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Fast Track to Open Solaris

Fast Track to Open Solaris

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Published by Raghavan Mohan
Think Digit : Fast Track to Open Solaris
Think Digit : Fast Track to Open Solaris

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Published by: Raghavan Mohan on Oct 12, 2010
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09/20/2013

OpenSolaris provides many unmatched features in almost every aspect of
its use.

For a Desktop User: If you want to use OpenSolaris as a desktop operating
system, here are some features which would make many things simple and
possible.

Image Packaging System (IPS): Finding, installing and managing
applications has never been easier. The Image Packaging System allows
users to search applications and safely install them without hassles from
various software repositories online. It is also possible to set up local
software repositories over a standalone machine or over any local area
network (LAN) infrastructure.
Time Slider: Timeslider is a unique feature of OpenSolaris. By utilizing
the capabilities of the underlying ZFS file system, Timeslider automatically
keeps taking regular snapshots of your files and allows you to access files
which you might have deleted or changed just by click of a button.
Device Driver Utility: OpenSolaris Device Driver Utility scans all the
hardware and peripheral devices attached to the system and alerts the

10

Getting started

1

FAST TRACK - FEBRUARY 2010

user if device driver for any particular device is not available. It also allows
user to submit the details of such device to the OpenSolaris Device Driver
support group.

Popular software like Firefox, Thunderbird mail client and the OpenOffice
productivity suite are available on the OpenSolaris platform. Funky 3D
desktop effects are also possible through the Compiz Visual Effects which
comes preloaded with OpenSolaris.
For Developers: The real fun of OpenSolaris is when you use it for
development purposes. It provides a very unique set of tools which allow
programmers to write better and more optimized programs and debug them
easily. It also makes developing and deploying applications easy. Some of the
cool features which would appeal developers are as follows.
DTrace: A unique feature of OpenSolaris, DTrace allows you to enable
probes on a running application and get to know its inner workings and
functioning. There are more than 60,000 probes which can be used to
profile an application and new ones get added regularly. We will cover
DTrace in detail later in the book. You can also refer to the DTrace Quick
Start Guide which is available on the Digit DVD.
Service Management Facility (SMF): SMF is a very easy way of managing
various services which run in the background to perform particular tasks.
You can enable or disable any service with simple commands and easily
deploy your own services. You can learn more on SMF in the Quick Start
Guide available at http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/content/selfheal/smf-quickstart.jsp.
Network Virtualisation with Crossbow: You might have heard about
creating virtual machines to run operating systems, but OpenSolaris has a
unique feature called crossbow, which allows to virtualise the network. You
can create multiple virtual Network Interface Cards (NIC), with their own
IP and MAC addresses, based on a single NIC of your laptop or desktop and
convert your laptop into a server like machine! You can learn more about
Crossbow on http://hub.opensolaris.org/bin/view/Project+crossbow/.
ZFS File system: The ZFS file system is a revolutionary new file system
that fundamentally changes the way file
systems are administered, with features
and benefits not found in any other file
system available today. ZFS has been
designed to be robust, scalable, and simple
to administer. It is currently said to be the
best file system in the world.

There are many interesting things that
can be done with Crossbow. Checkout our
special section on Crossbow on http://
www.thinkdigit.com/opensolaris.

Note

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FAST TRACK- FEBRUARY 2010

Getting started1

Apache MySQL PHP (AMP) Stack: OpenSolaris allows you to install a
precompiled and configured AMP development cluster for web application
development using PHP and MySQL. You can start your PHP MySQL
development in just one click and the best part of AMP on OpenSolaris is
that you can use DTrace to debug and profile your PHP applications.
With great developer tools like Netbeans, Sun Studio and Sun Compliers,
development becomes very easy on OpenSolaris. Be it web applications
using PHP, system programming using C or Desktop applications using
Java, OpenSolaris provides impressive tools to the developers.
There are many more key features of OpenSolaris and you can learn more
about it in the Getting Started with OpenSolaris 2009.06 document which is
free to download from http://dlc.sun.com/osol/docs/downloads/minibook200906/en/820-7799-
12-doc.pdf and is also available on the Digit DVD.

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