Um, maybe 'cause a) Windows doesn't run on Sparc and b) Solaris on x86 (at least last time I checked which was a while ago), was, well, lacking in many ways (device drivers, speed, applications...)

  • Or maybe Linux has some things going for it that AIX doesn't have... yet. Why do people see Linux as ever-changing and improving, yet think that other operating systems (read: Windows 2000 and Solaris) are just getting worse and more bloated.

    Derivatives. Windows* and Solaris were big deals five years ago, and while they've been improved it has been fairly incremental. Linux was barely on the radar five years ago and it's improvement since then has been amazing. This gives the impression that Linux is getting better much faster than the other guys. Whether this is reasonable or not (i.e. whether it's just that Linux has benefitted by chasing others' taillights) seems to be ignored.

  • NetBSD and BSDI both seem to be fading from public view as FreeBSD takes the lionshare of the BSD audience, with OpenBSD capturing the niche security audience.

    Frankly, in a world where almost all of the cheap hardware is x86 commodity components, the allure of NetBSD (emphasizing portability to esoteric platforms) isn't really compelling, and I never could figure out why poeple liked BSDI.

  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:26PM (#1340016) Homepage Journal
    Solaris is a descendent of a long history of what were glibly refered to as "The UNIX Holy Wars". Basically, Bell Labs' UNIX was picked up by Berkely, poked, proded, added to, etc. and thus was born BSD. Sun began when BSD (renamed SunOS by an infant Sun Microsystems) became fairly stable and added IP networking to the kernel. System V UNIX was a derivative of Bell Lab's original UNIX and many of the features of BSD. After a while, many industry camps began to form around this new version of UNIX, and Sun worked very closely with this effort. The result was eventually SystemV R4, which was what Solaris was based on (replacing the now aging, but still much loved BSD-derived SunOS).

    Ok, 'nuf background Solaris, being a SystemV derivative has a few key features that Linux does not. For example, the streams interface is, in some ways, superior to the way Linux kernel modules work.

    On the other hand, the Linux kernel has: IP Masquerading/firewalling/port forwarding/packet marking; numerous filesystems that Solaris does not support; and of course, source.

    The various Linux distributions go another step. Theoretically, Solaris 8 will finally ship with Perl! Linux distributions, however, usually ship with Perl, Python, Scheme, TCL, Fortran, C, C++, and many other programming languages (scripting and otherwise). Linux distributions also commonly have:

    • Relational databases
      The world's most popular Web server
      TCP port wrappers
      A slew of debugging tools
      A slew of editing/development tools
      GNOME or KDE (to which Solaris merely has CDE)
      Photo editing tools (e.g. Gimp)
      Network debugging/analysis tools
      Web mirroring software
      GUI builder (GNOME has one, I think KDE does)
      Shells: tcsh and bash

    All of this, and did I mention source? Oh, and Solaris' turnaround time on security fixes is pityable.

    Now add to this that Linux exists for SPARC, x86, ARM, Alpha, PowerPC and others.... well, Solaris just doesn't have much to compete on except that it runs real fast on real fast hardware. So, if you want to spend megabucks on a single-point-of-hardware, you can run Solaris on it.

    I use Solaris at work, and I can honestly say that it occasionally makes me want to look into W2K (then the head trauma wears off).
  • It's not that I *totally* disagree, but your argument doesn't make much sense:

    Yeah, a number of vendors are choosing Linux as their second OS. But why would that make it likely for them to make it their first OS? Ham is my 2nd favorite deli meat, right after Turkey. That doesn't mean I'm about to switch to packing Ham sandwiches in all my lunches. SGI might be moving towards packing Ham in their lunches, but that's just because they weren't successful in packing their own deli-meats (in this case, Bologna).

    And sure, VA Linux is packaging Linux with their systems, but what does that say? VA is a good company, and their getting on their feet, but they're not even close to being in the same class as vendors like Dell and Compaq (who choose Ham-lunches as 2nd, and 3rd-choice, respectively). Don't confuse stock-value with anything other than stock-value.

    Also: Sun doesn't need a 3rd-party manufacturer; they make their own systems. They can *give* their software away all they want and it won't matter as long as their selling hardware. And believe me, the hardware business is still looking a lot better than the "support" business.

    To you're final point -- You're right, Open Source has it's own reasons for success that have nothing to do with Sun. Keep that in mind. Just because Sun is giving their software away now, doesn't mean they're throwing in the towel. Not hardly. Remember when Microsoft *gave* their browser away? They're just trying to regain market-share here, and I for one say "More power to them". It makes the consumer happy (they don't have to pay hefty fees for their favorite OS) and it gives Sun the ability to compete with Linux's infamous "price".


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:40PM (#1340025) Homepage Journal
    Alright, while I think this would be Really Cool (TM) and all, I think we have to remember who we are dealing with here. The company which has recently proven it has more faces then a pair of dice: Sun Microsystems [].

    These are the people who let the Blackdown [] Java porting effort do all the work, and then took it all from them with no credit [].

    These are the people who have said several times (here [], here [], and as far back as here []) that Solaris isn't just going to be free, but Open Source [].

    These are the people who pushed Java [] as an open standard, and then -- once many companies had tied their future to it -- pulled out of the standards process []. Then, when others suggested going forward with a Java standard without Sun, claimed that their own public documentation was not complete enough for anyone to do that.

    So, when they say Solaris is going to be "free", I have to say: "Sure, and I have a bridge to sell you. It's in Brooklyn. Great view of the water."

    I think Sun's products are pretty good (they're certainly a hell of a lot better then Micros~1) and that Java still has a lot of promise, but I'm still not gonna trust Sun any further then I can throw an E10K [].
  • If People were comfortable with GPL, why is Windows enjoying such large-scale success while Linux is not? It doesn't matter what's more free, it's what developers and users alike are at ease with.

    "Linux" is a buzzword. BSD could just as easily been today's hottest buzzword.

  • If you want to bother to get that right, it should be *cough*RED HAT*cough* since they did that BEFORE Slackware, and were the main reason that Slackware did that in the first case.

    While I agree that the version number jumping game is silly and confusing, if not morally wrong, I am confused here. I am fairly confident Red Hat has gone through all the major version numbers, from 1.0 ("Mother's Day") to 6.1. Personally, I've run 2.1, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 6.0, and 6.1. What makes you say Red Hat did any skipping?
  • by drivers ( 45076 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:50PM (#1340033)
    After seeing Bill Joy speak at "Sun Market^H^H^H^H^H^H Technology Days" in Seattle, I don't think McNealy deserves to keep all of one's contempt. Bill Joy showed contempt for UNIX, Open Source, and anything that wasn't Java.

    Paraphrasing: "Open Source? I don't want to see the source, I want it to work and be documented." To which the audience applauded. (This after he talked about how he worked on BSD UNIX's source in the early 1970's to make it more stable.)
    He said that it was impossible to build a reliable library of code when you couldn't guarantee that your code wouldn't overwrite other places in memory. (It makes me think of Larry Wall who says that a language tends to be inversely useful to the number of axes the author has to grind.)
  • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @07:51PM (#1340035)
    Linux advocacy is nice until it reaches the point where you're kicking and scraping to convince yourself and others that it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Solaris is a very good operating system on its native hardware (SPARC et al) it is however a little weaker on non-native hardware. You also have to remember that Sun is in the enterprise solution/packages business, not merely some hardware with a webserver on it like Dell and others. Since most of these packages are not development environments (the ones that are develope for Solaris on Solaris in a business to business sense for the most part) it would seem kinda silly for them to come jam packed with a bunch of source code and compilers, who is going to be using their brand new E10k ultra server box for hacking out some C++? Solaris also scales very well RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, that is something I think open source people take for granted. Since you recompile the kernel to make changes it is really easy if you know what you're doing to scale it to a 10 node server farm. Solaris does this WITHOUT recompiling and does it very well. For the me toos out there that love to call it Slowaris, learn to read. There are what we called "system requirements" and we use that information to figure out if we can indeed run a certain piece of software on our hardware. Of course it runs slower on x86 hardware, it is natively run on SPARC machines! Solaris also likes to use alot of RAM, so you would be hard pressed to slap it on your old 486 with 16 megs of RAM. Come on people, quit the "if it ain't Linux we bash it" attitude. I think it's really cool that Sun is going to release Solaris 8 for free, I have my copy already. They aren't releasing it free to copy Linux (which should be stated as copying the GPL rather than Linux itself since Sun isn't trying to make the Solaris kernel run like the Linux kernel), it's an appetizer so sysadmins can get ahold of a copy and see if they want to invest in Sun or want to stick with what they have.
  • Why couldn't Microsoft sue Sun now for destroying the market for operating systems? Isn't this the same as what Microsoft did to Netscape? I'm not saying that Microsoft's not deserving (they definitely have it coming to them), but at the same time, how the hell can Microsoft possibly justify charging $250+ per license for Windows 2000 now? It really seems as if Sun is going for the juggular here. They did the same thing earlier with Star Office. But I guess that really didn't hurt Microsoft's sales of Office 2000 too badly. But I really think this might hurt Microsoft on their high-end Win2000 servers.

    All we need now is for Oracle to make their dbs free and Microsoft is finished for sure!

  • The pulling out of the standards process is an expression of the true beliefs of Sun Microsystems. I don't think that anyone who cares about Free Software is going to be suckered by this one.

    However, there are plenty of companies that are going to go for the Free Beer aspect of this and that is going to hurt Linux.

    The article has a little dig at the end about Sun sucking up to the Open Source community by funding the next Apache conference. I can imagine that they're keen to get their co-operation and stimulate the Jakarta side of things there, but once again, if they had any intention of it taking off then they'd make it standard.

  • Slackware:
    3.9 --- A real release. Basically Slack4 with the 2.0 kernel.
    4.0 --- Linux 2.2
    7.0 --- glibc 2.1

    5.0 -- glibc 2.0? Somewhere in here.
    6.1 -- Graphical installer

    Slackware just caught up to where it "should" have been if it were to version like RH.
  • Well, first off I have to say I really love Sun (the company and technology) and think that the rap they get here on Slashdot is unfair, however...

    Why the hell are they ripping on Linux all of a sudden? Isn't this the same company that purchased Star Office for Linux and is giving it away free? Isn't the same company that's helping out the apache project? Isn't this the same company that released a solid Linux Java jvm 1.2 before Windows or Solaris? Oh wait, I am on crack! But what's up? You would think they would respect Linux and its place? There's definitely a place for more than one OS in the universe, thank god! I don't think there's anyone out there, even the stauchest Linuxite that would like if Linux were the ONLY OS choice out there! I'm really surprised my Sun's apparent disdain of Linux here.

  • There's one slight difference between Sun and SCO that you forgot about:

    Sun sells (arguably overpriced) hardware too.

    That alone ought to keep them in business for a few more years.

    Truth be told, however, I'd probably go with an SGI machine over a Sun -- unless a multi-terabyte database is needed.

  • And after all that I'm still curious as to where you got your first statement from. Why is it that the "continued success of Linux is invetitable"? Surely you're not going charge LBJ with this too.

    How much do you really know about Vietnam? If you honestly think that the US left because they were completely unable to defeat the VC, then you need to go talk to some people who were actually there. I'm not going to get into a history lesson here but does "limited war" mean anything to you?

    Regardless of your colorful analogy to a completely unrelated issue in American History, the success of Linux is not "i-n-e-v-i-t-a-b-l-e". Linux's success, just like the success of every other piece of software out there, depends largely on it's own merits. Merits which, unless continuously improved and kept up-to-date, will fall to the wayside -- brushed back by some comptetition.

    And that's what this is all about: competition and the market. I don't give a rat's ass about Linux as an icon. I run it almost exclusively here at home, and I run it as a file-server where I work. If Solaris 8 (or Windows 2000) turns out to be a product that I find useful -- if their merits are more attractive to my purposes than Linux's -- I'll fdisk Linux without thinking twice. I wish people would stop saying how successful Linux will be just because it's Linux. This isn't a holy war, it's an operating system; stop taking it so damned seriously.

    And for the love of God: If you're going to make a analogy, make it a good one. For some reason, people love to make historical analogies to contemporary icons. Occasionally they are good, but for the most part they're just drivel.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • I've had SunOS/Solaris on my home systems for about a decade now - and have gotten fed up with Sun's closed nature. There were several hacks I wanted to do during that time, and I had to give them up because (variously) the hardware or the software was closed, and I didn't have enough time to reverse engineer it.

    Now they've kinda opened the software: I could see it and make local mods - though there are limits on what I can do with it. And they've cut the price to zero - for now.

    But it's too little and too late.

    Now there's Linux, which is truly Open Source, on architectures that are fully visible. And there's Open/Free/Net BSD. And more to come.

    So I used the Y2K upgrade as an excuse to spend the time necessary to migrate completely off SunOS/Solaris. At this point my home network is all Linux (except for one SunOS box that I might turn back on some day - if I ever want to use one particular application that I don't want to spend the time porting).

    While I might bring up other OSes in the future (like maybe OpenBSD for a hardened server), it will be really tough to get me to bother with anything that isn't truly Open Source.

    And after wasting a decade crippled by lack of source and lack of hardware info, it will be a cold day in hell before I invest more of my life hacking on a Sun operating system.

    RIP, Solaris.
  • It's one suit among thousands. Ignore the moron that doesn't have a clue what Suns position on Linux is.

    Remember, these are the people that are loaning Debian a trio of UltraSPARCs [] to port to.

    In every large organization there's a weenie who has his tie on too tight. And remember, most importantly (in big friendly letters): Don't Panic.

  • Because its being hyped by everybody. Same thing happens in politics those who control the media win.
  • The BeOS has been out for a while and is currently at release # 4.5.2 []. Do you mean "released" for some non-x86 non-ppc hardware?
  • The one thing that puts me off /. is the constant Linux vs The World jingoistic reactionaryism that takes place here. Linux is not right for every purpose, and by continuing to insist this, your all no better, at least in my eyes, than Microsoft, which seems to also think they're the only right solution for everything. Solaris is one of the most stable platforms around, having personally used it for all sorts of projects since it was SunOS in disguise. I've also used and had to deal with Linux on and off since the pre 1.0 days. A lot of the negative comments I've seen here about Solaris are just laughably wrong. Personally, I'm an OpenBSD snob, but I'm not trying to push it on everyone for every purpose. If someone comes to me looking to develop a LARGE scale Internet application of some sort, I'm going to suggest Solaris, or, for smaller scale enterprises, or those that require a fair amount of security, OpenBSD. I'd NEVER suggest Linux, because my personal experience with it has been that the development model leads to sloppy code that bugs out at the wrong moment. I know you don't like to hear it, but thats my opinion. However, I'm certainly not going to deny you your love of Linux. If you like it on your desktop, great! If you like it on your web server, great! Just don't make me use it, and don't waste yours and everyone elses time trying to take over the world with it. The only difference between a world run by MS and a world run by Linux would be the strange Penguin fetishism.
  • Sun and the Linux Community

    Consistent with Sun's own computing vision, Linux uses open standards and non-proprietary interfaces. Sun's Solaris(TM) operating environment and Linux are both driving growth, innovation, and success of UNIX and network computing. Users, administrators, and developers who have been frustrated by proprietary operating systems appreciate the robustness, reliability, and flexibility of solutions based on open standards. Corporate managers are also attracted to open-standards-based computing environments because they can select from:

    More innovative and compelling new applications. A large and growing talent pool of knowledgeable administrators and developers. A broad range of computing solutions from multiple vendors.

    So this is a company that hates Linux??? I don't think so.

  • I think the Office disk actually cost $25 (I'm pretty sure they rationalized it by calling it a complete desktop publishing suite, that's a laugh), and outside of FrontRage it's probably the worst piece of software they had up to sell. I'll stick to Notepad and (argh) WordPad for my NT text editing...I use StarOffice under RedHat 6.1 currently for my office-like stuff.
  • Here's the full list of new features Solaris 8 will have:

    Live Upgrade: Lets you upgrade to Solaris 8 on a seperate partition while Solaris 7 is still running

    Web Start Wizards: Supposedly ease installation

    A new Print Manager: Configure local and remote printers more easily

    Role-based Access Control: "enables system administrators to provide limited administrative capabilities to other users" -- sounds suspiciously like sudo

    Improved error messages and debugging capabilities

    A new remote console

    IPSec, smart cards, PAM, and Kerberos v5

    IPv6 and migration tools

    Service Location Protocol (SLP)

    PDA synchronization support for Palm computers

    JMF (Java Media Framework) supporting MPEG1/2, Quicktime, VIVO, AVI, AIFF, GSM, WAV, RMF, AU, and MIDI

    Netscape application launcher

    Hot-key editor

    JDK 2

    Apache Web server


    StarOffice 5.1

    Graphical Audio Mixing Tool

    DVD support

    New X Server based on X11R6.4

    USB and IEEE 1394

    Some GNU tools

    So there are a few exciting features -- MIDI, Palm synchronization, DVD, USB, and the JMF.

    Are these enough? Dunno, I'm waiting for the actual release.

    Gotta get back to porting Glide to Solaris/x86.
  • Remember how the CEO (or whatever he was) of Lotus (Papows - now ex- Lotus) said "Lotus Notes will never run on Linux". That lasted a whole what - six months maybe?

    Since SunStore is selling Redhat for SPAC (here, if you don't believe me []) right now, I don't know how long "never" means to the "Sun Official". I'd guess just about as long as it takes them to realize that it would be cheaper to Open-Source Solaris, and hope for a great Solaris/Linux/BSD hybrid operating system that will fly on Sun's hardware. Actually, considering this is Sun - never might mean a depressingly long time.

    It's a pity, really. Now Sun is giving away Solaris, what would Open Sourcing cost them? Control, I guess.

  • Sun's comments about Linux are rather sad, but not really surprising, as Linux does directly compete with Solaris (even though the performance of latter compared to Linux is stellar is some areas). Sun is a difficult position here, because it is both a competitor and ally to Linux (which is not an unusual situation in the computer industry in general).

    Compare this to, for example, IBM, where Linux is starting to became an integral part of the corporate strategy; a vessel through which IBM tries to gain ground in the software world (and they do make some amazing software). There are surprises here; IBM supports Linux because it makes sense for them to do so, whereas Sun supports Linux because they can't afford not to.

  • AIX sucked. It just flat out it sucked. It was a result of AT&T and Sun hopping in bed together and IBM/DEC/HP had to do something.

    The RS/6000 version of AIX antedated the AT&T/Sun deal; it wasn't a consequence of that deal. I have the impression that OSF/1 picked up a bunch of (userland?) things from AIX, OSF/1 being the "something" that the OSF did, although only Digital, of the three OSF heavies you mention, adopted it - IBM stuck with AIX and HP stuck with HP-UX.

    I don't know the full parentage of RS/6000 AIX; I think the first AIX (IBM's used the name for several different UNIXes, including one for their mainframes and one for PC's and one for the RT PC) may have been a PC UNIX done in part by Interactive Systems.

    Interactive did a UNIX - for IBM, as I remember - called "IN/ix", or something such as that, for PCs, and when I say "PCs" I mean "desktop boxes with Intel 8088 processors in them (yes, that meant that an application could, if it tried, stomp on anything in memory).

    I think they were then involved of the development of a fancier PC UNIX, called the Advanced Interactive eXecutive or something lame such as that, whence "AIX"; I think at least some AIXisms may have come from stuff Interactive did prior to that in other UNIXes they'd done.

  • " for IPSEC and IPv6, allowing an almost infinite number of Internet addresses." Almost infinite? Did I just hear a professional journalist use the equivalent of "infinity minus one?" Grrr...innumeracy at it's finest. I mean, it's not like they said practically infinite - which may or may not be true, but is at least open to interpertation. "Almost infinite" - I mean, 3.4x10^38 is a truly huge number - but instead of just making up crap - why not try to inform the user. It didn't really drive towards the point of the whole article - so why even bother. Sigh...I mean the number "1" is pretty much just as close to "almost infinite." When are computer journalists going to get a clue?
  • Why would a manufacturer choose Linux as their first OS. Ask VA Linux? No - it's not because they have Linux in their name ;-)

    Seriously - as one who has been around Unix box development most of his career, OS kernel development is an expensive operation for a company. Doesn't it make more sense to leverage a workable free OS to do the job, i.e. move it to the state you need it in, instead of supporting the entire required infrastructure yourself? That is the single largest reason for a company like SGI or HP to move into the Linux camp with both feet. That isn't to say that they WILL, but it seems like a reasonable move from a stock-holder's point of view, i.e. dollars and sense ;-)

  • Here's a slightly more detailed history, for the anal retentives like myself :-)

    1.0 -> SLS based v1.0 kernel
    2.x -> Slackware has install scripts that are ncurses fueled. Runs 1.2 kernel ELF beta introduced. Slackware 2.3 was out when Red Hat "Mother's Day" +0.1 was out. libc 4, AFAIK
    Slackware 96 -> Linux 2.0.0 kernel. ELF clean
    1997 - 1998
    3.x -> 2.0.x kernel with libc5
    3.9 --- A real release. Basically Slack4 with the 2.0 kernel.
    4.0 --- Linux 2.2.0 (basically Slackware 3.9 with a 2.0 kernel). KDE also included :-) Install scripts slightly tweaked.
    7.0 --- glibc 2.1 (important!). GUI side, includes both a newer KDE and October Gnome officially, and a completely new ncurses library. Install scripts have been revamped a bit more a slicker install that allowed for DHCP out of the box, "upgradepkg" script, and included RPM in an unsupported fashion. (So, yes, 7 is a big jump, but there are a lot of important changes)

    "Mother's Day" +0.1 (First collection of packages)
    4.0 -> First "Real" release. Kernel 1.2.x
    4.1 -> Tweaks to fix bugs regularly became .1 and .2
    5.0 -> Kernel 2.0.x
    5.1 -> Glibc 2.0 (**development library, WHY! **)
    6.0 -> Linux kernel 2.2.x
    6.1 -- Graphical installer, glibc 2.1. KDE as an option (might've been in 6.0).

    I'm a Slackware clan member, so I couldn't give as much info as Slackware, but this should give you an idea on how much of a jump Red Hat had. Especially considering Slackware 4.0 was the 2.2.x kernel, whereas Red Hat 4.0 was the 1.2.x kernel.. Slackware has also "done" more with their releases, especially if you consider that Slackware is basically Patrick and a few volunteers (maybe 5 people tops), compared to Red Hat (which recently ate Cygnus, among other things).

  • Gee, that's all??

    Solaris has for a long time been a great OS, and I have sun boxes here dating back to INP's. (4 MB of Ram, Motorola processor.) The problem that I have always had is that running it at home is a pain. (Arcane PPP, etc...) But this looks like a good new list of features compared with 7. (Or 2.7, whatever) And for free, you can't beat it.
  • Sun began when BSD (renamed SunOS by an infant Sun Microsystems)

    Depends on when you think infancy ends; SunOS 4.0 was, as I remember, the first release where we called it "SunOS" rather than "Sun UNIX 4.2BSD" (mainly because we figured AT&T might go on one of their rampages against using UNIX for anything that wasn't vanilla unmodified AT&T System V Consider It Standard). It came out somewhere around 1987, at which point Sun was four years old - and had already gone through three major releases of the OS (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0).

    4.0 was a heck of a lot more than just BSD; it included a completely new VM system (supported memory-mapped files, isolated the code that dealt with the MMU in a "HAT layer" (for "Hardware Address Translation")) and a dynamic-linking mechanism, built atop mmap(), from which the SVR4 mechanism was derived (the dynamic-linking mechanisms in Linux and {Free,Net,Open}BSD are based on the Sun/SVR4 mechanism). It also included a number of System V-isms (in the kernel as well as userland), and a STREAMS-based tty subsystem.

    SVR4 was the result of a deal between AT&T and Sun; the theory was, at the time, that

    1. Sun had to have a UNIX that was Genuine System V in order to break into the business world (yes, there was a Sun manager who claimed exactly that, in a meeting I was in; when I asked whether HP would replace the kernel in HP-UX - which I think was BSD-derived, although it had been made SV-compatible and given a largely SV userland - with System V Consider It Standard, he assured me that they were going to do that, although an HP person - admittedly, an engineer, so maybe he was too deep in the trenches to know what the generals were thinking - said he knew nothing of any such plans, and, well, HP was, in any case, one of the founders of the OSF - so much for going completely with SV);
    2. Sun plus AT&T could join together and make SPARC+SVR4 the replacement for x86+DOS/Windows (AT&T was going to make SPARC-based machines, but they never got to the product stage)

    (I remember Bill Joy stating, at a Sun OS group beer bust, something about how having multiple hardware platforms wasn't necessarily a good idea, and maybe it was time to settle on one platform, by which I rather suspect he meant SPARC. I think my response was something on the order of "the one platform may not end up being yours".)

    The intent was to merge the features of SunOS 4.x (both the BSD features not already in System V, and the Sun features such as the new VM system and the dynamic linking mechanism) with System V to produce the One True UNIX. (There were also plans to do, as I remember, an exotic object-oriented blah blah blah operating system as The One True UNIX: The Next Generation, but those plans came to naught.)

    Well, shall we say, much of the rest of the UNIX world wasn't exactly delighted by this, hence the OSF, which was going to do their own UNIX (OSF/1, eventually adopted as a mainstream UNIX by the following main members of the OSF: Digital Equipment Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, and, err, umm, Digital Equipment Corporation, although I think Intel used a version of OSF/1 in one of their Paragon i860-based supercomputers).

    It might be interesting to make a list of the goals of the AT&T/Sun deal, and of the OSF, that either never saw the light of day, or eventually failed (for whatever reason), e.g. OPEN LOOK, OSF/1 as the UNIX for all the OSF members, World Domination By SPARC/SVR4, etc..

    For example, the streams interface is, in some ways, superior to the way Linux kernel modules work.

    You're comparing apples and frying pans here, in a sense. STREAMS is orthogonal to loadable kernel modules - you can have an OS without LKMs that supports STREAMS (SVR3, SunOS 4.0[.x], older SVR4s), you can have an OS with LKMs that supports STREAMS (SunOS 4.1[.x], SunOS 5.x, probably later versions of SVR4 - and, if you include the Linux STREAMS stuff that I think exists, Linux), and you can have OSes with or without LKMs that don't support STREAMS.

    LKMs are a mechanism for adding code to the kernel, and removing code from the kernel, at run time; STREAMS is a mechanism for gluing together modules that process sequential streams of data (e.g. serial ports, networks, etc.). STREAMS modules can be LKMs (some if not all are LKMs in Solaris).

    The idea of STREAMS (and of Dennis Ritchie's original version [] (well, that paper is actually on additional stuff in Ninth Edition UNIX, but it briefly describes the original streams stuff in the Eighth Edition), which inspired the System V version is interesting; the implementations have, shall we say, had their problems (I have the impression that STREAMS buffer allocators can be slow - that may have caused some of the problems with the STREAMS based tty subsystem I did for SunOS 4.0 - and that getting STREAMS to work well on an MP system took rather a lot of work, and several Solaris releases, on Sun's part).

    I use Solaris at work, and I can honestly say that it occasionally makes me want to look into W2K (then the head trauma wears off).

    I primarily use Solaris at work, with some Digital UNIX and some Linux, and I can honestly say that

    1. it's a UNIX, like the other OSes I mention, and like the FreeBSD that's the main OS I run at home;
    2. it occasionally annoys me, but I could probably say that about just about every OS I use and have ever used - I think you pretty much have to pick the annoyances that annoy you the least (or, as I like to put it, "all software sucks - you just have to pick the software that sucks least in the areas you care about the most").
  • Control is very important....

    With the testing and stability that their OS demands, I would assume that open-sourcing would be too much.

    Also, they have an x86 *nix, why support another one??? IBM had AIX, but no x86 port that I'm aware of, and HP etc... And these companies went tromping off to Linux just as easily as they did to NT. This means that they will have an even easier time tromping off towards the "next big thing". Even at that most of these companies have made the CYA commitment to linux like, "Well, we'll offer one of our models with linux, but not for home machines, and we'll charge you more than NT to install it.

    Wait for M$'es marketing department to start the FUD about Win NT costing less to purchase and that this is indicitave of the difficulty installing Linux.

    My mother gave me some good advice that I will now pass along to Linux, "Be careful who you sleep with, you never know where they've been"....

    Jason Maggard
  • Unless I'm mistaken...
    • 3.x a.out maybe? 4.0 at least dropped a.out support I think from looking around some websites..
    • 4.x libc5, kernel 2.0
    • 5.x Glibc 2.0, kernel 2.0
    • 6.x Glibc 2.1, kernel 2.2
    So in any case, they increased a major version number when they switched C libraries, and then again, when they switched to the new stable kernel branch. Both seem at least reasonable to me as reasons to increase the major version number of their product.
  • With all these free OSes flying around, we need common standards to make sure that the free exchange of data can continue. Things like XML and other open file formats are crucial.

    Yes - in order to keep "Open Systems" open, you need common network protocols, common data formats, etc., and published ones so that anybody with sufficient resources can implement them.

    The Linux ELF binary format is supported by both BeOS and Solaris via an emulation layer

    Presumably you mean "both BeOS and Solaris can run Linux ELF binaries via an emulation layer"; the "Linux" part, rather than the "ELF" part, is what needs an emulation layer on Solaris - ELF was originally developed by AT&T for System V Release 4, and Solaris, as an SVR4-based system, had support for it before Linux did.

    but that's only a start. It would be nice to have the same apps work across multiple OSes.

    In what way does the ability to run Linux binaries on those OSes not "have the same apps work across multiple OSes"?

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2000 @09:55PM (#1340140)
    Sun Skipped versions when they ditched SunOS, and decided to go with one product, which ultimatly became Solaris 7.

    The version skipping to which the original poster referred was the jump from Solaris 2.6 to Solaris 7.

    When the AT&T/Sun deal started, there was no notion of "Solaris", unless it was being discussed by marketoons and other types and not told to those of us in engineering at Sun. I suspect the notion of "Solaris" may have stemmed, at least in part, from the fact that SunOS 1.0 (well, "Sun UNIX 4.2BSD Release 1.0", or whatever it was called back then) through SunOS 4.0[.x] had SunView (a non-networked window system in which the low-level drawing library with which GUI applications were linked would do ioctls to lock regions of the screen and would draw on them directly) as the bundled window system, and the OpenWindows X11/NeWS-based window system was a separate product. I think they decided to bundle them together, and came up with the name "Solaris" for SunOS + OpenWindows.

    The very first SunOS 5.x release came out as part of Solaris 2.0, but SunOS 4.x releases had previously come out without being part of a "Solaris" release, so people were less likely to think of 4.1.x-based systems as being "Solaris 1" than to think of 5.x-based systems as "Solaris 2".

    As for the jump to Solaris 7, presumably the idea was that (as others have noted) they weren't exactly going to do a Solaris 3.x any time soon, so they got rid of the leading "2." and just went with "7". The OS component of Solaris 7 is still SunOS 5.7, however.... The marketoons probably contributed to this as well, on the theory that the new version would make a bigger splash with a new and different number, blah blah blah blah blah.

  • by HamNRye ( 20218 ) on Monday January 24, 2000 @09:56PM (#1340141) Homepage
    Uninformed opinions like this are the reason that our company has stopped hiring Linuxers...

    Solaris a second-rate OS?? What is First rate again??

    Linux was modeled after Unix why again?? And Sun being the largest Unix distributor means??

    Your obvious bias would be offensive if it were not so laughable. Linux lags quite a bit behind in the technosphere, and though it is making massive inroads, it still does not compare to Solaris for mission critical applications.

    My guess is that you have been running Linux for less than a year and have seen Solaris from a distance once or twice. Or you ordered the free ver. 7 and could never get it set up so you decide to trash it.

    Please either educate yourself, or keep your mouth shut.

    Jason Maggard
    "Better to be thought an idiot that open your mouth and remove all doubt."

  • Thanks dude for your unnecessary personal attack. Microsoft, btw, had a small % of the browser market when the made IE free and subsequently took over the market. Still not 90%, maybe 60+%. At least get your facts straight if you have the balls to insult somebody.

  • But really morons like that shouldn't be allowed to do interviews because that's the kinda shit that has given so many people a bad impression of Sun.

    Zander's the president and Chief Operating Office, so you can't exactly "not allow him to do interviews".

    The attitude towards Linux shown by Sun executives does remind me of Scooter^H^H^H^H^H^H^HScott McNealy's attitude towards Motif, in the days of the OPEN LOOK/Motif Wars, mockery and all; it'll be interesting to see if they end up caving in the way they eventually did on Motif.

  • I have used SysV[Not SrV] SunOs, and Xenix I have not had much intrest in Solarus... out of my price range...

    Very few if any suggest Linux IS for everyone.
    It is that few suggest Solarus for anyone anymore.
    Suns problems come from Sun pricing themselfs out of the market...
    Suns busness modle is based on the idea of selling powerful servers at top notch prices.
    As systems become more and more powerful people find less expensive midrange computers will do the job just as well as the expensive servers. The law of diminishing returns...
    Suns needs to change there busness modle before there target market ceases to exist...

    The zelot like support of Linux has more to do with open source (the develupment modle used) than anything else.

    Most of Linux comes from the GNU project.. the soul of the open source movement... OpenBSD has a legacy of it's own and it's harder to premote open source while pushing an Os that started off life as a commertal product.
    However the complaint you have of Linux (the develipment modle) should be equally true of OpenBSD as they currently use the open source develupment modle.. implemented diffrently...

    It is my experence however that managment of a project not a develupment modle will encurage or discurage slopy code.
    It is also my experence that sloppy code will not be as likely spotted in a closed source product as it would in an open source product.. simply becouse you can't see the sloppy code unless you accually have the code in your hands...
    There simply will be more complaints about bad coding habbits when you have a chance to accually spot it.
    My experences with the code of closed source products are not good.

    I have heard nothing but good things from Solarus itself... It has a Rolex reputation.. a reputation for quality and at a very hefty price...
  • I get your point. I think you could at least argue...

    #1 Microsoft's control of the OS market did not in and of itself crush Netscape.

    But you must consider other factors...

    #2 Microsoft making their competing product (IE) free (as in beer) actually assisted #1. #3 Once Microsoft made the "free" product better than Netscape, the nail was in the coffin.

    Now, let's take the Sun to Microsoft comparison... Sun has a stranglehold on the Enterprise Server market and is using its position to take over the Server OS market.

    Ok, now that I look at it, I don't think the statement above works, but anyway, I wasn't making a serious argument originally anyway.

  • While I agree that this announcement is little to be excited about, you've made some factual errors. Sun hardware, while not up to the specs I'd expect from an IBM, is very high quality.

    About the difference between MS and Sun. Both companies do 'evil' stuff; it is the nature of large companies to do so. MS gives you a pat on the head, a smile, and a lie about their intent. Sun admits the evil and even gives you the release date.
  • Um, maybe 'cause a) Windows doesn't run on Sparc and b) Solaris on x86 (at least last time I checked which was a while ago), was, well, lacking in many ways (device drivers, speed, applications...)

    I would say that Solaris on x86 is far more stable than Windows, and not significant slower than other Unices on x86. At least not according to my experiences. As for price, Solaris x86 has been available for a nominal fee (something like $10) for non-commercial use for quite some time. Which is a lot cheaper than say, a Red Hat CD set.

    -- Abigail

  • The various Linux distributions go another step. Theoretically, Solaris 8 will finally ship with Perl!

    Distributions don't decide what is "better". You can easily make a Solaris distribution that includes most of the "goodies" that you find in a Linux distribution. However, there's less need for it. While Linux is quite popular as a toy at home, few people will use Solaris at home. Sun's hard- and software is more found in corperate environments where people tend to install more on a 'if needed' bases. What good does web mirroring software do, if you don't mirror web sites? Why bother with GIMP if the marketing drones have Windows PCs on their desks? Well written free software tends to run fine on both Linux and Solaris, thanks to tools like GNUs configure.

    What I can do with Sun/Solaris, and were Linux is trailing (hopefully, not for long) is the situation where your N-CPU machine is no longer up to the task, and you order an M-CPU machine. The new machine comes in the morning, you boot from the install server, make a disk layout, install the OS, run your netconfig script, mount the disk(s) which have /usr/local, /home and other shared stuff, and be operational before lunch. That works for M up to 64.

    -- Abigail

  • Solaris may be more robust in some ways, but the fact is that they simply cannot compete well against Linux.

    Uhm, can you back this claim up with some, uhm, "facts"?

    I wouldn't say you are wrong, but there's no point in stating unfounded things like this.

    They're playing catch-up now against an OS with much greater potential and much greater momentum.

    Yeah, sure. "catch-up". Dream on.

    -- Abigail

  • When I get a new Sun box I have to spend about a week compiling and installing essential software. That's partly because most software these days is designed to "just work" on Linux, and partly because Sun is lazy in installing useful software.

    That's very, very odd. First of all, almost anything interesting third party stuff nowadays is as simple as: ./configure; make install; on both Solaris and Linux (or xmkmf; make install for X stuff).

    Second, if you spend a week compiling and installing essential software for each new Sun box, you're a crappy admin. That's what NFS is for. And even if you can't use NFS if the machine is at its destination, you'd use NFS after you've installed the OS to mount a disk with the "essential software" and copy it over. And if you have to go to a remote, netless site to do the install, well, that's why they have tape drives - and CD burners. That's the same procedure you'd follow if you install a new Linux machine, or a new SGI machine, or whatever.

    -- Abigail

  • It's a pity, really. Now Sun is giving away Solaris, what would Open Sourcing cost them? Control, I guess.

    Lots and lots and lots of money if the appropriate holders of the intellectual properties sue Sun. As explained in the article, Sun doesn't hold the IP of everything that makes Solaris. Even if Sun would be willing to Open Source Solaris, they can't.

    -- Abigail

  • Dear oh dearie me. Yet another zealot talking out of his ass.
    A couple of remarks:

    > Linux runs on a proper superset of the platforms Solaris runs on.

    Well done, I see we have done some Set theory at school, haven't we?
    What is the significance of this? Sun is making most of its money from selling hardware. Sun makes an OS that runs _well_ on this hardware. How this implies "suckiness" is beyond me.

    > Solaris is pretty strictly system V, while Linux is some SysV, some BSD, and some "other."

    So this mishmash makes Linux more "unsucky". Go figure.
    FYI, Solaris is SysV _and_ BSD. That's a large part of what Sun brought to the SVR4 table.

    > Solaris uses the UFS filesystem. Linux uses primarily the Ext2 filesystem .

    This fact actually works _against_Linux; ext2fs (which I guess is probably the only FS you've worked with besides FAT and maybe NTFS) is not half as reliable as UFS. I don't know the performance numbers, but that's irrelevant - reliability is what you're after in an _enterprise_ OS. Solaris also utilises VXFS (if you pay something extra or order a large configuration), which is a full-blown journalling FS allowing smart volume management etc.

    > The obvious differences, like licensing ...

    OK, I see that licensing is what matters to you. Oh well, I won't argue with that, but it seems that it is _mostly_ what matters to you. Well, in that case you are welcome to not use a commercial, non-opensource OS to your heart's content. However, it also seems to me that you are not exactly knowledgeable on any OS other than a certain free one, and therefore are looking to get as many karma points here on slashdot by trolling. You should be moderated below the ground.
    Let us continue.

    > On common hardware, Linux tends to be faster, especially for interactive tasks.
    > Solaris might be faster on machines with 16 processors or more.

    If you are talking about single-CPU workstations, you might be right. But not by much.
    On any system with 2 or more CPUs, almost _any_ SVR4MP system (e.g. Solaris) smokes Linux. It is a kernel that has been built from the ground up to run on SMP hardware (including the TCP/IP stack), unlike Linux which is undergoing painful and destabilizing surgery to make it be capable of going anywhere near a 4-CPU machine. On Solaris in particular, you can dedicate groups of CPU's to specific processes. And binding a network adapter to a CPU (which Linux is absolutely incapable of) is also possible on most SVR4 systems (haven't done that on Solaris, but I know it is possible on other SVR4's, e.g. UnixWare).
    Linux has a very long way to go before it can be considered an enterprise server OS. Give it a couple of years - till then, the desktop and a bit file/web serving, no more. It simply doesn't scale.

    Hope this puts things slightly more in perspective for you. I wish all these Linux zealots would at least consider getting the facts right next time before entering the discussion. Maybe even rely on some _solid_ experience, for a change? Can you manage this, at least?

    It's exactly this sort of rabidness that's putting off more and more people off this system; I've stopped using Linux and started on FreeBSD some 6 months ago exactly because of this sort of behaviour in the Linux camp, and frankly I'm glad I did it. I've had been a Linux user since 1994 (Slackware then RedHat), and this kind of trolling had been going on since then, only in smaller amounts. Sure there are many responsible users/developers out there, and Linux is definitely a good system, but the signal to noise ratio in all non strictly technical discussions has been growing smaller and smaller by the month. This has indeed become the Cult of the Penguin.

  • About you comment on "Who is going to use a brand new E10k ultra server box for hacking out some c++?"

    We do every day here where I work. We have three E10K's, one for development, one for testing, and one for production.

  • Hey, maybe it really is a holy war... I don't know, it just bothers me to see people wasting so much energy on an operating system. There are so many other important things in life. Don't get me wrong, I think technology and programming are important, and if you want to devote your life/work/hobby-time to it, that's fine. But to a single OS? To the point where you say nasty things about it's competitors and spread propaganda about them?

    It just seems like a waste. In the end, you know, this is not a competition. I mean, isn't that what open source is about? Community? Sharing of ideas and code? Why dirty a good idea by making it a contest?


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Sure, other Unices may suck even less than Linux does. But does that mean we should switch over?

    The other reason we use Linux is because it doesn't leave us beholden to a company's execs and/or shareholders.

    So now they're giving us the old "first fix is free" line. Sounds to me like all the more reason to avoid them: this is just giving away your browser on a larger scale. The game is still the same.

    They say a monkey won't let a banana go to save itself from a trap, and some consumers appear to approach the world with the same strategy. Not me. When a stranger offers me a free beer, I mentally weigh the golden chains attached to the mug.

    Sun hasn't got anything I want bad enough to trade my independence for.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Solaris was released for Intel chips because of Linux.

    Not true. Sun had their Unix on x86 long before Linux became credible as a commercial platform.

    If a business owns a number of Sparcs, they'd have Solaris on them. With Solaris 8 coming out, it makes it even more rosier for these guys to install it due to being free of charge. Not free as in free beer tho.

    This *is* true. I'd go further; a lot of businesses currently considering whether to take the plunge and deploy Linux will quite probably decide to take the freebie from Sun instead. Especially for database applications.

    Sun has a lot of respect. For example in the City of London (one of the biggest financial centres in the world) almost *all* server applications live on Solaris boxes. IMO this offer will be just too tempting for most commercial IT buyers to resist.

    Of course Sun have to make their money somehow. I think we ought to expect the price of their other software (development tools) and their support services to suffer a substantial hike soon.

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • You can easily make a Solaris distribution that includes most of the "goodies"

    I don't consider Apache, mod_perl, Python, PHP, etc. to be "goodies". They're necessary tools for business.

    While Linux is quite popular as a toy at home,

    And at CISCO, IBM, US Govt, etc., etc. I'm really getting tired of the "Yeah, it's used for serious business applications all over the world by most of the fortune 500s, but it's just a toy for home use." How much does it need to dwarf Sun's server market share by to be a "business OS"?

    What good does web mirroring software do, if you don't mirror web sites? Why bother with GIMP if the marketing drones have Windows PCs on their desks? Well written free software tends to run fine on both Linux and Solaris, thanks to tools like GNUs configure.

    Sure. If you want to have to pull down an install a new package that isn't supported by the OS vendor every time you have a new need go for it. I'd rather pay for one support package. This, BTW, means that my TCO goes through the floor.

    As to the "Solaris doesn't have what I don't need"... this seems a little backwards. Yes, I appreciate that with a Linux distribution, I don't have to install what I don't want, but do I want to be in the spot that I can't install what I DO WANT?! Your logic seems to have stumbled, here.

    What I can do with Sun/Solaris, and were Linux is trailing (hopefully, not for long) is the situation where your N-CPU machine is no longer up to the task, and you order an M-CPU machine. The new machine comes in the morning, you boot from the install server, make a disk layout, install the OS, run your netconfig script, mount the disk(s) which have /usr/local, /home and other shared stuff, and be operational before lunch.

    And Sun is lagging where I find that I need a little more horsepower, so I spend a fraction of what you just spent to add 10 more systems to my Beowulf cluster, turn them on, and I'm operational before it's time for the morning status meeting.

    Linux: It's not just for lunch any more ;-)

  • Umm... I think you need to check your timeline. Yes, I was not trying to imply that Sun did the work, but it certainly was not as late as 4.3BSD that IP was added! I certainly talked to my share of 4.2 systems over the 'net. Was it BB&N and not Berkely? This seems odd, as Berkely is always the one I've seen credited. Can someone confirm?
  • You're right that it isn't a contest for *US*. We don't "lose" anything, no matter what. There will still be people developing Open Source software for Free operating systems, no matter what. And all that code is irrevocably Free and out there. We can only get better, and thus win. But Sun can lose. Closed source software products can always lose in the marketplace. They are subject to the traditional rules here.
  • You made a few good points there which were quite sufficient to vanquish the poster you responded; provable facts always speak for themselves.

    But then you had to go and spoil it with all that personal vitriol.

    And if you gave up using Linux just because there are *some* users who are a bit over-enthusiastic, then more fool you. I'm still using Linux and all the flaming doesn't seem to affect the functionality of the system one bit.

    Explain to me again: what exactly *is* the difference between rabid Linux zealots and rabid Solaris zealots?

    Maybe we'd all be better off if we could just lay off the ad hominem attacks and stick to the technical discussion. Otherwise they might as well rename this website "News for Thugs".

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • I agree. I think the problem is Scott McNealy himself. The only thing he's been consistent about is contradicting himself, cynically switching horses whenever he sees an advantage in doing so. Clearly he won't be satisfied until he's ousted Microsoft and replaced Gates with himself as king of the world's biggest software empire.

    This Solaris 8 giveaway is the biggest threat to the continued growth of the Linux community that we've ever seen.

    But Sun's real target (for the moment at any rate) is NT2000, not Linux. Just think about that for a moment. It can be difficult to replace NT with Linux in an organisation run by besuited ignorami. But it won't be so difficult to replace NT with Solaris now, will it?

    May I take a moment to remind you all of the last time a large software corporation did something like this; that was when Microsoft decided to own the browser market and began giving away Internet Explorer. The result was the decline of Netscape Communications Inc, and the opening up of the Communicator source code.

    Maybe in a year or two Microsoft, in an attempt to win support and revive their flagging market presence after a thorough beating from Sun, will be forced to open up the source to Windows2K. I wonder what Windows will look like after the hackers have been at it.

    Winux! (shudder)

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • BBN and UCB both, seperately added TCP/IP to 4.1cBSD. The problem was, UCB's was much nicer and faster so DARPA went with their implementation, thus upsetting BBN. I think this is all gone over in Open Sources, the McKusick section.

    Entirely off topic: I have been meaning to respond (either personally or publicly) to "The Very Long Night of FreeBSD" for going on four months now. And some day, I will :)
  • Ahmen to that my brother. I have had Solaris 7 X86 on my box for over a year now and It's my experience that it's solid as a rock, even on my cheap hardware. Lots of fun to play with when I'm in full blown geek mode :)

    The main problem for Solaris vs Linux is apps, apps, apps, apps, apps (oh yeah.. lack of hardware support is a problem too). If you just want to run it as a server in some closet then Solaris is great. But if you want to dink around with it on your desktop it's a pain in the ass. Nobody makes binaries for it, so you end up wasting time compiling everything, mucking with make files, etc. That's all well and fine if you have the time, but sometimes I just want to grab something, install it, and be up and running.

    Look at all of the development work being done for Linux, then search for apps being written for Solaris...hehe..not even close.

    As far as speed... I've never done any scientific testing, but Solaris 7 seems to run just as good as RedHat6.0. I really don't know why people bag on it or call it Slowaris... it runs great for me.
  • Warning, I don't know if anyone else has posted this or not (I haven't looked and read in Flat mode, sorry).

    *ALL* versions of Win2K support SMP without an extra fee or having to purchase a different version of Win2K.

    I am of the opinion that knocking anything (Linux, NT, Microsoft, puppy dogs, etc) is fine so long as the person who is making the comments is well informed and the comment(s) is/are true. With your post, this is clearly not the case.

    Please research before you post next time.
  • Graymalkin's points are all very good, most especially this one:

    Come on people, quit the "if it ain't Linux we bash it" attitude.
    Solaris 7 (and there is a perfectly good reason for dropping the "2." as I've stated before) is much better than previous versions of Solaris, and Solaris 8 shows every sign of making it even better. Just because it doesn't have a penguin and allow 12-year-olds to form corporations based on it doesn't mean it's poor.

    We use a great deal of Solaris here in a professional research environment. We also use Linux on a laptop or two when somebody needs to do a traveling demo. The idea is balance, people -- the entire world running Linux would be little different from the entire world running Solaris or the entire world running WindowsNiceTry.

    Those of you still going through puberty may now begin the flaming.

  • I don't consider Apache, mod_perl, Python, PHP, etc. to be "goodies". They're necessary tools for business.

    Unless you are in the "web business", none of Apache, mod_perl or PHP are necessary tools. And if I have third party packages that are "necessary tools", I will keep track of them, and upgrade when needed - why would I let my OS vendor decide? It isn't his (her?) product.

    Sure. If you want to have to pull down an install a new package that isn't supported by the OS vendor every time you have a new need go for it. I'd rather pay for one support package.

    So, which Linux vendor supports Perl, Python, Apache, GIMP, whatever? While I've seen Red Hats with broken, trial release, Perl packages, I've yet to see any Perl patches by a Red Hat, Debian or other Linux "vendor".

    Products like Perl, Python, PHP, gcc, Apache, GIMP all have their release scedules totally independent from any OS vendor. And Red Hat or Debian ain't going around "oh, there's a new release of Perl, quick, we need to make a new release too". If I have a need to maintain Perl or Python, I'll install it, and keep track of their versions.

    Saying that Linux is better than Solaris because of the existance of vendors that gather the freeware for you, and put it on a CD doesn't make much sense. Sure, in some case, it might be convenient. It usually isn't a big deal.

    -- Abigail

  • Ummm....

    I've seen independent benchmarks for things like Web serving where Solaris scales BETTER than linear on multiprocessor boxen. (things like excellent cache coherency multiply the apparent size of the cache)

    More fundamentally, running enterprise class systems requires a very different mentality than I think the Open Source world is ready to provide. Scaling to 64 or 128 processors requires a Cathedral mentality, not a Bazaar. You can't screw up anywhere, use any faulty materials or have any shoddy engineering or the whole thing topples.

    If even a few tiny areas are not fully optimized, hold locks for just a bit too long, or just use the wrong kind of lock, things go in the toilet. Review the problems in the Linux TCP/IP stack that were found with the Mindcraft testing, or IBM's kernel patches for the scheduler and Java performance if you doubt this.

    These are a triumph of Open Source, you say? Yes, and they're being fixed, but unfortunately, it's very hard for anybody but a big organization with lots of QA resources available to police an OS to the extreme extent necesary for scalability on large systems. To the extent that SGI and IBM make contributions or fix problems, they'll either be on a treadmill, or they'll take defacto control of the development of scalable varieties of Linux. (even if they release the source afterwards, the development process would still be corporate)

    And finally, if you know anything about concurrent and parallel programming, you know that the programs that scale well to high level concurrency are not the same ones that run the quickest on minimal hardware with one or two threads. There are inherent tradeoffs in the optimization strategies involved, and you'll see that the more Linux is able to scale like Solaris, the smaller the performance gap on the low end will become.

  • Well the point I think he/she was making is that Linux stuff comes in RPM's etc and you just install the RPM. No need to build etc. Solaris stuff very rarely comes prebuilt, and even more rarely comes with dependency-based packaging.

    1. Sun has had a package system for many years. Predating RPMs, IIRC.
    2. Call me old fashioned, paranoid, or just sensible, but I don't use RPMs or Debian packages on my Linux system, nor packages for Solaris if I can avoid it. I want to know where every file goes, I want to know which compile options I have, I want to see the output of the compiler, and, most of all, I want to test it before installing it.

      -- Abigail

  • I've got a copy of Red Hat Linux 2.1 sitting right in front of me, and I am fairly confident I've seen a 3.x release as well.

    I cannot help but think that you're a Slackware fan blinded by loyalty, as you are leaving a number of Red Hat releases from your "facts".

  • Unless you are in the "web business", none of Apache, mod_perl or PHP are necessary tools.

    How many non-web businesses do you think use Suns for Intranets? I think it's a very large number. And why should it not be there?

    So, which Linux vendor supports Perl, Python, Apache, GIMP, whatever?

    Red Hat, SuSE, Corel, TurboLinux... need I go on?

    What you are mistaking is the difference between providing commercial support for a product and managing the development schedule of a product. Red Hat provides support for all of the products that they include in their distribution. They will work to help you with probelms and, if necessary, fix the software. If they patch the software in order to provide support, it goes into their updates (after Q/A), and also back to the maintainer.

    Sometime unpack a few Red Hat SRPMS (source RPMs) and check out what comes with one. Usually, it's the base package plus one or two Red Hat specific patches (e.g. to make it work with RPM or with PAM or some other porting issue or bug fix that hasn't made it into the core distribution yet). You can type "rpm --rebuild package.srpm" to merge the patches in and create an RPM, so you don't notice Red Hat's contribution unless you look for it, but it's significant, and it's there.

    Red Hat or Debian ain't going around "oh, there's a new release of Perl, quick, we need to make a new release too".

    Check out []. Yes, that's exactly what they do. And they do it the same way Sun releases new sendmail versions. They provide a patch after having done their own Q/A, and then they include it in the next major update.

    Saying that Linux is better than Solaris because of the existance of vendors that gather the freeware for you, and put it on a CD doesn't make much sense.

    I agree, but that wasn't what I was saying. Vendors like the ones you describe (e.g. Slackware) are interesting to me, but not for business use. Vendors like Red Hat that integrate all of those products well, create their own infrastructure around them and support the whole RESULTING PRODUCT are very interesting to me, and I consider them more business worthy than Sun for those very reasons.

    Now, to be fair, I hear that a lot of the software that I have mentioned (but not all) actually *is* in the next Solaris release. I guess I'll wait and see. But, for right now, the choice is clear for those who want a low TCO.

  • Solaris was originally BSD based starting in 1981-2.

    Well, it was called "Sun UNIX 4.2BSD" or something such as that in the early days.

    Sometime later, Sun incoporated System V APIs and renamed SunOS to Solaris.

    Those were two separate actions. The SV APIs first started showing up in SunOS 3.2 (or "Sun UNIX 4.2BSD Release 3.2" or whatever), although in 3.0 the Bourne shell, make, and a few other utilities switched to the SV source base although they were tweaked for compatibility with the older V7/BSD versions), and 4.0 went further. The "Solaris" name didn't show up until SunOS 4.1.1 (OS component of Solaris 1.0) and SunOS 5.0 (OS component of Solaris 2.0).

    The switch to the SVR4 code base wasn't until SunOS 5.0; a bunch of SV code went into the kernel and userland over time before that, but it wasn't a wholesale replacement of everything.

  • Sun doesn't make money off x86 Solaris. It's there just to keep their customers homogenous.

    Sun's problem is that they want to ride the Free Software revolution, but can't get it through their heads that Free Beer is a secondary (or tertiary) consideration in their market; Free Speech is a primary consideration.

    Also, I can't think of any justification for their $30 price tag other than "discourage casual users from participating".

    If they just opened the damn source for real, Cheapbytes would run the damn things out the door for $5, and a lot more folks would be using it. That can't help but drive Sun hardware sales, which drives support services, which is where they make their money.

    I wonder if they'll manage to actually be the LAST to catch this clue, after even Microsoft.
  • I have neither GNU cp nor GNU tar on my Solaris system, and I seem to manage just fine even though I _started_ with Linux.

    What the hell extra features could you possibly need in cp anyway?

    dd on the other hand...

  • I would be interested in getting a detailed version history of RedHat.. Just head over to RedHat's website, and find the info for me, then post a reply :-)

    Well, I'm not going to do your work for you. :-)

    Seriously, just because Red Hat doesn't maintain a full version history in an easy-to-find spot doesn't mean the versions don't exist.

    But RedHat still went up from 0.1 to 4.0 in a period of two years or so, which seems weird.

    Welcome to the world of Open Source Software. Developments are rapid. :)
  • Heh. I'm 25, not 50.

    The reason I assume that the flamers are all kids is because they ARE.

APL hackers do it in the quad.