Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

2008.11: A roundup

With the launch over, I took a few minutes to read through today's blog entries, and pulled out a list of the either technical or personally significant entries. If you're looking for the highlights, Calum's overview seems to be a great place to start. He's got links to the best summaries and screencasts.

  • First, if you're running 2008.05 and considering upgrading—recommended strongly—please watch Markus's screencast. There are one or two tricky steps to pay attention to. (We got caught offguard by some misinteractions between GRUB, ZFS, and early startup; won't happen again.)
  • Erwann's screencast is a great introduction to Time Slider, and I'm pretty confident no turkeys were harmed during filming.
  • Peter has screen captures of top(1) on a couple of older laptops, including one with 447 MiB available to the OS. Dave and the Install team worked hard to keep 512 MiB systems booting on the release; here's evidence.
  • Doug's pkgfactory/roboporter discussion and Nico's explanation of the repositories show an extremely promising way to make sure there's a wide variety of software available for OpenSolaris—make the computers do the grunt work. Doug and Nico, and Jim Walker, have been pushing hard on improving porting efficiencies.
  • Knut explains using JavaDB as a managed service on 2008.11. Since Knut's post combines pkg(5) and smf(5) invocations, it easily wins a spot in any summary I might write. (And so it appears in this one.)
  • Jerry describes the foundational work for integrating zones, Snap Upgrade, and pkg(5). The changes to filesystem layout to support that integration place limitations on zones across the 2008.05 to 2008.11 transition, so be sure to review Jerry's post if you've been experimenting with ipkg zones on the release.
  • John reviews 2008.11 as a suitable paravirtualized guest on xVM, with some careful discussion of how to handle the graphical console.
  • Shawn's the sole member of the image packaging team to get a technical entry up. Shawn talks about the depot refacing work he's done and planning on doing for (Shawn modestly omits the fact that he also implemented "pkg history" and operational intent in the client.)
  • Finally, I'm giving Fintan the nod for best screenshot, even if I prefer to see this release on the metal.

There are a lot of entries under tagged with opensolaris; you'll find coverage of many other aspects of the release.

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2008.11: Live chat action

We're just wrapping up the live chat for the launch, with interested folks moving to freenode in #os200811. Here's a quick photo of Danek, Dave, and Bart responding intently to the questions and comments earlier this morning.

Launch chat action

As you can see, every question is taken seriously...

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Tuesday Dec 09, 2008

2008.11: Everyday projectors

I regularly use my for presentations and demonstrations, which in the past has involved some configuration gymnastics. If your laptop has NVIDIA graphics, the "NVIDIA X Server Settings" Preferences panel lets you configure for most projectors, but if you didn't have an NVIDIA graphics adaptor, configuration was arduous and fragile. With 2008.11, we get GNOME 2.24; the 2.24 Screen Resolution panel, reachable from the desktop background menu, makes configuration accessible to a wider range of adaptors, including the Intel graphics in my Toshiba r500.

So I made another little film:

Again, you can retrieve this video directly from channelsun.

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2008.11: More ways to get it, and more ways to share it

As I did for 2008.05, I'll collect links to mirror sites here. These will also get links on the various download pages out there.

Construction of 2008.11 was faster, more efficient, and generally more predictable than 2008.05. Image packaging, snap upgrade, and the distribution constructor—and the notorious distro importer—saw many fixes and features that resulted in the ability to rapidly turn out corrected images and packages. As problems were found during testing, we could spin up new test variants in hours or less. (Thus, the existance of RC1.5, which we were able to inject into the schedule because of this newfound speed. Dave's written more about the constructor.) You can get the ISO image, suitable for burning to a 700 MiB CD or immediate use in virtual environment, directly from the following locations:

As Glynn notes, we've set up anonymous rsync to make acquiring and mirroring the ISO images. In addition, I've posted draft instructions on how to be a content mirror for We've tested the pkg(5) content mirroring, as well as the rsync service, but would be happy to get feedback on

These links either take you to the site's page or directly to the osol-0811.iso CD image, which contains 11 "primary languages". It installs quite a bit faster, particularly on systems with slower CPUs. There is also an LZMA-compressed image, which has localization support for 42 languages, including those primary ones. It's available from,, and as a torrent. (Consult the language lists for specifics.)

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