Feeds

Is Solaris really a bright choice for developers?

All the best operating systems come on USB...

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

So, you're tired of Windows and thinking of trying Linux. There are lots of good distros, RedHat or Novell have all the enterprise cred you might need. And there's a support community too, it's a no brainer....

Well, that's all true enough – but why not try Solaris - in its OpenSolaris form - too? It's just as available, at Open Solaris.org, where there's a pretty active community going.

There's also plenty of enterprise cred available, with the option to move on to Solaris 10 proper, with its proven scalability and resilience (probably rather better than Linux can manage, in practice), and you don't even have to run on Sun hardware any more. And it has a pretty cool KDE desktop now.

Of course, we actually have the arrival of Linux to thank for all this, but OpenSolaris now seems to be a valid alternative for developers (so, too, is Mac OS X perhaps). And Jim Craig, Sun Microsystems Software marketing manager, seems genuinely enthusiastic about capturing developers' hearts and minds – he would be, of course, but he does seem to realise that the barriers probably aren't as much to do with the technology as to do with cultural issues, unfamiliarity, and the perceived lack of recreational and lifestyle toys for Solaris developers (possibly less true than it was – check out the freeware here; and note that RealPlayer is now available on Solaris).

So, why wouldn't you use OpenSolaris as your developer desktop, perhaps to work up "proofs of concept" in your own time - to sell to your CIO and thus help to develop your career. I'd be interested in reader feedback as to why any people thinking of Linux aren't also thinking of OpenSolaris. Or perhaps they are...

One possible issue I thought of was the Open Source license Sun uses – the CDDL (pronounced "Cuddle" - ugh – perhaps that's the reason. But this license doesn't look too bad – although you should always read Open Source licenses yourself; and make sure you understand all their implications. CDDL delivers blanket patent immunity, without some of the possible gotchas of the GPL (you shouldn't find yourself obligated to give your IP away to all and sundry, for example).

Is the availability of applications an issue? Well, I'm not sure Solaris has the same support for cameras and photography, say, as Windows has (you'll note here that Novell is finding it necessary to help bring PhotoShop to Linux); but there are some 4,000 plus software titles from more than 2,000 vendors here.

Or perhaps you think that Solaris will be too big and Enterprise-heavy? Well, according to a front page article in The Times of India, Anil Gulecha (a third year computer science student at JSS Academy, Bangalore) has put a "Live USB" bootable version of Solaris on a 1GB memory stick. He started from Moinak Ghosh's version of OpenSolaris, BeleniX, on Live CD. Ghosh is a Sun engineer (see his Random Bit Bucket here, where you'll find an interesting piece on getting Vista and Solaris to coexist). BeliniX promises to get you test-driving OpenSolaris from CD (no hard disk installation necessary, although it is possible) in under two minutes (Live USB is faster than Live CD) and claims to include all its features.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.