Thursday Apr 03, 2008

Serving Sun Rays from inside a VirtualBox

Imagine you have some Sun Ray[tm] clients and you'd like to use them with some hardware which doesn't support Solaris. Or maybe you're running OSX, Windows or Ubuntu on some hardware which has some spare cycles but isn't running an OS which is supported by SRSS.

  1. Download a copy of VirtualBox for your operating system.
  2. Download a copy of Solaris 10 which is supported by SRSS3 and SRSS4.
  3. Download a copy of Sun Ray Server Software. I used SRSS 4.0 09/07. Note:Some GNU/Linux distributions are also supported, and SRSS can be forced to work with some unsupported Linux distributions and versions of OpenSolaris. But I'll stick with Solaris 10u5, it's reasonably lightweight and solid. [Read More]

Published OpenSolaris desktop FAQ

I gathered questions and answers from the OpenSolaris desktop mailing list, other forums and other places and people and published the first version of an OpenSolaris Nevada Desktop FAQ here:

http://www.genunix.org/wiki/index.php/Desktop_FAQ_for_Solaris_Nevada_(JDS)

This FAQ is focused on the GNOME and other desktop components which are available in recent Solaris Nevada distributions. Though it should be noted that "Indiana" shares most of these components. I would appreciate any help in keeping the document accurate, up to date and complete. Once the default desktops on other distributions become as well defined and well used, I plan to publish additional FAQs. I also hope to move the document onto an opensolaris hosted twiki once such a twiki goes online. Thanks to everyone who contributed questions and answers!

Monday Jan 28, 2008

xlincity, another opensource S\*mC\*ty fork, now runs on OpenSolaris

Now there are two OpenSolaris options for those who spent many long hours playing SimCity in the 1980s and 90s, or those who would like to experiment with city simulations and contribute to the project. The first was micropolis, a port designed with the XO One Laptop Per Child project in mind and promising extensibility via Python modules.

And now I've checked in a spec file and patch which builds xlincity (a.k.a. lincity.) which looks to be a rather old, but ready to play X11 port of the classic game. Xlincity on OpenSolaris For some reason, parts of the lincity source code seemed to have been written with notepad, edlin or some other Windows/DOS text editor, as they had to be run through dos2unix in order to get them to build properly on OpenSolaris. But the SFExlincity spec file sorts that out for you and it applies a small xlincity-01-solaris.diff patch.

The easiest way to build it on OpenSolaris (and possibly Solaris 10?) is:

  1. Install the OpenSolaris Common Build Environment (CBE) from http://opensolaris.org/os/project/jds/contributing/building
  2. Checkout a copy of Spec-files-extra: svn co https://pkgbuild.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/pkgbuild/spec-files-extra/trunk SFE
  3. Set your proxy (if needed): export http_proxy=http://your.proxy.server:your_proxy_port_number
  4. pkgtool build-install --download SFExlincity.spec
Have fun!

Monday Mar 19, 2007

About those SunLive07 Tech Days London public access terminals

For anyone who attended the SunLive07 Tech Days conference in London and attended talks and demos of Looking Glass, Wonderland and other cool new technology, you might have been disappointed in the look and feel and performance of the public access terminals upstairs. I can only say that the kiosk mode CDE running on what appeared to be an old version of Solaris with an old version of Sun Ray server does not look or perform nearly as well as anything beyond Solaris 10 with SRSS 3.0+. Here in Ireland I get about 1 Megabit broadband only when there is a tailwind. Yet the GNOME based JDS desktop in Solaris 10 or any recent Nevada build looks and works fine on a Sun Ray at my home. Some long time Solaris advocates perfer CDE on Solaris 8, but I'd put it in the same category as orange T-shirts. It would be really cool to have trusted JDS running on the public terminals. It's one of those technologies (like dtrace, ZFS...) that doesn't make for a flashy passive demo but once you've used it, you get it!
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