BeleniX 0.2 Available

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 30, 2005

BeleniX 0.2 is now available. BeleniX is a “LiveCD”-type OpenSolaris distribution that now boots into a graphical XFce4 desktop directly from a CD-ROM.

Solaris Express 10/2005 Released

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 19, 2005

Solaris Express 10/2005 is available, and once again Dan Price has given us a long “What’s New” list for this release.

Today marks the release of Solaris Express 10/05 (or Nevada Build 23). Here's a breakdown. Among other things, about 600 bugs were fixed.

Notable New Features in Solaris "Nevada", Build 23 (10/2005)

Desktop Technologies

* StarOffice 7 and StarSuite 7 are updated to Product Update 5
* Mozilla is patched up through MFSA 2005-55

For Developers

* GNU autoconf, Fortran 77 and gdb are now bundled with the system as /usr/sfw/bin/autoconf, /usr/sfw/bin/g77 and /usr/sfw/bin/gdb.
* Medialib is now v2.3, and now includes 64-bit SSE2 libraries for AMD64, as well as new functions for transparency, alpha blending, signal functions for normalized LMS filtering, vector/matrix averaging functions, and normalized cross correlation functions for images. 342 new functions were added in all.

System Enhancements

* fsck_ufs has been enhanced to more accurately report error messages and suggest the next course of action, and a '-o v' for verbose output has been added. fsck will now also automatically search for superblock backups in the event that it needs them; you may now see:


* A new pam_allow PAM module has been added. pam_allow returns PAM_SUCCESS for all calls. It's the opposite of pam_deny(5). This can be useful for allowing an automatic login for a kiosk, or for allowing anonymous sftp. BUG 6305906
* The vacation(1) filtering facility can now also accept negated entries. This means that you can now have .vacation.filter files such as:


* SVM's default interlace and resync buffer sizes are increased, which should improve resync performance
* volfs(5d) (i.e. vold) can now support "no media" nodes-- in other words, it will display device nodes for empty media, allowing utilities like cdrw(1) to see them:

/vol/dev/aliases/cdrom0 -> /vol/dev/rdsk/c2t2d0/nomedia

Hardware Support

* SMBIOS support has been added to Solaris. Mike Shapiro has all the details.
o A new smbios(1m) command which prints the smbios configuration was added
o prtdiag is now available on x86 and x64 systems:

# prtdiag
System Configuration: Sun Microsystems Sun Fire B100x
BIOS Configuration: Phoenix 0.24 08/05/2003

==== Processor Sockets ====================================

Version Location Tag
-------------------------------- --------------------------
AMD Athlon(tm) pr Socket A

* A number of ACPI improvements were made, and code was updated to Intel's 20050708 code drop. [6277768] [6283818] [6284164] [6286008] [6294226] [6300079]
* The onboard audio on Dell Optiplex GX280's should now work.
* The lsimega driver picks up support for the PERC 4e/Si, PERC 4e/Di, PERC 4e/DC and MegaRAID 320-2e adapters.
* Compatibility with Adaptec SATA RAID adapters is improved [6289318]
* The e1000g (Intel Gigabit) driver has been overhauled:
o It was migrated to the Nemo (GLDv3) driver framework. This means users of these cards pick up the advanced features offered by the Nemo framework: link aggregation, vlans, etc.
o e1000g is now supported on SPARC (hooray!!) [6242612]
o The driver now supports link up/down notifications, making its integration with IP Multipathing more complete. [6207682]
o The driver can now employ the card's onboard H/W checksum offload facility if it is available, resulting in improved performance (in some tests as much as 30% better throughput).
* The system now detects CPUs affected by AMD Opteron Errata 131. If affected by this, you will see a message instructing you to update your BIOS.

OpenSolaris Related Activity

* We've made big strides in our effort to clean up the source code to be cleanly compilable using gcc. In this release we've got 125 more bugs worth of gcc cleanup taken care of. That means we're getting close. From looking in the bug database, it looks like we've blown past the halfway mark in getting this massive task completed.

Hardware Review: Sun Ultra 20 Workstation

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 11, 2005

My good friend Peter Wargo has written up his impressions of Sun’s new Ultra 20 workstation after receiving a pair of the systems.

OpenSolaris-based LiveCD distribution announced

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 11, 2005

BeleniX is a “LiveCD”-type distribution that boots OpenSolaris directly from a CD-ROM.

Ask The Experts – NetBeans Mobility Pack 5.0 Beta

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 9, 2005

SDN Ask The Experts – NetBeans Mobility Pack 5.0 Beta

Got a question about the NetBeans Mobility Pack 5.0 Beta? Get answers from Matt Volpi, Product Line Manager for Mobility Tools at Sun Microsystems, and Suchomel, Technical Lead for the Sun Java Studio Mobility IDE. Matt and Petr are available to answer your questions from October 10 through October 14.

Sun, Google Announce Partnership

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 5, 2005

Sun and Google have begun a strategic relationship to promote their respective technologies. Initially, Sun will begin distributing the Google Toolbar as part of the JRE, and Google will be using more Sun hardware. The archived webcast featuring Scott McNealy and Eric Schmidt is available online.

The BSD Usage Survey

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 3, 2005

The BSD Certification Group announced a new survey today – the BSD Usage Survey. This survey aims to collect detailed statistics on how and where BSD systems are used around the world. The survey is short- only 19 questions- and should only take a few minutes to complete.