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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

OpenIndiana build 148

It's time for to get a huge hardware update, five new hard disks, a software RAID configuration. So I though it maybe was time also for an operating system change.

OpenIndiana takes the role where OpenSolaris left it.
OpenSolaris is the opensource version of the old and good Sun's Solaris UNIX variant released on 5th May 2008 with great hype from the community. However when Oracle bought Sun on November 2010, they closed again the source and OpenSolaris was abandoned.

OpenIndiana continues the development of what OpenSolaris started, and sounded like a good choice for an operating system change for, so I downloaded the lastest release, build 148, to test it under virtualization.

I started with lastest stable QEMU build, even if in Mac OS X it's not a virtualization package but an emulation one, as I don't care for speed.

Unfortunately some bug on the QEMU emulation prevented OpenIndiana's live environment to load, so I had to move to another virtualization package, in this case VMWare Fusion.

The installation is easy, when you boot from the DVD image you get a live session where you can simply use the system or start an installation.

The installation was easy and not informative at all.

Special to note, in the partitioning tool you cannot chose what filesystem to use, or how many slices to create, just a "Solaris2" option for the partition you want to install OpenIndiana into. This really means to create a ZFS pool with about 8 volumes (/usr, /, swap, /var, so on) in the chosen partition. There is no way to say put "/usr" on another ZFS pool on another partition or disk.

15 minutes later, the system was installed and booted, so time to play with the package manager.

OpenIndiana comes with a good number of packages, all the drivers from OpenSolaris (including binary drivers from ATi and nVidia with 3D support), and almost all the software anyone would need. To note that Mono was absolutely missing from the available packages, as well as any KDE or QT thing.

However no package installed or updated, receiving a message saying that I were in a Live environment. I rebooted a couple of times, but to no luck, no way to install anything or update.
This is fun because when you're running Live on most Linux distributions (like Gentoo or Ubuntu) you can install updates and packages, on RAM and deleted on reboot, but you can install them.

Also when I tried to eject the installer CD, no luck. From the GUI, from the Terminal, there was absolutely no way to eject the inserted CD image but to instruct VMWare to force the ejection.

OpenIndiana looks very very promising, but it's not yet stable for production. will stay on Linux.