Monday, January 31, 2005

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


If you want to talk about Open Solaris join #opensolaris on You can find there some folks from Sun, Open Solaris Pilot program and other people interested in Open Solaris as well. This could be good opportunity to talk to each other in real time.

DTrace internals

As DTrace is open sourced now Bryan Cantrill and Adam Leventhal have posted some really interesting DTrace internals. You can read it here and here. And you can get DTrace source code itself on Open Solaris official site.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Open Solaris - official announcement!

So, here it is! Finally some details available to public and something real we (Open Solaris Pilot members) can talk about without NDA restrictions.

First as you can find on official Open Solaris site it's being released under OSI approved license: CDDL. So it's open, and yes you can fork (it looks like forking is important to some people). Let me repeat - it's under OSI approved license (means open) and you can fork.

Although only DTrace code is publicly available now, Pilot members have access to more code. We can actually build and boot system based on Open Solaris. Ben Rockwood has posted blog entry with a picture of running Open Solaris system which he compiled himself. Another Pilot member Jörg Schilling has posted similar blog entry - again booted system with compiled Open Solaris by him.

I wish I had a time... But I'll find some and definitely will compile my own Open Solaris, soon!

So, for all non-believers, etc. - Open Solaris is real! It's really happening!

MAN pages

While most of the time reading Slashdot or OSnews comments is just wasting your time sometimes you can actually read something interesting. Here you can find Bryan Cantrill comment about the process of creating port_create(3C) manual. I must admit that Solaris MAN pages are really good - I saw many times developers writing code for Linux and using Solaris man pages, including me :).

Monday, January 24, 2005

Solaris x86 and Linux comparison

Here you can find white paper from Seal Rock Research which "provides key facts to help customers choose between Linux and Solaris for x86/Opteron servers". While it doesn't go into very details it's interesting to read.

Below are conclusions and recommendations which are Copy&Paste section from this document although I suggest to read whole white paper.

Conclusions and recommendations

Either Solaris or Linux can fill almost any enterprise role.

Linux is and will continue to be an excellent choice in many server roles. Its steadily improving performance and capabilities mean that Linux will maintain its momentum among ISVs and customers.

Solaris is superior to Linux in some important areas. Decision makers who are not constrained by application availability or hardware support should seriously consider Solaris for deployment on x86/Opteron servers.

Organizations contemplating a switch from Solaris on SPARC to Linux can maximize the value of their existing IT skills and infrastructure, while minimizing the risks and costs of moving to a different platform, by adopting Solaris on Opteron or Xeon servers.

Organizations that have found Linux to be more expensive or less satisfactory than expected may find that Solaris offers an effective alternative.

Organizations without a significant investment in either operating system can compare the benefits and risks of these excellent alternatives.

For custom applications, choose Solaris. DTrace, the Solaris Application Guarantee, and Solaris' unparalleled stability will protect your investment in development and make it the better choice.

If you want to run commercial applications, you may have no choice. Linux leads in ISV support on x86 platforms. But check with vendors before buying – they may have a Solaris version in the works.

For open-source applications, the choice is more difficult. Solaris offers Linux binary compatibility, and most common open-source applications are readily available as native Solaris binaries. But many open-source projects are based in Linux. This means that installation and configuration may be easier, and community support more readily available. This may trump Solaris' superior security facilities and overall lower cost.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Open Solaris public preview - part II

After info about Tuesday announcement leaked on CRN now other NEWS sites are writing about this. You can find here interesting blog entry about leaks like this by Jim. It's all about trust. I wonder who did it (leaking)? Some Open Solaris member? Sun employee? Some journalist (CRN was not briefed about it by SUN)? Does it really matter now? It's a reality that companies like Sun have to face. But I agree with Jim that it is silly and doesn't help anyone.

On the other hand it means that people are really interested in Open Solaris - it's hot topic. And that is good.


Saturday, January 22, 2005

Sun's HPC program

Quite interesting interview with John Gustafson about Sun's HPC program.

Planet Solaris

I've just noticed Planet Solaris which "is an aggregation of weblogs written about Solaris". Looks like this is run by David Edmondson the same person who runs Planet Sun for some time. I'm curious if he's going to run both sites or merge them to one.

I'm on Sun web pages!

You can find here my statement about Solaris 10 on Sun web pages! Actually it's there for some time.

After over 1 year of using Solaris 10 (SX) in a production environment I have to say it was really beneficial for us to use it and we have had a lot of fun too. There's been a lot of talking about new features of SX every time new build was available. Some people here started to appreciate Solaris especially in comparison to Linux. Most liked features here of S10 are DTrace and Zones. Our sys admins like ZFS's easy of use (build-in volume manager) however we still have to make some solid tests about its performance (have to find some time for it, I think I have some interesting idea where and how to test it). And I must admit that I've been using ZFS in a small production for some time. And I agree that easy of use is one of its key features.
Some people who have never used Solaris before started to install it on it's workstations in office or in home. Even our IT director installed SX on its notebook (dual boot with Windows) instead of Linux. He's quite happy with it. Of course I have SX on my notebook too. Some friends have started to look into Solaris 10 after Unix Days (1) or even have started to evaluate Solaris 10 in their companies. All in all it looks like Solaris 10 is getting well deserved attention by sys admins and developers.

(1) more info on Unix Days here.

This post was supposed to be short... :)

Open Solaris public preview!

While I can't go into any details or comment this article, because of NDA, you can find some information there. Also keep close look at Sun on 25th. For all non-believers in Open Solaris - it's really happening!

btw: on Jan 31th Solaris 10 FCS should be available to download!

IBM does not want to support Solaris x86

Interesting post made by Jonathan Schwartz about IBM not wanting to support its enterprise software on Solaris x86. You can find eWEEK article here. While Solaris 10 x86 is not widely used (yet) it's interesting that many big ISVs do support Solaris 10 x86. I'm really awaiting for IBM's response.

On the other hand I'm curious if Oracle is going to support 64bit version of its database on Solaris 10 amd64. At least I can't find any public statement about this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Solaris backward compatibility

Speaking of Solaris backward compatibility - we develop some applications here where I work, some of them on Solaris (SPARC and x86). Some time age we were still using Solaris 8, then we were trying with Solaris 9 and Solaris 10 (SX) in a production. As we had Solaris 8, 9, 10 in a production for the same applications in order to simplify development and Q&A we were compiling our programs only for Solaris 8. But we had not even one problem with running these applications on Solaris 9 and Solaris 10. And these are not simple applications. That way we compiled only one set of binaries. When we finally upgraded that environment to completely to Solaris 10, only then we've switched our development to Solaris 10 and started to compile only for it. It's just a matter of saving time.

We have a lot of Linux servers too - and regarding to backward compatibility it's a whole different story. As it's hard to upgrade all the servers at the same time it means we have to provide and support different binaries for different Linux versions, sometimes even small code changes are needed in order to compile at all. It's a different world...

Testing v20z with Solaris b74

So it looks that it just works. GCC provided by Sun which starting from b74 is included with Solaris just compiles both 32bit and 64bit code. MySQL compiled as 64bit binary and passed run-all-tests. If I will have enough free time I will try to compile MySQL with Sun compilers and compare run-all-tests with GCC - would be interesting.
I installed Perl and some modules from Blastwave on b74 64bit in a local zone - and it just works, I mean it installs without any problems and without any difference comparing to system without zones, then you just run and that's all! IIRC These packages are compiled for Solaris 8 and still they just work on Solaris 10 - I've just love Solaris backward compatibility.

If you have any suggestions what to test on the v20z please let me know - if there will be enough time I will try at least. But I'll have to give back the v20z in a couple of days so please hurry.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Solaris 10 b74 on v20z

I've just installed b74 on v20z using jumpstart. Some problems with autonegotiation with Cisco switch but beside this it installed without any problems. It booted with 64bit kernel :) I'll do some tests in coming days. Thanks to Tomasz for giving me this v20z for tests if only for a week :)
We will try to install Linux on a second disk tomorrow. One of sysadmins had a problem with Debian and he will try with Suse tomorrow.

Open Solaris going public!

I'm sure that all of you waiting for Open Solaris will be happy in not so distant future. A lot of things are happening here and it looks like Open Solaris is getting more and more real every day. From what I've read and seen so far I'm 100% confident it will happen! So stay tuned... (I love this "Sun" phrase!).

I wish I could write more...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

E6500 upgrade

I've just installed b72 on E6500. It was running b60 for quite some time without any serious problems (with some workarounds).

PLOCKSTAT provider is finally here! I'm sure our developers will try it ASAP :)
This is another server with SMF - people here will have to get used to it. Most of them like SMF.

btw: this E6500 is a production server :)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Improved iosnoop

New iosnoop is available. This is tool written in DTrace which prints some detailed information about I/O events. You can find example output here and iosnoop itself here.
There are more useful DTrace scripts on that page.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Nice tool

Some really nice tool nicstat I found on Open Solaris mailing list which gives you nice info about your network interfaces utilization. For example:

$ nicstat 1
Time Int rKb/s wKb/s rPk/s wPk/s rAvs wAvs %Util Sat
12:33:04 hme0 1.51 4.84 7.26 10.32 213.03 480.04 0.05 0.00
12:33:05 hme0 0.20 0.26 3.00 3.00 68.67 90.00 0.00 0.00
12:33:06 hme0 0.14 0.26 2.00 3.00 73.00 90.00 0.00 0.00
12:33:07 hme0 0.14 0.52 2.00 6.00 73.00 88.00 0.01 0.00
12:33:08 hme0 0.24 0.36 3.00 4.00 81.33 92.00 0.00 0.00
12:33:09 hme0 2.20 1.77 16.00 18.00 140.62 100.72 0.03 0.00
12:33:10 hme0 0.49 0.58 8.00 9.00 63.25 66.00 0.01 0.00
12:33:11 hme0 12.16 1830.38 185.06 1326.42 67.26 1413.06 15.09 0.00
12:33:12 hme0 19.03 3094.19 292.88 2229.11 66.53 1421.40 25.50 0.00
12:33:13 hme0 19.55 3151.87 301.00 2270.98 66.50 1421.20 25.98 0.00
12:33:14 hme0 11.99 1471.67 161.07 1081.45 76.25 1393.49 12.15 0.00
12:33:15 hme0 0.14 0.26 2.00 3.00 73.00 90.00 0.00 0.00

Just download nicstat written in Perl or nicstat written in C

Solaris performance, observability & debugging presentation

You can find really good presentation here in a PDF format about performance & debugging in Solaris (2.6 to 10). Looks like this was presented on Lisa'04 last (?!?!) year.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

DTrace way of thinking


Today I had a discussion with my developers about adding some kind of debugging to one of our applications. We've agreed that instead of changing the application's code it would be easier and better to write simple DTrace script. That way application is simpler and work is done quicker without any need of recompiling application or adding new bugs. Just DTrace... :)