The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

Friday, June 6, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.05 REVIEW

I have spent almost a week with OpenSolaris 2008.05 and I was able to check some features of this operating system. Working with it was really a great experience and everyday I have blogged about some features I have gone through. All total 7 posts cover my review about it.
[Please Click on a OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - X) to view that post]

OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - I) : This is my first hand experience with the OpenSolaris 2008.05 live cd. It includes Device driver utility , login options etc.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - II) : This post was created after successful installation of this os. It contains installation details,a small warning during boot, network configuration, sound device detection , terminal behaviour, visual effects and different location of menu.lst file.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - III) : It contains "Application-Places-System" type start buttons , new login in a window feature , IPS packaging system ,window selector option etc.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - IV) : The "RBAC" feature , web-stack components and IPS (more..) has been reviewed in this post.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - V) : This post covers "ZFS" file system , "BE" boot environment , "beadm" command , "reboot" command etc.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - VI) : Various ways of software installation , Sound and Video features , mounting ntfs partitions are described in this post.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 (part - VII) : Here I have described wine installtion , device driver utility , various services and some minor bugs.

Comparison with other operating systems I have used :

At present I am using fedora 9 and SXDE (solaris express developer edition) 9/07 in my systems along with opensolaris 2008.05. I have my experience with fedora from fedora core 3 to fedora 9 , Red Hat 9 , RHEL 5 , solaris 10 ,SXDE 9/07 , Ubuntu and some windows like xp, vista etc. Fedora core 3 to fedora core 6 and redhat 9...they are too old.. it's meaningless to compare with them. On comparison with fedora 7, KDE is absent, visual effects are not working ("compiz" is not working in my system) though fedora was able to bring visual affects in the same system , driver support is improved in this version , still further improvement is necessary. Fedora core 6 brought "ntfs -3g" i.e ntfs read-write support for the first time. Fedora 7 also has that driver and ntfs file systems are automatically mounted in fedora 8 and 9. So , read-write support for other file systems should be added. As it was not possible to install NetBeans IDE in fedora 8 , I have only few hours of experience with fedora 8. Anyway ,"Package manager" has been introduced for the first time , which was in fedora since long. "IPS" is a revolutionary step , specially I would like to appreciate the "add repository" feature. But , it should be capable of resume downloading. If network connection fails at any point of time ,download should not be started later from the beginning. Also ,I think , it's really easy to add a "text field" and a "button" in the package manager window to enable users to add repository graphically."ZFS" (also present in solaris 10) is another advantage of this distro over the others. Integration with the webstack components like NetBeans , mysql etc has made this distro more developer friendly than others."Sound and Video" feature is still not up to the mark !!! I know the problem of licensing issues of various formats , but this is a mandatory feature of any popular operating system. I like the RBAC feature of this distro , but that may create problem for those who are not used to with unix commands. Many manual pages are missing in this distro , that must be added in next release. The file browser window has a "Document" in the list of places , but no "Document" folder was present in my home directory.I created it manually.According to security features , no doubt it will score higher than linux. But sometime it's become difficult to download large files in a lesser speed due to port blocking for enhanced security features. "BE" , the boot environment utility is another beautiful feature. Support for Ipod , webcam , Scanner , MP3 player and external USB harddrive must be improved. This distro is pretty small in size , but I think open office , netbeans , Mysql etc should be bundled in a DVD release. Some people may want to take these benefits who don't have (or have a slow) internet connection.

Request for enhancements :

- Improved driver support
Improved support for Ipod , webcam , Scanner , MP3 player, HD Audio device , external USB harddrive , read-write support for other file systems etc.
-- Desktop environment
--- Sound & Video
support for populer formats like mp3 , avi , dvdrip , vob , mpeg etc.
---- More built-in features
more built-in features like OpenOffice and webstack components etc.
----- IPS utility enhancement
Download should be resumed , repositories should be added graphically.

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