By casper on Sep 22, 2005
But today in the mail, I got a message telling me of yet another laptop heading my way. This time a lightweight Fujitsu s2110, again a AMD64 based laptop, as those are the ones we like best.
Perhaps should I make a plot of laptops I got and when and then see if I can estimate the curve; I think I got one in '96, one in 2000, another one in dec 2004 and then again 6 months later and yet again 3 months later; with this accelerating pace it'd be one a day at christmas and one per hour early next year. Hm, perhaps not likely.
Solaris keeps on improving rapidly when it comes to device support; and while in the laptop space things appear to be moving forward very rapidly, there also appears to be some gravitating toward common chipsets. Graphics are often an issue but the fact that the Ferrari 4000 comes with a ATI X700 has the consequence that the updating of the Xorg ati driver is done much more quickly than before.
The Ferrari 3400 is relatively well supported in S10, though I think you really need my powernow driver and even then it still runs fairly hot to the touch.
The Ferrari 4000 requires some external drivers, but then, so does most bleeding hardware, regardless of OS. For the Ferrari 4000, you'll need to download the ethernet driver "bcme" from broadcom.com and we're working hard on getting OSS sound to work nicely on it. The 4000 runs much cooler than the 3400, but the downside is that it always has its fan blowing, albeit quitely. Probably because of a device enumeration bug, the firewire does not yet work. The SD card reader is a special device and we do not support it, unfortunately.
Of course, we're working on getting our broadcom ethernet driver "bge" and the one by broadcom "bcme" to be merged and shipped as a single driver.
Cardbus support is coming for all laptops, as the cardbus interface is properly standardized and they all work more or less the same.
I haven't gotten the Fujitsu yet, so I can't tell how well that will run and/or whether tweaking is necessary.
I don't like to recommend any particular brand or kind of laptop; one recommendation which I can make is this: run Solaris Express on it. It will get all the laptop features you may want much sooner. Such features include new drivers, Xorg support for new hardware, ACPI support, newboot, bug fixes (in some cases the difference between a device working and not working is just a small fix in an existing driver).
S10 was a huge leap forward and brought Solaris for x86/x64 to a point where it again runs on lots of (server) hardware. In Solaris Express, there is much more room for desktop/laptop innovation. We now ship several different x64 desktop platforms, so the x64 desktop/laptop space has much more visibility inside Sun.
If you want performant OpenGL, the only choice you have now is buying a laptop with an nVidia graphics chip and installing the nVidia "closed source" driver.
On the wireless front, things are moving but slowly, but more soon here. So watch this space.
Bluetooth is still a barren landscape when it comes to Solaris; I can't use the bluetooth rodent that came with the Ferrari 4000 (I'm saying rodent because it's quite a bit bigger than a mouse)
Note: I've just started the laptop-discuss list at opensolaris.org