UK OpenSolaris User group

On Monday we had the first meeting of the UK OpenSolaris user group. It was interesting to meet some of the other people (ie. non Sun people) who want to get OpenSolaris working. There was a presentation from Simon Phipps about why OpenSource is necessary and good, which was interesting. We also had a free form discussion about anything. The vast majority of this was covering Licensing which is something I have no experise, or to be honest interest in. However there were two really interesting technical points.
1. How will I know exactly which source made up my [Open]Solaris system: I put Open in brackets because this also pertains to comercial solaris and is a problem we've had inside sun for many years. We know what shipped as base Solaris 10 for example, but then we ask customers to apply patches (or they choose to because they have a problem). These patches are generated from what is called the "Patch Gate", which is branched off the main gate at FCS (at which point the main gate is frozen). All patches are generated from this and then the target binaries are put in to the patch and applied to the system. Copies of the source are also take and put in the "Source Patch" which is only available internally. Obviously we can keep a record of the SCCS versions of the code we put in to the patches so that we can go back later and find out. But these are not readily available from the binaries. This would be a good thing to be able to find out from a running system and is probably something we should put in to OpenSolaris to allow users to identify exactley what is on their system.
2. Can we mount ext[23]fs on Solaris: The answer to this is no. At the moment we have no implementation of the ext[23] file systems. It would be useful for migrating people to Solaris, however as a company our development is targetting ZFS. That's not to say it shouldn't be done, so put it up for discussion and see who bites. Try posting to the disucssion forum Or perhaps the file systems one I know that is primarily for ufs, but theres some good filesystems people in that comunity.
I'm now looking forward to the next meeting. Hopefully we will get even more people there and can have some targetted technical discussions
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The Sun compilers default to including information from the #pragma ident lines in all the source files into the binaries. You can view it with '/usr/ccs/bin/mcs' - unfortunately, most of the binaries we ship in Solaris have had this information stripped out with mcs, but it should be easy to modify the OpenSolaris builds to preserve it.

Posted by Alan Coopersmith on June 23, 2005 at 09:38 PM BST #

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Chris W Beal

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