Wednesday Jun 11, 2008

Cool Stack 1.3 is here

It's finally here. Before you download the release, please do read the documentation. It's over a month late, but hopefully the features will compensate for the delay.
Almost every single component in the stack has been upgraded. Two new packages, CSKpython and CSKnginx have been added. And yes - the python package does include mod_python too.
You can read about the full list of changes in the Changelog.


Significant changes have been made to the ruby package. In addition to the upgrade to ruby1.8.6p114, we include a number of gems, notably mysql, postgres and mongrel. It should also be easy to install any new gem that requires native compilation using gcc - this should just work out of the box. A word of caution if you're running ruby on SPARC. Please DO NOT use gcc. If you're importing native gems, take the extra step of installing Studio 12 and use the instead (simply rename it to rbconfig.rb after saving the current one). This file is located in /opt/coolstack/lib/ruby/1.8/sparc-solaris2.10.

There have also been significant performance enhancements for ruby made in this release. By changing compiler flags, we have measured 20-30% improvement. In addition, SPARC-specific patches (which are now in ruby 1.8.7) improve performance a further 8-15%. If you are a ruby user, let us know your experiences. I'd love to hear of any performance changes you see as well.
In a future post, I'll share some performance results on the AMP stack. But for now, please try this release and let us know what you think via the forum or comments on this blog.

Cool Stack installation in Zones

For users who have installed Cool Stack in zones, I know the upgrade is a painful process. As I mentioned earlier, we do hope to fix this situation by allowing upgrade installs in future. But some users have found solutions on their own. In particular, I found this post in the forum interesting. Scroll down to reply 19.

Monday Nov 05, 2007

PHP dtrace extension for Cool Stack 1.2

We have fixed the issue with the PHP dtrace extension not working in Cool Stack 1.2. As I mentioned in my announcement post, we had already identified the issue but didn't have time to fix it before the release. The issue was that /usr/ccs/bin/ld was being used to do the linking but this doesn't work for dtrace as some initialization code needs to be called from the .init section and this is not setup correctly if we don't use 'cc' to do the linking (rather than 'ld'). 

So a simple addition to the configure line:

did the trick.

We now have two files : and posted. Download the one for your machine and do the following :

  • Copy it to the php5 extensions directory of /opt/coolstack/php5/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20060613 and re-name it as
  • Add extension="" to your /opt/coolstack/php5/lib/php.ini. 

See my earlier post, for an example of how to use dtrace to trace through the AMP stack. 

Friday Nov 02, 2007

Cool Stack 1.2 Released

Finally, it's here. We missed our October 31 deadline, but hopefully that won't matter when you see the contents of the release.

Short summary of changes in the 1.2 release.

You can download the new packages from the Sun Download Center.

Some caveats to be aware of :

  • These packages will over-write Cool Stack 1.1 packages that you may already have installed. All packages continue to install in /opt/coolstack but some of the package names have been changed. Thus, pkgadd(1M) will not know that the new CSKapache2 package will install in /opt/coolstack/apache2 and over-write the contents from a previous Cool Stack 1.1 installation of CSKamp. So, please do save your current installation. A detailed strategy to do this is  defined on the Cool Stack site. Here are some other short-cuts :
    • Move /opt/coolstack to /opt/coolstack1.1. Remove all the CSK\* packages installed. Since the actual files in /opt/coolstack no longer exist (as you've moved the directory), pkgrm will do no harm but does change the system's perception of what packages are installed. Then delete /opt/coolstack and start installing the new packages.
    • Save just the files you need - typically apache2/conf directory, your php.ini file etc. Then remove all the CSK\* packages and delete /opt/coolstack.
  • This release was built and tested on Solaris 10. During final testing on Nevada (aka OpenSolaris or SXDE), we ran into package incompatibility issues. Some packages do not install in a straight-foward manner on OpenSolaris. Please use the work-around.
  • The php dtrace extension doesn't work. We have identified the fix and will post a patch soon.

As always, please do read the FAQ (we will be updating this as we get feedback about the new release) and if that doesn't help, post your question/problem on the CoolTools Forum.

Let us know what you think of this release via the forum, the feedback alias or this blog. If we don't get feedback, it is hard to know what components to include or what bugs need to be fixed.

Tuesday Oct 16, 2007

Cool Stack on Niagara 2 Systems

Sun recently announced the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 and T5220 and Sun Blade T6320 systems based on the UltraSPARC T2 processor.  You can find lots of information on the various features and functionality provided by these servers.

One other cool feature is that these systems ship with Cool Stack pre-loaded. The Cool Stack 1.1 packages are available in /var/spool/pkg. You can install the ones you want using the pkgadd(1M) command as follows :

root@wgs40-82 # cd /var/spool/pkg
root@wgs40-82 # ls
CSKampSrc_sparc.pkg        CSKphplibs_sparc.pkg
CSKamp_sparc.pkg           CSKrubySrc_sparc.pkg
CSKmemcachedSrc_sparc.pkg  CSKruby_sparc.pkg
CSKmemcached_sparc.pkg     CSKsquidSrc_sparc.pkg
CSKmysqlSrc_sparc.pkg      CSKsquid_sparc.pkg
CSKmysql_sparc.pkg         CSKtdsSrc_sparc.pkg
CSKncursesSrc_sparc.pkg    CSKtds_sparc.pkg
CSKncurses_sparc.pkg       CSKtomcat_sparc.pkg
CSKperlSrc_sparc.pkg       Changelog.txt
CSKperl_sparc.pkg          CoolStack1.1_sparc.pdf
CSKphplibsSrc_sparc.pkg    LICENSE.txt
root@wgs40-82 # pkgadd -d CSKamp_sparc.pkg

The following packages are available:
  1  CSKamp     Apache httpd, PHP and MySQL
                (sparc) Apache 2.2.3, PHP 5.2.0, MySQL 5.0.33

Select package(s) you wish to process (or 'all' to process
all packages). (default: all) [?,??,q]:

Tuesday Sep 18, 2007

Cool Stack 1.1.1 contents

We are currently working on Cool Stack 1.1.1 which will have the following components updated, in addition to fixing known bugs :

  • Apache 2.2.6 : Add mod_proxy, mod_fcgid, SMF support
  • PHP 5.2.4      : Add dtrace extension, add new fastcgi version for use with non-Apache webservers
  • APC 3.0.14
  • Suhosin 0.9.20
  • MySQL 5.0.45: Add SMF support
  • Perl 5.8.8       : Add Sys:Syslog, DBI, DBD-mysql extensions
  • memcached 1.2.2
  • squid 2.6
  • tomcat 5.5.23
I would love to get feedback on this. Is your favorite module/extension missing ? Are there bugs/issues you have run into that haven't been reported on the forum ?


I'm a Senior Staff Engineer in the Performance & Applications Engineering Group (PAE). This blog focuses on tips to build, configure, tune and measure performance of popular open source web applications on Solaris.


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