Monday Aug 17, 2009

OpenSolaris for Puppets

At OSCON last month I had the pleasure of discussing OpenSolaris, the OpenSolaris Bible, and Open HA Cluster with “Jack”. It was fun playing the “straight man,” especially since we hadn't planned anything ahead of time so I had no idea where the conversation was going to head. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Thursday Jun 18, 2009

Become an OpenSolaris Power User at OSCON

OSCON 2009

Dave and I are pleased to be offering a tutorial on OpenSolaris at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) this summer in San Jose. The three hour tutorial, Becoming an OpenSolaris Power User, will be on Tuesday, July 21 at 1:30 PM in Ballroom A8. As usual, this tutorial will be based strongly on our book, OpenSolaris Bible.

OSCON this year features an amazing lineup in addition to our tutorial, and should be a great conference. You can use this registration code for a 20% discount: os09fos. See you there!

Tuesday Jun 16, 2009

Developing On OpenSolaris

I gave a presentation called, "Developing On OpenSolaris" at the CommunityOne conference in San Francisco on June 1st. This talk was an overview of the benefits and features of OpenSolaris as a development platform. Topics included software management with the Image Packaging System (IPS), ZFS, Time Slider, DTrace, D-Light, SunStudio, GCC, Eclipse, and NetBeans. The goal of the presentation, in one sentence, was to answer the question, "why should I choose OpenSolaris as my development platform?"

In case you missed the talk, I’m happy to be able to offer the video here free of charge. This video doesn’t show the slides, so if you want to follow along at home, you can download the slides here.

Without further ado, here’s the video:

And here are some still shots, taken by Tirthankar Das:

Monday Jun 01, 2009

Open HA Cluster 2009.06 Released Today!

As I wrote over at the Sun Cluster Oasis blog, Open HA Cluster 2009.06 is now available! This release provides a High Availability option for OpenSolaris 2009.06 (which was also released today).

As technical lead of the Open HA Cluster 2009.06 release, I've been engrossed in it for over a year, so it with some pride and no small amount of relief that I announce it today. Maybe now I can stop working weekends.

Known as project Colorado, this release had two principal goals:

  1. Port Solaris Cluster 3.2 to run on OpenSolaris.
  2. Provide some minimization and modularization features to reduce the perceived and actual complexity of the HA clustering solution.

Rather than repeating details of these points here, I instead will point you to the slides for a presentation that I gave yesterday at the Open HA Cluster Summit in San Francisco. It was recorded, so hopefully the video will be available soon as well.

As with other packages for OpenSolaris, Open HA Cluster is available from a network package repository. In this case the "ha-cluster" repository on Although the product is free to use and to put into production, you must register and accept a license agreement at After accepting the agreement, follow the directions to download the certificate and key to your systems. Then set the ha-cluster publisher like this:

# pkg set-publisher -k /var/pkg/ssl/Open_HA_Cluster_2009.06.key.pem -c /var/pkg/ssl/Open_HA_Cluster_2009.06.certificate.pem -O ha-cluster
# pkg refresh

Next, install the cluster packages:

# pkg install ha-cluster-full

For more details, you can read the official documentation. If you don't have physical hardware available to form a cluster, check out Thorsten Frueauf's whitepaper on running Open HA Cluster in VirtualBox.

Thursday May 14, 2009

OpenSolaris CommunityOne Deep Dives are Free

As I mentioned previously, one of the talks I will be giving at CommunityOne West is part of a deep dive track, "Deploying OpenSolaris in your Datacenter." I'm pleased to announce that, contrary to the "official" CommunityOne information you might find elsewhere, this deep dive track is completely free. Just register with the "OSDDT" registration code.

Also, check out a nice summary of the OpenSolaris presence at CommunityOne. For the really curious, you can see our planning wiki.

Thursday May 07, 2009

At CommunityOne West June 1-2

I'm looking forward to the upcoming CommunityOne West conference in San Francisco at the beginning of June. This is a great event at which to learn about OpenSolaris and other FOSS software, and I'm particularly excited about the several opportunities that I'll have in which to share some information about OpenSolaris and Open HA Cluster.

On Monday, June 1, Dave and I will be giving two talks based on our book, OpenSolaris Bible.

The first talk, Developing on OpenSolaris will provide a tutorial on using OpenSolaris as your development platform, focusing on the features unique to OpenSolaris. This talk, at 10:50 AM, will kick off the "Developing On OpenSolaris" track.

Our second talk of the day, at 11:50 AM is titled, Becoming an OpenSolaris Power User. If you missed us at CommunityOne East, come check this one out, with revised and updated content for the OpenSolaris 2009.06 release. This presentation is part of the "Managing OpenSolaris" track.

Jerry, the third author on OpenSolaris Bible, will also be giving a talk on Monday at 1:40 PM on Virtualization in OpenSolaris.

Also on Monday, the three of us will do a book signing for OpenSolaris Bible, though the time and location haven't yet been finalized.

On Tuesday, Jerry and I will be part of a “deep dive” tutorial on Deploying OpenSolaris in your Datacenter. I'll cover High Availability, including SMF, FMA, and Open HA Cluster (of course!). Jerry will cover Zones. Additional topics will include ZFS.

Attendance at CommunityOne is completely free on Monday. I'm not sure yet if the deep dive on Tuesday will also be free.

When I'm not speaking, you can probably find me in the pavilion at the Open HA Cluster booth.

I hope to see you at Moscone in June! Also, don't forget about the Open HA Cluster Summit on the preceding Sunday, May 31.

Saturday Apr 11, 2009

Becoming an OpenSolaris Power User

Dave and I attended CommunityOne East last month in New York City and gave a talk called Becoming an OpenSolaris Power User based on our book, OpenSolaris Bible. Thanks to Deirdré Straughan, the presentation is now available online for free!

Because the book is almost 1000 pages and the talk was only fifty minutes, we were only able to scratch the surface of most topics. As I said at the beginning of the presentation, the talk could more accurately be titled, "Introduction to Becoming an OpenSolaris Power User." I started the presentation with an overview of the power features of OpenSolaris, and then we discussed three areas in more detail. Dave talked about the ZFS file system and some of the network virtualization features and I finished up with an overview of DTrace.

Without further ado, here's the presentation. And if you want to follow along at home, here are the slides.

You can also download the talk in mp4 format for your iPod.

If this talk piqued your interest, look for us at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in July, where we'll be doing a 3 1/2 hour version.

Friday Mar 06, 2009

At CommunityOne East March 18

I'm looking forward to attending the CommunityOne East conference in New York City the week after next. Dave and I will be giving a talk on Becoming an OpenSolaris Power User, based on our book, OpenSolaris Bible. This session will be at 4 PM in Breakout 5. Come learn about ZFS, DTrace, and more! Also check out the complete session schedule for some other great topics. If you're new to OpenSolaris, I particularly recommend the Moving to OpenSolaris talk at 10:10, also in Breakout 5.

When I'm not presenting, you'll probably be able to find me in the demo pavilion. Swing by for a sneak preview of project Colorado (Open HA Cluster running on OpenSolaris 2009.06), or for help installing OpenSolaris on your laptop.

Finally, Dave and I will be happy to sign any copies of OpenSolaris Bible that come our way!

Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.11 and Transformers

As you may have heard, OpenSolaris 2008.11 officially launched today. There are a bunch of great features and improvements, such as Time Slider, better laptop support, automated installation, and so on, that you'll be hearing a lot about. But what you probably won’t hear as much about is its suitability for five year olds. Here’s a photo of my son playing Webkinz on OpenSolaris 2008.11 installed on a Toshiba laptop.

And here he is watching Transformers.

OpenSolaris 2008.11 didn’t phase him in the least – he knows to just “click on the fox” to get to what he wants!


Nick Solter is a software engineer and author living in Colorado.


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