Tuesday Mar 23, 2010

OpenSolaris Governing Board Election Results

This time last year, I noted I was slightly disappointed at the low number of non-Sun folks who'd been elected to the OpenSolaris Governing Board. No fear of that this year, with just one of the seven newly-elected board members currently representing Sun\^H\^H\^HOracle... although there are certainly a few ex-Sun faces in the mix too.

The new constitution was approved this time around as well. Here's hoping all concerned can keep up the momentum that's been gathering over the past few years.

Friday Jun 19, 2009

Try out OpenSolaris... in your browser

This is a neat idea (if not technically all that novel)... log in to Sun Learning Services portal, and you can play with a virtual instance of OpenSolaris for up to an hour.

It does require Java, there are only 8 slots available at any one time, and right now they're still provisioning OpenSolaris 2008.11 rather than the newer and shinier 2009.06. But if you want to give OpenSolaris a quick whirl, you might find it more convenient than downloading the LiveCD.

More info in Brian Leonard's blog entry.

Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

OpenSolaris Governing Board, Acrobatics

The results are in; the OpenSolaris community has a new Governing Board. However, the proposed new constitution failed to gain sufficient support for approval.

Have to say I was slightly surprised (and, to be honest, a little disappointed) to see that only two non-Sun folks were voted in this time around (especially as one of those is a former Sun folk), but I have no doubt they'll do a fine job... starting, I expect, by revisiting that constitution issue.

In other news, the long hiatus between releases of Adobe Reader for [Open]Solaris x86 is over... grab Reader 9.1 now on Adobe's download page. Very fine though Evince is at handling the majority of PDF-reading tasks, some jobs still just require the proprietary Real Thing...and however one might feel about that, it's great that Solaris and OpenSolaris are now sufficiently (re-)established on x86 that Adobe are offering that option once again.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.11

Sun are officially launching OpenSolaris 2008.11 today... although as the name suggests, it was pretty much ready to go at the end of last month, and those in the know have been able to download it from both the community website and the distro website since then :) Join us at 1700 UTC today for a web chat with some of the people involved.

Glynn has written up a good summary of new features, which include GNOME 2.24, ZFS Time Slider, accessible install, and big improvements to plug'n'play printer support, automatic network configuration, and laptop suspend/resume. The number of additional packages available in the repositories has greatly improved since the 2008.05 release, and we now have various repos and a new process that will make contributing packages easier than ever.

Roman Strobl has produced a 12 minute screencast to show off some of the new bits, and Erwann Chénedé has a shorter one that focuses exclusively on Time Slider, which seems to have been generating a lot of interest.

Of course, 2008.11 still has all the usual Solaris goodness like ZFS, Zones and Dtrace built-in, with the Solaris Trusted Extensions now just a click away too, giving you access to one of the most secure desktops on the planet\*.

So why not give the LiveCD a spin? You can grab it via BitTorrent, or download the ISO directly from Sun (or alternatively, from the genunix mirror, or via FTP from LTH in Sweden).

\* Probably :) (OpenSolaris Trusted Extensions hasn't received Common Criteria Certfication yet, but the Solaris 10 version was most recently certified at EAL 4+. More information here.)

Monday May 19, 2008

The man from Adobe, he say...

Yes! (Shame about the wait, though...)

Thursday May 15, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05 in VirtualBox

Seamless OpenSolaris

Congrats to the VirtualBox team on being the first (that I know of) to provide a working Seamless/Unity/Coherence mode for OpenSolaris 2008.05 guests on OS X. (I don't know how long this has actually worked, I only tried it last night, in VB 1.6...)

Obviously a bit of work to do before it rivals the sort of integration that Windows guests enjoy in Fusion and Parallels, but it's a good step in the right direction...

Wednesday Dec 05, 2007

Parallels Tools for Solaris

If you have any interest in seeing a Solaris version of the Parallels Tools, a good place to register your interest would be this thread on the Parallels Forums.

Or, you could just use VMware instead, which already has them.

Friday Nov 16, 2007

Google Swag

Was slightly surprised to find a Google Summer of Code 2007 t-shirt in the mail this morning-- had forgotten I'd even signed up as a mentor. Obviously my services weren't required this year, which is probably no bad thing for the would-be protégé.

Wednesday May 16, 2007

Hey Presto!

Or, "Solaris printing finally makes it into the 21st century".

Check out Norm's screencast of the first working bits of the automatic printer detection and config system that we're working on for OpenSolaris. Only works for local USB printers right now, but loads more functionality to come over the next few months. Kudos to the printing team-- Norm, Wendy (who doesn't have a blog, AFAIK), Ghee and Halton\*-- for finally nailing one of the most-neglected parts of the Solaris user experience.

\*Okay, so I've been helping a bit too...

Wednesday Jun 14, 2006

Sun Birthday Cluster

OpenSolaris 1 Year Anniversary

An inordinate number of people I know seem to have birthdays this week... not least my own (and two other members of the Sun desktop team) yesterday, which signalled the halfway mark to my threescore and ten. Or probably threescore minus ten, given the genetic predisposition of Lanarkshire folk to fatal heart attacks.

Today, one of the projects I work on has its first birthday too... OpenSolaris. I only work at the desktop end, which arguably isn't where most of the coolest stuff is happening, so I'll let the other bloggers talk about that sort of thing... but nonetheless, the result of all our hard work to integrate GNOME 2.14 into OpenSolaris just before Christmas is that for the first time in quite a while, I can generally use my Solaris desktop box all day every day to do my job, without resorting to Linux or OS X for anything other than testing. That has to be a Good Thing, and long may it continue!

Wednesday Nov 02, 2005


Notwithstanding some (fairly pointless IMHO) debate about the open-ness or otherwise of having to register for its pilot programme, Nexenta looks like being one of the most exciting projects to spring from OpenSolaris so far.


I am a Principal UX Engineer in the Systems Experience Design team, working at Oracle (via Sun Microsystems) since the turn of the century. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.


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