Back from the dead

Despite what it may seem, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Those of us in the solaris kernel group have been a little busy lately, as we're in the final stretch of Solaris 10. Hopefully, this post will be the start of a return to my old blogging form...

A few things I've been up to recently:

  • Fixing bugs. Lots of bugs. SMF, procfs, amd64, you name it.

    The only user-visible changes is one of the SMF features: abbreviated FMRIs. Those of you out there never had to endure the dark ages where svcadm disable sendmail was not a valid command - you had to make sure to remember the entire FMRI (network/smtp:sendmail). This has since propagated to all the SMF commands, including svccfg(1M) and svcprop(1).

    On the not-so-visible side, one of the more interesting bugs I tracked down was a nasty hang in the kernel when running the GDB test suite. If a process with watchpoints enabled received a SIGKILL at an inopportune moment, it would descend into the dark pits of the kernel, never to return. Once OpenSolaris goes live, I'd love to blog about some of the crazy dances procfs has to do, but it's incomprehensible without some source code to go along with it.

  • Tinkering with ZFS. I'm working part-time on a cool ZFS enhancement that (we hope) will do wonders for remote administration and zones virtualization. I'll post some more as the details get flushed out.

  • Solaris 10 launch. I was at the launch, talking about DTrace and sitting in on the Experts Exchange. It was a great event - full of great announcements and lots of customer enthusiasm. Once you see S10 in action, and experience it for yourself, it's hard not to be enthusiastic.

It's hard to surf tech news these days without hitting a Solaris 10 article, but one particularly interesting one is this Forrester analysis. You can also catch the HP backlash, with a mother-approved response, as well an I-don't-have-to-answer-to-my-boss response.

More tech-heavy posts are in the works...

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