OpenSolaris Developer Preview First Impressions

What timing. Unlike some of the engineering team working on tonight's release, I actually was able to spend Halloween with my kids, but I did download the final OpenSolaris Developer Preview as soon as it went live, conveniently right about as the last trick-or-treaters left the neighborhood. Apparently I wasn't the only one downloading it, as the download ran at > 400 KB/sec as I started, but slowed to 290 KB/sec before it ended. Still, at 620 MB, the download went fairly quickly compared to the 3+ GB SXDE downloads.

I burnt the download image to a CDROM (yes, it fits on CD, no DVD required). In case for some crazy reason you are downloading on a Mac (well, Mac OSX does support ZFS as of last Friday) and can't remember how to burn an ISO image onto CD, here is a reminder, courtesy of MacOSXHints.com.

Once you burn a CD and boot it, default option is to live boot off the CD. That means you don't actually have to install OpenSolaris on your hard drive to experience it. I didn't time it, but I went from start of boot to login screen in what seemed like not much longer than a boot from disk. Of course I didn't remember the default live boot password, documented here. Hint, the default live boot root password is opensolaris.

I ran Firefox and Thunderbird just to check out that everything was working OK. When you live boot off of CD, each new application needs to be loaded from the CD, which is a bit slower than loading from disk, but still quite usable. I'm going through a full install right now which was a breeze to startup. Just click the "Install" icon on the screen, select your timezone, enter a root password and your desired username/password, and your off. The install hasn't quite finished, but I'm sure I'll have more comments tomorrow.

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