Home > Linux, Sun Microsystems > Rant – Solaris vs Linux Part I

Rant – Solaris vs Linux Part I

November 13th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

A rant about the state of play with Sun, and what I’d like to see Sun do to improve Solaris.

I was midly amused when Sun made claims some time back that Solaris is a better Linux than Linux itself. I’ve been a Linux user since the early 0.9 kernel days, and nothing beats it. Sure there are issues that crop up from time to time, but overall. It’s a pretty pleasant experience. I must admit I was a little offended by that Sun comment.

I have been an admin of Solaris and HP systems for many years, both commercial versions of UNIX have goodness and badness to them.

But, then along came ZFS. I usually balk at companies’ gargantuan claims of their products meeting all requirements, providing easy administration, seamless integration, and making sure your cat is out for the night. But I suspect that Sun’s ZFS may be just that… It’s fantastic. No longer having to worry about slices, disks with different geometries, having to fsck disks after a crash, waiting 3 hours for a 500G FS to be created, then having to redo it all again ’cause you got the sizes slightly wrong.

It is/was Sun’s saviour, (along with dtrace, zones, and performance)… couldn’t have come at a better time.

But, now, finally we have ZFS booting . Woohoo! We can BOOT ZFS now. No more UFS. Damn fantastic that is.

This is just one more nail in Linux’s coffin, (unfortunately), for me. These days, on the server side, I run Solaris exclusively, the desktop side still Linux, but I’d switch like I change my light bulbs if only Sun would address the very last… nagging…..horrible… frustrating aspect of Solaris, (OK, there’s more, but this is one that has frustrated me for YEARS).

Sun’s package management

It’s a HORRIBLE hack. I detest it with a vengeance. IMO the best package management system is HPUX’s Software Distributor. A close second is Debian’s apt-get/dpkg. You can install via network, tape, disk, CD. You can install and rollback. You can checksum verify package contents. You can see what it actually installs, and what it has installed. You can do a dry-run. Has all the pre/post script execution goodness.

If only Sun came out with something similar. Maybe even a combination of apt-get, (or yum), and SDUX. That’d be gold. I really expect this to happen. If Sun is heading down the command/admin simplification path. I look forward to being able to type:

% pkg install gnome


% pkg remove hugin


% pkg verify firefox


% pkg list

I mean…. Why not Sun?

(And what about my cat?)

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