Posts Tagged ‘Solaris’

A few snippets about Project Indiana

September 15, 2007

I recently came across an interesting article on Project Indiana, the upcoming OpenSolaris desktop distro. Here are a few snippets:

“A veil of ambiguity that obscures the function and purpose of OpenSolaris is one of the greater impediments that currently limits the growth of the OpenSolaris community. Is it a kernel or an operating system? As Debian founder and Sun’s new platform strategist Ian Murdock pointed out in a blog post last month, OpenSolaris doesn’t neatly fall into either category. “Like Linux, OpenSolaris is a kernel. Except that it’s more than a kernel. Or, rather, more than a kernel but not quite a complete operating system,” says Murdock. “Are you confused yet?”

Murdock’s solution to this problem is to work with the community to build a cohesive OpenSolaris solution modeled after modern Linux distributions. If Sun can give users and developers an easy way to start experimenting with OpenSolaris, it would reduce the barriers to entry and make the community more inclusive, which would in turn expose a broader audience to really cool features like ZFS and DTrace that inspire adoption of Solaris in enterprise environments.

For Sun, the key to achieving [the] chain reaction of growth is to establish a gentle glide path from Linux to OpenSolaris by creating an integrated OpenSolaris stack that existing Linux users can download, install, and use with minimal effort. Specifically, an installation CD image with a useful set of binary packages that provides a complete desktop environment and access to additional third-party software via remote repositories. Does that remind you of anything? “How many of you would take Solaris for a spin,” asks Murdock, “if doing so was as easy as, say, downloading the latest version of Ubuntu and installing it?””

I really think Project Indiana could go a long way into popularising OpenSolaris. The biggest strength of Ubuntu is that it is idiot-proof. Which means that idiots can get it to work, with minimum fuss and without screwing up. Most people in the world will not spend time to learn an operating system that’s really powerful, coz they couldn’t care less. They’ll adopt it only if it works intutively. This is the path along which Open Source must develop.


Solaris – Once more…

September 13, 2007

After an unsuccessful stint with Solaris, where I couldn’t squeeze any functionality out of the system, I had pretty much slid back to the comfortable working zone that is linux. However, with the advent of the Code For Freedom contest, I find myself gearing up for a second foray into the code of Solaris. This time I’ll be using a Live CD/USB approach (as I have no space left on my hard-drive :D). I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth (“bite-size”?) into some bugs, starting from some easy ones and hopefully moving up the complicity ladder. I’ll get back to you regularly with the progress I make. Till then, so long.

Code For Freedom

September 13, 2007

India gained freedom 60 years ago. To commemorate this event, Sun has launched the “Code for Freedom” contest. This is open to all graduate/undergraduate studets in India. The contest will run for 6 months (upto Feb 08).

The prizes include

  • Sun Workstations/Laptops for the grand prize.
  • iPods Shuffles for significant contributors.
  • USB sticks for early bird prizes.
  • T-shirts for each valid submission.
  • Sun hardware for university with the most worthwhile contribution.

You can choose to do your project in any of the following technologies depending on your interest:

 Technology  Type of project  Interests
 OpenSolaris Work on solving bugs here. Solve as many as possible. Try to take on an easy one first and then try to move up the complexity.  C/C++, Operating system, Unix
Improve Project GlassFish by submitting bug reports, bug
fixes, enhancement requests, code, documents and localizations. Click on the left link for more details
 Java, Servlets, Client-Server model.
 NetBeans Code,
Bugs and Documentation for the Netbeans IDE. This is one place where
non-technical users can contribute in the form of tutorials, help
pages, etc.
 IDEs, Java, Netbeans.
code into the Apache derby codebase. Derby is a complete
relational-database implementation with a very small footprint written
fully in Java.
 Java, Database
 Portlets, Bugs, RFEs, Documentation. Work on the technologies (listed in link). Help with the integration with Netbeans.  Java, website, remote accesss


A suggestion to fellow students. Select your project depending upon your interest. It wont matter if you haven’t contributed in the field/project before. This contest is meant to be that bridge. Once you have a topic selected, join all the appropriate mailing lists and IRC channels. Download the relevant source code and look through it. Once you have an idea of the flow of code, you can start with the actual coding. Be sure to learn how to ask questions on a mailing-list. The folks who work on your selected project will be more than happy to help you.

Go here for complete contest guidelines. You can take a look at the rules and FAQ.

Drop any queries you have below.

Welcome to free software. Happy coding!”

as found on Anil Gulecha’s Blog.

ZFS: The First Word on Seminars

September 13, 2007

As I said, I had planned my ZFS seminar for the first week of March. Let me give you a bit of background detail about this thing. We in the Pune University, i.e. the oppressed lot, have to give a technical seminar on anything that is on the “bleeding edge” of technology as part of our T.E curriculum. With a bit of deliberation, and a vague idea of killing two birds with one stone, I chose ZFS as my seminar topic. It would be only right to mention here that Anil helped me find the right topic. Thanks man, you’re an indispensable help!

So out I set on a tryst with ZFS! (Forgive the prolix prose, I tend to get carried away:P). And boy-oh-boy, what a delight it turned out to be. This is such a super area for work, that my professor jumped up and down and said that I MUST consider this for my B.E. project.

After putting in some work on understanding what the fuss was all about, I set about writing my paper. There is a lack of documentation on ZFS. All the documents available focus on administration, but none explain the basic fundas of ZFS. So, I couldn’t copy-paste my report, which is what everyone does, whether they accept it or not. I had to see a series of videos (ref to past posts), and write my report based on them. And the blogs of the ZFS team too were of great help.

As for the presentation, I just used ZFS:The Last Word on File Systems, which is a pdf by jeff bonwick available on the net. You won’t possibly get better slides on ZFS, and this presentation has been used by everybody.

Conclusion: Profs were impressed, I was impressed (with ZFS), and I have finally got my first seminar totally prepared and practiced too!

ZETTA Great!

September 13, 2007

Come March, and I will be giving my first seminar on ZFS. While I started out with no particular bias towards ZFS, I have been completely bowled over by the revolutionary approach that ZFS takes towards FileSystems.

It will be redundant of me to tell you about the various superb features that are incorporated into ZFS, but I’d really recommend that you read Jeff Bonwick’s blog and see the explanatory videos featuring Bill Moore.These will explain ZFS in layman’s terms, and you do not need any background to understand what is happening.

I will certainly get back on how this seminar comes through, but now I must go back and fine tune my speaking skills!