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Thread: Solaris on x86

  1. #1
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Beverwijk Netherlands

    Solaris on x86

    Hey all,

    I didn't read ne thing about this before so I thought I'd start a thread about it

    from here

    The Solaris[tm] Operating System (x86 Platform) delivers superior scalability across platforms, providing plenty of room for your growing enterprise, along with the performance you need to handle the most complex tasks in record times. High availability and state-of-the-art security ensure that your data is always safe and accessible. In fact, running your network is easier and faster than ever before, with tools that make installing Solaris software and mission-critical applications as familiar as installing Microsoft Windows applications.
    from here
    Sun makes it easy for developers to get started with the Free Solaris[sm] Binary License Program

    Now you can use the Solaris[tm] 8 or 9 Operating Environment at home or at work -- without paying a license fee. For only the cost of media plus shipping or download related costs, you can use the software on single processor computers supplied to you by Sun or its authorized distributors or based on the Intel architecture.
    Has anyone ever tried Solaris on an X86 computer, and what did you think about it??

    /me is downloading Solaris 9 as we speak, to check it out..

    Will keep you informed
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  2. #2
    Antionline's Security Dude instronics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    This does indeed sound very interesting. I happily await your answer to this, once you have set it up. Might give solaris a try myself, i heard that its a kickass OS

    Cheers the_JinX
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  3. #3
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area
    I have it installed on a lab box but I haven't had much opportunity to play with it. Here is what I can tell you:

    1) Install is very smooth
    2) Boot up times seem to be inline with a true Sun box
    3) From what little playing I did, performance was not an issue (i.e. CDE loaded surprisingly fast)

    The hardware platform I have it running on is:
    Dell PowerEdge 1400
    PIII 1.0 GHz
    1 GIG of RAM
    80 GB SCSI Drive (10k rpm)

    Hope this helps!
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  4. #4
    Jaded Network Admin nebulus200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    I have used Solaris x86 from 2.5 up to 2.8 (haven't played with 2.9). There has been a significant improvement in the OS's (2.5 was just plain difficult to use and software support was nearly nonexistant, while 2.8 is easy to use, easy to install).

    I have had mild problems with hardware compatibility with Solaris x86; however, if you stick with vendor supplied computers (like gateway, dell, micron) you should be ok, but definitely check the hardware list before you get it to ensure that it runs properly.

    The normal/default seutp is pretty permissive and some time needs to be taken to lock the box down after an installation (there are numerous articles for hardening Solaris). The biggest of which would be turning off unneeded services (/etc/rc2.d and /etc/rc3.d), removing access to unused services (/etc/inetd.conf), and patching. That should remove the largest number of remote vulnerabilities. Also note, and it may not be an issue with 2.9 x86, but the disk drivers were attrociously slow; however, you can drastically (in x86) improve disk performance by adding the option (last column where the dash is, delete it and put logging) for disk logging in the /etc/vfstab. Disk logging is a misnomer it is actually disk journaling and helps prevent data loss if your PC doesn't shut down normally (like crash or powerloss).

    You can find a very large number of programs that will run in Solaris 2.8/2.9 (unlike 2.5) and the list is growing (check out www.sunfreeware.com). It is worth playing around with; however, if you start bringing up how it compares with Linux... I personally prefer Solaris but that has to do more with me using it for around 10 years now and only having a couple of years exposure to Linux (in other words I know it inside and out).

    If you have any questions or problems with it, let me know, I should be able to help.

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  5. #5
    I didn't know Solaris was a free download. Does it have a similar license like BSD or GNU?

    I have always wondered what Solaris was like. Thanks for the links


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