A Visual Preview of Oracle Solaris 11 Express
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 15 November 2010. Page 2 of 2. 24 Comments

No word processing application is included with Solaris 11 Express, not even Oracle's own OpenOffice.org. This is likely due to the LiveCD already at 687MB, but not even a lightweight word application like AbiWord is bundled with OpenSolaris 11 Express. Fortunately, however, you can use the Image Packaging System (IPS) that is new to Solaris 11 (but it has been around in OpenSolaris since the Project Indiana days). The GIMP is also no longer bundled with Solaris, but there is the Pidgin instant messaging application.

The proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver continues to be bundled with Solaris. Within the open-source graphics drivers on Solaris there is really nothing exciting in Oracle Solaris 11 Express with their support falling behind. Solaris still is not up to par with the latest graphics technologies found within the Linux kernel such as for the Graphics Execution Manager, Kernel Mode-Setting, and the many improvements to the DRM drivers in recent times for Intel, ATI Radeon, and Nouveau especially.

The Oracle Solaris 11 Express LiveCD also has the Caiman installer, which came as part of the OpenSolaris advancements a few years back and is much nicer than earlier text-based installers.

Not shown in screenshots, of course, are many other features to Oracle Solaris 11 Express. Some of the new items to the Solaris world include de-duplication and encryption support for the ZFS file-system, support for new hardware, DTrace improvements, the IPS packaging system, NUMA I/O optimizations, and much more.

We do not yet know how Oracle Solaris 11 Express performs in terms of performance benchmarks, but we are in the process of conducting such tests to see how the desktop/server/workstation performance of Solaris 11 compares to OpenSolaris/Nexenta, Linux, and FreeBSD. However, due to Oracle's restrictive policies noted in today's posting, we do not know if we will be able to publicly share the benchmark results. Regardless, you can run your own Solaris 11 benchmarks using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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