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Virtual Indiana · I got the net­work­ing work­ing on yesterday’s In­di­ana + Vir­tu­alBox + Mac in­stal­l, but not well. I think that driv­er needs some work, it seems to lock up on big da­ta trans­fer­s. Any­how, just for fun, I brought over a 22-meg 5782×3946 JPG (a slide scan, the first pic­ture here), and opened it up with the Gimp un­der In­di­ana un­der Vir­tu­alBox un­der OS X. And it worked. It sure ain’t as fast as Light­room, but then noth­ing is as fast as Light­room. I pulled out the Levels tool and and black­ened the shad­ows a bit and twid­dled the white bal­ance. You could live with it if you had to. That Vir­tu­alBox is more than a lit­tle OK ...
 
VirtualBox and Solaris · Wow, we must have some pret­ty sharp M&A peo­ple. I’m no vir­tu­al­iza­tion gu­ru, but I thought that at least I knew about the se­ri­ous play­er­s. But now we’re buy­ing in­notek, who make Vir­tu­alBox; I’d nev­er heard of ’em but the re­views look good. I tried it out and learned a cou­ple things ...
[8 comments]  
My Indiana · Wel­l, In­di­ana is here. I got it run­ning on my Ul­tra 20, which is un­sur­pris­ing as that’s all-Sun hard­ware. De­fault user­land: GNU. De­fault shel­l: Bash. I feel right at home. There are is­sues, but this is progress in a good di­rec­tion ...
[9 comments]  
Tab Sweep — Tech · In this is­sue: P-languages, op­er­at­ing sys­tem­s, pro­ject­ing, URIs, and on­line med­i­cal re­sources ...
[1 comment]  
Tab Sweep · Most­ly technology-centric, this time ...
[4 comments]  
Cooler Stack · They’ve re­freshed the So­laris Cool Stack, I see. Most ob­vi­ous­ly, there’s new stuff: Ru­by (with RubyGems and Rail­s) and Mem­cached. But for my mon­ey, the most in­ter­est­ing is the souped-up PHP. It comes with a ton of ex­ten­sion li­braries, and, most im­por­tan­t, the Suhosin patch from the Har­dened PHP Pro­ject. I have no vis­i­bil­i­ty in­to why there is so much tur­moil and ac­ri­mo­ny in the PHP-security world, but I sus­pect you’d be nuts to de­ploy any se­ri­ous PHP app with­out Suhos­in.
 
Tab Sweep · As usu­al, there isn’t a uni­fy­ing the­me. In this is­sue: lumpi­ness, stuff, mi­cro­for­mat­s, eye can­dy, metapro­gram­ming, beard­s, and psy­chol­o­gy ...
[1 comment]  
AMP R Us · I’m hap­py; Cool Stack was just a first step. This is some­thing I’ve been ar­gu­ing for since ap­prox­i­mate­ly fif­teen min­utes af­ter ar­riv­ing here. The pub­lic­i­ty is here, here, and es­pe­cial­ly here: Sun Op­ti­mized AMP Stack for the So­laris 10 OS. There’s lots of mar­ket­ing lan­guage, but I think the es­sen­tial thing is that Sun is go­ing to try to be a first-rate sup­pli­er of all the im­por­tant pieces of open-source Web-facing soft­ware. The job isn’t fin­ished yet, un­til all of Apache and MySQL and Post­greSQL and PHP and Python and Ru­by and Rails are in the pack­age, all op­ti­mized for So­lar­is, all stuffed with DTrace probes, and all with de­vel­op­er and pro­duc­tion sup­port avail­able. It won’t be long ...
[15 comments]  
Telnet SNAFU from the Inside · Wel­l, yes, there was that em­bar­rass­ing mile-wide hole in tel­net (I haven’t used tel­net in years ex­cept to de­bug Web pro­to­col­s, but I guess some­one must; seems to me any­one who leaves tel­netd fac­ing the In­ter­net is ex­hibit­ing, uh, ques­tion­able judg­men­t; but stil­l.) Nasty se­cu­ri­ty gotchas are noth­ing new in this world, but here’s some­thing that is new: a first-hand re­port from the guy who got the call you don’t want to get, and then got the patch in­to the sys­tem. Ac­tu­al­ly, I don’t un­der­stand quite a bit of the jar­gon: “patch gate”, “RTI logging”, and so on; but it’s still a com­pelling sto­ry.
[2 comments]  
Rails and Joyent · Last week, I read about Joyent run­ning four thou­sand Rails re­quests per sec­ond with a hard­ware load bal­ancer fronting six of their Ac­cel­er­a­tor thingies. Then yes­ter­day it turned out that svn.ruby­on­rail­s.org/rails, the new Rails de­vel­op­ment clus­ter, is at Tex­tDrive too. Un­der my Sun hat I’m hap­py that So­laris is ap­par­ent­ly be­hind the world’s highest-performance Rails in­stal­la­tion and is sup­port­ing both Ru­by 1.9 and Rails de­vel­op­men­t. My take-away, though, is that the more I hear about Joyen­t, the more in­ter­est­ing they look.
 
SAMP · If you’re run­ning any of Apache, MySQL, PHP, Per­l, or Squid on So­lar­is, trot on over to the Cool Stack space and pick up the lat­est super-optimized build­s, now for x64 as well as SPARC. Hey guys, how about Ru­by and Python? And some­day (hope­ful­ly soon) we’ll be do­ing it with apt-get and won­der­ing what this pkgadd thing used to be.
[3 comments]  
Get Yer SAMP Stacks Here · One of the nice things about work­ing for a big com­pa­ny is that some­times you run across smart peo­ple do­ing smart things that you didn’t know about. For ex­am­ple, check out the CoolThreads Op­ti­mized Open Source Soft­ware Stack (thank good­ness, they al­so use “Cool Stack”). I don’t know who these guys are, I don’t know where they are, some­one just pinged me and said “Look what’s pop­ping up on the blogs” (Gene Saun­ders, Dwayne Lee). Sum­ma­ry: Apache and MySQL and PHP and Squid, in var­i­ous com­bi­na­tion­s, all 64-bit builds op­ti­mized to the max with with the Stu­dio com­pil­er­s, which should be way faster than gcc build­s. Looks like some­body just saw an op­por­tu­ni­ty and Did The Right Thing; good on ’em.
 
Servers In the Right Places · Ear­li­er this month I lament­ed that we didn’t have much of a pro­cess for do­nat­ing com­put­ers to projects that are do­ing good things. We seem to be mak­ing some progress on that, for ex­am­ple the T2000-tryout pro­gram seems to be run­ning a lot smoother. But that’s not al­l; for ex­am­ple, an X2100 showed up Fri­day on the doorstep of Nex­en­ta, as in GNU/So­laris. I think that this kind of thing is a com­plete no-brainer and hope that we man­age to do more of it.
 
More ZFS Data · I see that Dana H. My­ers has been dig­ging away at ZFS per­for­mance us­ing the on­ly met­ric that re­al­ly mat­ters to the re­al geek: OS build per­for­mance. The num­bers are in­ter­est­ing... I’m sur­prised that com­pres­sion made so lit­tle dif­fer­ence, both source and ob­ject code com­press quite well (I just ran a lit­tle test: the Emacs bi­na­ry com­pressed to 18% of its size, a bunch of Ja­va code to 19%.) Maybe the fact that it’s zil­lions of lit­tle files means that the file open/cre­ate over­head dom­i­nates the ac­tu­al in­put/out­put time? There is no doubt there is a huge amount of work to be done on I/O per­for­mance, both un­der­stand­ing it and im­prov­ing it. But ZFS is in­creas­ing­ly look­ing like a step for­ward.
 
What Do “GNU” and “Linux” Mean? · Th­ese few days of work­ing with the Nex­en­ta GNU/So­laris dis­tro have shak­en my as­sump­tion­s. Richard Stall­man has re­peat­ed­ly point­ed out that Lin­ux should be called “GNU/Linux”. I think he’s right, but it’s an unlove­ly and un­wieldy mouth­ful; Like many peo­ple, I’m guilty of just say­ing “Linux”. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, that word has come to mean dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple, and the land­scape is shift­ing un­der­neath us. I think we need to get our ter­mi­nol­o­gy straight. And what was it that GNU stood for, again? ...
 
Nexenta/NetBeans/OS X Notes · I’m run­ning NetBeans 5 on my Ul­tra 20, us­ing Nex­en­ta GNU/So­laris as the OS. This buys a lot of per­for­mance, but I on­ly want to have one screen/key­board, so I’m rout­ing the UI through my Mac via X11. I don’t know how com­mon a sce­nario this is go­ing to be, but ear­ly in­di­ca­tions are it’s a damn pro­duc­tive work­ing en­vi­ron­men­t. I’m dis­cov­er­ing some things, so I’ll post them here as I go along in case oth­er peo­ple run across some of the same is­sues. [Up­date: Keymap­ping pro­gress, whines, and bugs] ...
 
Nexenta α2 · I went and got that sec­ond al­pha re­lease of Nex­en­ta from gnu­so­lar­is.org and gave it a try on my Ul­tra 20. There are still a few rough edges, but it ba­si­cal­ly work­s. [Up­dates: Man­aged to try NetBean­s, and filed my first bug.] ...
 
Networking Deep-Dive · For heavy-duty OS/net­work­ing geeks on­ly: So­laris Net­work­ing — The Mag­ic Re­vealed (Part I); Su­nay Tri­pathi ex­plains way more than 99.9999999999% of the pop­u­la­tion wants or needs to know about how you hook up a mod­ern com­put­er to a mod­ern net­work link and make it all run fast. If you’re one of the 0.0000000001%, it’s a must-read.
 
debian GNU/Solaris · Everyone’s post­ing their GNU/So­laris screen­shot­s, so I will too. Here it is, cour­tesy of a LiveCD ISO from Nex­en­ta. I don’t know if there’s a way to get screen­shot of the Gnome start­up splash screen, so I just whipped out my pock­et cam­era and took a few snap­s. This, I firm­ly be­lieve, is the fu­ture of So­laris (er, ex­cept for I [blush] kin­da lean to KDE my­self; but you get the idea) ...
 
More GNU/Solaris Rumblings · I’ve been ha­rass­ing peo­ple at Sun fair­ly re­lent­less­ly that we need there to be a GNU/So­laris dis­tro, and soon­er rather than lat­er, but so far I haven’t con­vinced any VPs to as­sign a pha­lanx of en­gi­neers to the pro­jec­t. But hey, the com­mu­ni­ty may just go ahead and do it; there’s a screen­shot, even. Hm­m.... he men­tions www.gnu­so­lar­is.org and in­deed there’s such a do­main, but noth­ing there yet. Stay tuned.
 
Lunch at LinuxWorld · Oooh, Ubun­tu and OpenSo­lar­is, sittin’ in a tree. What­ev­er we have to do, we should make this hap­pen.
 
PHP, Observed · Now, this is cool. Over at OSCON, they wired up DTrace to PHP. PHP is all about get­ting a reasonably-good Web site up un­rea­son­ably fast; and it scales sur­pris­ing­ly well, most times. But when it doesn’t, now you’ll be able to find out why.
 
Debian Solaris · Check out Al­varo Lopez’s su­perb piece Why I do think OpenSo­laris ought to work with De­bian. Call me a rad­i­cal, but I think that easy in­stal­la­tion and up­grad­ing are im­por­tan­t. I think Lin­ux got where it is be­cause it was ba­si­cal­ly easy enough to in­stall and ba­si­cal­ly good enough to get a lot of jobs done. I think that hav­ing apt-get or equiv­a­lent Just Work is the sin­gle most im­por­tant value-add So­laris could get. Turn it around: I think a lot of peo­ple who need what So­laris has to of­fer are nev­er go­ing to find out un­til apt-get or equiv­a­lent Just Work­s. Out of the box. So, thank heav­ens for OpenSo­lar­is.org, where they’re chew­ing over Alo’s rant. Smart things are be­ing said, and Eric Boutili­er points out there that Gen­too, OpenPKG, and oth­ers are look­ing at this. But then there are peo­ple who claim to be So­laris fans say­ing ig­no­ran­t, id­i­ot­ic things like “Linux as a whole does not have any­thing good to of­fer, ex­cept that ‘it’s free’”. Earth to OpenSo­lar­is: Every com­mu­ni­ty has a few mo­ron­s; please learn to ig­nore yours. All this is pret­ty well a sideshow for the ex­ist­ing So­laris cus­tomer­s, but if we want So­laris to, you know, grow, this is how to do it. Good on ya, Alo, and hang in there, you’re 100% right.
 
An Evening With Bonnie · Like al­most ev­ery­one, I have a long list of things that I re­gret not hav­ing done, and mine in­cludes writ­ing a Unix filesys­tem. So in­stead, I mea­sure ’em, with the help of my old friend Bon­nie. I just spent some time ad­dress­ing the ques­tion: “How much does FileVault slow down a Macintosh?” And turned up a cou­ple oth­er in­ter­est­ing re­sult­s, too, in­clud­ing a fair­ly startling three-way OS X/Lin­ux/So­laris com­par­ison. [Up­date: Many read­ers write on the sub­ject of Lin­ux and hd­par­m(8).] ...
 
GNU/Solaris? · So­laris en­gi­neer Eric Boutili­er has been run­ning a se­ries en­ti­tled “Unix from Scratch”. What’s at the end of the road Eric’s head­ing down is “GNU/Solaris”; a dis­tro that does what Lin­ux does, but has the So­laris ker­nel and man­age­ment good­ies; see his posts here and here. If I un­der­stand things cor­rect­ly, once OpenSo­laris ship­s, any­one with the en­er­gy and skill can just go and build that dis­tro, no per­mis­sions re­quired. I think Sun should do it, and then sup­port it. Ob­vi­ous­ly, we can’t weak­en So­laris Clas­sic be­cause our cus­tomers de­pend on it and fur­ther­more we make mon­ey sup­port­ing it; but GNU/So­laris would be a darn nice pro­duc­t, and a nice new line of busi­ness.
 
It Takes A Licking · I was ex­treme­ly un­kind to my new com­put­er­s, but ap­par­ent­ly they’ve for­giv­en me ...
 
Linux to Solaris Diary · On Fe­bru­ary 25, 2005, I un­der­took to trans­fer a non­triv­ial soft­ware de­vel­op­men­t/de­ploy­ment set­up from OS X and Lin­ux to So­laris 10. I have lots of old Unix and re­cent Lin­ux ex­pe­ri­ence, but none with So­lar­is. This en­try will serve as the per­ma­nent home for my tech­ni­cal di­ary doc­u­ment­ing the learn­ing pro­cess, which I shall up­date in-place. [Up­dat­ed: New sec­tions on doc­s.­sun.­com, NFS, and, be­lieve it or not, %.] ...
 
My Own Computers · The thing is, I like com­put­er­s. My first job out of uni­ver­si­ty was for a com­put­er com­pa­ny, and I feel at home now in an­oth­er. And as of to­day, I have a cou­ple of V20z’s (wicked-fast) run­ning So­laris 10 in a rack in a lab in Men­lo Park. Of­fi­cial­ly, they’re for per­for­mance test­ing on my Zep­pelin skunkwork­s. But there’s an­oth­er sto­ry start­ing too, maybe a lit­tle risky. (Il­lus­trat­ed) ...
 
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