Tonight I spent a few hours with OpenSolaris, Sun Microsystem's newest Unix offering aimed at developers. Just to be all technical about it, I installed the system on my Intel iMac using VirtualBox (my first, EXTREMELY positive experience with this application, also from Sun); 1 GB of system RAM and 16 GB of HDD space were delegated to it. My previous experience with Linux/Unix/BSD includes Slackware, Red Hat, FreeBSD, Debian, and Arch Linux, so I'm pretty comfortable with getting down-and-dirty when I need to. I took a lot of screenshots, so bear with my over-enthusiasm for pretty pictures.
The first thing I did was boot into the LiveCD just to get a feel for how this system was going to work for me. Although it booted slowly (to be expected with a virtual emulator I suppose), I was eventually greeted with an extremely clean, appealing Gnome desktop. I have never been a huge fan of Gnome (I'm more of a Fluxbox user myself, I love ultra-clean), but I have to admit I was very impressed with the desktop.
Here's a shnazzy shot of it running on my Mac!
I didn't mess much with the LiveCD, more because I was already planning to install the OS on my hard drive, so I didn't get a chance to explore how the LiveCD saves (or doesn't) live sessions. I do, however, want to note that I couldn't get the wireless working even though it obviously recognized my card. Another odd issue was with my sound card...not exactly necessary right now, but since my passion is game dev, this could quickly become an annoying issue.
Anyway, now for the real fun: the installation!
Unlike every other Linux OS I've ever installed this installation was a dream...if I remember correctly I went through maybe 3 screens total, and the next thing I knew the system was happily installing on my computer, as shown in the picture. I'd complain again about the speed, but it's easily the fastest Linux install I've ever had, so forget I even mentioned it.
After rebooting I set to work getting the system ready for my awesome coding skills, which basically includes making sure C++, Java, and a nice IDE are installed. Somehow my internet magically started working as soon as I booted, which was a nice surprise, because I'm very sick of having to configure my internet on Linux systems. Just saying. Unfortunately the sound didn't automagically fix itself, and I'm hoping getting it to work without too much hassle. I also noticed that CDs and DVDs didn't seem to be mounted...though honestly I'm not sure if this is an issue with the OS itself or one with VirtualBox...another thing to explore at a later time.
The one thing that did strike me as very odd was the fact that the GNU C/C++ compilers weren't pre-installed. However, this gave me a chance to explore the Package Manager. Overall package management is set up very similar to Debian, definitely a good thing because I felt that the package management was the main area where Debian shined.
The two applications I immediately downloaded were Netbeans (hands down my favorite IDE), and, more out of curiosity, Sun Studio Express (through the ss-dev package), an IDE I had not heard about until now, but which I quickly realized was just Netbeans with a focus on C/C++/Fortran.
Obligatory command-line shot, with both Netbeans and Sun Studio Express installed!
Overall I was deeply impressed with this system. I'm looking forward to spending more time with it and trying some real development projects. Although initially I was unsure whether I'd even bother keeping it installed on my Mac, since I have it set up for dev work as well as an Arch Linux and a FreeBSD system, the speed with which I managed to set up Solaris with some powerful dev tools has convinced me to work with this system regularly in my coursework.
Hello 2012, I’m Josh. It’s nice to meet you.
5 years ago