OpenSolaris 2009.06


Booting & Login

Boot time for OpenSolaris is pretty fast. I didn’t notice any lengthy delays or other annoying slowness.

Bootsplash
The bootsplash screen is simple and effective. You can opt to type ‘e’ to edit the commands before booting or ‘c’ to get to a command line.

The bootsplash screen is simple and without clutter.

Login Screen
The login screen is also simple. You can change your language or choose your session.

You can choose your language or session on the login screen.

The Desktop
OpenSolaris uses GNOME 2.24 for its desktop environment.

The first thing you notice when booting into your OpenSolaris desktop is the blue wallpaper with the OpenSolaris logo. The desktop isn’t cluttered but there are a few icons on it:

Add More Software
Register OpenSolaris
Start Here

If you haven’t used OpenSolaris before, it’s a good idea to click the Start Here icon. You’ll find some helpful links that will get you up to speed on OpenSolaris.

Click the Start Here icon to view the start menu.

If you’ve used GNOME before then you’ll feel right at home in OpenSolaris. Click the Applications menu at the top left to get started. Applications are laid out in the usual categories:

Games
Graphics
Internet
Office
Sound & Video
System Tools

There are also menus for Places and System stuff as well in the upper left corner of your desktop. You’ll also find icons for Home, Firefox, Thunderbird, Package Manager and Terminal.

In the upper right corner of your desktop there is an icon you can click to update your system with Update Manager. One of the first things I did was to update mine and I had no problem downloading or installing my system updates.

Update your system with Update Manager.

The OpenSolaris installed desktop.

Bundled Software

Here’s a sample of the software included in this release.

Games
Chess
Five or More
Mahjongg
Mines
Nibbles
Sudoku
Tetravex
Tali

Graphics
Digital Camera Browser
Image Organizer
Image Viewer
Save Screenshot

Internet
Evolution
Firefox
Pidgin IM
Thunderbird

Multimedia
CD Ripper
Codeina
Rhythmbox Music Player
Totem Movie Player

Office
Dictionary
Evince Document Viewer

Software Management
Package Manager is the tool used to manage software in OpenSolaris. You can access it by simply clicking the Add More Software icon on your desktop. Application categories are broken down into the following categories:

Accessories
Configuration and Preferences
Games
Graphics and Imaging
Internet
Office
Panels and Applets
Plug-ins and Run-times
Sound and Video
System Utilities
Universal Access

Adding or removing software is easy and there’s additional software available in Package Manager that is not installed by default. So be sure to take a few minutes and browse around or do some searches to find useful software.

If you want you can add other repositories to Package Manager by clicking File then Manage Repositories.

If you click the Update All button in Package Manager you can update all of your existing packages. Be aware though that this creates a new default boot environment that consists of the updated packages. So don’t be confused if you restart your system and see the old and new boot environments listed on the bootsplash screen.

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Comments

  1. paul says

    Where OpenSolaris will shine, is as a server OS. Solaris has always been one of the best versions of Unix out there, bar none. It is stable, has one of the very best journaling file systems (ZFS), comes with superb monitoring tools (DTRACE, etc) and is super stable and scalable.

    I worry about what will happen to Solaris and Open Solaris with the Oracle take over. From what I read, Oracle does not seem to have the affection for Solaris that Sun had.

    This is really sad, actually. Some of the Unixes deserve to die, and Linux is definitely the future. However, both Solaris and AIX have been running the back end Enterprises for years! Stability, Security, and Scalability have not been issues with either of these excellent Unix OSes for a decade!

    I wonder what would have happened if Sun had seriously pursued Solaris on x86 back in 2000 and had made the entry price cheap, or better, created Open Solaris back then? I know Sun was making serious money on Solaris/SPARC back then, but if they had an eye out for the future, we may not even be having the Linux verses Unix discussion at all.

  2. BlueJayofEvil says

    The next OpenSolaris release is (hopefully) just around the corner. Since the 2009.06 release they've integrated the OSS drivers for better sound compatibility and enhanced much of the existing features.

    Hardware support is lacking compared to Linux, but that's changing at a decent rate.

  3. says

    i agree with Numpty, being a desktop user does not automatically mean, i am only interested in music players, email clients and games.

    sure, you need this games and stuff to attract users, but opensolaris with its strong engeneering background should be reviewed from the view of a techician.

    What i missed: something about the virtualisation posibilities, for example VirtualBox, wich works flawless on opensolaris.

  4. Numpty says

    Pretty bland review. You missed out any of the features unique to Solaris, such as ZFS (and its Time Slider GUI), what boot environments actually are and why they're useful (rather than a brief mention in passing), dtrace, zones etc.

    Incidentally, the best way to install Flash is via the Extras repository at http://pkg.sun.com (which contains this and a bunch of other stuff that isn't freely-distributable), not by downloading tarballs.

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