Thursday Nov 18, 2010

Upgrading from OpenSolaris 2009.06 to Solaris 11 Express 2010.11

In this entry I document my experience of upgrading from OpenSolaris 2009.06 to Solaris 11 Express 2010.11. I selected to include lots of output, in case you want to compare your experience to mine.[Read More]

Monday Sep 27, 2010

The Second Sighting

The ObservatoryTwo years ago we started The Observatory shortly after the first release of OpenSolaris hit the streets. Since then we've published over 200 entries to which we've received almost 1000 comments and we've consistently been a top 20 blog at (or what we simply call bsc).

A couple of weeks back, John Fowler, EVP of Systems here at Oracle, delivered a strategy webcast where he outlined the future of Solaris. In that webcast, John finally announced what we've all been anticipating as we've watched the evolution of OpenSolaris - Solaris 11. And just last week at Oracle OpenWorld, Solaris 11 Express, which had only been a rumor up to this point, was finally officially announced.

To that extent, we also want to evolve The Observatory as we move forward with the future of Oracle Solaris. Therefore, we are making a slight adjustment to the tagline of this blog, moving from "A Closer Look at Using OpenSolaris" to "A Closer Look at Using Oracle Solaris", which will cover all Oracle Solaris technologies, including OpenSolaris (call me crazy like a fox, but I'm still running OpenSolaris 2009.06).

So, for the most part, the song remains the same, we just have an updated album cover.

Friday Jan 29, 2010

Updating To A Specific Development Build

The development builds of OpenSolaris provide access to some great new features, but they also commonly bring with them some great new headaches. Fortunately, OpenSolaris' boot environments make it easy to get back on your feet.  However, that doesn't help you get any closer to that great new feature.

A common question on the various help aliases is how to upgrade to a specific development build of OpenSolaris? The pkg image-update command currently doesn't address this, but there's and enhancement request in to solve it: pkg image-update should provide the possibility to specify a build.

In that enhancement request you'll find a workaround, which I'll walk through in more detail here.[Read More]

Wednesday Jan 27, 2010

Don't Blame the Printer

If you have a printer that works with OpenSolaris, please take the time to allow your fellow community members to know about it. Here's how...[Read More]

Wednesday Dec 23, 2009

Critical Security Update for Adobe Flash Player

Earlier this month, Adobe released a security update for its Flash Player. Adobe has assigned this update its highest risk rating of Critical. This update is available for OpenSolaris.[Read More]

Monday Nov 16, 2009


As a user of OpenSolaris, one of the best ways you can contribute to the community is by taking the time to submit the bugs you find in the product.[Read More]

Tuesday Oct 20, 2009

A Busy Weekend for OpenSolaris at Linux Conferences

There are (at least) 2 big Linux conferences this weekend, the Ontario Linux Fest and the Florida Linux Show. The good news is that you'll find OpenSolaris represented at both of them. In Ontario Canada, Toronto OpenSolaris User Group leader Steven Acres will deliver Why OpenSolaris? In Orlando, Florida, I'll be delivering What's So Cool About OpenSoalaris Anyhow?

If you happen to be nearby (or willing to travel), please stop by and say hello.

Thursday Sep 03, 2009

If You Build It, They Will Come

The best way to judge the success of any project, open source or not, is the strength of the development community supporting it. Thats why I was happy to come across Murray Blakeman's site today, Solaris Multimedia. Murry runs his own IPS repository with much of the popular multimedia tools the community's been clamoring for. I was hesitant to advertise it here for a couple of reasons. First, Murray only has a 384 kbps link so I'm not sure how much more publicity his site could handle. Second, I don't want to see Murray to suffer the same fate as the the Life with Solaris guys. Ultimately, I decided since he's already out there promoting his site, a little cross-promotion was acceptable. Plus, as I've said, I'm really thankful to the contribution he's making to the OpenSolaris community.

If you decided to try the repository, read his 2009.06 Multimedia Repository post first on how to most effectively use it.

Tuesday Jul 14, 2009

Live Video Stream: Kernel Conference Australia, July 15-17

Starting July 15th at 9:00 AM Brisbane time, you can catch a live stream of the Kernel Conference Australia.  Of particular interest to storage geeks is the keynote by Jeff Bonwick and Bill Moore on ZFS Deduplication! at 9:15 AM

Monday Jul 06, 2009

Connecticut OpenSolaris User Group Meeting July 2009

About 25 people attended the July meeting of the Connecticut OpenSolaris User Group on July 1st.[Read More]

Thursday Jun 18, 2009

Learning On Demand Service

Yet another way to try OpenSolaris - this time on demand. Sun Learning Services has a program (in beta) where you can launch an instance of OpenSolaris from your browser. Most of you reading this blog probably already use OpenSolaris, so here's a tip you can pass onto your friends who've been envious of you :-).[Read More]

Wednesday Jun 17, 2009

TrueType Fonts

As a user of OpenSolaris you may be wondering why it's missing all the popular fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman and the ever popular Wingdings. The license for these fonts prohibit their distribution with the operating system, however, they are freely available to you in the extra repository.[Read More]

Sunday May 31, 2009

"Is this for real????"

That was the first question to the OpenSolaris engineers participating in the live chat. If you missed it, you can at least read the replay. There was an astounding 125,000 unique visitors to the chat!

Tuesday May 26, 2009

Live Stream of the Front Range OpenSolaris User Group

This Thursday, May 28th at 6:30 - 8:30 PM MDT, you can virtually attend the Front Range OpenSolaris User Group meeting as it's being broadcast over Ustream. The topics are:
  • OpenSolaris Auto Install by Clay Baenziger (60 mins)
  • How to synchronize an iPod by Pat Korsnick (20 mins)
Be sure to prepare your own pizza.

SourceJuicer: How to contribute a package to OpenSolaris

If your favorite piece of open source software isn't available for OpenSolaris, there's a fairly new tool called SourceJuicer to help you get it there. In my very limited experience with the tool, the key to a successful build is the spec file. In Josh Simons' latest blog entry, SourceJuicer: How to contribute a package to OpenSolaris, he gives a very in depth description of each line of the file. He then walks you though his experience of submitting ploticus, a tool for creating plots, charts and graphics. Thanks to Josh, you can now find it in the pending repository.


The Observatory is a blog for users of Oracle Solaris. Tune in here for tips, tricks and more as we explore the Solaris operating system from Oracle.


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