Ian Murdock at OpenSolaris users group

June 5, 2007

So I read quite a few Solaris blogs and when this popped up this morning I decide to take a look (warning, the movie that the post links to is >500 megs)

I had expected to hear a pretty good discussion around the “linuxification” of Solaris and how Ian Murdock plans to approach it, turns out about halfway through I was a little disappointed by the zealotry of some of the audience members. To *me* at least, it seems like they were arguing trivial points that led to the discussion going way off track. About 2/3 of the way through I turned if off so I could concentrate of a perl script I was writing (see below :P). Here’s what my opinion is about the subject:

  • Who cares if you call the Linux userland “Linux” instead of “GNU”?? Most managers and people engaged in casual conversation reference the entire userland as Linux anyway, it makes it easier to talk about. Yes, everyone that is involved in OSS knows that Linux is just the kernel, but that seems like a pretty trivial point to make when you’re not even discussing that in the first place.
  •  Solaris needs a better userland. This, I agree with, I used to hate Solaris because I didn’t know how to do things with it, I think Ian makes a good point in that in college, the majority of students that ran an “alternative” operating system were running Linux, they knew it, they loved it, they wanted to use it when they got out of college (at least, I did). I certainly wish I had been experimenting with Solaris in college (I think I only did once). Now that I’ve been administering Solaris for the last year, it is by far my favorite administration platform, it might not be great for everything, but I certainly love it for my sysadmin work. Now if only the rest of the world would come to see the way I feel…
  • I commented about GNU having a better userland on a post on OSnews.com some time ago and someone alerted me to the fact that Solaris utilities have a better POSIX standardization than GNU utilities. After doing some poking around I definitely agree with that, I mean, in Linux, do you use -option? –option -option=? Is the manpage helpful ? (Hint: no). What I really miss are the features of the GNU tools, windowing in grep, -iname option for find. Things like that.
  • I read an article a couple days ago about how Solaris has a more powerful administration interface, however, Linux has an easier administration interface. I would say that’s about true. When it comes down to it, a lot of people are going to choose what they think will the best and easiest to administer. More education is needed. That and Linux is beating Solaris in online documentation by about 1000 webpages for every 1. Finding what I need for Solaris has always been a more extensive challenge to my GoogleFu than with Linux.
  • Almost every person that commented in the forum with Ian reminded me of that annoying guy from CS classes in college who thought he knew everything and was very elitist. Ugh, I just want to hit someone.

There you go, personal opinions that have almost no logical reason other than personal preference, way to go internet.

Ugh, re-reading this it is clear I am not an english major. Sorry for the disjointedness.

posted in blogging, geekery, linux, solaris, sun by Lee

1 Comment to "Ian Murdock at OpenSolaris users group"

  1. munenori wrote:

    Quite all right – as an English major-turned-Solaris sysadmin, I followed you just fine. I’ll have to try to wade through the whole movie when I’m not at work, so I don’t anger the web proxy monitors. As to your main point (the bare-bones Solaris userland experience when compared to Linux/GNU distros), I think I’d better keep my trap shut until I’ve played with Nevada some more, lest I stick my foot in it.

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