Friday Nov 28, 2008

New Laptop == Fresh install of OpenSolaris

I have a new laptop. A Toshiba Tecra M9. Since it, like my brompton is owned by Sun, it is called "brompton".

The new OpenSolaris 2008.11 bits on this hardware support suspend to RAM so closing the lid with the power disconnected results in the system sleeping almost instantly and equally importantly when I press the power button it restarts from where it left off. Really something that any laptop needs to have so this is real progress.

While Tim is suggesting that Sun should give up on the desktop, something I don't completely agree with as the savings would not be that great unless you give up on the X server as well which would leave Sun Ray high and dry something that we should not do. The desktop experience on a modern 3D accelerated frame buffer is something that is getting quite appealing. While most of the features are really just icing (rotating the workspaces when you hit <control><Alt><Left> & <control><Alt><Right>) at least one I've found useful already. When I press <control> & the key there is a ripple effect as if the desktop were water and a water drop has landed where the mouse is.


It allowed me to track the mouse after VirtualBox had hidden it although in the snapshot you can see the mouse. This has probably been on my old laptop but I either had not noticed it or it was not turned on as I had selected the custom options to compiz a while back. It makes me wonder what other new features are hidden in the window system that I may be missing. A VT220 emulator maybe?

One mis-feature though is that by default savecore does not get run at boot time. I recall the head in the sand arguments that were made for turning off savecore after beta in the dark (although at the time less dark than now) days of SunOS 4.0. This seems like a similar exercise in denying reality. On the upside this is not quite so bad as it was as at least there is a dedicated dump device so the dump will not get overwritten as part of swap and can be extracted later by running savecore. Indeed the first thing I would do and did do was this:

cjg@brompton:/boot/grub$ pfexec savecore
cjg@brompton:/boot/grub$ pfexec dumpadm -y
      Dump content: kernel pages
       Dump device: /dev/zvol/dsk/rpool/dump (dedicated)
Savecore directory: /var/crash/brompton
  Savecore enabled: yes
cjg@brompton:/boot/grub$ 



        
    
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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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