Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Sun Microsystems

XFree86 Drivers For Solaris 129

tnorbye writes: "On Sun's Intel site today there's a link to a new XFree86 porting kit. Essentially, you can download binary XFree86 drivers which run with the Solaris X server! So any graphics card you can use with Linux you can now use with Solaris. Sure makes Solaris x86 more widely available!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

XFree86 Drivers For Solaris

Comments Filter:
  • Dont get me wrong i love solaris, But there HCL for the intel platform sucks. I've tried to set up a machine at home with three difrent network cards with no luck. It seems the only card i could get to work is the expensive 3com.
    • I have a Compaq Deskpro, and Solaris x86 has no problem with the NIC that came with it. It is a Compaq Netelligent.
    • I know what you mean. I tried putting it on one of my spare machines and couldn't find a newtwork card that solaris liked. I really wish they would get more drivers working.

      I have found their drivers weird overall. Talking about X, I could get it to work with a tnt2 and a tnt2M64 but it just refused to work with a tnt2ultra.

      It is nice to see they are working on getting more thing working. I just hope they work on nic's next.
    • I set up networks all the time. 3com cards work best but other brands will work if you play around with them. I have yet to see an ethernet card that I couldn't get working in Linux. 99% of all chipsets are supported.
    • Step 1. Buy a D-Link 530TX+. I know, it's not on the HCL, but...
      Step 2. Go here [realtek.com.tw] to get the drivers for the chipset.
      Step 3. Have as much fun as Solaris will allow.

      Or, if you really need something on the HCL, Netgear still has their FA310TX available from their store, for a rather large shipping charge though :-(
  • any graphics card you can use with Linux you can now use with Solaris

    Not necessarily a great advance, the fun I've had configuring XF86 under RH recently ;-)
  • How much demand is there for running solaris on x86 machines? Half the point of going with solaris is using the Sun hardware.

    I don't see how solaris 8 has anything to offer over the many linux distributions currently available, most of which already offer superior desktop environments. Until of course solaris 9 is released, which will be using ximian gnome as its primary desktop GUI.

    While this is interesting as a toy feature for home experimentation, this isn't really huge news.

    -Marvin
    • > I don't see how solaris 8 has anything to offer over the many linux distributions currently available,

      Good documentation. Better stability (in my experience) Good quality LVM and JFS. It's just a nicer, more complete whole than Linux with fewer rough edges. Much as the BSDs are. To me Linux often feels hacky, and almost like a toy compared to Solaris.

      > most of which already offer superior desktop environments.

      I've built KDE 1 and 2, GNOME, WindowMaker and Enlightenment with no real problems on Solaris IA. What else does Linux have that I'm missing?
      • I found Solaris to be very spartan (though Solaris 8 comes with a GNU CD, which makes it way more comfortable). Yes, I like to have vim instead of vi. Yes, CDE sucks big time, no, I don't want a classic bourne shell, I'd like to run bash thank you.

        Hardware support is very poor. Don't even try to run Solaris on a laptop.

        Furthermore: Solaris on x86 is slow. It flies on Sparc, but the x86 port just isn't speedy enough to me.
        It's not all bad, though :-) For instance, documentation is excelent and consistency is very good. To bootprocess is IMHO quite pretty and the packaging system is passable.
        • > I found Solaris to be very spartan

          I find Linux to be full of crap I don't want! Solaris by default gives you a bare-bones, very unsecure Unix, and I guess that doesn't suit everyone.

          > Hardware support is very poor

          I've found that Solaris tends to support good quality hardware. No, you can't run a crap $5 no-name network card but you can run a nice Intel or 3com. Consequently if you build up a system to run Solaris, you are pretty much forced into building a good one. No bad thing IMHO.

          > Furthermore: Solaris on x86 is slow

          I've got a dual CPU PIII Solaris box which used to dual boot Linux, and Solaris felt considerably snappier for most tasks. It loves multiple processors, and it loves fast disks. It's just not suited to low-end hardware in the way Linux is, and it blows on IDE disks.

          I think the old (2.5.1, 2.6) versions of Solaris IA have tainted many peoples view of it. Yes, it used to be slow and buggy, but nowadays it's a pretty cool OS.

          • I've found that Solaris tends to support good quality hardware. No, you can't run a crap $5 no-name network card but you can run a nice Intel or 3com. Consequently if you build up a system to run Solaris, you are pretty much forced into building a good one. No bad thing IMHO.


            Good quality? Branded, maybe, but price is no assurence of quality. Doesn't the Linux drivers at least have no end of hacks to get round bugs and/or design restrictions, certainly in the Intel based network cards. Try using an Intel network card with the default Windows NT drivers. Doesn't work, 'cos the hardware is broken.

            My rtl8139 based £10 noname card has given me no problems. It certainly has some hacks in the drivers to work round a few problems, but show me hardware which doesn't.

            I suppose Adaptec SCSI chips are so much better than Advansys or Symbios chipsets as well.

            I find that 3Com, Adaptec and Intel are the IBMs of their respective markets. "You never get fired for buying..."
          • i've been running solaris for home use since 2.5, all on x86. i've also tried running linux. i keep going back to solaris. why? i'm not running a desktop machine.

            for one, i run mostly 2 cpu boxes (ppro/p2), on intel motherboards, with scsi drives. i've found that the stability way outweighs linux, and the snappiness is wonderful. where linux crawls in a 2 cpu situation, solaris takes off and allows me to run a ton of stuff with near 0 load. when i try the same thing on linux, everything slows to a crawl (same hardware).

            of course, when i'm running a single cpu, i get the exact opposite, linux is fast, solaris is slow.

            i also do a ton of java servlet development, and i have to say, the lightweight threads in the solaris kernel just plain kick ass.
        • I don't want a classic bourne shell, I'd like to run bash thank you.


          SUNWbash is shipped with Solaris 8 as standard (as is SUNWless, another godsend). As for vim, I agree with you 100%. If I have a wide window open for viewing Apache log files, I want to be able to edit files in the same window, rather than have to either resize it, or open another, smaller window because the standard Solaris vi can't handle windows wider than 128 characters. Fortunately, sunfreeware.com is your friend.

        • Furthermore: Solaris on x86 is slow. It flies on Sparc, but the x86 port just isn't speedy enough to me.

          I think that is more a function of the hardware than the OS. Sun hardware is a lot more efficient than the generic PC. Of course, it is more expensive too.
      • What else does Linux have that I'm missing?
        Stability? The single most unstable box I've ever had to use was Solaris x86. Going to specific web pages that were _all_ _text_ in Netscape could reliably, repeatably 100% crash X. It would often fail to reboot, just looping in circles, shutting down and rebooting over and over again. I realize Solaris for sparc is a solid, mature OS- but Solaris x86 has a long, long way before it is as stable as... say... Windows 3.1.
      • Good documentation. Better stability (in my experience) Good quality LVM and JFS. It's just a nicer, more complete whole than Linux with fewer rough edges. Much as the BSDs are. To me Linux often feels hacky, and almost like a toy compared to Solaris.


        I'll agree with you on some of those points, like the fact that Solaris has a good LVM and JFS... I'll even add stuff and say that Solaris is more scalable than Linux...but some of the others are a bit sketchy...

        Stability is not a factor that is decided exclusively by the operating system. There are a LOT of variables in terms of stability: the hardware, the application, the networking environment, machine maintenance, and so forth. You can't tell much about a given machine's stability exclusively from the operating system.

        Documentation? Much of the documentation that is available for Linux is actually very good. The Solaris documentation appears to be better only from the aspect that it comes from (more or less) one source, while Linux documentation is the product of many writers with many different writing styles. The only problem with Linux documentation is that there isn't enough of it for some of the newer projects (in particular, I find the GNOME documentation to be rather lacking in some respects), but you might be running those on Solaris anyway. :)

        What does Linux have that you're missing? Freedom. Freedom to have the source, to edit that source, and to distribute that source, complete with your changes. Most Linux distributions consist of mainly open source software, and one distro, Debian, consists of nothing but open source software (in their definition of that term of course). You simply can't make changes to the Solaris code and start distributing "Chegosaurus" Solaris. But you could have "Chegosaurus Linux," sure no problem, just keep it open source. You just don't have that kind of freedom with Solaris.

        whether I chose to hack the Linux source or not is irrelevant, btw... It is the freedom to choose to do so if I wish that it is the issue here, not whether or not I modify said code at all...

      • I like Solaris, but it doesn't come with a great LVM or JFS.

        VxFS and Veritas Volume manager are great, but they cost alot. UFS & Disksuite kinda suck.
    • by isa-kuruption ( 317695 ) <kuruption@ku[ ]tion.net ['rup' in gap]> on Wednesday August 29, 2001 @09:42AM (#2229818) Homepage
      Superior desktop environments? What? GNOME doesn't run on Solaris x86 all of a sudden? I thought this was the reason for Open Sourced code. In fact, Solaris 8 comes with a software CD with a bunch of nice GNU utils which include GNOME and KDE window managers.

      Why would someone want to run Solaris x86 on an Intel box? Various reasons, but I think the original reason I did was to learn Solaris. Not all of us can afford Sparc hardware, especially 3 years ago when I was first starting to learn Solaris. I know you can get a Sunblade for $1000, but still, not everyone can afford to dish out $1000.

      Another reason someone might want to run Solaris x86 is for stability. Solaris x86 and Solaris sparc differ greatly. There is enough differences between the x86 and ultrasparc architectures that it required Sun to make more than just a "few" modifications to run Solaris on x86. Granted, I would agree Solaris does not run as well on x86 as it does sparc, but I can say the same thing for Linux as well, because UltraSparc is (arguably) a better hardware platform (stability wise).

      In fact, I saw an article recently stating that Linux runs faster on a Sparc than Solaris does, which is understandable. So why use Solaris at all? Because it's dependable.

      I, personally, recently had a problem installing Solaris x86 on a machine with an Promise ATA100 controller.. and because of this issue, I had to reinstall with Debian 2.2 instead (which, btw, didn't have support for the controller in the install kernel either.. which meant doing the base install and kernel recompile on another machine). I think Sun does need to have better support for Solaris x86 hardware, but I don't think Sun is really interested in supporting x86 hardware (yet). They do, as you know, have a processor they'd like to sell. One of Sun's "value-added" is how well and how much effort Sun puts into optimizing Solaris for their hardware.

      And although Solaris isn't a system for the average "I hate windows; I'll run Linux" user, it is a system run by professionals who are used to running Solaris on their UNIX workstations. For them, it increases their productivity.

      As a reply, this is nothing against the original post directly. I just knew there would be a bunch of Solaris bashing and I got tired of it by the time I got to your post ;)
      • > In fact, Solaris 8 comes with a software CD
        > with a bunch of nice GNU utils which include
        > GNOME and KDE window managers.

        Just the window managers? Wouldn't it be more useful if they included the whole thing? And what is the GNOME window manager anyway? Last I checked, GNOME didn't really have an official one. I know KDE 1.x uses kwm and KDE 2.x uses KWin, but GNOME? Hmm ...

        - Arcadio
    • It's very nice of sun to provide a port of their OS to comodity hardware. There's plenty of work that's been put into software that runs under solaris, and it would be very nice to have it on a box that you and I can afford. I've got a program with a solaris makefile. I imagine it would be much easier for me to port it to solaris X86 than to Debian, but a combination of time, community spirit and FUD have me going the Debian route. There's demand and people with less time and more software than me must like this.
  • I would highly recommend a copy of Solaris x86 for anyone who would like to learn, or at the very least tinker around with Solaris. I used Solaris x86 to learn Solaris originally as well as study for my certification since 99% of the commands are the same between SPARC and x86. The only real difference is the absence of the OpenBOOT PROM, which is partially emulated in software on x86.

    However, for day to day use, I'm still a Linux or Windows guy. Solaris x86 just doesn't have enough applications and fun stuff to make it useful for day to day non-business use, so don't plan on using it full time.

    Per usual, here [sun.com] is where you can purchase a copy of Solaris 8 x86, or this link [sun.com] where you can download it for free.
  • It doesn't make Solaris on x86 any more relevant, that dog's had it's day.
  • jez people wake up thats not the point of the release

    (2001-04-24 22:58:34 Khronos Group OpenML 1.0 Spec Released (articles,news) (rejected)
    * 2001-08-28 21:56:47 Sun adds fonts and DPS support to XFree86 (articles,x) (rejected)

    both important next we see Khronos Group OpenML up come on sort it )

    the point of this Xfree was to add fonts and DPS to xfree86 code

    + wrap up the binarys so that all the same command run on solaris intel as well as Sparc e.g. Xsun

    regards

    john jones
  • Wow, now we all have one more reason to run Solaris on X86 machines! Hell, that means we are one step closer to coming up with a GOOD reason to use Solaris on X86, instead of just running one of the many free *NIXes instead....
    • You can run X86 to learn Solaris. There are lots of reasons to run Solaris on Sparc, and a lot of jobs out there for people who know how to do it.

      If you DL x86 for free, you can learn a lot about Solaris. You can learn almost everything you need to know to pass the certification exam.

      I'm not suggesting that you should learn Solaris, anymore than I'd suggest you learn Japaneese or Art History. If it's not useful, don't bother. But the notion that it's not useful for *anyone* is silly.
    • Solaris 8 is (almost) free for Intel.....

      Just $75 for 'media'.

      (what is that, a fsck'in PLATIUNUM CD?)

  • AFAIK, you cannot use the NVidia Linux drivers with it, because they have their dinky little kernel module, which you have to reinstall everytime I compile a new kernel. At least NVidia cards can be used in 2D with the XFree driver now.

    But what good is a driver for X if Solaris doesn't support most LAN-cards and IDE/SCSI-adapters.

    This just shows that Solaris X86 is for servers only, where you check out the HCL before you buy/build the box.
  • I'm sure from some of the postings that I've read thus far for this article, is that people wonder why Sun bothers with Solaris x86.

    Well from my experience there seems to be a few answers....

    1) Some large customers want to run Solaris on cheaper hardware (ie PC's), but want the power of Solaris and leverage their other Sun investments.

    2) Works great for Sun Field Employees who are given laptops. I'm one of those. I despise the idea of trying to work at a customer site and having my hands tied by Windows. Yeah, I'm one of the lucky field guys who happens to have an older (supported video) laptop, which can run Solaris x86. Then I can download applications and tools to my laptop and use them at a customer site. These tools and apps just frankly don't exist for Linux.

    Besides, when I walk into a customer site, I'm representing Sun, and I open a laptop running windows? What kind of message does that send? I'd prefer to send a message like this: "Look, I like Solaris enough that I run it on my laptop."

    3) Students or people who want to learn Solaris need something to tinker with. Solaris x86 is a cheap way to tinker around. Personally I'm happy because then I can finally run Solaris on my home desktop that runs perfectly happy under Linux, but didn't have a Solaris supported video card. (Of course I'll be getting my hands on a used SPARC, so it's a moot point anyway.)

    • So what you're saying is that the only reason people use Solaris x86 is:

      • Because they're Sun employees and it looks bad to use anything else.
      • Because they want to study for a certificate.

      If that's true, then these don't really sound like good reasons at all. Surely there must be _somebody_ who is using Solaris x86 for real work?

      I have to admit I don't understand why Sun is resisting the switch to Linux. I'm not saying they should dump Solaris over night, but a two or three year transition plan would make a lot of sense.

      As it is they'll probably be the only proprietary Unix vendor in three or four years. As more vendors support Linux, application support for Solaris and trained administrators will become harder to find. No matter how good their hardware is, that's a big barrier to overcome.

      • these don't really sound like good reasons at all. Surely there must be _somebody_ who is using Solaris x86 for real work?


        I've been running my home web/file/db/mail/development server on Solaris x86 for the last 5 years. It just works. No kernel of the week, no LILO crap to deal with. I just upgrade it once every year or so, and add some patches in between. I get to focus on making the computer do my work, not making my computer work.


        I have to admit I don't understand why Sun is resisting the switch to Linux. I'm not saying they should dump Solaris over night, but a two or three year transition plan would make a lot of sense.


        For starters, Linux threads suck. Not a popular thing to say around here, but it's true. You can prove it for yourself. Grab a IA32 box, and install a recent copy of Linux (distro of your choice), and Solaris 8 x86 in a dual boot config. Log into Solaris and surf the web using Netscape for a few minutes. Multitask on the browser. While you're waiting for a page to load, click "get msg" in the email window. Scroll through an email message while a browser window renders a page. Then, reboot into Linux, and try the same thing. Same application, same code base. You'll notice an immediate difference on Linux, scroll bars will freeze or won't work, the X server will fail to draw newly uncovered windows, etc... Eventually, it will do what you want, but you have to wait for it to schedule the threads right. It's annoying as hell.


        I've tried repeatedly to move to Linux, and finally gave up. Now I stick with Solaris (SPARC and x86) and OpenBSD. Which isn't to say I knock Linux. All the people involved have done wonderful things, and I applaud their efforts. They just have a ways further to go.


        Temkin


        • To each his own, I guess. It's funny that you mention Netscape; I've had web pages that when viewed in Netscape on Solaris will crash the X server (not just Netscape) reliably every time. To date I don't think I've ever hit a web page in Netscape under Linux that will crash the X server, although Netscape itself will take a hit and go down.

          I haven't had a whole lot of problems with the thread problems that you mention, but maybe I'm just not very aware of them or are so used to them that I don't notice. On both platforms, I mostly wait for Netscape to draw pages that have lots of tables; I haven't noticed the other Netscape processes to behave appreciably better during this draw delay on Solaris vs. Linux.

          Of course, I have no idea if the IT guys here at work have kept our Solaris installs up to date; I'm much more confident that my Linux box at home has all the latest fixes :)

      • I have to admit I don't understand why Sun is resisting the switch to Linux. I'm not saying they should dump Solaris over night, but a two or three year transition plan would make a lot of sense

        (warning: Sarcasm ahead) Ya know, I dont know why all of these BSD guys keep resisting the switch to linux. I'm not saying that they should dump *BSD overnight, but a two or three year transition plan would make a lot of sense

        That said, I run all of my production systems off of SPARC. When it comes to cheap cpu that only takes up 1 rack unit of space, you just can't beat a Sun X1 ($995 to start, and it takes PC133 DIMM's to boot).

        Solaris has a huge installed base and is rock solid. I've been running solaris systems for 5 years now, and they only crash if there is a hardware problem. IMNSHO, their support group is second to none.

        Besides, can you imagine the mods that would be required to allow linux to dynamically add cpu and memory modules? (not that one can do that with pc hardware)

        Lets face it, you choose the right tool for the job. For my environment, that tool is solaris. For yours, it is prob Win2K.

        • I got a chance to take a look at the X1, and I concluded the thing was a big flaming piece of crap. I'm sorry, but for a server, an IDE disk just isn't going to cut it. Not to mention, that yes it may take PC133 DIMMs, but if they are not blessed by Sun, your server suddenly goes into the unsupported category, which could suck if something seriously breaks with it. I think you should just stop being cheap and get the Netra T1, which is a lot nicer.

      • I have to admit I don't understand why Sun is resisting the switch to Linux. I'm not saying they should dump Solaris over night, but a two or three year transition plan would make a lot of sense.

        Get over yourself and your OS. Have you been following the threads recently about how IBM is trying (emphasis on "trying") to turn linux into an enterprise-class OS? Hell, from what I can tell most of their patches are even being refused by Linus, because they will slow down things slightly for the low-end, crappy machines Linux was designed for.

        The fact is, even perfect success on low-end, consumer-level hardware being used for geek desktops and low-end web/file/print servers is by no means related to even moderate success on large (starting at 4 procs, but mainly 8 or more) enterprise-class machines, and Linux is nowhere near perfect success on low-end machines, at least for serving purposes.

        Linux is great for small things, where your hardware is so cheap that tuning doesn't mean much, but for high-end systems, it's going to be a long time. Go check the recent thread about IBM planning on moving to Linux, and look at what needs to be done to it before it's feasible.

        But I think my main point here is, get over yourself, wake up and realize that how you live your life is not necessarily even remotely related to how anyone else lives. The fact that you don't understand why Sun doesn't dump Solaris goes to show that (1) you have never worked with Solaris in an enterprise environment, and (2) you have probably never worked with anything in an enterprise environment.

        As to why one might use Solaris x86 instead of Linux, I'm planning on building a dual-proc Compaq this month, and I am going to go with Solaris because I don't want to mess with Linux. It's more of a pain in the ass to install, more of a pain in the ass to secure, and more of a pain in the ass to maintain. I have to decide which distribution makes the compromises that best fit my needs, install it, then configure it so that it actually fits the rest of my needs.

        Oh wait, that always fails the first time; now I have to pick a different distribution and see if I can customize it the way I need it, and keep trying until one does.

        With Solaris, I install it, install the compilers, download the sources I need, and all of that "just type make and make install" actually works on Solaris, without me having to upgrade binutils, glibc, gtk, the kernel, my filesystem, and everything else.

        Yes, I know there are Linux wizards out there for whom it "just works", but I don't have the massive time required, or even the inclination, to get to this point, and Solaris x86 will allow me comparable (or better, because it's dual-proc) performance for what I need, and I get to work with up-and-coming enterprise technology, like LDAP authentication for the OS, without having to figure out how to compile openldap and it's nine required pieces of software, plus all of PADL's tools, plus OpenSSL if I want SSL, plus...

        Yeah, I feel strongly about this. Linux is not ready for the enterprise; the sooner the Linux community accepts this, the sooner the problem will be fixed. Just like the fact that Linux is not ready for the desktop; as soon as people realize that the majority of users hate spending 20 hours configuring their stupid computers, Linux hackers will actually try to fix it. Until the community acknowledges the problems, though, instead of holding them up like badges, I wouldn't expect to see Sun dumping Solaris.
      • Surely there must be _somebody_ who is using Solaris x86 for real work?

        Yes - we're a Sun partner, and use Solaris_x86 for our webserver and an application server. We've got SPARC (Solaris) workstations, and laptops which are either Linux, Windows and dual-boot Win/Linux.

        And has been said, we use x86 because it's cheap, and we use Solaris because it's good.
      • I have to admit I don't understand why Sun is resisting the switch to Linux. I'm not saying they should dump Solaris over night, but a two or three year transition plan would make a lot of sense.

        I think there are a few reason why they want to stick with their own OS:
        * They have invested a lot of time and money in Solaris and there is a large install base for the OS.
        * They make money by offering Solaris training and certification.
        * As was stated in a recent article concerning IBM and the future of AIX, Linux is not designed to run on enterprise level hardware or run enterprise wide applications yet.
        * At this point in time, Solaris on SPARC is more stable than Linux on SPARC.

        Why would Sun give up when Linux is not yet ready for the task? So in the meantime, they release Solaris for x86 and give it away in the hopes that some people will download it and give it a try.
      • Many of my enterprise customers have standardized on one or two OS's and because of management costs would like to train their people on only one or two OS's. Since they have Solaris/SPARC running their Oracle engines and windows 2000 for mail/file/print services, they have a choice of Windows 2000 or Solaris everytime they need to deploy a small server for something like Mail transfer or DNS or ??? Solaris x86 (being free) is something that they can run on a dirt cheap old machine that is too slow for windows and still leverage their knowledge of existing platforms to manage.

        I think this is more common in the enterprise than people think.
      • If that's true, then these don't really sound like good reasons at all. Surely there must be _somebody_ who is using Solaris x86 for real work?

        We are. We need a high performance NFS server on cheap (ish) Intel hardware. Linux currently can't do it. Solaris can.

    • Why don't they give you a sparc laptop? I assumed Sun would prefer their own hardware, too....

      -Legion

    • 1) Some large customers want to run Solaris on cheaper hardware (ie PC's), but want the power of Solaris and leverage their other Sun investments.
      You mean, using PC hardware and still paying big bucks for each small piece of software? (like compilers, debuggers, development environnments, whatever).
      To me, it looks like getting the worst of both worlds.

      2)Works great for Sun Field Employees who are given laptops. I'm one of those. I despise the idea of trying to work at a customer site and having my hands tied by Windows.
      You have heard of Linus and FreeBSD, I assume. What can you run on a Solaris laptop that cannot be run on a Linux laptop? (aside from SUN proprietary software, of course ).

      3) Students or people who want to learn Solaris need something to tinker with.
      A good reason. But only for people deeply involved in Solaris. Solaris is still a Unix, and anyone comfortable with Unix should not have big problems with 90% of Solaris, including many system administration tasks. I personally was able to tackle some non-complex admin task (setting DNS, starting custom programs as daemons, installing Apache, GNU compiler, SUN C++ compiler, SUN firewall), supported only by my previous Linux experience.

      • 1). The complete GCC toolchain is available for Solaris SPARC and X86 - Free

        2). What can you run on a Linux laptop that can't be run on a Solaris Laptop

        3). Good for you. But try running an E10k with a 20 terrabyte EMC disk array running 4 fiber channel cards, splitting up the Disk IO and then 4 ethernet ports with 2 for redundant network connections and the other two for high speed private backup network.

        Aslo try switching scsi devices, removing a cpu board or adding in a cpu board and memory on your linux box.

        It isn't just about what you run on your laptop, it is about what tool you use for whatever your trying to solve.

        Solaris X86 isn't the latest and greatest, but it does get Sun 80% of the way to supporting future X86 based hardware such as AMD's sledgehammer and it is a foot in the door in cross compiling knowledge and porting to support Intels Itanium as well.

        Plus Solaris X86 is stable. I can upgrade from 2.6, to 2.7, to 2.8 and not have to rebuild, relink, recompile or re-install anything. If i install oracle 8.1.7 on 2.6 and upgrade to 2.8 i won't break anything, mind you there are some patches to install, but unlike Linux i won't have to chase down glibc compat libraries and make sure to edit everything and configure special environment variables if i ever have to relink.

        • The problem with support on laptops in Solaris isn't the processor, it's all of the accessories. I tried to install Solaris x86 (we have a piece of software written for Solaris x86 exclusivly that we wanted in a mobile package). I tried no fewer than 6 different kinds of laptops (although 5 of those were just different kinds of Dell laptops--it's what we have aroudn the lab). Number of workable Solaris installs: 0.

          On newer laptops Solaris doesn't initalize the keyboard properly, and the first time you have to enter a keystroke it pretty much b0rks the machine up. Not to mention that the video card was completely unsupported by Solaris's X (if you use a USB keyboard the laptop will run, but it's not exactly useful for a moble machine). We had two machines in that category.
          In the older Dells the PCMCIA controller was completely unrecognised, and Solaris seems to think that every piece of hardware in the system conflicts with something (Duh! It's a laptop, laptops are always lacking for interrupts).
          Finally, with the HP laptop (unsupported video again), we could at least try to fix some of the problems. One big stumbling block though was that none of our (dozen or so) PCMCIA ethernet cards worked at all. Even common ones like the 3Com 3C509 and the Netgear FA410s were unrecognised. Eventually we had to use parallel port ethernet to get the system semi-functional.

          At least it isn't so bad on the desktop machines. I just wish the /boot dirctory would stop emptying itself out occasionally, and the demon processes would stop spin-locking, and that it wouldn't take 128MB of RAM for the OS alone (not to mention all of the Java based tools that come with it).
          Oh, and the PPP daemon (aspppd) that comes with Solaris sucks, but not as much as the old daemon.
          Not to mention all of the braindamage in the base system that forces you to tinker with just about every app you download to get it to compile. If it wasn't explicity ported to Solaris your chances of having it compile out of the box aren't very good, even with gcc.

          Finally, I think I should add that Solaris x86 runs really slow on our (admittedly meager PII-300s) machines, but that's partially the result of massive amount of memory these things want that we don't have.
        • 1). The complete GCC toolchain is available for Solaris SPARC and X86 - Free
          I know (I did say I installed some of it). Not 'blessed by SUN' however. If it was, I would case less about which OS I am using.

          2) Hardware support is still better for Linux, I think (wasn't this the point, that now Solaris users can use all graphic cards supported by XFree86? This mean they couldn't). And original poster point was "I'm using Solaris on Laptop because it would look bad to use Windows".

          3) How much of 'big-iron management' can you learn on an Intel box, without the right hardware?
          The 'stability' (I'd say 'backward binary compatibility') is a good point, especially if you are running binary-only (and expensive) stuff like Oracle. On the other hand, I had to re-ask for a licence number when I changed the host name and IP number of the machine on which the SUN C++ compiler was installed. And I am not sure that changing system version would not affect an installed GNU toolchain, that you you suggested to use at point 1.

          • How much of 'big-iron management' can you learn on an Intel box, without the right hardware?

            I use Linux on my laptop, and it's highly inconvenient when I want to develop shell scripts for Solaris boxes. But Linux supports my hardware better, so it's a compromise. But I'd love to be able to run Solaris on the hardware I've got - that would be the ideal solution.

            Also, things like the SunSolve interactive CD is for Solaris, so I can't run that under Linux.
          • How much of 'big-iron management' can you learn on an Intel box, without the right hardware?

            Personally I was say near to none. There is no way that I'm aware of to sim an Enterprise 10000 (E10k), how it interacts with the SSP (System Service Processor), post and booting of the domains, DR and AP (or MPxIO). These are things that you really only need to learn if you have an E10k laying around. Granted the single box multiple domains are pretty much supported in the new SunFire line and of course the E10k. Yes, this "big-iron management" can't be had in Solaris x86, or for that matter any other x86 OS. The main point is that you can learn how Solaris deals with patches and so on without having to have a SPARC at home to play with. For example I'd love to try IRIX or AIX, but I won't unless I get my hands on an SGI or IBM machine to play with them, unlike with Solaris...I just need to have a machine that fits the Hardware Compatiability List.

            Hardware support is still better for Linux, I think (wasn't this the point, that now Solaris users can use all graphic cards supported by XFree86? This mean they couldn't). And original poster point was "I'm using Solaris on Laptop because it would look bad to use Windows".

            Yes, this was precisely my original point. XFree86 has more PC hardware support than most other Xservers out there, and if Sun's X server can use the drivers, all the better for those people.
      • You mean, using PC hardware and still paying big bucks for each small piece of software? (like compilers, debuggers, development environnments, whatever).
        To me, it looks like getting the worst of both worlds.

        There are some companies that "free software" is specifically banned from use. I remember interviewing at one company for a UNIX admin job and they told me, "We don't use any of that free stuff here!" Needless to say with my convictions towards gnu utilities and my personal support of Open Source I couldn't accept a position there. Yes, I agree that not having access to gnu stuff would be a downfall and personally a hinderance to getting a lot of stuff accomplished. But there are compiled binaries of most gnu utilities available on sunfreeware.com, so if you wanted access to that stuff, you could.
        You have heard of Linus and FreeBSD, I assume. What can you run on a Solaris laptop that cannot be run on a Linux laptop? (aside from SUN proprietary software, of course ).

        Yes, of course I have. In fact I run Debian at home for everything (minus the OpenBSD firewall I'm building). My only copy of Windows that I have is 3.1, and it lives on my old 486. The utilities and tools that I need under Solaris x86 are Sun internal applications. And besides most of the stuff that Linux would offer me I can compile under Solaris. I'm not saying this to start a UNIX holy war, I'm just stating my reality.
        A good reason. But only for people deeply involved in Solaris. Solaris is still a Unix, and anyone comfortable with Unix should not have big problems with 90% of Solaris, including many system administration tasks. I personally was able to tackle some non-complex admin task (setting DNS, starting custom programs as daemons, installing Apache, GNU compiler, SUN C++ compiler, SUN firewall), supported only by my previous Linux experience.

        Yeah, having knowledge of Linux is a great start. In fact running Linux for a few years helped me get my foot in the door as a UNIX admin. I started out with HP/UX then picked up Solaris (even though I cut my teeth in UNIX under Solaris and SUNOS as a user). The thing that I've noticed most is that each flavor of *nix has it's own way of dealing with things. Things that a user might not notice or care about. If you are a person who wants somethig to play with and learn for the sake of learning it, then it works. If you want to learn it for the certificaiton exam, then it works. If you want to set up an environment where the users are greeted with the exact same experience, then it works. If you want it to do the same stuff as Linux, why bother?

    • Besides, when I walk into a customer site, I'm representing Sun, and I open a laptop running windows? What kind of message does that send?

      "Hey, I can use this Windows system in a Solaris-dominant environment, and there are no interoperability problems."

      I'd prefer to send a message like this: "Look, I like Solaris enough that I run it on my laptop."

      What desktop manager and applications are you running? When I was at Sun (3 years ago) we had to use CDE desktop (nice looking but not very useful) Netscape for Solaris (crashes every couple hours, went crazy if it had to render tables, and couldn't put page numbers on prinouts) and some no-name word processor and spreadsheet apps (very badly designed). If you use any of these in front of a customer, the message you're sending is, "I am a TRUE BELIEVER IN THE SUN RELIGION. I will use Solaris no matter how many problems it causes for me. If you can't buy into that you are AN EVIL INFIDEL."

      If you've converted to GNOME the message is a little mellower, and I have to admit Sun field people would make good ambassadors for Windows alternatives. But I'd be suprised. Back in '98, a lot of Sun people were still resisting the changeover from OpenWindows to CDE.

  • I'd like to see this for Sparc architectures...I have one of the Sparc clones with an ATI Rage II+ in it. 256 colors is possible, but just you try to set different video modes...anyone have any ideas for me? The board is PCI-based, and I'm not paying 700 bucks for a video card that a TNT1 would stomp all over...
    • I'd like to see this for Sparc architectures...I have one of the Sparc clones with an ATI Rage II+ in it. 256 colors is possible, but just you try to set different video modes...anyone have any ideas for me? The board is PCI-based, and I'm not paying 700 bucks for a video card that a TNT1 would stomp all over...>

      Check out infodoc 18511 from sunsolve

      By default, Ultra 5's with the PGX24 graphics card start up in 8-bit color
      depth mode. To change the color depth to 24 bits, do the following:

      1. Install the patch 103792-14 or later if you are running Solaris 2.5.1 11/97
      Install the patch 105362-13 or later if you are running Solaris 2.6 5/98

      2. Reboot the machine after installing the patch above.

      3. Login as root and run the following command:

      Kill dtlogin

      # /usr/bin/ps -ef|/usr/bin/grep -v grep |/usr/bin/grep -v ksh|/usr/bin/grep dtlogin| /usr/bin/awk '{print $2}'|xargs kill -9

      #m64config -depth 24

      Check your settings:

      # m64config -prconf |grep Current

      Current resolution setting: 1152x900x76

      Current depth: 24

      You cannot go higher than 1152x900 in 24 bit mode on the PGX24 framebuffer.

      # /usr/dt/bin/dtlogin -deamon; exit
      -- or reboot the system.

      The above steps are needed so that Openwindows/CDE Xsun server does not write over the m64config settings. You cannot effectively use the m64config command while Xsun is running on the system.

      4. If you are in CDE or Openwindows, please exit now and login again
      so the depth changes take place.

      5. Now run /usr/openwin/bin/xwininfo and select the background. You should
      see the depth set to 24 if the Xsun was started in 24 bit mode in
      /etc/dt/config/Xservers (defdepth 24). If it was set to 8 bit mode (defdepth 8),
      you will see that this file's settings overwrite the m64config settings.
      In other words, in CDE/Openwindows you will see:

      # m64config -prconf |grep Current

      Current resolution setting: 1152x900x76

      Current depth: 8

      Also, see SRDB 18439 (why doesn't my PGX+ card keep it's 24-bit color depth
      setting?).

  • I may induce even more manufacturers to either produce xFree86 drivers or open their specs, so that someone else can. It may not be a large market, but it has name recognition.
  • Read the article (Score:2, Informative)

    by Legion303 ( 97901 )
    Before there's a stampede of open source fanatics screaming, "WHAT? NO SOURCE?!" you should mention that there is source as well as binaries available.

    I might check this out. x86 Solaris 8 is free to download [sun.com] from Sun.

    -Legion

    • XFree86 is under the MIT/X-Consortium license, which is very BSD-like, not the GPL. So they would be fully within their rights to distribute it in binary-only form. So I think it is commendable that they have released the source, even though they are under no obligation to do so.
  • With Sun Blade 100 workstations available for $1K, it'd be nice to drop an ATI Radeon PCI card in and use that instead of the onboard ATI Rage chip. Is this doable?

    Actually, what would be really cool is to get one of the ATX UltraSPARC IIe motherboards (roughly equivalent to what the Blade 100 ships with), mount it in a good midtower case (PC Power & Cooling, 400W Silencer p/s), get four 512meg PC133 ECC DIMMs from Crucial, one or two IBM 60gig 60GXP series IDE drives or Ultrastar 10K RPM SCSI drives (which SCSI controller?), a DVD-ROM drive (Pioneer 16X slot-load?), that Radeon PCI card, slap it all together, and you'd have a pretty nice workstation or low-end server. Much better than the config Sun sells.

    But that's only because we need SPARC Solaris compatibility at work. Otherwise, a dual Athlon running Linux would beat the snot out of it.
  • This is good news indeed, since Solaris is still used on x86 by some, because people say it scales better.

    BTW: Xi Graphics [xig.com] has been shipping graphics drivers for Solaris (and Linux) for a long time. Although not for free. But when you are using Solaris, I guess you have got the proper money. (Yes, Solaris is for free now, but I think of business applications and maybe enterprise solutions)

  • You have always been able to run XFree86 on Solaris_x86. This has no impact whatsoever on Sol_x86's usability.
  • Instead of using XFree drivers in Sun's server,
    I'd like to throw away Sun's bloated server and be able
    to use XFree on my Sparcstation.
  • Sure wish Sun would give something back to the community instead of just take, take, take and act as if they're an open source company when asked. They want to be the next microsoft, but don't have management competent enough to do that.
    • I Quote Sun "DEVELOPERS TO BENEFIT FROM 8 MILLION LINES OF SUN-SPONSORED OPEN SOURCE CODE AT SUNSOURCE.NET
      Developers now have one convenient access point to information on 15 Sun-related open source projects"

      See:
      http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/2001-05/su nf lash.20010530.4.html
      and
      http://www.sunsource.net/
      • Microsoft does open source software, too. I guess that makes them an open source company as well, right? And since their an open source company they must be playing fair.
        • Show me a company that has contributed more?

          Open Source Projects Sun is Involved In:
          Ant
          A Java Based Build Tool
          Batik
          A Java Based Toolkit For Scalable Vector Graphics
          Brazil
          Web Application Development, Sun Labs Projects
          Crimson
          A Java XML Parser Derived from the Sun Project X Parser
          Grid Engine
          Distributed resource management software
          GNUlpr
          Printing
          Gnome
          UNIX Desktop, Development Platform, and Office Productivity Applications
          JRMS
          Java Libraries and Services for Building Reliable Multicast-Aware Applications
          JXTA
          Project JXTA - distributed network and peer-to-peer computing for complete access to the expanded web.
          Mozilla
          A Web Browser
          NetBeans
          Java IDE
          NFSv4
          Network File System Version 4
          NFSv4 on Linux
          Linux Port of NFSv4
          OpenOffice.org
          Office Productivity Suite
          Solaris I18N Framework
          X Window System Technology
          Tomcat
          The Reference Implementation For the Java Servlet 2.2 and JSP 1.1 Technologies
          WBEM
          Java implementation of the Web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM) standard
          Xalan
          An XSLT processor for transforming XML documents into HTML, text, or other XML document types.
  • This ia a good thing... I've played around a lot with Solaris 7 IA and Solaris 8 IA, and graphics configuration, like with GNU/Linux, can be a problem. Any mainstream ATI chipset will work fine, but things can get iffy when you have a newer nVidia card, like I do. This will definitely make future installs easier.

    I wish that Number Nine was still in business. NN cards were excellently supported across all x86 UNIXes (Solaris, SCO) and workalikes (FreeBSD, GNU/Linux)... a pity.

    Hopefully these new drivers will enable me to put Solaris on this tiny little Compaq bnox we have at work, with Intel 3D graphics.

    The next things they need to work on are networking and IDE storage. Networking... well, unless you have an Intel or high-end 3com NIC, you're likely SOL. And I've yet to find an ATA/66 or ATA/100 chip from Promise (or even High-whatever, those bastards) that Solaris will detect.

  • I've been running XFree86 on my solaris/X86 system for a couple of months, so is this really news?

    Apart from the size of the Linux community, is there much else to distinguish Linux and Solaris? I only run Solaris because it's what my department uses (except they get nice Sparc boxes), and have been considering changing to something else.
    • I've been running XFree86 on my solaris/X86 system for a couple of months, so is this really news?

      Yes, I've been running XFree86 on my Solaris laptop for a while, and basically hated it: the fonts are just much nicer with Sun's X server (dps support?) Yes, I tried the font deuglification but in addition to being lots of work, it still didn't look as nice as regular Solaris. After installing the new XFree86 drivers and reverting to Sun's X server yesterday things look much better.

  • Greate news!
    My cards run fine with OpenWindows but more support is always better.
    I run Solaris 2.5, 2.5.1, 2.6, 7, 8 on x86.
    People are asking for reasons to run Solaris X86 so here's my oppinion:
    1. Solaris X86 is a bit slower but more robust then Linux and there not that
    many features that distinguish Linux from Solaris. Robust VM, mature IP stack,
    ufs logging (read journaling), solid software RAID.
    2. Solaris X86 is less common which makes it arguable more "secure" in a sense
    that there are much less exploits for Solaris X86 floating around. New
    exploits don't come out with Solaris X86 code and this eliminates at least 90%
    of the people coming after your box.
    3. All GUI things that I need work on Solaris X86. Enlightenment, Gnome,
    Mozilla, DDD, etc. In fact my Linux and Solaris desktop setups are
    indistinguishable.
    4. Daily experience with Solaris does help managing big SPARC servers.
    5. Solaris X86 works as a Solaris development system. In most cases you just need to
    recompile your code developed on X86 to run on SPARC.
  • Does this mean that I can find any decent pci video card that is supported under linux, and use it with my sunblade100? It has a pci bus, but all the video cards that sun sells suck in terms of frame rate. I can't play any video full screen on my 24" monitor unless I want to watch a slide show.

"How do I love thee? My accumulator overflows."

Working...