Saturday Oct 03, 2009

Skype on OpenSolaris! The last missing part it's real!

What are you doing if the road is blocked? Probably trying to find a detour.

So what if the Skype is not working natively on OpenSolaris? Here is the recipe which will allow you to use your Skype account, send messages and do VoIP with video support.

First of all you will need to get the flash plugin for your Firefox. It's very easy, just follow the blog entry from John Rice.

Secondly simply use the IMO website and allow flash plugin to access your microphone and camera (you will be prompted when you will start some VoIP chat).

The only thing I had to do was to increase Recording volume using Volume Applet and the one from the flash plugin settings -right click on the VoIP window, when you are talking to someone and choose "Settings..." from the flash plugin menu.

Thursday Apr 09, 2009

Broken OpenSolaris? NEVER!

If for some reason your OpenSolaris installation is broken or you want to have an exact system on many computers here is the recipe, which I have successfully tested yesterday!

What you will need?
- SSH access to working OpenSolaris - thanks Bob. ;)
- Some free time (copying took around 1h for me, while I was still able to use my OpenSolaris box!!!)

Let's start
1. On your computer choose some unique zfs filesystem name. To check for the names currently used on your system, type the following command in the terminal:
   $ /usr/sbin/zfs list -rHo name rpool/ROOT
   I will use rpool/ROOT/opensolarisbob as it was not listed

2. Make sure you know the IP address of your box:
   $ /usr/sbin/ifconfig -a
   In our case it's

3. Log to Bob computer (
   $ ssh -l username

4. List all BE's and choose the one which you want to copy:
   bob$ /usr/sbin/beadm list -a
   In our case we will use the one:

5. From the rpool/ROOT/opensolaris filesystem create snapshot which we will name mysnapshot:
   bob$ pfexec /usr/sbin/zfs snapshot \\

6. Send the filesystem to our computer using ssh and login name migi:
   bob$ pfexec /usr/sbin/zfs send \\
   rpool/ROOT/opensolaris@mysnapshot | ssh \\
   migi@ \\
   "pfexec /usr/sbin/zfs recv rpool/ROOT/opensolarisbob"

7. At this point you should see new be on your computer:
   $ /usr/sbin/beadm list

8. Activate the new BE:
   $ pfexec /usr/sbin/beadm activate opensolarisbob

That's All. At this point the system is the same as on the Bob's computer including users and passwords.
If you want to restore your users and passwords you can mount the new BE and copy over or edit few files.
I did something else by simply "restoring" my user "migi" to the new BE by:
pfexec /usr/sbin/beadm mount opensolarisbob /tmp/opensolarisbob
pfexec grep migi /etc/passwd >> /tmp/opensolarisbob/etc/passwd
pfexec grep migi /etc/group >> /tmp/opensolarisbob/etc/group
pfexec grep migi /etc/shadow >> /tmp/opensolarisbob/etc/shadow
pfexec grep migi /etc/user_attr >> /tmp/opensolarisbob/etc/user_attr

Of course if you can't login to your broken OpenSolaris you could use liveCD, import pool and do the same trick, please let me know if you need such instructions.

By the way it's pretty amazing that copying 3GB of the data took around 1h:

View Larger Map

Tuesday Mar 31, 2009

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Mattman wrote very nice entry How To : Build JDS (GNOME) on OpenSolaris 2008.11, but why would I want to type so many CLI commands, if I can simply click on the p5i file and install all necessary packages :) So if you are running OpenSolaris build > 109, simply click HERE and skip the first two points from Mattman's blog.

This is Package Manager nice new feature on which John already wrote in his blog [1] [2].

Thursday Mar 26, 2009

What can you expect from Package Manger for 2009.06

For the past few months Package Manager was under heavy development. Even if you will not notice many of the changes and bug fixes trust me - it's faster, more stable and way more polished then it was ever!

There are few things which you will notice for sure. John already wrote in his blog about Start Page and Web Installer, so I will write about remote search and startup performance improvements. Of course there are plenty of other things worth mentioning, but I want to focus only on those two, so the blog entry will be relatively short.

Remote search
A picture tells a thousand words:

What does it mean to perform remote search and why it was introduced?
We do have per repository view. To find a packages based on their names and descriptions, which aren't in the currently visible repository we had to switch to another repository, perform the search and so on if the package was not found. That was fine, because the number of repositories was limited. Currently more and more repositories are out there, so some mechanism of finding packages across all repositories had to be introduced and this is how remote search came to the live (with a little more time spent by few people which were designing and developing this feature. From the GUI side Padraig O'Briain wrote most of the things - great work!). So switching to the "All Repositories Search" mode allows to find a package and install this package, even if you were in different repository view. Going out from the "All Repositories Search" is very simple, you will find a way... this will restore your previous view.

Startup performance improvements
We did use few dtrace scripts to find out what is happening, and how to improve startup performance, but the major change is the local cache.

Using python with DTrace probes really helped us to identify bottlenecks and functions on which we should focus more. For example to see what is happening when the package is being installed, we were starting the dtrace script entry_entry.d as follows:

pfexec ./entry_entry.d __init__ __operations_done

Starting Package Manager and installing some package after running above command will produce in nice format the number of calls to the functions and time spent in those, once again the power of DTrace is amazing! I will write about this a little bit more, because it's interesting (at least for me) how we were able to connect all parts of automated tests with DTrace performance scripts.

Dumping the data models using cPickle and allowing to use this data together with per repository data model reduced Package Manager startup to around 3 seconds for! I won't write how long did it take before if someone had few repositories configured... At the moment from time to time, when the Package Manager will discover that the cache is out of date, then you will see loading packages progress, but it should be way faster then it was in 2008.11.

ENJOY installing your packages!

Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

Issue #175 confirmed...

Recently I've logged a bug against the Cherokee Web Server.
I can confirm now, that it's fixed:

Thanks Alo :)

Saturday Nov 15, 2008

Approaching No. 1

I've made two charts based on tables from

First one shows comparison to No. 1, which is Ubuntu:

Second one shows the position in the ranking over the year:

Looks like we are on the right track :)

Monday Oct 06, 2008

Building IPS on OpenSolaris

If someone needs (fresh OpenSoaris installation):

pkg install ss-dev SUNWgnome-common-devel SUNWpython-setuptools

hg clone ssh:// build_gate

cd build_gate/src

export PATH=/usr/sbin:/opt/SunStudioExpress/bin:/usr/ccs/bin:/usr/gnu/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/X11/bin:/sbin:/usr/sfw/bin

rm -rf ../packages/ ../proto/ && make install && make packages

Monday Sep 22, 2008

What is webrev and

In short webrev is a tool which allows contributors to generate very nice websites with all the changes to the code, so other people can review it and apply patch which is also a part of the generated webrev. The is a site where you can publish webrevs.

Few examples of my webrevs:

My head is not a trash bin, so I am never trying to remember where can I find webrev tool, so here are the instructions :)


What you will need:
- Some source code for example IPS (note the anon user for the SENDING WEBREV):

hg clone ssh:// \\ gate_with_my_changes
If you don't have hg command you can install it from IPS repository using command pkg install SUNWmercurial

- webrev
The easiest way of getting is to follow the steps (for i86 arch):

cd /tmp
tar -xvf SUNWonbld.i386.tar.bz2
cd onbld
pfexec pkgadd -d . SUNWonbld

- Now do some changes in your gate_with_my_changes directory and at the end run command from that directory:


That is it! Your webrev is at gate_with_my_changes/webrev.


What you will need:
- OpenSolaris account. To get one click HERE
- You will need to generate pairs of ssh keys. Click HERE for instructions.
- Webrev

Now you are ready to publish the webrev. Please note that instead of using anon user you should use your username from OpenSolaris account.
- To publish webrev go to the directory with webrev folder and follow the instructions published at in the Example section. The command should look similar to the (I am using username migi and I want my webrev to be stored under

scp -r webrev

- If I will ever want to delete this webrev I need to execute the following command:

echo "rename 8_09_copyright_2813 .trash/8_09_copyright_2813" | sftp

THAT IS IT! As you could see contributing is very easy! Now contributing part (example for Image Packaging System project):

If you are new to this and would like to try, the easiest way is to pick up some of the bugs and try to fix it (At the beginning it can be even bug which changes label or warning message if you are not very good at python)
- List of all unresolved bugs:
Unresolved Image Packaging System bugs.
- Once you will send webrev to the, please remember to send e-mail about webrev to appropriate mailing list. In this example it would be pkg-discuss.

Tuesday Jun 17, 2008

OpenSolaris: HowTo Install Sun Studio + Common Build Environment (CBE)

Few steps to install Sun Studio and Common Build Environment on OpenSolaris box.

Those little steps will explain how to install Sun Studio and Common Build Environment on top of OpenSolaris 2008.05. Please note that some of those instructions normally should be different, but little bugs, which currently exists caused need for those changes in this tutorial.

Why you will need this?
The Sun Studio together with CBE will allow to build lot's and lot's of new packages/software to your lovely OpenSolaris and if you have a little knowledge you might want to create your own packages and share them with other people!

What you will need?
1. Internet Access.
2. Few cups of coffe/tee, since this will take a while, depending on your connection speed.
3. Good mood, as this was tested Today and may be different in couple of weeks, so if something will break don't panic! You have ZFS snapshots, so you will not break your system :-)

First you need to fully update your OpenSolaris 2008.05. Without this, probably things will not work, so to fully update your system please follow those steps as standard user:

$ pfexec pkg refresh

After this step you should follow those commands (as shown on below picture):


$ pfexec pkg install SUNWipkg

$ pfexec pkg image-update

The below steps are related to the bug described HERE and MUST be done, otherwise you will NOT be able to boot to the updated OpenSolaris.

$ pfexec mount -F zfs rpool/ROOT/opensolaris-1 /mnt

$ pfexec /mnt/boot/solaris/bin/update_grub -R /mnt

$ pfexec reboot

The below screenshot, shows the actual steps. The black-marked commands are the ones which you should type (before this please remember to type pkg refresh) :)


Those steps will install all required packages


$ pfexec pkg install SUNWcvs SUNWsvn SUNWarc SUNWj6dmo \\
SUNWj6dev SUNWj6dmx SUNWj6dvx SUNWj6cfg SUNWj6rtx \\
SUNWj6man SUNWgnu-automake-19 SUNWgnu-automake-110 \\
SUNWaconf SUNWmercurial SUNWlibtool ss-dev SUNWsfwhea \\
SUNWhea SUNWxwinc SUNWxorg-headers SUNWi2cs SUNWgpch \\
SUNWgnome-common-devel SUNWgmake SUNWbison SUNWflexlex

The below picture is actual screenshot from the above operation:

The first thing you need to do is to add the "Software Installation" profile for your user, to do so, please follow the commands, replacing USERNAME with your actual username:

$ su

$ usermod -P "Software Installation,Primary Administrator" \\

Secondly you need to get CBE sources from HERE.
Then unpack:

$ bunzip jds-cbe-1.6.0-i386.tar.bz2

$ tar -xvf jds-cbe-1.6.0-i386.tar

Now you need to apply one small, so please download it and place in the directory one level up from jds-cbe-1.6.0 directory, so simply stay in the directory where you have been unpacking jds-cbe-1.6.0-i386.tar.bz2.
To apply this patch, please type the following command:

$ patch -p0 < cbe-install.diff

If this will not work, you can download patched cbe-install script and replace the one from the jds-cbe-1.6.0 directory.

Now just go to the jds-cbe-1.6.0 directory:

$ cd jds-cbe-1.6.0

and install stuff:

$ ./cbe-install

You will get few questions, so for all yes/no, please answer yes. For the question about patch to the C compiler, please type the following path:


All those steps are visible on the screenshot:

That is it! If you would like to make a use of CBE, you can watch simple tutorials describing howto build some packages (especially part 2 is made for this purpose):
Create your own OpenSolaris IPS repository in a Weekend!

If something will go wrong during installation, and you will hit similar stacktrace to the one shown below, simply add the package name to the pkg install command by hand and it should go further. This is related to bug 2229

Thursday Jun 05, 2008


Yesterday I had a pleasure to give a talk (Polish) about ZFS and Solaris Zones on the OpenAcademy in Wrocław, Poland.

Most of the people were from the GNU/Linux, \*BSD world, so after the presentation there was plenty of questions which I believe reflected interest on those topics.

The picture below shows the tools used for the presentation (people who know the value of ZFS should guess how those nice tools were used... picture was taken Today so there is a little less usb sticks...):

Tuesday Jan 22, 2008

Create your own OpenSolaris IPS repository in a Weekend!

Finally all 6 parts of the presentation "Create your own OpenSolaris IPS repository in a Weekend" is out.

This covers the whole process from building packages using Common Build Environment to sending those packages to the IPS repository.

Enjoy watching:
Part 1: Common Build Environment
Part 2: Building Packages Using CBE
Part 3: Building pkg(5) (from sources)
Part 4: Setting up IPS repository
Part 5: Sending Solaris packages to the IPS repository #1
Part 6: Sending Solaris packages to the IPS repository #2

Glynn Foster wrote some instructions for happy Indiana users, that explains how to build spec-files on the Indiana. It is worth trying and sharing experiences. Please let me know if you successfully build spec-files on Indiana :-)

Also Damien Carbery pointed that CBE shouldn't be installed as root user, but I found this a little simpler than explaining how to install CBE using extended user attributes (man -s 4 user_attr).

Once again thanks for all the e-mails and comments and I hope that soon I will be able to download OpenSource software from your IPS repositories!

Wednesday Jan 16, 2008

Create your own OpenSolaris IPS repository in a Weekend - cont

Here you go. Another two parts of the presentation "Create your own OpenSolaris IPS repository in a Weekend", which will cover whole process from building packages using Common Build Environment to sending those packages to the IPS repository.
Previous parts are available HERE

I have made decision to record five or six instead of four planned parts, which is easier for viewing and more exciting for people that are waiting for more :-) :-)

I didn't expected that so many people will be interested in this presentation, but knowing that makes my work much more pleasant. Thanks again for all comments and e-mails !

Enjoy watching:
Part 3: Building pkg(5) (from sources)
Part 4: Setting up IPS repository

Coming soon:
Part 5: Sending Solaris packages to the IPS repository
Part 6: ??? (propositions welcome)

Wednesday Dec 12, 2007

Do you want to be an owner?

Today Laszlo Peter (Laca) send an interesting e-mail to the desktop-discuss mailing list:

"SFE binary packages for OpenSolaris"

If you are interested in contributing to OpenSolaris and make SFE packages available for OpenSolaris, you should read this e-mail.

Friday Nov 23, 2007

Create your own OpenSolaris IPS repository in a Weekend

Are you missing software on OpenSolaris?
With IPS you can easily set up your own repository and let other people use your repository with lot's of OpenSource software.

I have made two from four planned parts of the presentation "Create your own OpenSolaris IPS repository in a Weekend", which will cover whole process from building packages using Common Build Environment to sending those packages to the IPS repository.

Enjoy watching:
Part 1: Common Build Environment
Part 2: Building Packages Using CBE

Coming soon:
Part 3: Setting up IPS repository
Part 4: Sending Solaris packages to IPS repository

Thursday Nov 22, 2007

Indiana IPS and "Imagine Prototype" #2

Wondering how to install new applications on your OpenSolaris box?

Try Imagine, GUI for Image Packaging System (IPS).

In my last blog entry I wrote how to use it.

Now new version, can be downloaded from HERE, which is connected to the IPS.

Below 10 minutes long movie showing Imagine in action! So grab a drink and watch it or get Imagine and try it yourself!

Version with nice slide bar can be watched HERE

Thursday Nov 01, 2007

Indiana IPS and \*Imagine Prototype\*

So here it comes Indiana! Download, install and try the Developer Preview!

One of the long awaiting Indiana features is the new Image Packaging System (IPS).

It is a packaging system that allows to pull packages from the network repositories, such as

Everything is really promising, but there is lack of the GUI tool for the IPS.

So I have written small prototype called Imagine, which is available for testing. The prototype is working on the fake data, so it's not connected to the IPS at the moment.

I would be really happy if the people from community \*YOU\* will give an input on this prototype, ideas and participate in making decisions, so we can create the GUI for IPS together. The decisions, which are very important, since GUI tool will be one of the tools that everyone will use (including me)!
At the moment this is \*just\* the prototype, so after discussions/decisions the direction of it might change a lot, but this is the starting point.

How to test the prototype ?
- Make sure that you have PyGTK (GTK+ for Python).
- Download imagine.tar.gz file and unpack the tarball.
- Cd to the imagine directory.
- Make sure that have permissions to execute.
- Run

Why this prototype is written in PyGTK
- The IPS is written in Python, so it was much simpler to write the prototype in this language, even if I already had my beloved JPack written in Java :-)
- The Imagine will call IPS modules directly.
- Look & Feel - it uses native GTK+ widgets.

If you want to participate in the discussions about the prototype and the way we should go with the GUI for IPS, the best place is the pkg-discuss mailing list.

Here are few screen-shots of the Imagine Prototype (Click on picture to enlarge):

Main window:

Install is complete:

Imagine working on Windows:

Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Call for test - MetaTracker

In the previous post I've wrote about great tool MetaTracker.

Since then, many bugs were fixed, so now you can download and test much more stable version.

How do I install MetaTracker

\* The packages were checked on Solaris Nevada (x86) build 74.
\* Just download the install-script and run it.

If you want to try Thunderbird support, you should install tracker and follow the steps:
\* Download the tracker_922.xpi file
\* Install in the Thunderbird using option Tools->Add-ons
\* Restart Thunderbird
\* Restart trackerd daemon (or simply logout/login)

Please re-install Thunderbird plugin if you already have the old version.

Thursday Sep 13, 2007

Have you ever searched lost document/email for more than 1minute?

For the last couple of weeks I was working with few smart guys on the MetaTracker project. It is a tool designed to extract information and metadata from your personal data, so it can be searched in seconds. Jamie, maintainer of the MetaTracker applied most of my changes upstream, but there are still few to go for, that is why I have made packages with all of them.

Now available with experimental support for Thunderbird e-mails, so please check it out and give comments!

Shiny MetaTracker in action with deskbar applet handler made by
Fritschy (also included in the installation script):

How do I install MetaTracker
\* The packages installed by the script were checked on Solaris Nevada (x86) build 67 and 72.
\* Just download the install-script and run it. Many thanks to Erwann Chénedé, for sharing the installation scripts, which he used for Compiz!
The MetaTracker packages are build with debug option.

This script will:
- remove the previous version of tracker installed on the machine
- install the new packages

If you want to check try Thunderbird support, you should install tracker and follow the steps:
\* Download the tracker.xpi file
\* Install in the Thunderbird using option Tools->Add-ons
\* Restart Thunderbird
\* Restart trackerd daemon (or simply logout/login)

The Thunderbird plugin is modified version of the one made by Pierre Östlund for the Beagle application. In the future I hope we will be able to make one generic plugin for both projects, what I am discussing with Pierre.

Packages installed:

We also have MetaTracker at OpenSolaris page.

Wednesday Jun 27, 2007

Solaris Express Developer Edition arrives in 8 days - COOL!

Since my blog feed is also on the Polish OpenSolaris Planet I have decided to translate the entries to Polish :-)

In English/Po angielsku
Yesterday after coming back from the 11th Irish OpenSolaris User Group meeting I have found the envelope with the Solaris Express Developer Edition for x86 systems inside. The best thing is that it arrived 8 days after I have ordered it (of course for FREE)! That is cool, isn't it?

So going back to the 18th of June 2007, I have requested the free Solaris DVD Software kit. Five seconds later an e-mail arrived with the information, that the Solaris Express Developer Edition 5/07 DVD for x86 will be available June 22nd. On the 26th of June I have found it between two doors, where normally postman is dropping all the post. So the 8 days is really fast. Moreover 26-22 gives actually 4 days!!! I would like to download the dvd image so fast with my current broadband :-)

In Polish/Po polsku
Wczoraj po przyjściu z 11-go spotkania irlandzkiej grupy użytkowników OpenSolarisa zobaczyłem koperte z płytą Solaris Express Developer Edition wersja dla procesorów z rodziny x86. Najlepsze jest to, że dotarła do mnie 8 dni po tym jak ją zamówiłem (oczywiście całkowicie za darmo)! Całkiem imponujące, nieprawdaż?

Tak więc wracając do 18-go Czerwca 2007 roku, zamówiłem darmową płytkę "Solaris DVD Software kit". Po pięciu sekundach otrzymałem e-mail z informacją, że "Solaris Express Developer Edition 5/07 DVD for x86" będzie dostępny 22-go Czerwca. 26-go znalazłem ją pomiędzy drzwiami, tam, gdzie normalnie listonosz zostawia przesyłki. 8 dni wspaniale, jednak gdy się zastanowimy, 26-22 daje tak na prawdę 4 dni!!! Chciałbym z taką prędkością ściągnąć obraz dvd przy moim obecnym połączeniu internetowym :-)

jUploadr running on OpenSolaris

jUploadr "a photo uploader for Linux, Mac and Windows" with a minor change runs brilliant on OpenSolaris (x86).

It is very handy, when you are uploading pictures to the flickr or zooomr.

So what is the change?

1. Download and uncompress the jUploadr for linuxGTK-i386.

2. Download and uncompress the Azureus for solaris.

3. Copy two files from Azureus project azureus/ and azureus/ to the jUploadr project library folder: jUploadr-1.1.2-linuxGTK-i386/lib/.

4. Run the ./jUploadr script.

Tuesday Jun 05, 2007

How open is open?

Few days ago I have joined to the Polish OpenSolaris Portal.
One of the project aims is to make polish translation of the documentation and locales for OpenSolaris Project.

Before commiting any code I was asked to sign SCA, which was not a problem, because as an Sun Employee I don't have to go through this process, but I have realized, that people outside the Sun, which are contributing to any of the OpenSolaris project have another thing to do.

I know that this is the "only" one time process, but personally I would not send signed agreement to any company, just to submit my patch to the project.

Creating artificial (from developer/my point of view) barriers simply discourage people from the community. And this is a barrier in my opinion. We are great at making the complicated things really easy, but... vice-versa.

I am very happy that few people joined to my project (JPack), but I am a little afraid of telling them to sign SCA: "Hello my friends, I have a little surprise for you. If you want to send me a patch or commit a code, you need to send an agreement!"

Thursday May 10, 2007

JPack - install your software easily !

I would like to announce a new project called JPack, which will provide a GUI application for managing different types of packages for Solaris Operating System.

The first release is already available on the JPack project site

If you find this project interesting, please let me know what do you think about this prototype, what is good and what is not.

If you are interested in contributing, there is a list of "Getting involved" tasks on the JPack project site

To quickly try it out:
1. Please look at the requirements:
\* JRE >= 1.6
\* JDS Common Build Environment
\* pkg-get from

2. Download the file:

3.Run the project from the command line, using:

java -jar JPack.jar

General view:

[Read More]

Friday May 04, 2007

Tim and his bike

If the turtle could run as fast as the light, I would say that Tim could go as fast as turtle on his bike!

It happened twice, that I was riding my bike from work just behind Tim and it happened twice that I was trying to go as fast as he without results... I will mention that I am(was) quite good in cycling!

Tim and his bike:

[Read More]

Thursday May 03, 2007

Caiman experience - new installation is coming

"Caiman is the code name for the program, and set of projects, to create a new Solaris installation experience."

Today I did install first Dwarf Caiman Installer GUI, which is available on the Caiman project site on the OpenSolaris.
I have to say, that it really rocks, and I am looking forward to see the real installation like this !

To try it out, download the package file:

[Read More]

Wednesday Apr 18, 2007

Wroclaw, 16-19 April 2007, IT Days Conference

Witam Wszystkich!

From 16 to 19th of April 2007 at Wroclaw University of Technology there was an international students IT conference, where I gived a talk: "Introduction to Solaris Express, Developer Edition page

ITDays took place in this university building:

[Read More]



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