Monday, August 21, 2006

Solaris - An Odyssey to take

on August 17th and 18th Mr.Ananth Shrinivas and Mr.Prathap Devarajan from Sun microsytems were in our college to educate the students about Opensolaris.Though i knew that x86 version of Solaris existed before itself i saw two such for the first time in reality on their laptops."solaris is always synonymous with the SPARC[a ruthless bytecrunching monster]" has been my view in the past.Only a few times had i ever heard of people speaking about solaris and i was waiting for an opportunity to have hands on experience in Solaris.

i first installed Solaris on one hard disk with both of them nearby and the installation was similar to the debian installation in terms of the range of the information it asked but different in terms of the environment and keys used.The partition naming terminologies were different and i crossed that level with ease as i used one of the 2 hard disks fully.then the installation were over and it binded to the NIS server of our lab properly and booted correctly.The Gnome had been customised by the people at sun and after seeing that did i believe that gnome could be used effectively to produce a really stuning look..DTrace is an amazing tool which involves a "simple idea but complex implementation" .Though i could not understand the syntax of the D language i could make out from the results it dumped what could have been the question possed at it.But never even once could i tell at what places it could be used and how the script should be framed before, ananth ran the eg scripts.

Then on the 18th of August due to some delay we started the session by 10:30 and the history of unix and solaris was handled by ananth.Then followed the session on Zones by Pratap.He gave the some insight on Branded zones too.After which ZFS was handled and then we shifted to the CS Conference we had some normal discussion on the whole thing and the people possed their questions.After the session we got the DVD and CDs from them and then i accompanied Pratap to the temple and from there to the Bus Stand.

The Session made us to understand the cool technologies available only in Solaris and not in any other Operating Systems.The Third year students too felt the same.But for the Second years(who had not yet studied OS concepts) and also for the people who had no clue about Unix based systems, there were in NO MAN's LAND.But the number of People who were really profitted by this would count to some 35-40 people.Had i come across this session quite some time back i would have based my project in it is too late :( Atleast the junior people got some insight and exposure on these technologies.The coolest thing was the customized Gnome GUI.

Some of the areas where i flinched was when Linux kernel was rebuked badly.True, solaris is a OS which is generation ahead but the purpose with which it started and also concentrated on are on servers and not on ordinary PC's.while Linux is aimed at to be used as a desktop system and later it evolved and it started dominating the servers market.Both are different and could not be compared.Linux is young and was started only in the 90's while Solaris is old and its history dates back to the early 80's.While solaris has got some cooool features for administering, Linux has got many drivers for all kinds of systems.True some of the features in solaris cant be implemented in Linux cos it is meant to be that way.

kudos for the two people from Sun Microsystems for their initiative in taking this seminar.We have decided to create a mailing list called MOSUG -Madurai OpenSolaris UserGroup and also we are going to install OpenSolaris in all the client systems in Unix lab so that people can start using it.The point is solaris is a great OS with great innovations and it should be learnt by the CS people.To conclude Solaris has bagged a spot in my GRUB after GNU/Linux :)


Pokers said...

Thank you for taking the time to check out OpenSolaris. I like your thoughts on the need for students to learn all OSes.

Do join the community. I would love to see more volunteers working on BeleniX. We have some real cool projects available for folks interested in Operating Systems.


Jim Grisanzio said...

Hi ... congratulations on starting your OpenSolaris user group. I subscribed to your list. Would you like to be part of the OpenSolaris User Group Community on We can offer you a page along with the other groups here: Let me know. Hope to meet you guys some day. :)


Ananth said...

Wow ! Count yourself dead lucky !! Jim commented on your blog !!!

Now you guys really have to work hard on taking mosug to the next level !!