April 24, 2008 -- In early February, Sun Microsystems had released a second preview release of Project Indiana. For those out of the loop, Project Indiana is the codename for the project led by Ian Murdock at Sun that aims to push OpenSolaris on more desktop and notebook computers by addressing the long-standing usability problems of Solaris. We were far from being impressed by Preview 2 as it hadn't possessed any serious advantages over a GNU/Linux desktop that would interest normal users. However, with the release of OpenSolaris 2008.05 "Project Indiana" coming up in May, Sun Microsystems has today released a final test copy of this operating system. Our initial experience with this new OpenSolaris release is vastly better than what we had encountered less than three months ago when last looking at Project Indiana.
April 23, 2008 -- While all of the Solaris excitement at Phoronix as of late has been around Solaris Express Developer 1/08 and the forthcoming release of OpenSolaris 2008.05, today Sun Microsystems has announced the immediate release of Solaris 10 5/08. This update to their Solaris OS includes major enhancements for those running Intel hardware, a number of new features, updated applications, the introduction of Solaris OnDemand, and updated drivers.
April 16, 2008 -- Long before Sun's Project Indiana came about, BeleniX has been one of our favorite GNU/Solaris distributions. BeleniX has been a LiveCD based upon OpenSolaris, but with yesterday's release of BeleniX 0.7 it is now a source-level derivative of the Project Indiana blend of OpenSolaris. Today we're taking a quick look at this new release.
February 06, 2008 -- In addition to Project Indiana Developer Preview 2, Solaris users can now rejoice over the next release in the Solaris Express Developer Edition family. SXDE 1/08 is the quarterly update to Sun's next-generation Solaris Operating System that is built from the latest OpenSolaris Nevada technologies. This first SXDE release of 2008 brings a host of new features for the developer such as NetBeans 6.0 and the GlassFish v2 application server. Even for those that aren't developers, SXDE 1/08 brings new features further down on the Solaris stack such as the Sun xVM virtualization server with support for libvirt, support for the Intel 4965 wireless chipset with 802.11n capabilities, and a variety of new services.
January 30, 2008 -- It's been a while since we last checked out a Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) build, which represents the most recent work done by the OpenSolaris community in the road leading up to Solaris Nevada, and is usually updated on a bi-weekly basis. With yesterday's release of SXCE Build 81 we had decided to take it for a spin. For those that have never tried out Solaris Express Community Edition, it ships with the GNOME desktop (v2.20.2 right now) and a variety of open-source desktop applications that one is accustom to seeing on a Linux box, such as Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP, and Pidgin. Solaris Express Community also bundles in some proprietary components such as NVIDIA's Solaris display driver, NetBeans IDE 6.0, Sun Studio, RealPlayer, and StarOffice. For those more interested in OpenSolaris for server purposes, SXCE also bundles an Apache 2, PHP 5, and MySQL 5 stack.
November 01, 2007 -- 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.
October 23, 2007 -- The bi-weekly release of Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) has marked a few changes with the most recent version. Build 75 of the Solaris Express Community Edition is upgraded to GNOME 2.20.0, Mozilla Firefox 184.108.40.206, Pidgin 2.1.1, and even The GIMP 2.4.0 Release Candidate 2. Of course, Sun's Java Desktop System with GNOME 2.20.0 only faintly resembles a traditional GNOME desktop environment, but most of the packages are updated to this latest GNOME stable branch. In addition to the latest set of packages, the OpenSolaris xVM (Xen) project is supported by OpenSolaris Build 75. The xVM platform is supported on x86 and x64 systems and supports para-virtualized Solaris, Live Migration, and other features.
October 19, 2007 -- This week's release of Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" is a significant win for the free software community. Not only does this release incorporate an updated package set -- most notably with the Linux 2.6.22 kernel and GNOME 2.20, but it also delivers on new desktop innovations from BulletProofX and displayconfig-gtk to Compiz Fusion being enabled by default on supported systems. However, for those business professionals and gamers that remain dependent on some Windows-only binary applications, the WINE (WINE Is Not An Emulator) project has been making some excellent headway into supporting Windows applications on the Linux desktop. With Ubuntu 7.10 and WINE 0.9.46 in hand, we had set out to compare the performance between Windows XP and Gutsy Gibbon with WINE on two popular DirectX benchmarks.
October 16, 2007 -- Since publishing our Ubuntu power tests, where we had monitored the power consumption of the past six Ubuntu releases going back two years on a laptop, we've had repeated requests for a power comparison between Windows and different Linux distributions. Well, in this article are the first set of results from that testing. We've compared the power consumption of Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Fedora 7, and Ubuntu 7.10.
October 04, 2007 -- There was a lot of interest generated by my last article titled "Build a (Very) Inexpensive Solaris 10 Workstation". Several topics were brought up in this feedback, among which these two questions "what tools does Solaris have for backups?" and "is it possible to make a restore DVD for Solaris?" struck me as particularly important. For reasons of my own, which I divulge in the Purpose section, I decided to pursue these questions and write an article.