Thursday Nov 12, 2009

SourceJuicer at London OpenSolaris User Group meetup

I'll be giving a talk on SourceJuicer at the London OpenSolaris User Group meeting on Wednesday 18th November. On before me is Owen Roberts from the Solaris Sustaining group, and he'll be talking about how the core of OpenSolaris will move to being built from source directly to IPS packages (yay!).

So if you are interested,  register in advance here and then come along to the Sun Customer Briefing Centre at:

45 King William Street
London, EC4R 9AN

Doors open at 6PM and the talking starts at 6:30PM, there'll be food and socialising afterward.

While on the subject of SourceJuicer, George Drapeau the OSS core team lead here in ISV-Engineering at Sun has just published a video blog on installing Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris from the /contrib repository. You can find it on George's Blog, it's very slick :o)

Thursday Oct 29, 2009

Ruby MySQL nearly in OpenSolaris

One of the big pain points when installing Native Ruby Gems is the need to have various build packages installed. Packages that deliver the likes of gcc, gmake and ginstall. You also need to know where the libraries and C header files that you want to build against are located. On OpenSolaris the last part should be a no-brainer at least with packages installed from the repository, but some packages such as MySQL don't install to /usr/lib and /usr/include and the mysql_config that the MySQL package ships is not on the default $PATH and even if it was, it emits Compiler and Linker information for Sun Studio, not for gcc.

What this means is that you have to install all of the tools above and then install the MySQL gem with options telling the build where to find the MySQL libs and the MySQL headers.

Making the MySQL gem available as an OpenSolaris package, means you don't have to worry about any of that. You just run:

pfexec pkg install ruby-mysql

and voila!, you have MySQL support in Ruby... But it doesn't work :o(

The ruby-mysql package was promoted to the /contrib repository this week. Unfortunately it was promoted before I had tested it fully (which shows we have some major holes in the processes used to get packages into /contrib). The version that's there currently is unusable as it causes a segmentation violation when running with Rails. If you want to use this package today then you can get it from the /pending repository. Details of how to make use of OpenSolaris repositories can be found on a separate blog entry here.

Wednesday Oct 28, 2009

Nagios, Octave and SilverStripe in OpenSolaris

Several interesting packages were published to the OpenSolaris /contrib repository yesterday. They include Octave, SilverStripe and the 3 packages that make up Nagios. 

Nagios is a leading Open Source infrastructure monitoring tool that can monitor networks, hosts and even services, in fact it can monitor pretty much anything and it being Open Source it's fairly straightforward to add your own plugins. The main Nagios package is simply named nagios and delivers version 3.0.6 currently. In addition there is the nagios-plugins package which you'll install on systems that you want to monitor. A third package is nrpe (Nagios Remote Plugin Executor), which allows a centralised deployment of Nagios to execute and monitor plugins on other systems.

Octave is a GNU project, it's a high level language and runtime whose main use is for numerical computations. It's mainly command line driven, but can hook up with the likes of gnuplot in order to present graphs and other visual forms of mathematical data. I've tested it and it looks like it could be really useful for someone say, studying for a maths degree... like me for instance :o)

SilverStripe is a popular Open Source Content Management System, it's one of a number of such applications that OpenSolaris users have been clamouring for. Interestingly we did have some problems getting it to play nicely with MySQL 5.1 on OpenSolaris. When you are setting up the MySQL database prior to configuring SilverStripe modify the MySQL SMF service as follows:

svccfg -s mysql:version_51 setprop mysql/enable_64bit=true
svcadm refresh mysql:version_51
svcadm restart mysql:version_51

You'll either need to do this as root or as a user with the root role. These changes cause MySQL 5.1 to run in 64-bit mode.

You can install any of these packages either using the pkg command or via the package manager, you can even just go to the /contrib repository's catalog page and click on the 'install' link for the package(s) that you want to install.

To set up /contrib as a valid publisher for use with the package manager or the pkg command do the following as a user with the root role (or Software Installation profile):

pfexec pkg set-publisher -O  contrib

Or you can add /contrib via the package manager through the File -> Manage Repositories pull down. If installing from the "install" link at  the package manager will automatically add /contrib to the list of publishers.

To install packages using pkg, do the following:

pfexec pkg refresh
pfexec pkg install <package name>

These packages are great additions to the growing list of packages available via the /contrib repository. If you would like to contribute a package to /contrib visit the SourceJuicer page on If you'd rather not get involved in submitting spec files to SourceJuicer but would like to see a package in OpenSolaris, drop us an email at


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