With much anticipation by the OpenSolaris community, last night Sun had released their first developer preview for the binary desktop distribution that we have known over the past couple of months as Project Indiana. Ian Murdock and company are optimistic for this project that will address some of the existing Solaris adoption barriers when it comes to the installation, package management, and familiarization along with revitalizing the user experience. How does this first milestone of Project Indiana, which in fact will be named OpenSolaris, rank when it comes to meeting their objectives? In this review, we have a lot of information and screenshots on this long-awaited OpenSolaris binary distribution.
One of the hurdles that Ian Murdock had hoped to address with Project Indiana was changing the installation process. Presently for Solaris/OpenSolaris you first need to get the installation media, which can be done by either requesting the DVD and wait for it to be mailed out, or just download the media and burn it yourself. However, to download the media you first need to create an account with the Sun Download Center, login to that account, and then the 3GB ISO+ has to be downloaded in several parts. Once the user manually downloads all portions of the ISO, they must then concatenate the files together. After that, check the MD5 sum and then you are finally able to burn it to a DVD.
Once you finally have the media in hand, you then need to install it. If you're installing Solaris 10 or any older version, you get to meet a not so pretty installer that may be intimidating. You can read more about it in our Solaris Installation Experience article. Though for those of you trying out the Solaris Express Developer 9/07 edition, the installation experience is not nearly as bad. Thanks to the Caiman installer, it's much easier to handle if you're not used to the old Solaris installer.
How does Project Indiana take care of this mess? Just head on over to their website (download link in this news post) and you have direct access to the ISO. There is no registration required, concatenating files, or anything else. Though from being at Ian Murdock's sessions back during JavaOne, OSCON, and the Intel Developer Forum, Project Indiana will likely be available via Bit Torrent once it's in a ready state.