Sunday Oct 12, 2008

OpenSolaris Test Farm in Beijing


The equipment pictured on the left is part of a pilot Open Lab project here at the Sun China Engineering and Research Institute (ERI). The team is experimenting with is a lab of equipment totally accessible to the outside network. Previous labs have been setup with internal (or SWAN) access. This has presented many security issues when trying to also share equipment with an outside network.

Much of this equipment will be available for free use as part of the OpenSolaris Test Farm initiative, which will be officially launched shortly. Some of the other equipment is available to Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to test their offerings with OpenSolaris. Still more is made available to our partners for file transfers, netinstalls, and other uses.

Being involved with projects such as this is one of the very gratifying things about working at ERI.

PS... we'll be demonstrating the OpenSolaris Test Farm at the upcoming Intel Developer Forum in Taipei October 20th and 21st. Be sure to come by the booth if you're at the event!

Monday Oct 06, 2008

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Jim Grisanzio at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications right before we went on Golden Week Holiday.

See Jim's post here for pictures and info about the night:

It was truly a blast. And, it was made even more special for me since Zhang Wenzhi, who was recently an intern in the lab group here at ERI, was in charge of the event.

I look forward to doing more such talks.

Tuesday Jul 29, 2008

BJOSUG 18: Three Perspectives on OpenSolaris

At last Thursday's Beijing OpenSolaris User Group meeting, we had three different perspectives on OpenSolaris.

Jim Hughes

Our first presentation was a special guest appearance by the always effervescent Jim Hughes, Sun Fellow and Solaris Chief Technology Officer. Jim outlined four features of OpenSolaris that make it such a compelling operating environment:
  • Familiarity (to those used a Linux look and feel)
  • ZFS Root
  • New patching mechanism
  • New packaging mechanism
And, gave some excellent background on each of them. Here is a picture of Jim making a point about the OpenSolaris CD, and showing how to make a point without a pointer.

DSC_2629.jpg DSC_2633.jpg

Aubrey Li

Aubrey Li, a Senior Software Engineer at the Open Source Technology Center of Intel in Shanghai then spoke about an OpenSolaris Developer's Start-up Guide which he wrote. Audrey also answered a lot of questions from folks in attendance.


Sun ZhongYuan

Lastly, Sun ZhongYuan, a member of the HCTS team at Sun, spoke about using OpenSolaris productively with such tools as VirtualBox and Wine. DSC_2646.jpg

Special credit goes to Simon Sun, who organized and hosted this month's meeting.

More pictures of the event can be found here.

Monday May 26, 2008

Linux and OpenSolaris Together

We held a joint meeting of the Beijing Linux User Group (BLUG) and the Beijing OpenSolaris User Group (BJOSUG) last Tuesday. The speaker was Louis Suarez-Potts, the community manager at Sun Microsystems.

Louis not only talked about the scheduled release of 3.0 in September, but of the opportunities for innovation and sharing which are available in open communities.

He also talked about the opportunities for profit that come out of working on open code.

One example he gave was Red Flag 2000, which took the code and enhanced it to meet the demands of Chinese users. (A special thanks to Red Flag 2000 for sponsoring the beverages for the event.)

Pictures from the meeting can be found here and here.

Thursday Apr 24, 2008

15th Beijing OpenSolaris User Group Meeting

We had the 15th BJOSUG meeting today, and the fourth meeting of the year. The presentations and discussions were centered around Power Management this meeting. You can find out more about what was discussed by visiting this link.

Here's a photo of Aubrey Li:


Here's one of Jeff Cai:


And, one of Jian, who was the host of tonight's event:


More photos can be seen here.

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Great News for EeePC Users!

Great news for ASUS EeePC Users... an alpha version of the SUNWath driver, which enables WiFi on the EeePC, is available for download here:

Many thanks to Judy for making the bits available!

Also, checkout this cool video from Ohta-san, featuring an EeePC run snv_85:

Tuesday Apr 15, 2008

VNC OpenSolaris/xVM Settings

I use VNC on my system running xVM. Since a lot of other folks are doing the same, I thought I'd share my settings.

First off, I opted for the "VNC Enterprise Edition for UNIX" from RealVNC, which cost $US 50. I like the extra features that this edition (4.3.2) provides... see the web site for more information.

Here's my xstartup file:


xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
gnome-session &

I'm running gnome, so that's why the gnome-session is in there. The vncconfig, however, is the really cool thing. With it, I'm able to copy-n-paste into and out of my vnc window onto my desktop... even if my domU is isolated from my dom0 whilst using IPsec.

When I start vncserver on my domU, I use:

vncserver -geometry 1500x900 -IdleTimeout 0

This stops those blasted disconnections due to idle time. The chosen geometry fits quite comfortably on one of the two 22-inch heads I run at home.

Oh, and I use the vnpasswd on both my dom0 and domU machines and set the passwords to be the same.

Finally, when I start the vnc viewer on my dom0, I use:

vncviewer snvdom1:2 -passwd ~/.vnc/passwd&

With the addition of the -passwd option, I'm able to start the viewer in the background.

Wednesday Feb 13, 2008

SXDE on an Asus Eee PC

First, a nod to other blogs that have been chronicling Solaris on an Eee PC:

It was in large part due to conversations with Fiona and Tim that I decided to jump on the Eee PC bandwagon.

Like Tim, I started with an Eee PC 4G model (with 512 MBytes of memory). However, pretty much as soon as it arrived, I was off to ZhongGuanCun to purchase a 2 GByte memory upgrade, and, well, a 16 GByte SD HC card. With this new configuration, I also decided to install the (newly released) SXDE 1/08 software instead of the Project Indiana bits. And, well, take a look:


Yep, that's my little Eee PC driving a 46-inch Samsung LCD.

Now, some notes:

  • The problem Tim reported here with Project Indiana bits didn't occur with SXDE.
  • No tweaks were needed to get it going... specified the SD HC card as the install/boot device, and that was it.
  • I'm running pre-release bits for WiFi. The current bits have problems with the integrated Atheros chip.
  • The sound is a problem. Waiting on some upcoming OSS bits for that.
  • The darn thing panicked (CR 6662425) when I tried to boot into xVM.
    In the meantime, I'm gonna try to get VirtualBox going... see Joe Bonasera's blog about it here.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased with this machine. And, well, for a total price of under $US 500, I think it it rocks. (I'll be bringing it to the February 28th meeting of the Beijing OpenSolaris User Group, hopefully with a couple other nifty things running. :)

Sunday Jan 13, 2008

BJOSUG, 10JAN08: OpenSolaris, xVM, and ZFS

We had our first Beijing OpenSolaris User Group (BJOSUG) meeting of the year on January 10th:

  Topic Presenter

OpenSolaris Amiram Hayardeny
xVM Alex Peng
ZFS Robin Guo

160 people attended dinner and the meeting, with a good representation from developers, sys admins, students, and Sun employees. Also, our friends from the Beijing Linux User Group (BLUG) were there (we have folks attending both group meetings, and hope to plan some joint activities soon).

I've got the set of pictures from the evening posted here, but will share a few choice ones.

20080110-1395.jpg The meeting was held in a brand-new conference room in Wing A of the Technology Plaza in Tsinghua Science Park.
20080110-1403.jpg Some of the BJSOUG core team (btw, I really do mean team - it was a great experience working together on this meeting - I'm looking forward to our next one!) and one of the first arrivals to the meeting.
20080110-1408.jpg Pizza, spaghetti, and drinks for 160. Food wasn't allowed in the conference room, so folks ate in the hallway. And, yep, it was from Mr. Pizza.
20080110-1414.jpg The conference room right before the meeting started.
20080110-1419.jpg Joey throwing t-shirts and working the crowd.
20080110-1422.jpg Amiram making a point during his keynote OpenSolaris presentation.
20080110-1439.jpg Alex talking about XEN and xVM.
20080110-1445.jpg Robin talking about ZFS.

Monday Nov 05, 2007

Sun Tech Days Beijing Roundup

As I mentioned in my post from 01NOV, I attended the Sun Tech Days Beijing this year. I was spent the whole day there on Thursday, and the morning on Saturday. (I'd wanted to spend the whole day on Saturday, which was dedicated to OpenSolaris, but I was feeling not well and went home early.)


Arrived around 7 am on Thursday to help with the setup. On the way in, I saw a dumptruck which had hit a sinkhole and tilted on it's side. So, of course, I took a picture of it.

The Beijing International Convention Center, where Tech Days was held, is in the midst of huge construction zone surrounding the Bird's Nest. The truck was righted and gone by the time I ventured out at noon.

20071101-1085 I took a number of photos of the conference space as folks setup, including this one of a bookseller... with one on Glassfish, and Chinese translations of some O'Reilly books.

btw, pictures from throughout the two days can be found here.

HCTS and xVM

I sat at what is probably best described as the, umh, well, gee, "Solaris Catch-all Table". Besides jmcp's impromptu delving into an incapacitated system, the main draws were the HCTLive demo and xVM. jmcp does an excellent job describing the day here, so I'll just add four pictures to the pot, and leave it at that.

20071101-1143 20071101-1136
20071101-1098 20071101-1099


The keynote address was given by the dashing, debonair, and oh!-ever-so-understated, Jim Hughes. Here's a shot of Jim demonstrating perfect technique when preparing to deliver a t-shirt to the crowd. See the previous link and my photos for more on Jim's excellent address.


There were a number of technologies which were highlighted during the keynote. Of particular interest to me are the Sun SPOT devices, which I plan to use as part of the lab project I'm working on. Here's a shot showing some of the device's monitoring capabilities. Way too cool!


OpenSolaris Keynote

Amiram gave the keynote for OpenSolaris Day on Saturday. Amiram had previously blogged about tech days here. Frank and Ada presented as part of Amiram's keynote. Frank talked about SDDT, and Ada about Starfish.

20071103-1150 20071103-1159

All in all, I had a great time.




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