Tag: openSolaris

Installing openSolaris (SXDE 1/08) and openSUSE 10.3

After almost a year I decided to upgrade the Operating Systems on my laptop.
The plan was to install the latest Solaris build – Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08 (snv_79) and openSUSE 10.3 along with the pre-installed Windows XP.
I managed to get hold of a USB hard disk to take a backup of my data, partitioned/formatted my disk and installed Win XP.
This is how my partition table looks like:

root@abhiltlnx(~)# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xcd9ccd9c
Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1        1912    15358108+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2            1913        3452    12370050   bf  Solaris
/dev/sda3            3454        8061    37013760    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda4   *        8062        9729    13398210   83  Linux
/dev/sda5            3454        5759    18522913+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sda6            5760        7799    16386268+   b  W95 FAT32
/dev/sda7            7800        8061     2104483+  82  Linux swap / Solaris

I then went about installing Solaris. Anyone who has tried installing Solaris in the past will be totally impressed with the new installer – very user friendly!
It gives simple options to the user to pick from and goes about installing the OS.
I haven’t spent much time looking into the system, however I must mention the things that I already like:

  • Easier user/group administration – creating user part of the installation process
  • Easier network management – It detected my wireless device and post-installation, displayed all the networks I can connect to.
  • Nice Gnome-based Desktop with the “Shutdown” option (Yes!). Although I’ve gotten used to “poweroff”
  • Detected all the devices and installed NVidia drivers
  • Out-of-the-box development environment viz. NetBeans 6, Apache, Databases etc.

Some screenshots:

Next on the agenda was openSUSE 10.3 installation.
I’ve been using openSUSE for over a year now and based on my past experience,
I was kind of expecting the installation to be fairly trivial.
Unfortunately, that was not to be :(. After few minor glitches (the installer kept crashing every now and then), I finally managed to install it.
Things I love about openSUSE 10.3

  • Love the Green look-and-feel
  • The startup time has really improved – A good enough reason to upgrade for 10.2 folks.
  • 1-click install of packages
  • Detected all my devices

Some screenshots:

Configured Compiz desktop:

Lastly, I had to modify the Grub menu for both openSUSE (to add an entry for Solaris) and openSolaris (to add an entry for openSUSE).

openSUSE grub menu:

root@abhiltlnx(~)# vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
# Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Thu Feb  7 21:41:29 UTC 2008
default 0
timeout 8
gfxmenu (hd0,3)/boot/message
##YaST - activate
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title openSUSE 10.3
root (hd0,3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_IC25N080ATMR04-_MRG401K4G1SY6C-part4 vga=0x317    resume=/dev/sda7 splash=silent showopts
initrd /boot/initrd-
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
### Abhi: Solaris entry added based on the windows one ###
title Solaris SXDE 1/08 - snv_79a
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainloader (hd0,1)+1
###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe -- openSUSE 10.3
root (hd0,3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_IC25N080ATMR04-_MRG401K4G1SY6C-part4 vga=normal showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=off noresume nosmp noapic maxcpus=0 edd=off 3
initrd /boot/initrd-

openSolaris grub menu:

root@abhiltsol(~)# vi /boot/grub/menu.lst
#pragma ident	"@(#)menu.lst	1.2	07/01/10 SMI"
# default menu entry to boot
default 0
# menu timeout in second before default OS is booted
# set to -1 to wait for user input
timeout 10
# To enable grub serial console to ttya uncomment the following lines
# and comment out the splashimage line below
# WARNING: don't enable grub serial console when BIOS console serial
#	redirection is active!!!
#   serial --unit=0 --speed=9600
#   terminal serial
# Uncomment the following line to enable GRUB splashimage on console
splashimage /boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz
# To chainload another OS
# title Another OS
#	root (hd,)
#	chainloader +1
# To chainload a Solaris release not based on grub
# title Solaris 9
#	root (hd,)
#	chainloader +1
#	makeactive
# To load a Solaris instance based on grub
# If GRUB determines if the booting system is 64-bit capable,
# the kernel$ and module$ commands expand $ISADIR to "amd64"
# title Solaris 
#	root (hd,,x)	--x = Solaris root slice
#	kernel$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
#	module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
# To override Solaris boot args (see kernel(1M)), console device and
# properties set via eeprom(1M) edit the "kernel" line to:
#   kernel /platform/i86pc/kernel/unix  -B prop1=val1,prop2=val2,...
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08 snv_79a X86
kernel$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris xVM
kernel$ /boot/$ISADIR/xen.gz
module$ /platform/i86xpv/kernel/$ISADIR/unix /platform/i86xpv/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
#---------- ADDED BY BOOTADM - DO NOT EDIT ----------
title Solaris failsafe
kernel /boot/platform/i86pc/kernel/unix -s
module /boot/x86.miniroot-safe
#---------------------END BOOTADM--------------------
title Windows
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
### Abhi: Linux entry added based on the windows one ###
title Linux
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainloader +1
# Unknown partition of type 15 found on /dev/rdsk/c0d0p0 partition: 3
# It maps to the GRUB device: (hd0,2) .
# Unknown partition of type 131 found on /dev/rdsk/c0d0p0 partition: 4
# It maps to the GRUB device: (hd0,3) .

Sun @ TechFest 2007, IIT Bombay

Techfest 2007 – IIT Bombay‘s Annual International Science and Technology festival began yesterday (Jan 26th) with much fanfare.
The beautiful campus near the Powai lake was jostling with Students and Industry folks alike.
Sun is one of the key sponsors of the festival and has a lot of presence during the entire three-day event –
Technical sessions (interestingly titled Sun Lectures by the TechFest folks 🙂 ),
Quizzes etc.

I was invited to talk.. err.. rather show how to develop applications for different Java plaforms – Java SE, EE and ME.
I was accompanied by Sundar, Moinak and Naveen. We reached the campus in the morning and were taken straight to the lecture hall.
The hall was packed with students and you could feel the excitement in the air.

After being formally introduced we took our seats and Naveen, who takes care of Developer Relations welcomed everyone to the event.
Since, Jan 26th happens to be India’s Republic Day, he requested the audience to start the event with the National Anthem.
It was well taken by the audience and within moments the hall was resounding with the student voices singing the Anthem.

Sundar took the first session and spoke on Java – Now and Future .
He shared with the audience some exciting features/work (Scripting support, JRuby etc.) that are currently under development and also explained the effects/benefits of open sourcing Java.

My session was titled – Building Applications for the Desktop, Web and Mobile leveraging NetBeans.
I gave a quick overview of NetBeans and delved straight into the application development bits.
The audience simply loved the ease of use side of Java.

  • I created a simple desktop application using the Matisse GUI builder and showed the Localization support that aids development of multi-lingual applications.
    I demonstrated it using different regional languages viz. Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi etc.
  • There were few web application developers in the audience and they were completely smitten by the NetBeans Visual Web Pack plugin especially the validation and pagination features.
  • Most of the students in the audience had come to see Java ME application development and totally loved NetBeans Mobility Pack.
    I showed them couple of games and developed an End-to-End application – A mobile client (Midlet) that accesses a web application (Servlet).
  • I followed it up with a brief demo of profiling applications using NetBeans Profiler and how it helps in diagnosing various performance problems.

Moinak took the last session and spoke about Solaris and its features.
He also shared with them information about OpenSolaris and BeleniX – his baby 🙂 .
Many students penned down the URLs and email addresses of various resources and OpenSolaris user groups respectively.

Later, we distributed CDs/DvDs of NetBeans/OpenSolaris to the attendees and took a stroll around the campus.
There were banners/posters of various technologies and companies all over the place.
I instantly understood what Naveen meant in the morning when he said – if you’re not here you’re not there 🙂 .

On the whole, it was an exciting first day @ TechFest, IIT Bombay.

Sun University Days @ BMSCE, Bangalore

I just came back from Sun University Days held at BMS College of Engineering (BMSCE), Bangalore and let me just say it rocked!
It was a two-day event and was attended by 150+ members (Students/Academia).
Srikanth was formally invited as the Chief Guest for the event and boy did he rise to the occasion or what.
Believe it or not – He donned a “Business Suit” for the keynote 🙂
(For those who know him would probably demand some sort of proof… please bear with me, I’ll be putting up the pictures soon)

(As promised, here are some pics..)

(Mr Srikanth “Chief Guest” Ramakrishna at the welcome ceremony…)
Chief Guest

Anyways, it wasn’t long before he took it off and was back to being his usual self (strutting Sun apparel..).
He spoke (an understatement.. ) on pretty much everything – Java, C, C++, OS, Processors etc.
It was more of an open house in the end. This guy seems to be moving with a board and a marker pen in his kit these days.


(Implementing a business case using Java EE).
Java EE Explanation 1

(Java EE.. well in its full glory)
Java EE Explanation 2


(Java EE.. well in its full glory… )
Java EE Board

Well his enthusiasm for technology is really contagious and pretty much set the mood for the whole event.

We had promised the audience that they’ll be witnessing (as Srikanth puts it) “Magic” throughout the 2 days and I believe we did keep our word.
We had speakers from various technology teams and the presentations were interspersed with some really cool demos.

Day 1: Java SE, Java EE and various tools.

Srikanth, Myself, Amol and Srinidhi had various sessions.
Mine was the third session and I spoke on Java EE.
Based on my experience from previous interactions with students and developers I made sure that I showed
them plenty of demos based on real-life use cases.
Its always heartening to see the audience putting up questions.. it indicates that they are paying attention 🙂

Day 2: Java ME and Solaris

Amol and Srinidhi spent some good time explaining the whats, whys and hows of Java ME.
They later followed it up by developing a cool game for mobile phones.

Solaris sessions were very informative too. OpenSolaris has been getting lot of attention throughout the world (now with Google playing with it).
Bangalore is one of the places where its very active… after all the LiveCD version (Belenix) was rolled out by bunch of Solaris enthusiasts led by Moinak Ghosh of IEC.
Moinak (another ardent Asterix fan) was also present at the event and interacted actively with the students, answering queries and giving tips.
Madhu gave a really nice overview of Solaris and shared the story of how a local undergrad student has released a USB drive version of Solaris (LiveUSB).
This is a really good example of how events like Sun University Days strike a chord with the developers and ignite their interests.

We wound up the event with an open house session and answered various questions. Later, Srikanth distributed certificates to the attendees.
All in all, it was an exciting and informative event that was loved by speakers and audience alike.
The feedback we received bears ample testimony to it… and so does the picture below.

(A picture is worth a thousand words… )
BMSCE Audience

Anyways, I’m almost through with my entry and have to get ready for a rigorous training session that begins in few minutes. More on that later.