Friday Nov 19, 2010

Climb Ev'ry mountain, Solaris

On the lighter side, here is an interesting story of Solaris being used by the autonomous Audi TTS to scale Pike's Peak.
In the description is this interesting nugget:,

The Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak integrates advanced algorithms, the Oracle Java real-Time System (Java RTS), Oracle Solaris and GPS with safety and navigation systems found in stock Audi TTS models to maintain control at a physical performance extreme.
Java and Oracle Solaris provide a significant advancement over traditional execution models in terms of reliability, transparency, debugging capability, programming model, predictable response-time characteristics, and cost.

Very cool!

Monday Mar 01, 2010

OpenSolaris Futures

There were some concerns expressed here about the future of OpenSolaris at Oracle.
Turns out, Dan Roberts, Director of Solaris and Studio Product Management, spoke about it recently at a recent OpenSolaris meeting and his comments were picked up here. Please read the article if you'd like to know more, but the gist of it is:
"Oracle will continue to make OpenSolaris available as open source, and Oracle will continue to actively support and participate in the community." Dan did strike a cautionary tone about expecting everything to be like it was before, saying in effect that: "There may be some things we choose not to open source going forward. It's important to understand the plan now is to deliver value again out of our IP investment, while at the same time measuring that with continuing to deliver OpenSolaris in the open."
Needless to add, Studio will follow OpenSolaris lead and will continue to be available with it.

Friday Nov 13, 2009

Sun Studio at SuperComputing; also, now in Rocks roll

Sun Studio is now in the Rocks roll both for Solaris and Linux. You will find Sun Studio 12 update 1, Sun ClusterTools and Sun Grid Engine in the Linux roll here at: and for Solaris roll here at: . Bringing Sun Studio to Rocks makes it more readily available for Cluster development, primarily in research organization.

If you arent familiar with the Rocks distribution, it is basically an open-source Linux cluster distribution that enables end users to easily build computational clusters, grid endpoints and visualization tiled-display walls. Rocks is used by researchers to create their own clusters. You can get more information about Rocks here at their site (here).

Sun will be in SuperComputing 09, highlighting Flash technology and many other future technologies its working on. Come join Sun at Birds of a Feather session and at the Whisper Suite . For more info, follow this link.

Friday Apr 17, 2009

OpenSolaris Apps of Steel Challenge

Heres an interesting programming challenge for budding hackers (just follow this link) .
OpenSolaris is looking to beef up its packages repository and you can help. Submit the best entry and win a laptop!
Have fun and make a difference in the OpenSolaris community, while you're doing it! Takers, you may want to act fast, the contest lasts until May 8th. And I should add: dont forget to use Sun Studio compilers to get that extra performance boost from all the improvements made for all hardware upto the most recent one.

Monday Feb 02, 2009

xrandr is your(my) friend!

I have had considerable difficulty connecting laptops (particularly ATI-based) to projectors at various conferences (the most annoying ones are where the projector is connected through an intermediate switch that multiplexes inputs) in order to get twinviews on dual-displays. Cant tell you about how many hours I and some of my colleagues have spent configuring, tuning, hand-coding xorg.conf files(an extremely tedious task). This is all on Solaris/OpenSolaris, though in some cases, Linux and even Windows didnt do any better!
Over the past few months, we now have xrandr in OpenSolaris which detects and sets displays to specifications. The typically 1024x768 is still the best resolution I can get in most places, but thats not the utility's shortcoming; its just the nature of the equipment.
You can typically just type the command:
to get a listing of connected devices and their possible resolutions. Then you can set the connection to the projector typically with a command like this:
    xrandr --output VGA-0 --mode 1024x768
to get dual-display.
Yay, finally a solution that seems to work most of the time (there are still the odd times when I've found it doesnt get it right). The next trip to Sun TechDays in Hyderabad, India, would be a good test of this capability. I will be talking about Sun Studio compilers and tools again, this year. We have some new and cool features to talk about, so if you're in the area, drop in!

Tuesday Dec 16, 2008

Toshiba laptop to factory preinstall OpenSolaris

Sun and Toshiba announced today a factory-ready laptop running OpenSolaris.
At last, at long last! Its high time we got a popular laptop maker to pre-install (Open)Solaris (they will actually start shipping in 2009). Reading some of the comments on blogs and news stories, reaction seems to be more on the positive side. Maybe, now I can find an excuse to upgrade my laptop, though its technically in reasonable running condition!

Friday Dec 12, 2008

Installed OpenSolaris 2008.11 with Sun Studio Express 11/08

I just installed OpenSolaris 2008.11 (you can get it here, tho I got mine from an internal Sun DVD Test/Evaluation CD) on my x86 laptop in addition to another laptop that I use for shows (like Sun TechDays) and customer presos etc. To confess, my dual-boot laptop was still booting SXDE from Build 70 (its currently at 101 and the builds are biweekly, so I was about a year off :-)
The installation went smoothly. I didnt expect any issues since I know Acer Ferrari 4000 laptop has all the right characteristics and devices that OpenSolaris recognizes. Here are some of my observations that I would like to share here:
  • The LiveCD install took 25 minutes (yes, I timed it). No issues (no partitioning required since I was reusing my older partition)
  • Then I installed  other desirable packages, using the GUI Package Manager. This GUI now works better than it did in the previous OpenSolaris(2008.05) release. This took me another 25 minutes or so (that would depend on the speed of the internet connection for most folks, I suspect). I installed the following packages:
    • amp-dev
    • ss-dev
    • netbeans
    • gcc-dev
    • hpc-dev
    • webstackui
    • openoffice
I now have everything I need: OpenOffice, Developer Tools (Sun Studio, NetBeans and GNU toolchain), AMP/Web tools, HPC tools (Clustertools). Went without a hitch and I'm happier now with the new look-and-feel and overall functionality. I also have the WR breaking Sun Studio Express 11/08 installed.  Later, I hope to blog about features as I try them out.
I've heard some good things about the new ZFS Time Slider; thats the first one to check out.

Friday Dec 08, 2006

Cool! OpenSolaris on a USB Bootable drive

BeleniX, a distro of OpenSolaris, can now boot from a USB thumb drive. A simple USB installer script is available that can dump the LiveCD contents to a USB thumb drive and make it bootable.
Read about it here at the Belenix site.
BeleniX is an OpenSolaris distribution which is currently a LiveCD (runs directly off the CD). It includes all the features of OpenSolaris and adds a whole variety of opensource packages. It can be installed to harddisk as well.BeleniX is free to use modify and distribute.
You can watch the YouTube Video here.
BeleniX is one of several OpenSolaris Distros. The others are:

This particular addition was made by an enthusiast, Anil Gulecha , who's an engineering student in Bangalore, who picked up OpenSolaris on his own and has started making additions to it. Go Anil! Go OpenSolaris!
<script src="" type="text/javascript"> </script> <script type="text/javascript"> _uacct = "UA-942279-1"; urchinTracker(); </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> var sc_project=2049036; var sc_invisible=0; var sc_partition=18; var sc_security="f264f00e"; var sc_text=2; </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src=""></script>

Wednesday Nov 22, 2006

Solaris 10 and Sun Studio 11 DVD Kits now available for FREE!

The Free Solaris/SunStudio Media kit is now posted at
The kit includes Solaris 10 6/06 (aka Update1 release) for both SPARC and x86 and contains the Sun Studio 11 Compilers and tools.
Dont wait to download, just sign up and have Sun send the DVD to you directly. Encourage your customers to do the same!
<script src="" type="text/javascript"> </script> <script type="text/javascript"> _uacct = "UA-942279-1"; urchinTracker(); </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> var sc_project=2049036; var sc_invisible=0; var sc_partition=18; var sc_security="f264f00e"; var sc_text=2; </script> <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src=""></script>

Thursday Sep 21, 2006

Google: Wont you have a Free SunStudio with that OpenSolaris?

You have probably heard about this by now: Google testing Sun's OpenSolaris . Its wonderful that it may be looking to replace Linux in its data center (same article).
Yay! Heads are clearly turning (Open)Solaris's way; its one more sign of momentum swinging towards Sun.
If anyone has an insider track on who in Google is involved with this, I'd like to know from this person whether they would consider going with SunStudio along with Solaris. Please come talk to us(me) and I will be happy to see how we can help Google.

Tuesday Sep 05, 2006

SunStudio 11 Patchlevel compilers for OpenSolaris development

You can now grab the latest SunStudio 11 compilers with the required patch levels that have been tested for OpenSolaris ON builds. OpenSolaris is now advocating these compilers instead of SunStudio 10.
To verify that you are using the correct compiler, fbe -V should report:
120759-08 for x86
and 120760-09 for sparc
Go on:
Innovate on OpenSolaris

Wednesday Aug 02, 2006

OpenSolaris has now switched to SunStudio 11

Just saw this email from the OpenSolaris folks; the conversion from Sun Studio 10 to 11 has been in the works for a while now and now its completed!
Sun Studio 11 software is available for the OpenSolaris Community
Sun Studio 11 software can now be used by the OpenSolaris Community, as the ON Consolidation, now builds with Sun Studio 11.
It can be downloaded from the Tools community at:
note: This is a tarball image of Studio 11 with all the necessary patches already incorporated for ON builds.
I should add that we compile several other applications during every build cycle (current list is around 140 or so and counting various version numbers, its around 400). I have asked for this list to be published around the time we release Sun Studio Express 2 binaries. Yes, we eat our own dogfood at Sun and getting our various C/C++/Fortran offerings compiled to take advantage of the latest compilers is a major initiative.

I have worked with Sun and Oracle for 25 years now; in compilers and tools organization for most of these years followed by a couple of years in Cloud Computing. I am now in ISV Engineering, where our primary task is to improve synergy between Oracle Sun Systems and our rich ISV ecosystem


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