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Sun Microsystems

Sun will sell Redhat 6.1 Sparc version 156

Sun has announced that it will sell Redhat 6.1 Sparc version in it online store. This is due to the customers interest in RH 6.1 for Sparc. I wish I had one of those UltraSparc machines.. (Credit for the news goes to Linux Weekly news)
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Sun will sell Redhat 6.1 Sparc version

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  • Ick!

    We have one at work...cruddy IDE hard drive...SLOWS DOWN THE SYSTEM! ATI Mach 64 video, Sound blaster quality sound...IDE CD-ROM...For half the price, you can get a Intel box that will run circles around these...about the only thing these are good for is if you are doing a lot of math oriented stuff...they suck the big one as WebServers!

  • In the tradition of open source, I hope they make it available for $1.00 plus S&H (if it's the standard rh6.1 w/o additions). I would be disappointed if they simply repackaged it and suckered their customers to pay alot more than they should.
  • ...although it might have been smarter for Sun to include more GNU productivity tools with Solaris ... things like GNU compilers and desktops, for example...

    The Kulturwehrmacht []
  • ??? RH6 per default offers the GNU compiler, gnome, KDE, a bunch of linux utility, linuxconf...

    What exactly were you thinking of?

  • Now, can they stop selling these rediculously overpriced and surprisingly underpowered lemmons known as Ultra5 and Ultra10 and make a _real_ workstation that doesn't suck even when compared to PCs?
  • This summer I wanted to find a chea[ used Sparc 10 or 20 box just to play around with the different hardware on a different OS (Solaris)..

    Everyone told me to install Solaris on a PC.. While I wanted to play with a completely different platform.

    Now I can have different hardware to run the same OS as I do now.

    Personally, I prefer Linux due to the Open Source, free, etc.. But I just wanted to learn solaris by experience incase I needed it..

    Ahh well..
  • I think he ment it would be nice if SUN offered those things with the Solaris distribution instead of selling Red Hat (which contains those things).
    - Reunite Gondwana-land
  • I used to complain about how slow Windoze is, then I sat down in front of one of those UltraSparc 5's with SlowLaris loaded on it. I could write a man page faster than that thing logged me in!!
  • Maybe I can get our incoming Suns to be "accidentally" preloaded with RH 6.1 instead of (old) Solaris (mostly 2.6, but we still get 2.5.x hand-me-downs from other sites!). Joy!

    Anybody know which machines this entails, only the PCI bus "Darwin" machines (Ultra 5/10) or some heftier boxen (450, 3000, 10000/Starfire (dream on....)?) From the announcement wording it looks like only Darwins, unfortunately.

    #include "disclaim.h"
    "All the best people in life seem to like LINUX." - Steve Wozniak
  • It makes perfect sense for Sun to put linux in their systems. It will only encourage people to buy their hardware. Sun probably doesn't make a whole lot of money on OS software anyways, and they need their workstation sales in order to have that critical mass that they need in order to bring the cost of manufacturing those SPARC chips. This move will hopefully bring the cost of those bad-ass servers down a bit.
  • It is no surprise that Sun is supporting Linux. They are a hardware company, so if the software is free, thats alright by them, so long as it helps them sell more high margin hardware. All in all, I do think that this is a good thing for Red Hat.

  • Look, I just set up one of these UltraSparc 10 machines as a web server under Red Hat 6.0, and it is SLOW!!!

    On the other hand, the UltraSparc Enterprise servers really rock...but no IDE subsystems on them!

  • Here Comes the Sun

    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
    And I say it's all right.
    Little darling it's been a long cold lonely winter,
    Little darling it feels like years since it's been here.
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
    And I say it's all right.
    Little darling the smiles returning to their faces,
    Little darling it seems like it's years since it's been here,
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
    And I say it's all right.
    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.
    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.
    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.
    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.
    Little darling I feel that ice is slowly melting,
    Little darling it seems like years since it's been clear,
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
    It's all right, it's all right.
  • Wake up, Ultra5 and Ultra10 come with IDE (not SCSI!) drives. And the kinds of IDE they use is even slower than PCs (usually ATA/66 7200 disks).
    Plus, the ultra5/10 have 4meg video memory this is rediculous. Their processors aren't that great either. How much would you pay for PC with this much hardware? Less than $1000 probably.
    But SUN wants you to pay $2000 for a lemmon with no monitor, no cd rom and only 64mb of ram.
  • Wake up, Ultra5 and Ultra10 come with IDE (not SCSI!) drives. And the kinds of IDE they use is even slower than PCs (usually ATA/66 7200 disks).

    Plus, the ultra5/10 have 4meg video memory this is rediculous. Their processors aren't that great either. How much would you pay for PC with this much hardware? Less than $1000 probably.

    But SUN wants you to pay $2000 for a lemmon with no monitor, no cd rom and only 64mb of ram.
  • Sun has a page featuring free download links for the linux distros that support the ultrasparc. Currently it lists downloads for Redhat 6.0, Caldera 2.2, and Debian 2.1 - but it links back to the homepage for each of the distros.

    Hopefully, they'll host a mirror of their own, or sell cheap CD's in addition.
  • i doubt they'll be selling it for $1, it will probably be as pricy as redhat for x86 is in stores cause i'm sure they're going to provide tech support for the first 30 or 90 days with it. if you want it for $1 go to one of the many sites that sell it without support
  • by trance9 ( 10504 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @10:30AM (#1465466) Homepage Journal

    Sun backing Linux is very important. Not only is it a good move on Sun's part, but it will GREATLY help with the consolodation of the Unix market. It will encourage Sun to develop and promote compatibility between Linux and Solaris. Sun is still the biggest commercial Unix vendor, so this is just amazing.

    Now all we have to do is ensure compatibility between Linux and BSD. Bill Gates loves to try and drive a wedge between different Unix development teams and claim that the Unix market is fragmented.

    I think he can shut up now :-)
  • It's already at the SunStore website (

    SunStore United States : 3rd Party, Solaris Ready and 100 Percent Pure Java : Linux Operating Environments : Official Red Hat Linux 6.1 Deluxe SPARC

    Part Number: RH-29000-S
    MSRP: 79.95 USD
    Package Description:

    Official Red Hat Linux 6.1 Deluxe SPARC includes:

    Operating System on 2 CD's
    Installation Guide
    Reference Guide
    Getting Started Guide
    SPARC Installation Addendum
    Product Registration insert
    Linux Applications Library - SPARC edition - 1 CD

    Features and Benefits

    Fully Open Source
    Access to source code which allows customization
    Graphical Installation
    Choice of text based or graphical install
    Hardware probing
    Enhanced autodetection of hardware

    Product System Specifications
    Operating System
    16 MB of RAM
    Disk Space
    200 MB

    Red Hat Linux is developed under the GPL license

    Sun Enterprise Services does not support the Linux operating system.
    Support for this product is available through Red Hat at the following email

    #include "disclaim.h"
    "All the best people in life seem to like LINUX." - Steve Wozniak
  • I don't think Sun was terribly pleased when they realised that they would no longer be able to make huge profits from Solaris licensing. Now they're just desperate to sell anything to keep the stock price up. From their perspective, selling hardware without software is better than selling nothing at all.
  • Now, lets see Sun preload their boxes with Redhat. I'll bet standard configs with Apache, optimized for use as a web server, would sell well.

    While this does steal some of the thunder from Solaris, providing options to users will ultimately be a Good Thing for Sun customers. It works for Intel...
  • by Capt Dan ( 70955 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @10:34AM (#1465470) Homepage
    Well gi did it, so it figures that sun would do it too...

    The ditro is the RedHat deluxe version @ $79.95 (RedHat's price, not sun's. I checked it against redhat's store)
    Here's the link. []

    Here's the features list from redhat's store page:

    Support & Services
    180 day FREE priority FTP access- fast, easy
    access to security updates and more!
    30 day telephone support and 90 day Web-based
    installation support

    Red Hat Linux CD
    Red Hat Linux source code CD
    Linux Application CD - access to over 40 of the most
    popular 3rd party applications for the workstation
    Powertools - over 300 packages of applications that
    run on Linux
    StarOffice 5.1a CD

    Comprehensive documentation - Installation,
    Reference, and Getting Started Guides
  • ..although it might have been smarter for Sun to include more GNU productivity tools with Solaris ...things like GNU compilers and desktops, for example...

    Check, the current rumors are that Sun WILL include a CD containing GCC and the like with the full Sol8 release.
    Brandon Hume
    hume -> BOFH.Halifax.NS.Ca, http://WWW.BOFH.Halifax.NS.Ca/
  • Well, I'm probably going to get shot at for this, but I'll say it anyway...

    Solaris is not a bad O.S. In fact, on a high performance Sun, Solaris probably is far better than Linux.

    Of course, any blanket statement like that has to be qualified or it's useless. On lower end Suns (sparc 2 through sparc 20, Ultra 5's, etc), linux will probably run faster, and perhaps more stablely. However, on higher end Sun boxes, the Solaris multiproc code, the volume management software (extra package), and the years of experience Sun has with it's own hardware give it a distinct advantage over current day SparcLinux.

    SparcLinux is relatively new, and from what I've seen, doesn't have some of the more robust features of Solaris. The day will come when Linux beats Solaris on it's own turf - the Linux kernel development team has already proven themselves as masters of performance tweaking, and the more mature features are in development now. However, for the time being, when I install a Sun Ultra Enterprise box, I install Solaris on it. And until SparcLinux has proven itself (as Linux x86 has, and is doing), I will continue to use Sun Solaris on my Sun machines.
  • I wish I had one of those UltraSparc machines.

    The Ultras are quite funny machines. Compared to ordinary PC:s, they suck as workstations. Slow, clumpsy, just a real pain in the ass. If you use them as servers instead, you will notice something strange: they can take a huge amount of abuse, and still ask for more. These things are probably as close to immortal as a computer can get. Don't waste an Ultra for workstation duty, replace one of your PC servers with it and enjoy.
  • smarter for Sun to include more GNU productivity tools with Solaris

    that's a great idea. Already, when I am called upon to admin a Solaris box out of the... er... box, I always set it up using RPMs (Redhat's package management system). [] has everything you'll need. You'll probably have to learn how to rebuild source RPMs which you've thus far avoided, but it's worth it, because suddenly a vast wealth of software becomes available and very easy to install, and very easy to deploy to a number of servers.

  • RedHat comes with Kaffe. Does this imply that Sun is now endorsing a cleanroom implementation? Particularly given Kaffe's development is aided by Microsoft []...

    Sun's earlyAccess JDK [] for Linux only runs on i386 machines. According to Kevin Hendricks, Sun spokesman only said that Sparc might eventually get supported []

  • Solaris isn't dead yet... there is still significant demand for it. I think that it is a good move to finally offer choice though, because Linux and Solaris are different enough that Sun can diversify their software. Now the customer can choose based on advantages/disadvantages -- Way to go, Sun
  • no, you don't want one of those UltraSparc 5s..

    you want an UltraSparc Enterprise machine. They're great.

    At school I work on an UltraSparc Enterprise 3000 upgraded to six 336 MHz UltraSparcs and 1.5 GB of RAM. Oh yeah, about a hundred other people are typically logged in at the same time, and the machine is usually at over 50% idle... unless someone has a runaway netscape. Netscape sometimes dies in weird ways where it locks up a CPU and won't let go until you kill -9 it.

    of course, looking at those 64 CPU Enterprise 10000 Starfires.. the machine I'm using looks pretty wimpy next to those.

    Seriously, though, it's hard to beat Sun at the really high end. Solaris can be pretty slow on those low end systems, but it scales really well. With four or more CPUs it's pretty nice. Obviously Linux is better for single CPU x86 boxes, but Solaris scales a heck of a lot better and when you have a number of fast CPUs, Solaris is much better at distributing that processing power.
  • yep. solaris is also a crummy piece of shit operating system - to get it to do something nice you gotta preload all the stuff from and install huge patchsets from sun. its default partitioning also needs to be fixed at install time (allocates too little space for / etc) ..Once its up and running tho - its a joy to use.
  • The last good version of SunOS was in the 4.x series, they when with SysV for sunOS 5.x and byond.

    Linux is okay, but it isn't BSD, and us old school people still demand the idiocrancies of BSD. (Linux isn't really SysV)

    I suppose most /. readers these days won't have any idea what I'm talking about since the BSD vs SysV was ages ago.

  • However, the one major drawback is that there is soooooooo much software being developed for Linux and sooooo very little for Solaris.

    I thought that this was a major reason why open-source existed... so that a bit of software WOULDN'T hog-tie you into a platform.

    Now I realize that this is the real world, and the majority of code I've seen put out for Linux has to be the least portable garbage I've laid eyes on, but if you have to recompile a program to go to sparc anyway (assuming the coder didn't make endianness assumptions... not a sure bet by any measure) ... why not give it a go on Solaris? Or OpenBSD? Or NetBSD?
    Brandon Hume
    hume -> BOFH.Halifax.NS.Ca, http://WWW.BOFH.Halifax.NS.Ca/
  • by SurfsUp ( 11523 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @10:49AM (#1465484)
    If Linux is so important then why is Sun still playing cute with Java on Linux? Lets see some real comittment: put the Linux Java source tree under GPL, forget about that stupid communittee license thingy. Scott, you will win big by doing that.

    Come on guys, really show us how you "get it".
  • This is a wonderful development. The best thing (for the consumer) in any market is choices. Hopefully the Solaris development team will get nervous and make Solaris better, and then Linux developers will make an effort to beat Solaris. In the end we wind up with two better operatings systems.
  • Seriously, though, it's hard to beat Sun at the really high end. Solaris can be pretty slow on those low end systems, but it scales really well

    The problem is not with solaris on low-end systems. The problem is iwht the low-end-systems themsleves. As mentioned above, U5/10 come with totally braindead graphics (unless you buy a rediculously expensive card for U10, but not U5)
    and sucky disk systems. The kind of hardware that I expect to pay $1000 for on the PC market. Not the $3000 to $6000 range that sun wants you to pay.
  • What a whining little bitch!
  • Well, in my experience, Suns are simply not workstation machines. We use sun's for a lot of web work, and custom web apps... mainly using java servlets. With those, the Suns appear to outperform the Intel Linux boxes... but it's so hard to make a comparison that is worth while, because the architectures themselves are differant.

    Aside from that, my main point was that Solaris is more suited to the server range Suns than SparcLinux. As far as the differnaces between a Sun Server and an x86 Linux Server, it would entirely depend on application, budget, and requirements.

  • My experience with using Sparc 5s for Matlab based Scientific Computing is that they aren't very fast at that either. At least not if if matlab's "bench" is anything to go by. I very much wish my institution were buying Athlons with Linux instead of Sparcs with Solaris...

    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
  • Sorry, but from Sun's perspective, selling hardware is all that matters. They never have made huge profits from Solaris licensing, because Solaris comes for free with their boxes.

    Now and then Sun's a bit hard to follow, but if you keep in mind their (hugely succesful) strategy of using all these actions in order to sell more of these expensive purple boxes, a lot of pieces fall in place. With software, at best they'll try to recover expenses.

    If Sun thinks it can cut costs by dropping Solaris and switching to Linux and it won't hurt their sales a bit, it'll disappear in the blink of an eye.

  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @11:05AM (#1465492)
    This is a very good thing that Sun are doing, at least as far as customers are concerned, because it allows people to squeeze much more out of the Sparc than is possible under Solaris.

    Three years ago, we grabbed a surplus SparcServer 20, junked Solaris and installed RedHat Linux for Sparc, just for the fun of it. Although we were expecting good things, we were astounded at the magnitude of the improvement: under Linux, most O/S-limited operations ran at about four times their speed under Solaris. Since then, both Sparc Linux and Solaris will have improved considerably I expect, but I bet that there is still an efficiency advantage with Linux, and this ought to translate into older Sun kit being given a new lease of life.

    And of course, anything that promotes the use of Sun hardware has to be to the company's advantage.
  • If Dave Miller (now redhat) were still at Rutgers I bet he'd have SparcLinux running on this by now... []
  • He said it wrong, but he is right. The first thing I noticed about this article is how poorly the slashdot message was written.
  • by krital ( 4789 ) on Tuesday December 14, 1999 @11:11AM (#1465497)
    Over the summer, I had an oppurtunity to work with some very nice Sun boxes. In actuality, I was working as an intern for Sun in Europe. I got to work with a number of boxes, including 4-processor AxMPs, CP1500s, and an AXi. One of my tasks over the summer was evaluating how RedHat 5.1 (UltraPenguin 1.1) ran on the AXi. I have to say that installing it was a joy; it was as easy as it is on an x86 machine. In fact, everything was as easy as it was on x86. There were a few differences, mainly in the bootloader (SPARC boxes use SILO which I managed to only slightly figure out over the course of the summer, only enough to get new kernels running), but on the whole everything was the same as it was on an x86. Which, I believe, is one of the major selling points of Linux - having seen how transparent the hardware is to it is quite amazing.
    After a while of setting it up to perform various tasks that I didn't know how to do using Solaris (such as a RARP server, which turned out to be VERY easy, and UFS works beautifully; I had not one problem setting up NFS to read/write from the UFS partitions), I started using it as a desktop machine. I had a higher resolution on that machine, and so I preferred it for viewing web pages over the others. I ran X with enlightenment 15 for a long time, and I found it to be fairly stable, although I had many more problems with X unexpectedly crashing (happened about 10 times in six weeks) than the kernel itself having an error (which happened not once).
    Speaking of kernels, the kernels were a cinch to configure. There were a few options that I had never seen before, but other than that, compiling and running a new kernel was easily as easy as it was on an x86 box.

    Nontheless, I'm very happy to see RedHat come out with an updated version for SPARC boxes. Maybe when I return to Sun to work this coming summer I'll be able to test it out on my AXi...
    If anyone has any questions about running Linux on a SPARC system, I'd be happy to answer them (from what I remember).
  • Are sun's compilers that bad?
  • Sparc 5's are getting cheap. $1400 for the 360mhz with the low L2 cache. (assuming you know someone is a student) otions/pay.html
  • This has been out for a few weeks now, and anyone can grab the .iso image from What I'm really waiting on is the alpha version, which is always horridly slow in being released. The Multia desperately needs an upgrade right about now. Any news on this?
  • put the Linux Java source tree under GPL

    That's simply impossible. Think about that for a minute - no proprietary product would be able to run under Linux Java. Every program has to be linked against the core packages, so according to GPL that would mean every Java program would have to be non-proprietary, i.e. open source!

    LGPL or MPL is quite different though. (glibc is LGPL, for example). That's possible in principle, although Sun would lose a lot of control, which I think is the key factor. I'm not defending them, I'm just saying that's how it is.

  • Perhaps I don't understand what you are saying, but if you wanted a BSD to run on Sparc architecture that is open source you might want to consider OpenBSD [] or NetBSD [].

    I went through the 4.x to 5.x transitions for SunOS (and use both Linux and OpenBSD for research), so I know what you mean about the idiosyncracies.

  • This is good news, I guess, but I still can't use RedHat on my SPARCstation 5 Model 170. I wonder if Sun might help resolve the bootloader problems that redhat has with the TurboSPARC? Not that they really care about supporting my slow old sparcstation, but I care.

    While I'm procrastinating, does anyone know of another distro that will install on a 5/170? According to the sparclinux pages, the new kernels do work on the turbosparc, but redhat says that their installer doesn't work on it yet.

  • My most recently left job was with an ISP. They had a Sparc Ultra 1 and a Sparc 10. I tried for weeks to get RH installed. There are some strange inherent problems with the Sun hardware you need to know if you are going to install Linux on one. Most of the older Sparc adn Ultra Sparc machines have old firmware on them. With this older firmware you cannot boot from a floopy sometimes. I had to take Solaris 7 and install on the machine and it told me that my bios was old and did i want to upgrade. So i said yes... it chugged for a minute then pooped out telling me i could not write to the EPROM. So i had to search the net and find where the Jumper was to enable EPROM Writing. On the Ultra 1 machines this is under the video card... Take 4 screws out , pop the case, unsnap the video daughtercard out, move a jumper, put the video back in. Then restart the install of solaris. it will update the BIOS. Then i had the problem of it not wanting to read the ISO i had made. It never would recognise the CD i put in there. SO i ended mounting the CD on an Intel box, ( I DL all the RPMS and other install files from RedHat and made a CD ) in the pub FTP directory, made a bootnet.img floppy and did a networked install. After all that work It runs Great. Sound, Video at 1280x1024 on the Sun 21 " monitor. Sweet. The hardware was a Sun Ultra 1, 256M / 4G.
    I wish i could have bought that machine, But i had to leave it there. I'll get one one day.
    I think thats all the caveats i ran into ... OH! I almost forgot... My first experience with that machine was trying to get it to do a NFS install and use SUN's "boot net" feature. I never figured that one out. Hope this Helps anyone Aspiring to run an UltraPenguin. Any questions about what i had to do to get it up and running email me.

    djpowellSPAMless at NOSPAMflogeeks.orgSPAM
  • Now, if only they would release a version of StarOffice that ran under Sparc Linux.

    Anybody got any rumours ?

  • this is not meant to be flame-bait. only meant
    to correct someone who is spreading FUD.

    to the poster: get a clue! maybe if you spent
    more than 5 seconds learning Solaris you wouldnt
    post such clueless garbage.

    like any other OS, including linux, you must
    download patches for your OS. this is nothing
    new. default partitioning needs to be fixed??
    why the fuck are you using default partitioning?
    get a clue! partition your drive according to
    your needs for the system! everyone who has been
    using *nix knows this. a webserver will have
    a different partitioning scheme than a database
    server, than a workstation, than a.... ad nauseum.

  • I was so excited when i got my StarOffice 5.1 CD. I saw x86, sparc, solaris, windows, etc... But upon firther investigation and taking a second look at the CD, No Sparc Linux version. I was like WTF? all these platforms and no dist fo rmy new toy. Damn. Oh well , I have yet to install it under Win9x. Maybe I'll try that tonite. I also had a small problem with GnomeICU under sparc linux. But i prolly built it wrong.. who knows.

  • I hope this speeds up a port for Sparc. My Ultra 5 is gathering dust...
  • Are sun's compilers that bad?

    Sun doesn't provide compilers (until you shell out more $$$).

  • I am not a programmer, but it was my understanding that the problem is with Solaris on low-end systems. There are so many locks in the kernel which work wonders on SMP machines but make a single processor sit idle a portion of the time as it waits to see if another CPU wants to help it.

    Hence the reason that Solaris x86 typically scores 50% of what Linux gets on 1-cpu benchmarks
  • Good to know sun is coming to its senses.

    Well, Sun have always been in the market of selling hardware rather than software - it's the same model as Apple.

    This is, by the way, why the Java floating-point spec is designed to match the Sparc chipset, rather than following IEEE specs (IIRC). The idea being that to match the spec exactly, you have to emulate the Sparc results on machines with other types of FPU, and so Sun gets an instant perf increase on their hardware for that class of tests.

    Of course, most people don't bother with that side of it, and just implement it using native floating point.

    It's also why they give away Solaris for free.

  • Come on SparcStation5 is really old.
    The current models (Ultra5/Ultra10) are much faster (UIIi CPUS from 333mhz to 440mhz). But they are still somewhat overpriced.
  • An Ultra5 gathering dust?

    How much do you want for it?

    U5s are pretty sweet boxes, once you slap a proper SCSI board and enough RAM in there... And it'll fit much more nicely on a rack than a clunky (but cooler in other ways) U10...

    Still, if I had it all over to do again, I'd probably go for an AXi clone and a desktop rack from blackbox...
    Your Working Boy,
  • It is not worth even $1400. It comes with no CD ROM drive, a 5400rpm _ide_ disk (most current PCs ship with +10gig 7200rpm ATA/66 disks), no monitor and very below-average 4 meg video. How much would I pay for a PC with a Kick ass CPU and sucky components and no monitor? Less than $1000..
  • Be realistic though. There's no reason that a 'standard workstation' install package on Sol shouldn't contain GCC (or, gasp, a free compiler like they used to include, dare I dream?), Perl5, traceroute, tripwire, satan, tcpwrappers, ssh and other tools..

    Sol2.7 goes some distance on this from what I hear (apparently, they got traceroute in.. took long enough!) but they are certainly not the easiest OS to start from scratch with. Still, I guess that's why us Sol admins get paid the big buxx ;)

    (and as an aside, learn more about pkgproto, pkgtrans, and the other pkg-creating programs. I have a Sol2.6 CDROM that includes pretty much all pkgs Sun left out, either swiped from sunsite/sunfreeware or in about 6 cases built myself...)
    Your Working Boy,
  • Seeing as this will undoubtedly degenerate into a flame war anyway, here are my two cents why I always install Solaris on our Suns (and yes, Linux just about everywhere else).

    1) NFS
    2) automount (linux automount still doesn't have a NFS "host" mount)

    So, please fix those two, and I'll dump Solaris entirely (oh, and make Cadence release a Linux port of verilog)
  • I posted the story last week, but I guess it wasn't newsworthy enuff for Rob (poke, jab).

    Sun is supporting the configuration on
    the E10K. Yup, Seymour Cray's design, bought by Sun, 128 procs on 18 boards. Yum.

    As much as i like Linux (using it since 1.2.13),
    I think that only the uneducated would believe that this would be a 'wise' configuration for a
    $1-plus-million machine.

    I mean, linux makes a great web/print server (among other things), but it just isn't powerful or stable enough (yet) to utilize a machine this big.

    This is most likely what Sun is counting on, I would imagine- to show linux's shortcomings compared to Solaris and the big, bad-ass servers that it was designed to run on.

  • What other commerical UNIX (AIX, HP-UX, etc) comes loaded with the GNU Software that you're downloading from Sun Freeware? Solaris sucks because it doesn't have this installed? Get real.

    How long have you been installing/administering Solaris? It's not hard to allocate more space for your filesystems, I wouldn't even hire a beginning UNIX admin who didn't know how to do this.

    I hate to say it because I'm sure to be flamed by rookie admins who just got into the "Linux craze" a few months ago, but do try to actually use the product you're bashing in a real world enviornment before spewing your tripe.

    Too much "if os != Linux then bash os" crap is bad for everyone, and it makes those of us who try to advocate Linux to our corporations look like idiots when M$ points to this type of response and stereotypes it to the entire community.

    Grow up.
  • Well, if you look at the GNU packages slated to come out in Solaris 8, you'll see that perl 5, apache, and ssh among other GNU-goodies, come with the OS.

    I can't dispute the oversight of giving out a free compiler, though. That is something that will come back to bite 'em if they don't give out at least a node-locked cc.
  • don't judge a Sun server by CDE login or dtlogin in general. CDE was, is, and probably always will be a resource pig.

    If you want to compare, run the same window manager as you're used to under Linux and start comparing from there, as opposed to evaulating CDE performance.

    Unfortunately for Sun, their customer base demands eternal binary compatibility, so they're more limited in what they can fundamentally fix in the OS and how fast they can allow an os version to be obsoleted.

    Linux can break binary compatibility whenver someone finds a bug in glibc

    ex: try to find a jdk2 for linux glibc2.0 or libc5 -- they don't exist. Now try finding jdk2 for Solaris 2.6 or 2.5.1 - they exist.

    Linux distros are going to start facing the same corporate pressures for eternal binary compatibility. I hope that it doesn't slow down innovation (but it probably will!)

  • Posts tend to be get the moderation easier, if they:

    Start the post with:
    "I'll know I'll get [flamed/moderated down/shot/offtopic -1] for this, BUT..."

    That'll get the attention of the moderators. Now post something pro-[controversial] (ie. Sun, Microsoft, AOL) voila! instant [Insightful/Interesting] marks up for ya.
  • I got a couple of Srac 2's really cheap. Since Solaris is crawling them, I put RedHat 6.0 on them it works great.

    It is lot of fun to see a that Linux simulates a black backgound with a small lightgray font (Sun's hardware has a white background with black text be default).

  • ... as long as nothing tries to access the disk. I don't know how Sun managed it, but IDE accesses on the Ultra 5 at least can easily consume 100% CPU. Further, the Ultra 5 is very poorly supported by Solaris - things may be much improved under Linux, but you'd be much better off either paying a lot more for some real Sun hardware, or getting a fast PC instead for less money.
  • if I had my choice of supporting 1000 Sun ultra2's running solaris or linux, I'd still choose Solaris.

    One of the main reasons is jumpstart. I can install or re-image systems to a number of different OS versions from a single server. ... and I can script the entire install with pre and post-processing so that I don't need to do anything.

    Try that with linux. Every version from every vendor has changed the nfs/http/ftp install rules somehow, and some of the cd's can't be mounted and nfs installed because of an improper directory structure ON THE CD for network installs (hello, redhat 6.1!). or lack of support for non-cdrom based installs (hello, Corel!)

    This is a CRITICAL WEAKNESS OF LINUX. How freaking difficult is it for someone to fix this?

    Maybe I'm jumping the gun... maybe only X86 linux can't support something like jumpstart becuase the X86 hardware carries around so much legacy baggage like the BIOS. Honestly, there are so many things about x86 hardware that really SUCK! It's too bad that it won't go away.

    How can you change the bios settings on an x86 server when you're connected to a console server on the serial port?

    How can you see any BIOS hardware error messages from a serial port connection during boot up?
  • Does anybody else find this weird? I mean, how well does Linux actually compare to Solaris on Sun boxes? It would seem to me that the group most capable of writing an OS for a particular platform is the group actually developing the platform itself...

    Just how well can a general purpose OS like Linux really stand up against a highly optimized, well matured, platform specific (yes, I know x86 Solaris exists, but that was really an after thought), targetted OS like Solaris? Solaris has years of dedicated, well funded, talented effort poured into it *for* the Sun platform.

    Personally, if I had a big ol' 4500 sitting in my cube, I'd probably *want* Solaris on it. I love Linux, but sometimes there are other choices that make a bit more sense. I'm not sure Linux on Sun machines makes sense.
  • There's a big difference. (Sparc vs UltraSparc, 32 vs 64 bit, etc)

  • oh grow up. I've been adminning unix boxes long b4 u have im sure. i've installed slowlaris at least a million times and yes i know how to allocate space on partitions, dimwit. I've been using slowlaris practically forever too. Slowlaris sucks cause :
    [1] it doesnt have bash (or any decent shell like tcsh - see IRIX which does come with tcsh by default)
    [2] No free compiler (huh ? which braindead twit doesnt include a compiler with a unix?)
    [3] Default install is guaranteed to screw up the filesystem unless you allocate space manually (why? why? why not just have more space for all the partitions by default? *why* do i have to do it manually *every* time?)
    [4] Frustrating and annoying SysV style conventions and crap GUI (Click apply in the gui print config via admintool and then click OK and it gives an error - why? why?)
    [5] No ssh (huh ? no secure shell ? no alternative ? wtf ?) or kerberised telnet or secure telnet.
    [6] Patch list is HUGE -- and often incomplete. (why oh why do i have to search in a million places to find patches? why doesnt 2.6_Recommended come with *everything* and remain current with monthly updates?)
    [7] No decent GUI or even text scripts (do i really want to add /etc/defaultrouter on *every* system i install ? why cant it be added at install time ? why cant /etc/resolv.conf be updated for dns lookups at install time ?)
    I *dislike* slowlaris because of all this crap - OSF/1, Irix, AIX and other commercial unixes *dont* put admins thru all this braindead bullshit every time you install them. Ever installed 500 boxes at one go ? I have - and it sucks.
  • This is *great* I have been looking forward to sun doing this for a long time. I have been running s-linux for quite some time, but with sun help, maybe they will start supporting random hardware like the random video cards sun has been putting out but not releasing specs for.

  • Coming to it's senses? Looks like we have another mindless Linux zealot. Sort of being used to this kind of garbage on /., just getting lamer every day :(
  • Last time I checked, you were unable to complete a sentence. I think the real question is WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
  • have you ever heard of sun's jumpstart? it's a great way to easily install the os and needed software on multiple machines. it easily automates the process of installing patches, setting up partitions, messing with things like /etc/defaultrouter (as per your example above), plus it's really easy to install other applications too (sybase, your favorite shell, or gcc).
    honestly i'd rather have a base instalation like solaris has and build up from there, and i can't stand cde which can really bog down any non ultra system. from what i keep hearing solaris 8 will have a lot of gnu items with it like perl and ssh.

    but seriously doing 500 + boxes with jumpstart is easy (even if you have multiple needs that the systems have to be deployed for), and i would know because thats what i did for my first few months and my present job :)

  • The last good version of SunOS was in the 4.x series, they when with SysV for sunOS 5.x and byond. Linux is okay, but it isn't BSD, and us old school people still demand the idiocrancies of BSD. (Linux isn't really SysV) I suppose most /. readers these days won't have any idea what I'm talking about since the BSD vs SysV was ages ago.
    Oh, I know just what you mean. ``We still remember, we who dwell...'' :-)

    You can install BSD pretty easily on a Sparc. I've got an ancient and superslow Sun that I recently upgraded from SunOS to real BSD, and it's smooth as can be. It doesn't even seem slow anymore, but then again, it's mostly a firewall.

  • Well, if you look at the GNU packages slated to come out in Solaris 8, you'll see that perl 5, apache, and ssh among other GNU-goodies, come with the OS.
    Yes, Solaris 8 is rumored to come with v5.005 of Perl. But Perl has nothing to do with the FSF. Trust me on this one.
  • I was talking about U5/U10 models (which I use every day too).

    Ultra2 costs +$10000
    U450 costs +$20000 depending on RAM, disks and processors.

    But as a general purpose workstations SUNs will die very soon (at least in universities). There are lots of people who are willing to pay $5000 or less for a decent desktop workstation. In bellow $10000 price range sun hardware just sucks compared to PCs. What (useful) can a $3000 Ultra5 do that a PC that costs _less_ can't? Horrible graphics, phorrible disks, and not so impressive CPU
  • >oh grow up. I've been adminning unix boxes long >b4 u have im sure

    Right, because you disagree, you've been doing it longer. Heh.

    >[1] it doesnt have bash (or any decent shell like >tcsh - see IRIX which does come with tcsh
    >by default)

    Please, most UNIX'es don't include bash, and it's trivial to set up and configure.

    >[2] No free compiler (huh ? which braindead twit >doesnt include a compiler with a unix?)

    It would be nice if it came with GCC (again, trivial to set up), but a lot of UNIX vendors would rather have you pay for it. I think it's better than paying more for an OS that has a compiler by default and having to pay extra for machines (most of which) which probably don't need it.

    I can see why Sun and most other commercial companies don't include free software...they don't want to support it. I think that OSS is much better than most commerical apps, but I can see a corporate UNIX not wanting to have to support anything which didn't come from their own developers.

    >[3] Default install is guaranteed to screw up the >filesystem unless you allocate space manually

    Oh, it's small, so it screws everything up. Get real, I could see you mounting usr on the same slice and then complaining when you run out of disk.

    What distros of Linux alocate your slices for you just the way you want them? I don't know of any, because this is something that an experienced admin should be doing, not an MCSE who clicks on "next" with every screen.

    >[4] Frustrating and annoying SysV style >conventions and crap GUI (Click apply in the gui
    >print config via admintool and then click OK and >it gives an error - why? why?)

    I dunno. I noticed that too. Admintool sucks the most out of smit, sam, linuxconf, etc, all of which have their bugs and glitches. If you're basing the merits of a UNIX on the GUI admin widgets, you'd probably be happier on a Win32 machine.

    >[5] No ssh (huh ? no secure shell ? no >alternative ? wtf ?) or kerberised telnet or >secure telnet.

    Isn't/Wasn't there export laws against most of this? Sun's going to tailor a version for each country's crypto laws, when it takes a few minutes to download and install?

    Personally, I'd rather have the latest crypto from a download instead of something off 6-month-old install media.

    >6] Patch list is HUGE -- and often incomplete.

    The Sun patches are a rat's nest, but a lot of other commercial UNIX vendors are a lot worse.

    What UNIX'es out there don't have patches, or have a pleasant patch system?

    >Ever installed 500 boxes at one go ? I have - and >it sucks

    No, and if I did, I'd probably try JumpStart.

    You sure made an about-face from your first post, which said that once it was up, it was a joy. Now to support your argument, EVERYTHING sucks, the GUI, etc, etc, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Linux a lot better than Solaris, but Solaris far from sucks, especially compared to most other UNIX'es.
  • Try that with linux. Every version from every vendor has changed the nfs/http/ftp install rules somehow, and some of the cd's can't be mounted and nfs installed because of an improper directory structure ON THE CD for network installs, or lack of support for non-cdrom based installs.

    While I don't doubt that Sun's JumpStart is a cool thing, you're really comparing apples to oranges here. Or rather, one kind of apple to all the kinds of fruit in the world. You complain that each Linux VAR does things differently, and claim that proves Linux is harder to install then single-vendor Solaris.

    Well, duh. Of course a multiple-vendor Linux solution is going to be harder to manage then a single-vendor Solaris solution. Consider how hard installing all the different UNIXes from companies like Sun, DEC, HP, IBM would be! Linux is easy by comparison.

    If, on the other hand, you compare installing Solaris with JumpStart on 100 machines to installing Red Hat Linux 6.1 with Kickstart on 100 (similar) machines, I think you will get a better picture of what things are like. I don't doubt that JumpStart would still win, but the comparison would be fair.

    How can you change the bios settings on an x86 server when you're connected to a console server on the serial port?

    You need special hardware to do that on x86. No different from Sun, really, it is just that all Suns include said hardware out of the box.
  • Funny, I just looked this info up.

    Sun Ultra 10
    proc: UltraSPARC IIi
    speed: 440MHz
    ram: 256MB
    disk: 9.1G EIDE 7200RPM
    graphics: PGX24 (24-bit)
    OS: Solaris 7 (2.7)
    sound: none?
    monitor: 17in (Sun monitor _required_)
    network: 10/100
    cdrom: 32x

    cost: $6350

    VA LiNUX StartX MP
    proc: Two Intel Pentium IIIs
    speed: 500MHz (each)
    ram: 256MB
    disk: 18.2GB SCSI
    graphics: Matrox G200 AGP
    os: VA Linux OS 6.0
    sound: Soundblaster 16
    monitor: (extra, adds ~$400)
    network: Intel EEPRO 10/100
    cdrom: 40x

    cost: $3443

    The same, better, or twice the system for almost half the money?!?!?

    What am I missing?

    I don't see how Sun gets away with this. Maybe the won't for much longer?

    (PS: Slashdot need the pre tag in html mode!)
  • I administrate high-end production Sun servers for a living. While I like Linux, I can safely say that it has a very long ways to go to catch up to the high-end features of Solaris. Heck, I'd be surprised to see Linux support Dynamic Reconfiguration. (Dynamic reconfiguration is the magical ability to add hardware to a system while it is running, or remove it, or make changes. Like replacing memory that has ECC errors, or adding CPUs and such.)

    That's just a sample, though. Solaris is very robust and feature filled. And the support behind it is excellent. The only thing that really stands out as not-so-hot are the prices. WHEW! They are HIGH when you get to the big servers (E3000-Starfire).

    Running a Starfire on Linux? Forget it. Might as well throw away a half a million dollars in additional hardware features.

    Linux as a desktop on Sparc hardware? Yeah. The kernel for Solaris 7 and below is really geared more towards high-end hardware. Linux is lean and mean and up for the task here. Not a lot of complex stuff to deal with.

    Would I install Linux on my Sparc desktop? Not a chance. I've got a dual-processor ultra-60 with a Creator3D graphics card, SCSI drives, solid-state drive, and the high-end wide-screen monitor which is driven at 1920x1200 resolution. A power-user configuration. Needless to say, Linux doesn't have the drivers for it. And there isn't a chance in hell I'm going to give up my screen's real estate to run Linux. [As to an earlier comment, YES, I once wondered if it was what was making my eyes BLEED. No, it wasn't.]

    Sun has some awesome hardware, and having gone through a non-disclosure presentation of future Sun hardware down the road, I can say that they've got one hell of a roadmap. It is a shame that SPARC Linux just can't hold a candle to the support of Solaris. Heck, if SPARC Linux was on the ball, they could even provide features that Sun has held back on (like multiple domains inside an E4500).

    This move was done to done to satisfy their ISP customers. The kind that run the low-end sparcs in banks as web servers (or even those cool 1 RU jobs that they started selling earlier this year). It isn't for the mainstream datacenter customer. Justifying Linux vs. Solaris for any project would be suicide in a large production environment. Linux just isn't there... YET.

    Is anyone pushing Linux on the high end -- datacenter features?
  • You said that no proprietary programs could be written in Java because it must be linked with the Java classes.

    That simply isn't true. Java does this sort of "linking" (which is really just class loading) at run time. if I distribute a Java class that uses the Swing user interface package, for example, none of that code is included in my class. It's loaded at run time. AFAIK, that is permitted under the GPL.
  • I think the title gets the gist of this post, but I'll elaborate a bit. Do you want a desktop system that you can use to play games on, type up a term paper, and email your parents for more money? Great, get an Intel machine and congratulate yourself.

    A workstation isn't meant for that. Sun usually sells workstations as part of a package deal. Yeah, the IDE disk drives are slow... but guess what? The fiber disk array sitting behind the U3000 server you do most of your work on is pretty friggin fast. They sell the low-end workstations in bulk to corporations/universities that want to get all their machines from the same vendor. Plus, the workstations run Solaris, so the admin doesn't have to worry about incompatibilities between the workstation and the server.

    In short, if you're using a workstation for a web server... well... you're probably a few crayons short of a full box.


  • I wonder if McNealy still thinks Linux is a "great way to get the wrong answer".
  • While I don't completely disagree with the above post there are several things to keep in mind;
    Solaris still performs better in areas such as SMP/Large memory configurations. I've been running Linux on and off on an e4k with 14 cpus and 8 gigs of RAM (flipping between that and Solaris 8 beta snapshots).

    Linux still has a ways to go with the SMP implementation. This is probably because of the fact that Linux was more geared towards the Intel platform which doesn't have anywhere near the number of processors that you can pack on a mid to high end enterprise Sun. I suspect it also has to do with the fact that the process of multithreading the various kernel subsystems is a complicated task and Sun seem to have done this better than most, if not all, the commercial Unix software/hardware vendors.

    Please don't think I am trying to dis the Linux development effort, I'm typing this on an Ultra 2 running Linux. I should further point out that I am in no way affiliated to Sun Microsystems or any of its subsidiaries.


    PS: I would be interested to see the benchmarks that you used to determine that "under Linux, most O/S-limited operations ran at about four times their speed under Solaris."

  • The computers I use are very much Ultras, I didn't know there was a SparcStation5 to confuse it with...

    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
  • Personally, I run solaris on my Ultra Sparc, and also on dual cpu x86 box, linux on my alpha, and also on my other x86 box, so I have to admit I really like both. I think that Solaris is much more polished, however, and I tend to think that it scales better than linux does - just from personal experience (On the same hardware, I can run more tasks simultaneously and have adequate response under Solaris than linux. Just my experience, with the standard configurations of both, ie, no tweaking/recompiling the kernel...)

    My question is this:
    What are the chances that linux on Ultra Sparc will support cards which don't currently have support in Solaris, and what are the difficulties in porting those drivers to Solaris from there. In particular, I'm wondering about the 3com ethernet card (the 3c50x series). These cards are supported under Solaris for x86, but not on Ultra Sparc. I think that linux would be great at supporting popular hardware that might be *really* useful on Sparc hardware.

    Another question: How different are the driver models for Solaris and linux? How much work would it take to make a driver for on OS to work under the other (Solaris/linux)? Also on a related note: whatever happened to the Unified Driver Model that Sun/HP/SGI were promoting about two/three years ago?
  • A multi-proc Ultrasparc would probably run best under Solaris 2.7 (64-bit). Plus, if you have a big beast like an E4000 or E450, you'll probably use it for something big, like an Oracle database or something similar, in which case the binaries are going to be for Solaris, anyway.

    On a lot of the older hardware, especially the Sparc and SuperSparc vintage machines, Linux is a better choice.


    Because Solaris is designed to scale across many processors, and have lots of memory to play in, and to take advantage of newer hardware. Sure, it'll install on a lot of the older machines, but it was written for the newer ones.

    Since you can compile the Linux kernel, you can configure it for the metal on which it runs. Plus, Linux is smaller than Solaris, and handles the older hardware much better. It might not scale up as well as Solaris, but it scales *down* much better.

    I expect it won't be long before Linux challanges Solaris on it's home turf, though. I figure in about 2 years Linux will be able to make a Starfire hum.
  • I've noticed that some Universities are getting rid of *SOME* Sun workstations. Here at Texas A&M University, the math department computer labs are almost all Intel based PII/PIIIs (depending on when the lab was installed) running Linux with KDE. They are used mostly for Maple although I believe Matlab is installed. What used to be Sun workstations are being replaced with cheaper Intel alternatives.

    There are some areas where the high priced workstations are needed, such as complex visualizations and number crunching, but for the most part Intel/Athlon/Alpha powered machines will due quite nicely.

    We do have Sun and SGI servers. Two 6-way Ultra Enterprise 5000s (one with 167MHz CPUs and one with 250s) with 1gb memory support the students that use UNIX. Home directories are stored on a 4-way Enterprise 3000. Two AlphaServer 2100 4/275 support OpenVMS users. And there are a ton of support servers (web servers, mail, dialin, storage). I do not see these being replaced with cheaper alternatives any time soon.

    There is a place for Linux in lower end applications, but there is no way that a Linux server could handle the tasks that the above servers have to deal with from 43,000 students + faculty and staff every single day of the year.
  • I am posting from an Ultra 10 with 256Mb of ram creator 3D card etc. They made 1 flaw with these boxen. IDE. They should have gone with scsi. The disk access slows these down a great deal. I would rather have nice SCSI seagate 10000 rpm drive in here.
  • The problem with the TurobSparc goes beyond the bootloader. The mmu is slightly different to all other 32bit SPARC processors, and none of the SparcLinux developers have acces to one.

    If Sun or anyone else could donate a SS5 170Mhz - or if RedHat could buy David Miller one - then there might be some movement on theis issue. I for one would like to upgrade my SS5 110Mhz to a TurboSparc chip, but I haven't even looked into the possibility of doing this thanks to the inability to use Linux on it.

    I do recall that NetBSD runs on the Turbo, so perhaps you want to look into installing it, and then adding RPM to give it that RedHat feel.

    Chris Wareham
  • But then, why is there the Classpath project that rewrites the complete runtime library? Or, as they put it on

    GNU Classpath is a set of essential libraries for supporting the Java language. Our goal is to provide a free replacement for Sun's proprietary class libraries so that the GNU system can run programs written in the Java language.

    Classpath is licensed under the terms of the GNU Library General Public License. As such, it can be used to run free as well as proprietary applications and applets.

    I haven't got enough insight in the GPL to say if they must have a replacement or if it is for political reasons only.
  • "The problem with Solaris" is indeed on low end machines. However, "low end" for SUN machines means a 40 MHz SparcStaiton Classic with 16 MB or something like that - machines that usually are 5 or more years old (and have usually been running more or less continously), but still work perfectly.

    Solaris works perfectly fine on any UltraSPARC, including the 143 MHz Ultra 1 with 64 MB. Linux may beat it out in single processor benchmarks, but I doubt that you will notice significant differences in real usage.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's good to see The Carpeted Man get this. Too bad SUN doesn't. Is this the first GPL product (the kernel and many utils) that SUN has sold. Maybe when GNU/Linux sales surpass Slowlaris sales, they will get the point. C'mon SUN, at least put less (the pager) in your OS!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Linux really does a fine jobs of making the hardware invisible. I haven't tried [Net Open]BSD but I'd bet money it is similar. The true advantage of the UNIX family in general is how well it abstracts the hardware from the system and still allows the user great power. I managed to snag a Sparcbook 3GX for $800. I loaded linux on to replace the Solaris 2.5.1. The speed increase is amazing. I now have more programs to choose from and porting from x86 is mostly just a recompilation with a few different compiler flags. I'd let it be my main box, but I have yet to replace the 3 year old NiMH batteries to get a running time of greater than 45 minutes. Boy does that thing put out some heat.
  • the sun classes are still proprietary, yeah you can read the source to most of them by unziping, but there are a LOT outside the java.* tree. Not to mention that there are none of the native implementations provided, so you can't rebuild the libs. Also the sheer frustration of trying to get something fixed in the sun code... you can go look at their source, and find the problem, and fix the problem... but then what? open a bug on the parade? even if you supply the fix the odds are it will never be accepted - and you aren't allowed to give that fixed class to anyone.... There was a gal back in jdk 1.1.4 time frame that had to include in her readme the directions to patch two of sun's awt classes so that her program would even work. That's pathetic. That's why we need an OSS impl of the core java classes.

    disclaimer: I'm not part of GNUClasspath.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong