News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Solaris operating system

SXCE Coming to a Close

Dave Miner
Sr. Principal Software Engineer
A brief note to point out that today we posted the announcement of SXCE end-of-life plans to a variety of OpenSolaris and Solaris mailing lists.  As Glynn noted in a followup to the announcement mail, this decision is unrelated to the recent DOA builds, it's been in the works for quite some time.  However, it's worth noting that some of the problems that led to the DOA builds are a result of the primary development line being based on SXCE, as the difficulty of building media with the old tools and therefore failing to test some scenarios until the WOS is built.  As we complete the conversion of the development and release process to be centered on IPS and the Caiman installer technologies (Distribution Constructor, Automated Installer) we expect instances of these problems will decrease.  Now, more than ever, it's time to get on the OpenSolaris train!

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Comments ( 14 )
  • Kangcool Monday, August 10, 2009

    Sad to see sxce go, for all it's bloat at least it worked.

    Or wait a month for the next one.

    Opensolaris is still not ready and the quartly release plan has gone out the window, joy. Let's hope the 6 month plan actually sticks.

    Have there actually been any patches for 2009.06 as it is far from done, and is suppose to be stable.

  • Mads Monday, August 10, 2009

    I agree that Indiana / 2009.06 is far from ready for prime time, but that's the least of the problems with killing off SXCE. The real horror is that it seems the Indiana crowd has won and will be breaking solaris in the future making Solaris 10 essentially the end of the line.

  • logic Monday, August 10, 2009

    it would be better to first implement all the features in Indiana?

    I make a lot of use of sparse zones, and as far as i know its still not implemented in Indiana, only full root zones

  • Zachary Schneider Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    I couldn't be happier! I have been waiting for solaris + IPS for a long time! Tired of carving up Sun's enterprise software to run on OpenSolaris. My dream: pkg install comms-messaging etc. Then instead of the crappiness of SVR4 patches pkg image-update!

  • Rand Huntzinger Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    While I'm not opposed to the EOL of SXCE I'm a little concerned with how quickly it appears to be coming. Those of us with an investment in the Solaris 10 way of doing things are likely to have concerns about what all of this means. My Solaris 10 install and maintenance procedures work on SXCE. I can easily install a locally customized SXCE system easily using long established procedures. It just works. I can't do that with an OpenSolaris system because of a different installer and package manager. OK - there will be an enterprise supported product but what does that mean? How will that track with OpenSolaris? Are the nifty new features from OpenSolaris going to be rolled back into it? How is all of this going to work? Right now with the Oracle merger, problems with the economy, etc it doesn't seem to be the time to introduce further ambiguity about the future of Solaris. If you have all this planned out and can state clearly what is going to happen, you should probably do so to keep the FUD factor at bay.

  • Dave Miner Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    In regard to the previous comments:

    @Kangcool: there was never a quarterly release plan for OpenSolaris releases. We've been targeting 6 months and expect to continue that, though the next one will be in February 2010 due to some scheduling difficulties around US holidays.

    @Mads: There is no "Indiana crowd" that has "won". This has always been the plan for Sun's engineering and was stated as such in the OpenSolaris town hall meetings we had during 2008. The SVR4 packaging and installer code have had virtually no effort applied to them for the last two years except for enhancements that were really targeted at Solaris 10 (ZFS root support).

    @logic: The zones community is evaluating what will become of sparse zones support. I'd suggest discussing on zones-discuss@openslaris.org. Waiting for more features is not an option for Sun, as producing two distributions requires extra resources that we need to apply to the future product in order to hasten its arrival.

    @Zachary: Thanks for the support!

    @Rand: The next Solaris product will be based on the OpenSolaris product you can use today. Our plan is to continue offering OpenSolaris releases on roughly the cadence you see now (6 months), and provide a longer-term stable release for enterprises branded as Solaris but using the same technology base. We believe that the current situation with multiple OpenSolaris-based distributions available from Sun has created ambiguity, and the goal of this action is to eliminate that ambiguity going forward. Change is coming, and we're trying to make it clear as early as possible to give you the most time to digest those changes and plan for the next Solaris.

  • Anil Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    I am glad there is finally an end for the old packaging. Don't forget that patching/pkging was a nightmare and has been for a long time. Any plans to finally put it to rest is a great thing.

    At Entic.net, we started to use OpenSolaris with IPS in our VPS deployments and it works quite well ("whole root" zones). The disk space isn't that much more and I am sure dedup, will help out.

    @Mads: 2009.06 is pretty decent now actually. Not sure why you say it is not "ready for primetime". You can always stay up to date on critical bugs by purchasing Subscriptions.

    I also like the 6 month cycle, we can match the software maintenance schedule with that. Doing that every 3 months is a bit too quick.

  • Mads Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    @Anil I just went and did an 2009.06 install. Horrible is too mild a word - it's wrong on so many levels. At the surface it's looking very much like a bad copy of ubuntu. What a nightmare it'll be when this half baked desktop dist gets stamped sol11 and pushed to the enterprises. I foresee mass defection by those who today run their business on real Solaris.

  • Dave Miner Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    @Mads: It would be more helpful if you would identify the specific problems you have with the interactive installation. The GUI is targeted specifically at desktops or laptops, not servers, and is intentionally simpler than past Solaris installer interfaces in order to meet users on their terms, rather than ours. But without specifics on your objections, it's hard to comment further.

  • Zachary Schneider Thursday, August 13, 2009

    @Mads: Perhaps you have been living under a rock, but in case you haven't noticed mass defection has already occurred. Case in point: Whole enterprise transitions from Solaris/sparc to RedHat/x86. Careerbuilder/dice.com is littered with the projects. Even RedHat's garbage RPM/yum setup is preferable to the Solaris 10 SVR4 pkg nightmare. IPS is properly architected in my opinion is like APT done right. Solaris needs proper simple package management to move forward, and win back users that have become used to a decent package management system.

    Honestly even in it's present form (2009.06) rolling your own slim install is trivial. Are pieces rough? Yes. Comparatively speaking however I find OpenSolaris FAR easier to manage and deploy than Solaris 10 at its best, even though I need to muck about with various pieces of sun comms to get it to install cleanly.

    Right out of the box you want to talk about an install suckfest? Solaris 10 pkg clusters my god none of the default pkg clusters are useful for anything. But hey I guess it is fun for some people to sit around and sort out dependencies all day while they try and install the software they need while still trying to maintain the slimmest install possible.

    It always amazes me how professionals working within an ever changing ever evolving industry, will sit around and extol the virtues of platforms that have grown far too long in the tooth to be useful in the current fast paced IT work environment.

  • Randall Badilla Friday, August 14, 2009

    Hi all:

    I have mixture feelings about SXCE to be dead.. I was hopping install the latest release to make my official dual-boot support laptop.

    Regarding the OpenSolaris vs Solaris targets; I found OpenSolaris is "almost ready" for desktop/laptop use; and keep Solaris for server/enterprise.

    About packaging matters; it's normal have troubles with some packagages/sfw no matter if are rpm, apt-get, emerge or even pkg or openpkg. In fact I can't find any blog, publication or real discussion with weight the pros and cons of rpm, .deb, pkg and openpkg.

    As many know in business "One Size fit All" don't apply when it comes to manage sfw... but jumpstart, jet and other technologies make pkg installation easier.

    I know desktop/laptop distros are even more easier but aren't they target to other IT segment/?

    Maybe I'm wrong but pkging isn't so relevant when you try to choose a "good unix" machine; since all OS's have their caveats about sfw packages. I feel that hw/sfw features/support stands behind a good OS selection.

    Have a nice day everyone!

  • Ken Mandelberg Sunday, August 16, 2009

    For Sparc users this seems premature. OpenSolaris cannot even be booted from DVD and installed directly. That seems like a minimum for killing SXCE.

  • David Smith Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    It would be nice to get OpenSolaris to install via the ILOM command line serial console window. As far as I could tell this was still broken. SXCE works fine as does Solaris 10 GA.

  • Dave Miner Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    @Ken: SPARC users will see OpenSolaris media with a text installer in the development builds in a couple of months. Probably will be some space between the last SXCE build and that showing up, but it shouldn't be very long.

    @David: Assuming you're talking about x86, we've made some fixes that will show up in build 121 to carry through the console settings from the booted media, so that if you redirect console to serial that should now be in the installed image. There are also improvements to GRUB coming so that it handles serial redirections more automatically.

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