Monday, June 29, 2009

A farewell to Solaris 9... Already?

My flock still has a large Solaris 9 community within it. It's hard to believe its already time to start the long march to EOSL, but alas, the announcement is clear, as is the Solaris 9 Transition FAQ. The bell is ringing.

Looking back at other Solaris EOLs I seem to always recall thinking that revision had really grown long in the tooth, and the replacement OS was badly needed. In this case, Solaris 10 has a long list of what I consider "dreams come true" to make you want to upgrade. However, I have a lot of experience watching Solaris 9 boxes take some incredible abuse and keep ticking. In my mind, it may have fewer bells and whistles, but it really did its job well.

So let's raise a glass of Solaris and toast to the legacy of 5.9, and to the enterprise evolution that is 5.10 and OpenSolaris. Cheers!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

OpenSolaris on the ThinkPad

After a long run of just dealing with Windows on my personal latpop I have finally managed to get OpenSolaris running on it. I've had a continuous hassle with my old Wifi card that seemed to only be truly happy under Windows. After a few years of that I took a chance on a new card from eBay and found that it... WORKED!

I started out trying the latest Ubuntu desktop, which has a great library of packages available for it and fantastic integration. Unfortunatley, its driver configuration seemed to work, then send my wifi into a coma after some period of time. Didn't diagnose it. Didn't care to. My laptop isn't a science project for me, it's a tool I want to just work when I dump a new OS onto its disk.

Next stop was the one I was more excited about: OpenSolaris.

root@saphyra:~# uname -a
SunOS saphyra 5.11 snv_111b i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris
root@saphyra:~# wificonfig showstatus
linkstatus: connected
active profile: none
essid: <>
bssid: <>
encryption: wep
signal strength: medium(10)

Yes, that's right, it's all working. At the moment I'm able to work on a zone / LDAP project from the comfort of my couch enjoying my reborn Thinkpad T23. This thing works like a charm despite being a dinosaur by modern standards.

Before rebuilding it I had pretty much stopped using it because Windows XP was unable to boot in under 5 minutes and it took almost as long to launch an Acrobat Reader session for simple PDF stories I was reading. At the moment everything I do, including web browsing works well and is responsive under only 1GB ram and a 1.1 GHz processor. Sweet.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Solaris Web Console on Windows... Ouch.

I've been spending quite a bit of time lately running the Sun Directory Service Control Center (DSCC) via the Solaris Web Console (port 6789). When I first started the project I was running Firefox on a Sun workstation. Everything was snappy, the engineer was happy.

Somehow along the way I started using my Windows box to access the console. Still running Firefox I discovered an unbelievable slowness. It takes about three clock minutes to process the initial log in. Once I'm in DSCC everything runs acceptably, but that first login is murder.

One of my co-workers stopped my cube today and suggested I try Internet Explorer. Perish the thought! How could that bloated pig possibly out-perform my Firefox browser? OK, I tried it. He was right.

Internet Explorer provides almost instantaneous response to Webconsole logins while Firefox churns its butter for three minutes. This isn't some dot-net application that's clearly Microsoft slanted. It's a Sun web application. Open stuff that would never have a Microsoft bias. I'm not running dead hardware either; This is on a sweet core-duo 1.83 GHz with 1 GB RAM. Handling an initial log in to Webconsole ought to be cake for this hardware.

My observations are based on stock out of the box configurations, so I'm sure there's some Firefox flag to tweak which will optimize it. It just seems mind boggling that a Sun Microsystems web application would perform exponentially better on Internet Explorer and unacceptably slow on Firefox.

Me? I'm going back to running the browser on my UNIX box. It's way too frustrating trying to be a UNIX Engineer via the Windows platform.