Log in

No account? Create an account

Solaris, HOW-TO, It works... Really...

« previous entry | next entry »
Aug. 3rd, 2007 | 11:42 am

Get a machine to run Solaris.

Download main Solaris install.

Discover that the version you really want it is called Express... or
maybe Open Solaris... or something...

Install (pray you have a CDROM).

Then look for GNU packages.

Which means one of:

1) Getting some binaries, from somewhere on the internet, that have a
compiler, and then download from ftp.gnu.org all of the source for
all of the binaries you want. Recompile everything into /usr/local/.
For GCC you may need to do this twice.

2) Get SFW packages from Sun... which are sort of useful, and have
"most" of what you need. Those the versions are all old. See comment
one about recompiling everything from scratch off of ftp.gnu.org

3) Find a tool called pkg-get. It is mostly awesome, though it has a
weird scheme for GCC. It also has old packages.

Once you have the above working?

Then start playing with your PATH variable. You will need to juggle:


By default your user account was probably not setup with bash (don't
worry, the root user is screwed as well... so its not like the
sysadmin in root is having much fun), so you will need to change your
shell as well. What is the first command I've noticed that Solaris
sysadmins type when they login to root? "bash"

We won't even get into installing Perl modules, because at this point
you probably have two versions of it installed (and MySQL.... two at
last count).

Emacs vs vi? Well neither are really there. Sure... there is a ghost
of what vi was like well over a decade ago, and Emacs... once the
above is done you will probably have a couple of copies of it
installed, until then you will get to learn to hate vi all over again.

I wonder if Apple could buy Sun. They could provide lessons in UNIX
development and direction.

Link | Leave a comment |

Comments {10}


(no subject)

from: rainblogger
date: Aug. 4th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)

Well, there's a lot to be said for an OS that doesn't change like the wind. :-) Most of the large installations of Solaris are in environments that absolutely require consistency and controlled change to guarantee service. That's why these places tend to run UNIX (Solaris, HPUX and AIX) and not GNU/Linux.

Sun definitely struggles with identity confusion: they want to be rock-solid and keep big customers like telcos, utilities, etc. happy, but they also want to play in the more nimble FOSS space. They are doing a pretty good job of both in general, but I think that these are two very distinct worlds. I'm a big fan of FOSS obviously (as you know) and I think it has made huge inroads into traditional UNIX roles and environments. However, Linux is obviously less mature, less consistent and changes more frequently; UNIX has been in existence for over 30 years.

If you are doing lots of web-based services that require FOSS stack components (e.g., Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python, Ruby, etc.), stick with Linux. Based on my experiences to date, managing the exceptions and quirks of trying to integrate FOSS components with UNIX is often not worth the effort IMHO. I didn't always think this way, but as software and services have increased in complexity, I've come to believe this very strongly. So, I know the pain you are feeling, especially trying to develop and support your FOSS tools and applications on a non-FOSS OS.

Now, I can provision and manage Linux boxes so that they will function as reliably as UNIX boxes. But, I have to control updates of packages and have a good test environment. Actually, I should be doing that for UNIX stuff as well and typically do. Thankfully, by using FOSS tools like cfengine, I can guarantee consistency across large installations of both UNIX and Linux systems without unnecessary SA overhead.

But, I have come to recognize the value of selecting the right tool for the job (gosh, that phrase has been overused). Just like I think any UNIX SA will often be less productive in general by running only a Windows desktop to do his/her job. I finally got approval just yesterday to replace my two laptops, Windows and Ubuntu, with a single OS X laptop with Parallels so I can do everything from one, including testing out new OS installs under Parallels. I'm now as happy as a pig in stink. :-)

p.s., In the last week, I have convinced my company to start porting our application platform (Java-based) to Linux for over half of our infrastructure, which is huge. It will allow us to virtualize servers (using Vmware ESX, which is great) and drastically slash our implementation timelines (it takes us just less than a month to spec/order/install/provision physical systems in our customer hosting environment). With ESX, I can provision new VM's backed by enterprise SAN storage in about 30 minutes, instead of 27 days. :-) Talk about the right tool for the job!


Reply | Thread

Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Aug. 6th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)

Did you do a comparison of VMWare to Xen?

Reply | Parent | Thread


(no subject)

from: rainblogger
date: Aug. 7th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)

Looked at it, but ESX has a much more mature and functional management interface. You pay for it, but for our needs, it's worth it.

Reply | Parent | Thread