SysAdmin's Journey

Plunging Into the Deep End: Running OpenSolaris on My Primary Workstation

Well, like I did with Linux ten years ago, I installed OpenSolaris 2009.06 on my primary workstation at work. There’s simply no better way to learn an OS than to force yourself to run it. While I was pretty close to Ctrl-C'ing the whole project a couple of times, I’m now getting things set up pretty much the way I need them to be. Stay tuned for articles with my tips, but here’s my first impressions:

  • IPS - the new package manager is fairly robust. It certainly appears to have some speed issues, but all in all, it works pretty well. It has a good selection of software available - not extensive, but enough to get you going. I’m sure both the speed and the quantity will both improve with time.
  • The Gnome Desktop as shipped has a very sharp and clean feel to it. It’s hard to describe, but I like it.
  • From what I can tell, Compiz is only supported with NVidia graphics cards. The fglrx driver doesn’t yet exist for OpenSolaris.
  • It really sucks trying to debug Xorg setup without virtual consoles!
  • While I’m a long ways from being comfortable, I’m now at a point that I don’t think I’ll find any showstopping issues.