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 :=)

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