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OpenSolaris, Sun and other Unix

Just ordered a free OpenSolaris kit (just sign up, give your address and in 2-4 weeks you’ll get a nice pack full of OpenSolaris goodies, including a selection of distributions on CD).

I’m actually quite interested in the OpenSolaris project – once the OpenSolaris distributions mature a bit more, I’m actually think of trying it out as a server operating system. So far, things are early, and as yet not all of the OpenSolaris code has been opened, but Sun are doing a very good job.

In fact, Sun are just great. They’re by far the company contributing most to free software/open source projects and they just seem like a ‘good’ company (at the moment that’s true anyway). It’s nice to have a few Suns to balance out Microsoft’s behaviour and the ‘bad bits’ of other companies (*cough* Apple *cough* FairPlay). I’m not even going to talk about Novell.

There are some really killer features in the commercial Solaris product for the server space, things like Zones and DTrace. A lot of it’s been ported to Linux and BSD, but my ‘unexplored operating system’ radar is going off again. 🙂

Actually, it’s nice to use a Unix which does things differently from Linux occasionally. Not only is it fun to do some exploring, it sharpens your general Unix skills, which can only be a good thing.

In fact, I once got FreeBSD (4.x) onto the oldest computer in this house, which is an IBM-compatible PC with a 75 MHz Pentium processor and 16 MB of RAM. I actually got Apache to compile (after roughly 4 hours) and I installed PHP and MySQL too (thank goodness MySQL is a binary package or it would have been there for days!). It worked reasonably well as a web server, except for the fact that most pages incurred a 10 second delay and PHPMyAdmin would take about 20 minutes to load. 😀

I’ve since tried messing with FreeBSD (and NetBSD as well), but I always tend to get mixed up in the installation process. I guess I need some more practice.

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