Saturday Apr 25, 2009

NetBeans and Chime

More than two years ago, I was demonstrating Chime on my laptop running Nevada. Chime is a visual interface to Dtrace that allows you scrutinize your applications.

Chime is available as a plugin for Netbeans. You can download the plugin from here.

I try it on my OpenSolaris laptop.

First, start your Netbeans IDE, and go to Chime tab :

As an example, I chime a process, top, running on my laptop. You can get the following information,

Time spent in functions:

Number of System calls your application is performing. In the screen shot below, you see that top is performaing 66 System Calls Per Second:

You can also see the impact on the system up to the System Probes:

Of course, you have many more probes available, and you can create your own probe, with Dtrace.

Tuesday Apr 07, 2009

OpenSolaris: from Build 106 to Build 110

Upgrading from OpenSolaris Build 106 to build 110 was a piece of cake:

Step 1: update your image

#pfexec pkg image-update

1hour and 15 minutes later, you can reboot on the new environment.

Then, after reboot

Step2: reconfigure suspend / resume


Friday Mar 20, 2009

Cloud : theory and hands on

"Head in the sky"

The link below is a document about "Cloud Computing" I found very interesting and that really helped me at understanding this subject:

"Feet on the ground"

If you want to go deeper and go back to the ground level and have less theory but more practice, just try the cloud here (sorry, for the time being, it's restricted to Sun employees)

Thursday Mar 19, 2009

StarOffice 9 on OpenSolaris 2008-11

I have just finished the StarOffice 9 installation on OpenSolaris 2008-11

I am currently running OpenSolaris 2008-11, build 106.

Here are the steps

1- Download StarOffice from Sun Software Library (Sun employee only)

2- Prepare to install it as root

Allow DISPLAY for root and launch StarOffice installation script

In one terminal :

(first line below, you can't guess it: of course, you have to go and ask for your best OpenSolaris friend)

#svccfg -s svc:/application/x11/x11-server setprop options/tcp_listen = true

#xhost +

In an other terminal

#su root

#DISPLAY=129.x.x.x:0.0 (your IP @ you can get with #ifconfig)

#export DISPLAY

Launch StarOffice script : #/opt/

Ensure that OpenOffice is installed. I don't know why, but even if my StarOffice9 installation script succeeded, afterwards was missing. This library was added after OpenOffice installation.

3 - Install the fonts

3-A Download the fonts from Sun Software Library

copy fonts : #cp /usr/X11/lib/X11/myfonts

3-B unzip:

#cd  /usr/X11/lib/X11/myfonts


Run spadmin (as regular user): #/opt/staroffice9/program/spadmin and install the new fonts from the menu

Also, if you want to remove from the Gnome menu the Staroffice 8:(thanks to Ian)

System -> Preferences -> Main Menu

Here you are!

What I like in StarOffice Text is the zoom slider at bottom right:

Monday Mar 16, 2009

OpenSolaris : save space on hard disk - Gparted - Disk Usage Analyzer

I am running OpenSolaris on a day to day since 2008.05 release. I went through numerous updates, and so far I am running build 106:

dmerle@opensolaris:~$ uname -a
SunOS opensolaris 5.11 snv_106 i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris

Although I had one big OpenSolaris partition, this partition was nearly full and prevent me from doing new updates (see this post).

Save space

The trick to regain some space is to remove snapshots :

dmerle@opensolaris:~$ zfs list -t snapshot
NAME                                                                                              USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
rpool@install                                                                                    20K      -  55.5K  -
rpool/ROOT@install                                                                         15K      -  8K       -
rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-10@install                                               2.02G   -  2.48G  -
rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-10@2009-02-04-17:18:04                     3.98G   -  9.21G  -
rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-10/opt@install                                        123K    -  3.61M -
rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-10/opt@static:-:2008-08-25-14:39:17 792M    -  3.86G  -
rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-10/opt@2009-02-04-17:18:04              635M    -  3.85G  -

rpool/export@install                                                                        15K      -    19K    -
rpool/export/home@install                                                              20K      -    21K    -
rpool/export/home@28112008                                                       11.1G   -  12.3G   -


#pfexec zfs destroy rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-10@install

Removing the red snapshots did the trick for me. Now I have 12GB free instead of 1,2GB before!


I also used Gparted to resize my Windows partition. Gparted is very easy to use. You download the software (~ 95MB), you burn the CD and boot on the CD. The CD is a linux Debian environment and with a graphical interface, you can resize (grow or shrink) any NTFS or FAT partition.

Below what you can see whith gparted

It appears that Gparted does not recognize the OpenSolaris partition : see the white space in sda4. My Data partition (sda2) is shared between Windows XP and OpenSolaris.

Disk Analyzer

You can then run Disk Usage Analyzer (Menu: Applications -> System Tools -> Disk Usage Analyzer)

Wednesday Feb 18, 2009

Memory? cpu frequency? architecture? : three on line commands for OpenSolaris

To answer some frequently asked questions about your hardware laptop configuration running OpenSolaris, you may use these commands in a terminal:

Memory size:

#prtconf -pv | grep Memory

Cpu clock frequency:

#kstat -m cpu_info -s current_clock_Hz


#isainfo -x

Friday Feb 13, 2009

Upgrading OpenSolaris to build 106

The latest upgrade did not run smoothly. As usual, I ran pfexec pkg image-update, but at the end of the process, file system was full. I would have liked to be warned before. It seems OpenSolaris does not do the check for you.

After a reboot, I was redirected to the prompt GRUB>. It's not an easy experience. I had to recover the system by booting directly the OpenSolaris 2008.11 CD and enter the following commands :

  • Look for existing pools :
    • pfexec zpool list
    • pfexec zpool import
    • pfexec zpool import -f rpool
    • zfs list
    • mkdir /tmp/a
    • pfexec mount -F zfs rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-10 /tmp/a
  • Do some cleaning : # zfs destroy (beadm cannot operate if file system is full)
  • Grub maintenance : # /sbin/installgrub /boot/grub/stage1 /boot/grub/stage2 /dev/rdsk/c0d0s0

You may also pay attention to snapshot, and remove some of the snaphots. For example if you set up TimeSlider, you may have a lot of snapshots.

#zfs list -t snapshot

Also, check the .files in your home directory:

#du -sk .\*

And finally, build 106 is there :

dmerle@opensolaris:~$ uname -a
SunOS opensolaris 5.11 snv_106 i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris

Leave OpenSolaris

  • #pfexec umount /tmp/a
  • #pfexec zpool export rpool

It appears that OpenSolaris build 106 is operating quite well Suspend / Resume. You can suspend @ work and resume @ home with a different network configuration, all is transparent!

Monday Dec 15, 2008

A step by step instructions to use a projector with OpenSolaris 2008.11

If you want to use a projector with your OpenSolaris laptop, it's here.

I am running OpenSolaris 2008.11\* on a Toshiba Tecra M3 laptop  equipped with an Nvidia graphic card.

(\* # uname -a returns: SunOS opensolaris 5.11 snv_101b i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris )

1) Before booting your PC, check that LCD + ANALOG RGB is set up in Power On Display line in the BIOS. For my PC, the sequence is Esc + F1 to enter the BIOS.

2) Boot OpenSolaris

3) Go to System -> Preferences -> NVIDIA X Server Settings

4) Connect your external projector.

5) In the NVIDIA menu:

  • move to X Server Display Configuration
  • select Detect Display
  • (click to enlarge)


The external screen is appearing.

6) From the Model selector

  • choose the external Display
  • select configure and put "Twinview".


Then for that display, select the same resolution as your internal screen. Plus select clone for the external screen.


7) Select apply. The X Server restarts and you are done.

Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

OpenSolaris - Virtual Box - VmWare coexistence

Yesterday, Jérome set up a VmWare ESX on SunFire V20z.

Below a snapshot of OpenSolaris running Windows in xVM VirtualBox.

In this xVM Virtual Box, you run VmWare Infrastructure client to install OpenSolaris. VmWare bare metal running on SunFire V20z.

Thursday Nov 27, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC2 - Suspend Resume - Adding memory

I have upgraded my PC from OpenSolaris 2008.11 snv_101a to snv_101b which is Release Candidate 2

The upgrade ran smoothly, as usual with three commands:

  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ pfexec pkg image-update
  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ pfexec pkg install SUNWipkg
  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ pfexec pkg image-update

When it comes to suspend-resume, it is now running OK for me. Although I had to run these two commands to setup supend-resume:

  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ /usr/sbin/pmconfig
  • dmerle@opensolaris:~$ /usr/sbin/svcadm restart hal

You also have to add the line:

S3-support   enable

at the end of file /etc/power.conf

Then, go in the menu System -> Shut Down... and choose Suspend.

You can Resume by connecting your mouse, or pushing the power button.

This morning, I also added 1GB memory into the Toshiba Tecra M3 laptop. This is the exact description I ordered. I ordered it at Offtek company, with the following reference: Fabricant: Toshiba Taille mémoire: 1Go Module Produit: Tecra M3-183. It cost me 15 Euros.

Now I can run xVM Virtual Box without any latency. I have got enough memory:

 Application  Memory in use
 Gnome  44%
+ Thunderbird
 + Firefox 3.0.4
 + OpenOffice 3.0
 + xVM VirtualBox running Windows XP
 83 %

Wednesday Nov 12, 2008

OpenSolaris looks like the growth rings of a cross section cut through the trunk of a tree

OpenSolaris makes me think of the growth rings of the trunk of a cut tree:

A cut tree

Each growth ring representing an update of the operating system. The outside growth rings being the more mature layers.

But the most interesting in this is that you can always roll back to a previous version of your operating environment.

For example, on my desktop i can activate one of the following environment each time i boot. It's a choice that appears in my Grub:

#beadm list : list your operating system environment:

BE            Active Mountpoint Space  Policy Created         
--            ------ ---------- -----  ------ -------         
opensolaris   -      -          9.88M  static 2008-06-05 08:17
opensolaris-1 -      -          12.48M static 2008-06-06 13:59
opensolaris-2 -      -          35.75M static 2008-06-23 14:19
opensolaris-3 -      -          19.13M static 2008-07-23 07:41
opensolaris-4 -      -          28.18M static 2008-08-25 18:02
opensolaris-5 -      -          19.95M static 2008-09-22 15:32
opensolaris-6 -      -          39.28M static 2008-11-06 12:00
opensolaris-7 N      /          42.90M static 2008-11-06 21:41 N means active now
opensolaris-8 R      -          27.92G static 2008-11-10 19:37 R means active on reboot

You can manipulate, test and do whatever you want on an operating system BE (Boot Environment). You always know that you can roll back to an other environment. And safety is not at risk.

But the best is to come. As you are able to update, modify your operating system in a safely manner, you can do the same with your data up to Time Slider.

Time slider is a new OpenSolaris 2008.11 capability  that perform automatic snapshot of your data. For the Mac users, it's the equivalent of Time Machine. For a description of Time Slider, see Erwann's blog.

So, there are growth rings for the Operating System and there are growth rings also for your data. As your system is growing, the footprint of the operating system and the footprint of your data are stored in the memory of the growth rings. This way, you can always rollback to your (glorious) past :=)

Friday Nov 07, 2008

OpenSolaris update from 98 to 100

I just finished the upgrade from OpenSolaris build 98 to build 100.

My first trial went wrong as the pkg image-update get stuck during the update. These two command lines went wrong:

# pfexec pkg refresh
# pfexec pkg image-update

Second trial was OK, but i had to issue the following set of command:

# pfexec pkg refresh
# BUILD=`uname -v | sed s/snv_//`  
# pfexec pkg install SUNWipkg-AT-0.5-DOT-11-0.${BUILD}
# pfexec pkg install entire-AT-0.5-DOT-11-0.${BUILD}
# pfexec pkg image-update

It runs OK without any error. I got the procedure from Jerome blog.

I also removed my old yukonx0 driver with a more stable one, the skge0.  See here for the upgrade

Monday Oct 06, 2008

Solaris 10 Applications Library on BigAdmin

The new Solaris 10 Applications Library is now live on BigAdmin:

Monday Sep 22, 2008

Updating OpenSolaris 2008-05 to build 98

I have just finished the upgrade of OpenSolaris 2008-05 to build 98. The update runs without any problem with the following commands:

#pfexec pkg refresh

#pfexec pkg image-update

checking that SUNWipkg (in /) is up to date

#pfexec pkg image-update

And the result is:

A clone of opensolaris-4 exists and has been updated and activated. On next boot the Boot Environment opensolaris-5 will be mounted on '/'. Reboot when ready to switch to this updated BE.

NOTE: Please review release notes posted at:

dmerle@opensolaris:~/Desktop$ beadm list

BE            Active Active on Mountpoint Space
Name                 reboot               Used
----          ------ --------- ---------- -----
opensolaris   no     no        -          9.84M
opensolaris-1 no     no        -          11.86M
opensolaris-2 no     no        -          32.18M
opensolaris-3 no     no        -          19.03M
opensolaris-4 yes    no        /          18.16M
opensolaris-5 no     yes       -          14.59G

Wednesday Sep 03, 2008

Chrome on xVMVirtualBox on top of OpenSolaris

While waiting for Chrome to be available for OpenSolaris, you will have to run it in xVM VirtualBox, as i did this morning: (click to enlarge)


Tuesday Sep 02, 2008

GoogleEarth.exe on OpenSolaris with Wine

GoogleEarth.exe running with Wine on OpenSolaris. (Click to enlarge)

Thanks to Jérome.

After reading Jérome's entry, you just have to add a launcher:

/usr/local/wine/bin/wine "/export/home/dmerle/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Google/Google Earth/googleearth.exe"

View is Lyon, "Le parc de la tête d'or". Sun is just nearby.


Friday Aug 29, 2008

xVM VirtualBox on OpenSolaris snv_95

This is a post that will help you to install xVM Virtual Box on OpenSolaris 2008 snv_95 in five instructions steps.

The release of OpenSolaris which is installed on my laptop Toshiba Tecra M3 is:

# uname -a
SunOS opensolaris 5.11 snv_95 i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris

A) First, download xVM from

Select xVMVirtualBox1.6.4 for OpenSolaris x86

B) Unwrap the downloaded stuff

Unzip and then untar:

#gunzip VirtualBox-1.6.4-SunOS_x86.tar.gz

#tar -xvf VirtualBox-1.6.4-SunOS_x86.tar

#more ReadMe.txt 

#pkgadd -G -d VirtualBoxKern-1.6.4-SunOS-r33808.pkg

#pkgadd -G -d VirtualBoxKern-1.6.4-SunOS-r33808.pkg

I installed it in /opt

ATTENTION: if you try to run VirtualBox from here, you wil get this following error:

ERROR 0 bytes from child process. Failed to create the VirtualBox COM object

Proceed to step C:

C) Use this workaround :
You have to be root.

# cd /opt/VirtualBoxVirtualBox/VBoxSVC.real "$@"
# chmod +x VBoxSVC# mv VBoxSVC VBoxSVC.real
# cat > VBoxSVC
exec /opt/VirtualBox/VBoxSVC.real "$@"

# chmod +x VBoxSVC


D) Start VirtualBox as a regular user


During the installation menu, i selected the following options:

  • Name: Windows
  • OS: Windows XP
  • memory: 512Mo
  • Disk: new dynamically disk of 6GB installed in /export/home/dmerle/.VirtualBox/VDI/windows.vdi

E) Install Windows XP with a CD of Windows.

Insert your Windows XP in the CD reader...later on enter your licence key

Reconfigure input key if necessary: my laptop has no Right Ctrl key, so i had to reconfigure:

Go to File -> Preferences and change input to  Left Ctrl


Usage: My laptop has only 1GB of RAM. Enough to run Sun xVM VirtualBox. But when you switch your mouse to OpenSolaris and start Firefox, the machine is swapping. But that works quick enough for me :=)

If you want to have the sound working, just adjust it in the Preferences menu:

Monday Aug 25, 2008

pfexec and sudo: comics

For OpenSolaris, replace sudo with pfexec.

Merci Bernard.


OpenSolaris: Updating to snv_95

I have just upgraded OpenSolaris to snv_95. It's now completely a routine with command:

#pfexec pkg image-update

#beadm list

BE            Active Active on Mountpoint Space
Name                 reboot               Used
----          ------ --------- ---------- -----
opensolaris   no     no        -          9.84M
opensolaris-1 no     no        -          11.86M
opensolaris-2 no     no        -          32.18M
opensolaris-3 no     no        -          19.03M
opensolaris-4 yes    yes       /          12.68G

#uname -a
SunOS opensolaris 5.11 snv_95 i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris

  • Firefox 3.01
  • Thunderbird

Thursday Aug 21, 2008

New OpenSolaris blog from Jérôme

Jérôme opens his OpenSolaris blog here. Congratulations Jérôme!



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