I've decided I really need to get back to writing a blog occasionally, and what better day to choose than June 1 2009. Why? Well today we release OpenSolaris 2009.06, the latest OpenSource release of our operating system Solaris.
I know this all sounds a bit marketing, but actually there are some really good reasons for running OpenSolaris on your own machine.
First off, it is the most secure OS I know of. No need to Virus protection.
Second, it just works (mostly). I've just got a new Macbook Pro, I always find it easier to do development work on Solaris than any other platform so I like to run OpenSolaris. It installed pretty much seamlessly (just having to change the EFI disk label using the macOS fdisk utility as described here). The only thing that doesn't work out of the box is the Wifi - which is a pain. It's a broadcom chipset so I've got hold of a PCI3/4 Atheros card which works well
Third, all the development tools I need (and indeed anyone developing for or on Solaris) are available within the standard repositories. I found this page which is how I set up my laptop as a build machine.
From a day to day computing perspective it does everything I need. Mail, Web, chat all included, OpenOffice in the repositories for free (and simple) download. A new Media player in Elisa (in the repo), though unfortunately you have to buy the codecs for many common video formats.
So the next questions is, is it any different from 2008.11? Well it's hard for me to say as I've been upgrading every few weeks to the latest development builds (by using the opensolaris.com/dev repository). But I did install it fresh in side a VirtualBox VM and was impressed with the speed of the install. The auto installer is now more complete and can install SPARC machines (necessary for a good proportion of our customers). There are networking improvements, but generally the speed and usability is what you'll notice.
Oh and Fast reboot. Makes it much quicker to shutdown or reboot a machine.
Today I'm attending Comunity One (or C1 as we call it) and much more will be discussed about OpenSolaris and all our other OpenSource development efforts. I'll try to remember to write a blog about it (though don't hold your breath on recent form :-)