A step in the right direction


Nota bene: MacBook Pro, Leopard, 3 GB RAM, VMWare Fusion 1.1, SXDE 1/08

The unexpected tough part was making an iso image so I can feed the VMWare VM. I had the SXDE DVD (Jan '08 - build 79a) and I used Mac's Disk Utility application to build the iso. At first I build a dmg file and VMWare did not like that. Here are some steps that one could follow to build the image:

  • Fire up /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app
  • File | New | Disk Image from Folder (or device), then make sure you select "DVD/CD master" as the image format
  • It will actually build a .cdr file that in then rename into an .iso (mv SOL_11_X86.cdr SOL_11_X86.iso) to it can be recognized by VMWare.
  • Now you are ready to use the wizard to "Use operating system installation disk image file:"

I accepted the default settings of the image installation, other than the memory setting, for which I allocated 2048 MB. Installation was smooth, but it took a long time.

 

The installer highlights the developer specific software. Perhaps it should also outline the ApacheMySQLPHP (AMP) software.

 

What I also liked is that Sun seems to promote developer support and if you get stuck, there seem to be folks ready to help.

 

At a first glance the SXDE has all the productivity tools that one would need to develop applications that take advantage of the SAMP stack. The bundled NetBeans 6 includes support (very early access but usable) for PHP and you could easily point the IDE to the instance of the bundled MySQL. Connect using the Connector/J JDBC driver (see "Services" tab of the IDE) or programmatically directly from the PHP code. It just works. The IDE also detects the availability of the Apache web server (if you choose a PHP project type) and you'll be able to build and deploy a database enable PHP web application in minutes. The rest is just a matter of programming :-)

You also get the Sun Studio compiler and the IDE. No configuration needed. The compiler is in the path. C/C++ developers will certainly appreciate that, since getting started with a compiler is not always straight forward.

Getting NetBeans 6 and the compiler out of the box is a compelling enough reason for developers to look at SXDE and employ it in their day yo day activities. My setup is a little more difficult to configure since I am using the virtualization software, however I think most users are likely to install SXDE directly on iron.

What needs help:

  • Networking - still not Ubuntu easy, especially if you expect wireless support
  • Startup - you'll note that the startup time is bad (we are talking minutes). One way to improve it is by editing one of the startup files. Of course, do this at your own risk :-)
    • become root: su - root
    • edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and remove $ISADIR (rename menu.lst just in case you make a typo and you want to recover); once your are done, you should be looking at 
      • kernel$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/unix
      • module$ /platform/i86pc/boot_archive

     



Comments:

Hi, Octavian. I was able to install into VMWare directly from the DVD. Was there as reason you wanted to create an iso and then install from there? Inquiring minds want to know...

Posted by David Van Couvering on February 04, 2008 at 03:33 PM PST #

David,

The reason you would use an ISO image instead of DVD media is mainly for speed.

Posted by Green Data Centre on March 13, 2008 at 02:59 AM PDT #

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