Thursday Apr 16, 2009

Sun VDI 3 (part 2 of 3): Configuration

This is part 2 of a series of entries (planned are 3) about the new Sun VDI 3.

Part 1 can be found here. It might be useful to watch this one first.

Watch the screencast below to learn about how easy it is to configure LDAP integration, desktop providers, and pools of desktops in VDI 3:

Sun VDI 3 (part 1 of 3): Installation

Recently, I had the pleasure, together with my coworkers Mike and Joost, to have three machines available to install, configure, and play around with the new Sun VDI 3 (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3).

I plan to create three entries for this:

  • Sun VDI 3 (part 1 of 3): Installation
  • Sun VDI 3 (part 2 of 3): Configuration
  • Sun VDI 3 (part 3 of 3): Usage

They way installation and configuration is now implemented in VDI 3 is sweet, and very easy to do.

If you're happy and familiar with using command line, the installation is extremely easy. Still even, if you're not using command line on a Unix based system very often, it is very easy.

Plenty more informtation about VDI 3 can be found here.

See below the first screencast, focusing on the installation:

Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Logical Domains (LDoms) Mobility

Logical Domains (LDoms) provide built-in and no-cost virtualization capabilities for Sun's CoolThreads Servers.

It allows you to create virtual machines that take advantage of the massive thread scale offered by these platforms. Create up to 256 virtual servers on one system... for free!

With LDoms 1.1, the ability to migrate a guest domain, i.e. suspend the running Solaris instance to memory, copy it to another physical CMT machine, and resume it there, was introduced.

Watch the following screencast to see how this works and can be done.

Friday Jan 23, 2009

Sun, Intel, and OpenSolaris

As we all know, Intel is quite a big contributor to the opensolaris project.

Here's a short, but great summary by our friend Dave Steward at Intel, of the things they contributed and achieved over the last couple of years !

Great job !

Wednesday Dec 10, 2008

Upgrade to the latest OpenSolaris

With the IPS issues fiex in the latest OpenSolaris 2008.11 release, it is from now on very easy to upgrade to a latest build or image.

(Note: see my other blog entry on how to upgrade from OpenSolaris 2008.05)

If you prefer using the GUI, the Package Manager, watch this:

Image Upgrade through the GUI

If you prefer using the command line, as so many of us do, watch this:

OpenSolaris 2008.11
The Open Platform for the Future
» Download Now

Upgrade from OpenSolaris 2008.05 to OpenSolaris 2008.11

UPDATE, Dec 15 2008: As some of the fixes have been integrated back into OpenSolaris 2008.05, this is even simpler now.

Please see below at Evan's comment.

UPDATE, Dec 18 2008: The screencast now also reflects the simpler method.


To my surprise, I've come across a few blogs and comments about the new OpenSolaris 2008.11, that mentioned that it is not possible to upgrade from OpenSolaris 2008.05 to this latest version.

That's incorrect.

Although it's not as straightforward as it should be, and as it is, in fact, now (with OpenSolaris 2008.11), but it is still possible on command line, with a few simple steps.

Checkout the screencast on how to do this:

In addition, the detailed step-by-step instructions are also posted on

Happy Upgrading !

OpenSolaris 2008.11
The Open Platform for the Future
» Download Now

What's New in OpenSolaris 2008.11

I'm by no means the first person to point this out, there are in fact many great articles and blogs about this already.

However, I do want to point out two fantastic overviews from fellow Sun engineers:

One written.

One screencast.

OpenSolaris 2008.11
The Open Platform for the Future
» Download Now

Friday Oct 31, 2008

Jonathan Schwartz or Scott McNealy ?

As in many other companies (I guess), some employees at Sun came into work today dressed up for Halloween.

I just bumped into Scott McNealy in the cafeteria.

He was dressed up as Jonathan Schwartz (i.e. wearing a ponytail wig).

I couldn't stop laughing.

I think it's essential to always have fun, even in not so good days.

Friday Sep 12, 2008

xVM Hypervisor

This week, we announced a first version of the Sun xVM Server. The replay of the live webcast can be seen here, and also checkout the just opened open source community around it at

This product is basically the Xen-based hypervisor on Sun Solaris, but with excellent built-in management, nearly "appliance-like".

The hypervisor itself has been available for a while, as part of OpenSolaris, or "Nevada", builds at More specifically, here is lots of information:

A Sun engineer, Simon Hayler, from Sun's UK sales organization, spent a few months here in beautiful California to become a go-to expert on usage of the xVM Hypervisor.
As part of his rotation here, he produced three great technical briefs.

Simon's blog entry about that is here.

The three documents are here, under "Technical Briefs".

Great work, Simon !

Thursday Sep 11, 2008

A Lab on Your Laptop

Yesterday, on September 10 2008, we had a great launch here at Sun Microsystems of our new xVM (read virtualization) portfolio. A replay of the ca. 45min live webcast,
with Sun's EVP of Software Rich Green, and VP of xVM Steve Wilson, including several special guests, can be seen here.

These are exciting times for virtualization solutions coming from Sun. To be honest, who would have thought a few years ago that we'd have such offerings, and such a launch, including representation from both Microsoft and Intel ?

As part of this live event, Rich and Steve showcased the "Lab on Your Laptop" capabilities of Sun's open-source and easy-to-use xVM VirtualBox.

Well, I had the fun and pleasure to build this demo scenario for the launch.

The high-level overview, of how this was actually implemented, can be best shown with this diagram:

NOTE: all logos are trademarks of the respective companies.

As can be seen:

  • four guest operating systems or virtual machines have been created on top of the Apple MacBook Pro, running Mac OS X "Leopard".
  • Sun's open-source Java EE Application Server "Glassfish" has been installed in the OpenSolaris 2008.05 guest.
  • The standard welcome page of Glassfish has been modified with some additional text, and a little JavaScript that reads the browser and operating system information of the connecting client.
  • An internal network has been created between the four guests, so they can communicate with each other while being totally isolated from the outside world (although two of the guests have been configured additionally to be able to reach the outside world through VirtualBox's NAT capabilities, to be able to download needed binaries for example)

The idea is to be able to do cross-browser and cross-platform application testing, such as to test how certain web pages or web applications render on those different browser and operating systems.

Although this is a fairly straightforward and actually simple setup, I do believe it highlights the many more possibilities and real-world scenarios, and developer's or SysAdmin's needs, of truly having a "Lab on Your Laptop".

Wednesday Aug 20, 2008

Intel Developer Forum 2008

IDF 2008 is happening right now, from August 19 to 21 in the Moscone Center West in San Francisco.

Sun is a Gold Sponsor, and we have a great booth (#501 - check it out of you are there).

We're showing some new Intel-based hardware,  Java performance on Xeon, developer tools such as Sun Studio 12, and OpenSolaris 2008.05 running Sun xVM VirtualBox.

In addition, we are participating in the Eco Community and Virtualization Community showing the Sun xVM Server and the Sun xVM OpsCenter.

I spent most of yesterday to set up the demo, on an Intel-based laptop, running OpenSolaris 2008.05 (upgraded to built snv_94 though), and Sun xVM VirtualBox.

In VirtualBox, I had created a coupe of guests, one running Windows XP, one Ubuntu Desktop 8.0.4.

It's very easy to showcase great features such as fullscreen mode, seamless mode, amongst many others.

As Shared Folders in VirtualBox are not there yet for an OpenSolaris host, I created a ZFS filesystem on the host, and exposed (shared) it as a CIFS server. It was then very easy to connect to it in the Windows XP guest, using "My Networks".

(more details on this in a later blog entry)

Wednesday Jul 16, 2008

Wrong Marketing

Being new to a marketing organization (technical, in this case), one might get overwhelmed with the different disciplines that exist within marketing - worse than at the Olympics actually.

There is product marketing, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, field marketing, technical marketing, events marketing, brand marketing, launch marketing, ... which one did I forget ?

Anyway, have a look at the below video, from my beautiful home state of Bavaria, with lessons to learn on how not to do things ;)

Bavarian Marketing  (the biggest launch ever)

Tuesday Jul 15, 2008

RealPlayer 11 / Helix on OpenSolaris 2008.05

A coworker of mine asked me if I could have a go at trying to install RealPlayer 11 on OpenSolaris 2008.05, and report and issues, if any.

So I did. An no, no issues at all.

However, there does not seem to be a IPS pkg available for this (yet ?), so I did it manually.

I point to and  and

Here's what I did:

Pointing your favorite browser (Firefox of course comes with OpenSolaris) to  gets you straight to the download page:

NOTE: although this page talks about "RealPlayer 11 for Linux", the browser itself recognized which operating systems I am running. It seems that the snapshot utility did not capture this - but the title bar of Firefox does actually say "RealPlayer for Solaris and OpenSolaris".

Download the compressed tar ball by clicking on "X86 Installer".

Copy or move the file, called something like "RealPlayer11Gold-x86.tar.bz2" into a directory of your choice.
I created one called "RealPlayer" under the user's "demo" home directory.

# mv RealPlayer11Gold-x86.tar.bz2  /export/home/demo/RealPlayer

Unzip and untar the file.
NOTE: before I untar a file, I ALWAYS look into its content first, to see if it will create its own directory, or if it extracts just a bunch of files, which could created a huge mess if you untar it for example in your user's home directory.

# bunzip2 RealPlayer11Gold-x86.tar.bz2
# tar tvf RealPlayer11Gold-x86.tar
# tar xvf RealPlayer11Gold-x86.tar

Then, just start the player and it will go through the setup automatically:

# ./realplay &

Go through the setup wizard, accept the license, etc, and that's it !

Friday Jul 11, 2008

Ok, just in case ...

... you really still don't know how and where to get OpenSolaris 2005.08, click on the CD:

A bunch of download mirrors are also available here.

Solaris, OpenSolaris, Nevada, Indiana, SXDE, SXCE - What ?

Several people ask and asked me about what different Solaris version and distributions actually exist, and what are the differences.

Having seen this very good entry on the great - German - Solaris blog "Das Solarium", I thought I take the freedom and translate it into English:

Solaris 9

  • It's still shipping
  • Supported by Sun Services
  • No more innovations or updates
  • Source code is maintained by Sun Services
  • Needs a valid license
  • For SPARC and x86 platforms

Solaris 10

  • Current version
  • Supported by Sun Services
  • Typically a six month update cycle
  • Current update is Update 5 (Solaris 10 5/08)
  • Updates typically bring new innovation, performance gains, fixes, new hardware support, etc.
  • For SPARC and x86 platforms

OpenSolaris - The Source

  • That's what's called "Nevada"
  • Available at, and everything you need to know, at:
  • Source code and tools to produce Solaris binaries and distributions
  • Source code maintained by OpenSolaris community developers
  • Great innovation that might eventually be built into future Solaris releases
  • Ongoing source code updates
  • No support available, bugs and defects can be discussed at
  • Free to use
  • Participate !

SXCE - Solaris Express Community Edition

  • Binary distribution of Nevada source
  • Ready to be installed, like Solaris
  • Test new features without having to build them yourself
  • Typically, a new build by Sun Solaris Engineering ca. every two weeks
  • Free to use
  • For SPARC and x86 platforms

SXDE - Solaris Express Developer Edition

  • Binary distribution tailored specifically for developers
  • To test some features, which also includes developer tools
  • Release 1/08 (January 2008) was the latest and last release (now, OpenSolaris 2008.05 is available - see below)
  • Free to use
  • For x86 platforms only

OpenSolaris 2008.05

  • That's what's called "Indiana"
  • Binary distribution released by Sun Microsystems
  • Bootable LiveCD available
  • Great for developers and students !
  • Lots of new features and innovations, such as IPS, ZFS boot, etc.
  • Several package repositories available
  • Release cycle will be ca. every six months
  • New 18 month support model, specifically for OpenSolaris
  • Free to use, pay for support
  • For now on x86 platforms, SPARC to follow soon

Other OpenSolaris-based distributions do also exist, and can be checked out here.


Markus Weber

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