Sun releases Ultra 20 Opteron workstation

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jun 27, 2005

Sun has released the Ultra 20 AMD Opteron-based workstation, with prices from $895 to $2695. They’re also offering one free with the purchase of a three-year Sun services subscription at $29.95/month.

2 responses to “Sun releases Ultra 20 Opteron workstation”

  1. Mel Beckman says:

    My Ultra 20 just arrived! Alas, everyone at Sun seems to be clueless about this machine. It arrived with all software pre-installed, but not one shred of documentation beyond a useless “setup” guide that did not remotely match the actual boot process, which asked a slew of questions and apparently requires that reverse-DNS be configured for the IP address you assign the thing.

    There is no documentation CD, no Solaris installation media, and lots of fluff stuff like a demo “solutions” CD (with, amazingly, not ONE Solaris demo on it!) The registration card says only “Be the first to know! Go to” This link goes nowhere.

    I called tech support, but I don’t have a support contract number, and after two days nobody can find out where my support information is. They can’t find the machine s/n in their systems. One Sun person solemnly assured me that I can’t possilby have an Ultra 20 because the first ones won’t ship until August 26th, yet my machine plainly says “Ultra 20” right on the front of it.

    It’s been a while since I used Solaris, and a lot has changed. The default Java desktop replaces CDE (I’m sure I can get CDE going if I try). This desktop is very clean looking, but rather sluggish. Dragging a window results in many ghosted copies of the window dragging behind — very ugly, and very tedious after just a few minutes.

    Oddly, the default $PATH is so primitive that even ping doesn’t work. I doctored it up, but still haven’t been able to get any of the clearly-existing Jave Studio packages to run. There are no obvious launch icons for these, and no printed docs, and no system-resident or online docs that anyone can point me to. There are install CDs for the various Studio things, but they appear to have no manuals on them — just some VERY complex installation instructions for installing from scratch. Sheesh! This can’t really be this hard!

    I installed a third-party package installer, called pkg-get, that let me install some useful open source tools to make the machine usable — ethereal, debuggers, etc.

    The machine looks absolutely stunning sitting there in the corner, giant SUN logo in 500-point type blazing away on the side. Sun gets an A+ for pretty box design. Alas, they get a D- for out-of-the-box experience. I’m not expecting to have my hand held every step of the way, but I expect SOME sort of basic guidance from Sun. A Getting Started guide. SOMETHING!

    Ah, there’s Sun calling me back again now… False alarm, just a Sun techie telling me that his group can’t help me because they don’t support the Ultra 20 and he doesn’t know who does.