Teaching OpenSolaris

I see that Max is out there teaching again --  new opensolaris course material. Excellent. And I see that the OpenSolaris Curriculum Development Resources page is growing rather nicely, too.

Dear Jim,

Read your blog. It is good to see a foreigner working in Japan trying to promote Solaris.

I shall try to go to some of those night seminar on opensolaris, they looked interesting.

Sorry to rant, but difficult to see how OpenSolaris will get wide adoption until Sun eases up on the download process.

I frankly never have a chance to get the software although I used to work on Solaris 2.3~2.6 before switching to Linux.

Recently with Sun Express Development Edition, it looked exciting, so I decided to do a download.

The Sun site download process required registration and after that the download was slow and frustrating. In the middle it stopped and I had a hard time trying to get it going again.

I tried to use the Sun download manager, it was hardly user friendly. It also gave me a weird error message that was in the faq but not fixed nor was there a solution. (Basically the server wants to send me an error.html while the download manager expects a non-html download).

When I tried to check out the FAQ for SDM, the web page was rendered in Japanese even though I explicitly set it to English although I live in Japan. Well, good thing that I read Japanese but not much luck there either.

Tried wget but not very successful.

But just want to say that you may have the best open source software in the world, but if ones cannot get hold of it, it is hardly open!

Java download doesn't seem to have caused as much frustration as opensolaris.

Not sure you are the right person to complain to or the right blog to do that.


Posted by Ken on February 12, 2008 at 08:56 PM JST #


I cannot but agree with your comment. The Solaris Express downloading process has been a problem for quite some time. However, I would like to clarify some points:

- The registration is needed because of legal reasons. It is not something that we want keep: Indiana will be freely distributable, so there will be no longer need for it. This will allow us to use better - and more modern - distribution mechanisms such as BitTorrent.

- Until SXDE 1/08 the main problem was that people needed to download a chunked 3Gb ISO image, uncompress each piece, join them together and finally burn the DVD disc, and that was not always as straightforward as it should have been. There were some technical problems that did not allow us to provide a single file with the uncompressed DVD image: there were many users using either file systems, browsers or HTTP proxies that did not support files bigger than 2Gb.

- Now that the bast majority of people use a modern operating system, we have been able to provide the full DVD image. You can download SXDE 1/08 with a single click. That is a big improvement indeed. I personally tested it from quite a few different environments: OpenSolaris/Firefox, OpenSolaris/wget, Linux/Firefox, Linux/wget, WindowsXP/IE, WindowsXP/Firefox, OSX/Safari, OSX/Firefox and OSX/curl.

As far as I have seen, the two most likely problem nowadays are:

- You are trying to store the ISO image in a file system that does not support Large Files. For instance, it is not possible to download OpenSolaris to a FAT (pcfs) partition.

- There is a old (transparent?) proxy in your network that doesn't support large files. It was a common programming mistake a few years ago: some applications used signed 32bits integers to store the file sizes, so even if all the underneath infrastructure supports Large File, that implementation error will make it fail. I do know this problem well, I wrote the wget Large File support a few years ago. :-)

Ken, Could you please confirm me whether you had those problems downloading SXDE 1/08?

Posted by Alvaro Lopez Ortega on February 13, 2008 at 09:30 AM JST #

Hi Alvaro and Jim,

Thanks for the reply.

I don't have that much problem with registration and legal issues. I think Sun Java has that too and one needs to agree to the licence before it could install. Come to think of it, I wonder whether Java download is also using the same process but I just got lucky instead.

Anyway, I managed to solve the problem. Your guess was slightly out but yes, it was to do with the OS. I used Ubuntu Linux 64bit OS and firefox and I used a ext3 file system, so the 2G file size limit is not an issue here. However, my firefox might well be running in 32bit and I didn't get to install the Sun Java plug-in properly, hence my firefox didn't know that I had installed JDK and had a valid JRE.

What I did was that I got to the download page by first logging in with my ID and Passwd and agreeing to the licence. At first I tried to download it but then it stopped half way through the download. I guess it was either something to do with my ISP, router, Sun download server(?) or firefox (while watching Youtube!).

The second time round, instead of downloading it all from start again, I tried to download it through wget such that I could continue from where it stopped. I copied the link and used the following command:

wget --save-cookies cookies.txt --post-data 'BundledLineItemUUID=_pdIBe.oiUAAAAEY9mACrw9M&OrderID=oltIBe.ozSsAAAEY72ACrw9M&ProductID=UytIBe.pJfcAAAEX4ToIF8dX&FileName=sol-nv-b79b-x86-dvd.iso' -c http://cds.sun.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/CDS-CDS_SMI-Site/en_US/-/USD/VerifyItem-Start/sol-nv-b79b-x86-dvd.iso

Well, as I am only making an educated guess here, you can correct it if I am wrong, I think Sun Download Server (SDS) made a session cookie with the required BundledLineItemUUID, OrderID, and Product ID parameter. However, I guess that I was using wget from another process to make the connection, SDS treated it as a separate user and basically required my UserID/Passwd and licence agreement.

I have also tried to run Sun's Download Manager (SDM) from command line and paste the link to it. It gave me a weird error but after reading through the help page of SDM, I think it comes down to the fact that SDM expected SDS to return a binary file instead of error.html.

After realising the above, I switched to Ubuntu 32bit OS with Sun Java plugin installed properly with firefox. Then I got to the page and asked SDM to be loaded as an applet and downloaded the ISO image from where I left off.

As far as I understand (and I am guessing here), the download process requires the browser to pass the parameters to a download manager within the same session in order to work.

Now my question is, how can I download it with wget only? I wonder whether I can authenticate with wget.

I suppose if I ask firefox to open an application and choose wget, it may work.

Posted by Ken on February 13, 2008 at 06:49 PM JST #

I downloaded openSolaris 200805 on my laptop! sound doesnt work, wireless network doesnt work, fresh installation and the system hangs all the time, no bittorrent application, 3 Giga size, the only thing i liked about it was the blue eye-catching wallpaper, btw i had a much better experiance with Ubuntu all drivers worked well, performance is not matching Vista though :(

I am looking for a lightweight distro so I can load/unload Virtual Box images from inside to virtualize java Development/Testing/Production Enviroments, I am going to give Linux Mint a try!!

I just dont understand whatz all the buzz about openSolaris if its that bad! Dtrace blah blah? openJDK + Netbeans IDE + Glassfish + MySql + StorageWhatever, etc. out of the box pkg? Sun's dream is not going to be accepted easily, sorry!

Posted by Mohamed on November 02, 2008 at 10:57 PM JST #

Sorry, Mohamed. If you are having install problems and want to talk to the developers, please feel free to subscribe to the mailing list or file bugs. The guys are very responsive. I'm having some issues on the latest build (100) and people are helping me out. Here are some resources:

list: http://mail.opensolaris.org/mailman/listinfo/indiana-discuss
bugs: http://defect.opensolaris.org/bz/
developer forum: http://opensolaris.org/jive/forum.jspa?forumID=197
user forum: http://forums.opensolaris.com/index.jspa
documents: http://www.opensolaris.com/learn/

Posted by jimgris on November 03, 2008 at 03:17 AM JST #

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