Tuesday Oct 06, 2009

Presenting at the OpenSolaris Developer Conference

This year I am fortunate enough to present at the OpenSolaris conference in Dresden Germany.  I will be presenting an introduction to the DTrace Chime tool.  It will be a quick introduction to Chime which is a great graphical tool to display DTrace scripts.

I am really looking forward to meeting people in the OpenSolaris community in person for the first time.  I am also looking forward to visiting Germany.  Technically I have been to Germany once before but it was just a couple of days in a US military hospital in the 90's so I didn't get to see much.

Wednesday May 27, 2009

Coding Horror and ZFS

I enjoy following Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror blog.  You might be able to guess from the blog title (hint: the book "Code Complete") that he lives in the Microsoft world.  So it was very nice to see this post about RAID, the Sunfire X4500, and ZFS.

Tuesday May 12, 2009

A new bugs.opensolaris.org

Today we launched a new version of bugs.opensolaris.org.  For the past few months I have been supporting this but it was not very practical to make changes since it lived on another group's servers.  Now it runs on the opensolaris.org infrastructure so I can now deploy updates.  So today I have deployed bug fixes that have been waiting for over a year to be dealt with.  A happy day indeed for users of bugs.opensolaris.org!  :-)

Friday May 01, 2009

Chime Demo

This is my first attempt at a screen cast demo for Chime.  It is a little rough but I think might be helpful to give some ideas of what you can do with Chime.  I had some technical difficulties namely of being able to record audio.  I ended up using my cell phone and was limited to only 86 seconds.  

Please comment and let me know if you think this concept is useful.  If so it will give me more incentive to improve on it!

Chime DTrace Demo

Friday Feb 13, 2009

Changes Coming to bugs.opensolaris.org

I have recently taken over work on bugs.opensolaris.org. For the first time in a long time changes will be made to it and problems will be fixed. Even though it appears to be just another part of the main opensolaris.org site it really was a completely separated from anything at opensolaris.org. Essentially it is a re-branded version of bugs.sun.com. For quite awhile now bugs.opensolaris.org has been orphaned with no one to make the changes needed for the OpenSolaris community.

Don't expect any major changes overnight but I have already made some changes to bug submission pages. More improvements are in the works and will be live very soon. Most of the updates are behind the scenes right now but they are necessary to support OpenSolaris defect tracking long term.

Friday Oct 31, 2008

OpenSolaris, Now with Emacs!

Emacs is now in the pkg.opensolaris.org image packaging system.  So if you run OpenSolaris you don't need to build it yourself,  just open up the Package Manager and download the Emacs packages.

Monday Oct 27, 2008

On the Road with OpenSolaris

Last week I spent a week in Menlo Park California for team meetings.  During this trip I brought along my laptop the runs OpenSolaris and only OpenSolaris.  I am pretty happy with OpenSolaris as a mobile operating system.  Not long ago this would not be the case because if you wanted to run Solaris on a moblie machine you needed a big budget Tadpole.

Only two things were an issue for me.  The NWAM (Network Auto Magic) had some issues when I was switching to a new wireless network (which is something I was doing all the time).  But it was easy to fix by restarting the service.  The second problem I ran into was that I was not able to update the Podcasts on my iPod yet.  I know this can be done with things like GTKPod but I just never got around to trying to get it to work.  So that's a minor temporary complaint.  I still use iTunes for my iPod.  When VirtualBox on OpenSolaris gets USB support that will also take care of this issue.

Wednesday Oct 08, 2008

Emacs and OpenSolaris

Peter Buckingham has a blog entry about how he built Emacs on OpenSolaris.  It's very staright forward.

Rumor has it that Emacs is coming soon to the OpenSolaris repository so this type of thing won't be necessary unless you are truely hard core.

Friday Oct 03, 2008

Solaris Quality

When I joined Sun to work on the OpenSolaris website there was really only one thing that surprised me.  It was this.  Yes, that means opensolaris.org runs on development builds.  Imagine, if we can get that kind of stability from development builds imagine how good the offically released product is? 

I know in the past I have used some commercial OS releases that I wished had the stability of a Nevada build.

Tuesday Aug 12, 2008

Dtrace Once Again Saves the Day

I am in the process of setting up a back up source control server for the OpenSolaris infrastructure.  Unfortunately, the last time this was done was quite awhile ago, it isn't very well documented, and everyone who did that in the past is gone or doesn't really remember the details.  So I setup the server but there was an elusive bug with the new server.  I spent hours going through the configuration and source code to see what was different between the new server and the current server.  I had no luck and started to get frustrated.

I decided to take a look at the problem from a different perspective.  I got out my "Solaris Performance and Tools" book to get some ideas.  It is a great book that I highly recommend that has saved my behind on several occasions.  Brendan Gregg has this DTrace one liner:

dtrace -n 'proc:::exec-success { trace(curpsinfo->pr_psargs); }'

This little one liner showed the problem right away since it showed me that one of the arguements of a process was pointing to a non-existing file.  So it ended up being a bug in the source control server package that was missing a lib file, not a confiration problem like I thought at first.

I think next time I'll try DTrace sooner!  It might be a little earlier to start a New Year's resolution but I am also planning on resolving to get better with DTrace.  I am convinced it will save me time in the long run.


Thursday Jul 31, 2008

OpenSolaris, Keeps Getting Better

I just updated my laptop to the latest image update from the OpenSolaris repository.  I am really happy with this update because now power management is working for me finally.  No more running on battery and wondering how much longer I have before it dies.   Now all I need is suspend and hibernate.   

Thursday Jul 10, 2008

Emacs on OpenSolaris

One thing that right now that is missing from OpenSolaris and its repository is Emacs.  At least for me Emacs is one of things that has to part of  my desktop system.  The fact that it isn't there is not an issue because traditionally I build Emacs right from CVS.  I like to live life on the edge! 

Building Emacs on Solaris used to require some special steps to get the job done.  Fortunately with OpenSolaris it just builds right from CVS (as of today at least), all the I needed to do was was add "--with-gif=no" parameter to "configure" since the gif libraries are not on OpenSolaris.    There is only one issue with the default settings for building on OpenSolaris, the menus look "retro" like it came right out of Openwin desktop!  So I guess Emacs still need some fiddling to make it look good on OpenSolaris but until I have time to put into researching a fix I can live with the retro look since it meets my simple text editing needs. 

Friday Jun 27, 2008

Life with OpenSolaris 2008.05

This is now the second work week as OpenSolaris 2008.05 and I can tell you I am not going back.  I really like it.  For me it beats out any Linux distro I have used and any other previous version of Solaris.  The week OpenSolaris was released I install OpenSolaris on my laptop just to try it out.  Before I made the plunge with my primary desktop I really wanted to make sure it would work.   So now my Sony Vaio Laptop and my Ultra 40 workstation are running OpenSolaris 2005.05 and life is good.  Sure there have been a few issues here and there with network connections that don´t work on startup but over all it has been a smooth transition.

 A few things I really like about OpenSolaris:  1.  Everything is ZFS.  It really makes ¨live upgrades¨ a piece of cake.  2.  The package manager.  It still a little rough around the edges but I think it will be the best package manager out there at some point.  The big thing we need now are more packages.  3.  Root shell is bash and the pfexec command.  Things are now much easier when you to do admin tasks on you workstation.  First when you su it is now a bash shell.  ¨bash¨ was always the first thing I always typed anyway when I became root.  But I don´t have to do that much anymore now because of the ´pfexec´ command.  Its kind of like sudo.  The best part about it was that it was just configured to work for my account.


Bill Rushmore III


Top Tags
« July 2016