Playing with OpenSolaris 2008.11, Day One

I tried the first public release of OpenSolaris a few months back; my goal was (and still is) to use it on a cheap computer and use ZFS to be the one file server for all the computers in our house. Although the 2008.05 release worked fine initially, I decided to wait for the next release for bugs to be worked out.  Plus, I was too busy to really spend time with it.

Since then, I've purchased more of the gear for my cheap home file server, and over the winter break I intend to build the computer and see if the new OpenSolaris 2008.11 release will boot on it.  Meanwhile, I got the 2008.11 release ISO (which I am now sharing via BitTorrent) and installed it on a computer that I know for sure would boot fine.

Here's what I've discovered today so far.

Time to install the initial OS (from the time I power on the computer to the time it reboots): 20 minutes.  Nice.

Using the "setxkbmap" program to use the Dvorak keyboard layout now works; it didn't in the first release.  (type "setxkbmap dvorak" to switch to Dvorak; type "setxkbmap us" to switch to a U.S. keyboard layout)

One weird thing: when I try to ssh into the machine or use vncviewer to remotely control the desktop, there is an initial wait of about 50 seconds before I am asked for a password.  I don't yet know why this is, but it's annoying.  (and no, it's not because the console is waiting for me to confirm that somebody is trying to remotely access the computer; it's separate from that).  This happens whether I connect using the hostname or an I.P. address.  Maybe it's something about my home network configuration, maybe not.  I'll keep investigating.

My favorite shell, tcsh, was not installed by default, but the Users and Groups settings panel let me specify that as my default shell (but didn't implement the change because the shell wasn't on the system; I wish it told me that, but at least it did no damage).  Fortunately, the Package Manager showed tcsh available and it was trivial to install it.  Good times!

Okay, so now it's time to read up on ZFS, put my 4 disks online (2 1TB disks, 2 1.5 TB disks), and see how easy it is to share them with the Linux box and Mac OS X boxes on our home network.  More on this in future posts.

Comments:

About your 50 seconds: Have a look at your DNS and reverse DNS config of your home network for IPv4 and, if switched on on Solaris, for IPv6.

Posted by Thorleif Wiik on December 14, 2008 at 07:12 PM PST #

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