HN Gopher Feed (2017-09-04) - page 1 of 10
The sudden death and eternal life of Solaris
91 points by elvinyunghttp://dtrace.org/blogs/bmc/2017/09/04/the-sudden-death-and-eter...-and-eternal-life-of-solaris/
z1mm32m4n - 53 minutes ago
As someone who's never used Solaris or looked into its merits I'm
curious: can someone comment on why all the nostalgia for Solaris?
Keyframe - 1 minutes ago
Nostalgia-wise, SunOS (later Solaris) was my first peek at the
'real' computers which weren't what I was exposed to at home
(Commodore/Amiga, Spectrum home computers, occasional DOS).
Likewise with IRIX. Also, as others have said - it was a good
dozzie - 42 minutes ago
> As someone who's never used Solaris [...], can someone comment
on why [...]I can't, because I'm not somebody who's never used
erentz - 42 minutes ago
It was solid, well laid out, consistent, and it advanced good
technology seemingly far ahead of its time. ZFS, dtrace, zones
(i.e. containers), FireEngine networking, etc.
busterarm - 22 minutes ago
dtrace has got to be one of the best and most useful (when you
need it) pieces of software ever written, tbh.
gedy - 37 minutes ago
It was a solid Unix, it added some diversity to our OS choices,
and for a time in the 90s Sun had some really stylish hardware
that ran Solaris.
ams6110 - 35 minutes ago
There was a time, so I'm told by Oracle DBAs, that Oracle was
developed on Solaris first, then ported to other platforms. So,
Solaris had the best support, and least problems. Bugs were fixed
there first. To quote, "If you're going to run Oracle, you might
as well run it on Solaris"I guess that is not the case any more.
somnium_sn - 34 minutes ago
For some Solaris has been one of the first UNIX experiences, as
it was one of the most popular unices out there. Most university
used it before Linux became popular.For others, like me, who
learned Solaris fairly late (2006), Solaris was a testbed for one
of the best operating system technologies out there. Modern
filesystem (ZFS), dynamic tracing (dtrace), containerization
(zones), dependency management during boot (svc) and virtual
network stack (crossbow), have been in solaris way before Linux.
Most of modern Linux tools, such as eBPF, systap, btrfs, etc are
a direct answer to the research done by Sun.So some are nostalgic
as it's their first experience, others, because it felt like a
really good operating system a few years ago (despite it's
privong - 24 minutes ago
> For some Solaris has been one of the first UNIX experiences,
as it was one of the most popular unices out there. Most
university used it before Linux became popular.This was my
case. I was playing around with Linux, both on my own machine
at home as well as with a server at my high school (shell
accounts being a perk of joining the computer club). While
learning about Linux I also picked up some of the history of
UNIX. At some point I learned that you could get a copy of x86
Solaris 7 for for < $50 (I can't remember if this was an
educational offer or a developer network offer). But I ordered
one and was really excited to get to use a real UNIX. I played
with it for a while, but ended up going back to Linux for my
own computers. Later, in the last year and a half of undergrad
and my first year of grad school, I used a Sun Ultra 5 to do
the work for and write my first published paper and do much of
the work that would end up becoming my MS thesis and my second
paper (with some of the heavy lifting outsourced to an Ultra 10
that a postdoc in the research group was using).Every few
months I browse ebay and look at SPARC machines. Though it's
not really practically useful, I think it would be cool to have
an Ultra 5 again.
ajross - 30 minutes ago
Sun absorbed most of the original BSD team the drove the Unix
breakout from academia. Their hardware wasn't necessarily all
that groundbreaking (starting with 68k boxes like everyone else,
then moving to an in-house RISC platform that lagged MIPS in most
ways), but as software SunOS basically defined Unix for most of a
decade.Now, really that product (SunOS) is not the "Solaris" that
exists today. Solaris was a somewhat kludgey merger of the early
BSD code with the System V tree from AT&T, done as much to settle
legal issues as for market reasons. But nonetheless when we all
look back to the golden days of unix, we see Sun's logo.
BrainInAJar - 15 minutes ago
Sun was a company that very much focussed on correctness. "Good
enough", wasn't. Features were delivered complete and solid. The
downside of that is that features were delivered infrequently,
and they sacrificed a lot of performance to do the correct thing.
brian-armstrong - 52 minutes ago
My only experience with Solaris was on the campus computer lab. It
was also one of the first UNIX experiences I had had.I think what
stood out most was the strongly 90s GUI and focus-follows-cursor,
which seemed very strange at first. It seemed like an interesting
OS with its own quirks
tyingq - 39 minutes ago
Probably olwm or olvwm. Either supported a -c switch for click
spilk - 42 minutes ago
Does the death of Solaris have any implications for the future of
SPARC? Seemed like most of the SPARC hardware that Oracle
sells/sold exclusively ran Solaris. I could be wrong about that,
tankenmate - 28 minutes ago
Fujitsu as been the largest manufacturer of SPARC chips for a
number of years now. They make super computers (and mainframes)
with SPARC chips although for how much longer... Their latest
major announcement along side Oracle was in May this year.
jsiepkes - 25 minutes ago
From what I understand most of the SPARC people got laid of too.
So unless Fujitsu really ups it's SPARC game I doubt there is
much future for SPARC.
SirLJ - 35 minutes ago
This was the best OS hands down, so sad...
wiremine - 32 minutes ago
> ..employees who had given their careers to the company were told
of their termination via a pre-recorded call ? ?robo-RIF?d?Every
single first person or second hand account I've heard about Oracle
makes like a terrible place to work... is this just people being
hyperbolic, or is is truly that terrible?
busterarm - 29 minutes ago
robo-RIFs are the new normal.Support.com is another big offender.
znpy - 27 minutes ago
> Every single first person or second hand account I've heardYou
BrainInAJar - 17 minutes ago
it very much is a terrible place to work
pavlov - 1 hours ago
I always thought Solaris was a beautiful and memorable name for an
operating system.Any connection with the Stanislaw Lem novel (or
Tarkovsky movie) was always a bit unclear to me... But I guess a
book about futile interactions with a planet-sized alien brain that
doesn't care about you other than mysteriously experimenting with
your memories is a reasonable metaphor for the Unix user
syntheticnature - 2 minutes ago
I figure the connection is probably more about being from a
company named "Sun," since it's a Latin word and the source of
the English adjective "solar" for 'pertaining to the sun.'
type0 - 1 hours ago
Soderberghs version is much more reflective of what happened with
the emergence of OpenSolaris and Illumos (not to give away any
spoilers but apparently forking is a real thing and it lives on).
Tarkovskys movie was such a philosophical drivel that I feel
asleep. How is the book - is it worth reading? As I understood it
neither of films follow the novel very closely.
shmerl - 56 minutes ago
The book is good.
oelmekki - 26 minutes ago
I didn't read the book, but being boring is Tarkovsky's touch,
so it sounds pretty safe to say it comes from him.Also people,
please don't downvote parent. It's very fair to say this movie
is boring and confusing, and I think it was the very point.
Tarkovsky has this style of filming around supernatural / sf
things but never actually showing them. Instead, he prefers to
explore the anxiety they cause on humans, anxiety which he
often represents through long waiting with deceptive
conclusions, so I would say that feeling annoyed is quite what
is expected from people watching them. It's art, not
gpvos - 19 minutes ago
I haven't seen any of the films, but I loved the book.
inopinatus - 11 minutes ago
Stanislaw Lem deserves a much wider readership. Well, I say
that but actually he has a wide readership, just not so much in
English-language markets.Besides Solaris, his meditations on
life and society in The Cyberiad remain some of my favourite
science fiction of all time.
smegel - 27 minutes ago
It never seemed quite right that Solaris and all this awesome
engineering tech from Sun ended up as personal playthings someone
like Larry Ellison.
type0 - 1 hours ago
RIP Solaris, it introduced UNIX to me and I will always remember it
xeeeeeeeeeeenu - 23 minutes ago
I wouldn't call illumos "thriving". Commit activity is low for a
project of this size (compared to e.g. BSDs) and its hardware
support is poor.Probably the biggest problem is the fact that all
existing distributions are undermaintained and unpolished. SmartOS
is the only exception, but it's not a replacement for Solaris which
was a general-purpose server OS. SmartOS is merely a bare-metal
hypervisor.I really hope that some of the laid-off developers will
start contributing to the project. It really needs them. -
runarb - 1 hours ago
> ..employees who had given their careers to the company were told
of their termination via a pre-recorded call ? ?robo-RIF?d?This
sounds awful, and very long from what would be the legal
requirements demanded in the country I live in.What would such a
robot call say?
m_samuel_l - 1 hours ago
I'd imagine something like "shutdown -h now" or the solaris
zdw - 7 minutes ago
`shutdown -i 0 -g 0 -y` would be that Solaris equivalent (init
level 0, grace period 0, yes to all prompts)Solaris and
derivatives are great OS's and far before their time in so many
gruturo - 40 minutes ago
Solaris would understand that, but Oracle's move was nowhere
that gentle."uadmin 1 6" was more like it (Immediate poweroff,
do not even sync disks)
Nursie - 34 minutes ago
mjcl - 34 minutes ago
Good old killall!
inopinatus - 3 minutes ago
nialv7 - 53 minutes ago
Exactly what I would expect from Oracle