# Thread: Netbook Performance: Ubuntu vs. OpenSolaris

1. Senior Member
Join Date
Apr 2009
Location
Posts
877
for one thing they review it alot and even list it on forums.

im curious, what is Solaris good for on the desktop? Particularly in what respects it competes with Linux.

2. Senior Member
Join Date
Sep 2008
Posts
2,507
@Jollyd

I don't like the way more and more Linux user become arrogant and intolerant... wanting to kill every other species in the opensource OS ecosystem...
Welcome to times when Sun wasn't in trouble :> Solaris is better Linux then Linux etc. It's natural rivalry wants to kill rivalry and when comes to business those systems aren't lovely brothers.

It's only a matter of personal taste, I have no reason to spread FUD as some Linux fundamentalists do. Both operating systems do their job in a slightly different manner.
Yes, sometimes it's only matter of personal taste, but not always. For example I have to keep Windows on disk, because there's lack of some apps on Linux (ok, games ), for someone else there may be lack of drivers etc. It's not FUD, but it's reality. When writing about this fast progress I had HPC on mind where usually only technical things matters. However, there's ZFS and as far as I know it's a big advantage in some cases.

@L33F3R

im curious, what is Solaris good for on the desktop? Particularly in what respects it competes with Linux.
For people who have fully supported hardware on Solaris and on Linux it's probably matter of taste like Jollyd said.
Last edited by kraftman; 07-16-2009 at 08:52 AM.

3. Senior Member
Join Date
Mar 2008
Posts
215
If solaris were to get more traction I'd be worried about it pulling back to bing full proprietary again.

That being said, I have a customer who is getting slaughtered by window's utterly poor network & IO and theres a chance solaris may be more palatable than linux as an alternative. However these benchmarks dont show good IO throughput and I've seen enterprise users complain about ZFS integrety issues,

4. Junior Member
Join Date
Jul 2009
Posts
6
Originally Posted by Fixxer_Linux
JollyD, you are interesting me. What are, on your opinion, the advantages of Solaris against linux or even Windows or MacOS ?
It's not for joking you, it's really to learn. I don't know Solaris. It's seems however to be a nice OS, but I really don't know it. You say I still could install one release and see by myself. However, a install process is always a long thing (and my second hard drive is gone at western digital for exchange, it was dead-out-of-the-box).
Coming from Debian my main concerns were about the Linux kernel and the documentation.

I think it's not honest when something (driver, app) is reported as "working" and it's true in a "perpetual-beta" sense.
In Solaris or BSD when something is reported as "functional" it's true.
Sometimes you discover peripherals working with Solaris which are not listed... the guy from sun was surprised when I reported the successful use of 5.1 audio soundcard and USB scanner plugged on a USB/Firewire PCI card on my Ultra SPARC 60 few years ago.

Features apart, under OpenSolaris I enjoy the quality of the documentation and manpages which are substantial and structured in a more logical way. Moreover ergonomy of CLI commands is overall far better than GNU and Linux: see zpool, zfs, zoneadm, svcadm, svccfg, svcs, prioconctl. They seem more polished, more logical and well-documented.

From a developer viewpoint, I like the design concern behind Solaris which is lacking in Linux. As a by-product backward compatibility is a great advantage over Linux for "stability in time" and avoid wasting time rewriting things or breaking drivers every minor version like I experienced with Debian.
That's maybe why OpenSolaris evolves quickly: I think it's ahead of Linux in term of design but I admit used to lack sometimes some facilities for a GNU newcomer and hardware support (some USB peripherals,Radeon chips). But overall driver quality seems better than Linux (Wifi, Ethernet, USB framework, audio => I dislike PulseAudio and ALSA).

This come with the respect of standards under Solaris which are well documented, unlike GNU which is a standard per se but not very well defined. In Solaris you can compile your apps with a given "standard" profile. The POSIXness of GNU is something variable but I'm not an expert.

I like the fact that everything can be monitored through DTrace scripts, the set of tools and SMF service management. Monitoring/auditing the kernel and service is easy and way better than Linux. No comparison. The modular kernel debugger is wonderful.
When you hit a bug you know where it's hidden...

From a user viewpoint, the system is as responsive as under Linux and support swapping better than my Debian GNU/Linux which dies everytime I solve a too big linear system (reboot needed even with recent kernels == pure crap).
Some may say the system may have a little overhead but that's the price for decent statistics, virtualization etc... I use OpenSolaris on two Pentium-M laptops with 1.5-2GB ram and 4200rpm HDD and it's great ! I see no sensible difference w.r.t Debian.

Some software is lacking in the repository but I have multimedia support with Mplayer (no issue) and no major problem to compile almost every software which is POSIX compliant. Everytime I have problem it's a matter of disrespect of POSIX or GCCism or Linuxism (bash as default shell, thanks guys...).
Some programs in the repository are not up to date which is sad.

Install is as easy as Ubuntu, 3D is ok, sound is perfect (thanks Boomer!), suspend/resume ok, sound with WINE will be supported in a near future but I already run some programs, I run MATLAB in a Linux zone which I can't run anymore on recent Debian,

ZFS is wonderful, even with old CPU like 32bits Pentium-M it's fine !
It did save my life several times with the snapshot functionality and is well integrated in gnome.
My external drives are now formated with ZFS.

When someone says Solaris is slow or heavy, it's pure bullshit.
Considering features it does run incredibly well !
FAT support is not optimal and advertized as not complete (it's honest).

Of course Linux may perform better in some area but you can't ask Solaris to do all the monitoring, checksumingand virtualization without a little overhead. To be short, CPU are mostly idle and RAM is inexpensive then the price is worth it (2GB RAM is recommended but I used my laptop with 1GB and Eclipse during 6months).

Conclusion: from a user and developer viewpoint, Solaris has nice features and provides the strength of a UNIX systems as Linux and *BSD do with a polished, standard-concerned, well-documented userland.
Overall the OpenSolaris community is very skilled and eager to share its knowledge (guys on #opensolaris and sun developers are very kind).

So my comments is positive and possibly biased but I think this system has the potential to take a place along Linux distributions. It's a matter of personal taste. Let us respect everyone's taste.
Criticism about Solaris is sometimes obviously biased or misguided which is sad. For the time being my experience with OpenSolaris is better than with Ubuntu or Debian.

Kind regards,

a.

5. Junior Member
Join Date
Jul 2009
Posts
6
Originally Posted by bnolsen
If solaris were to get more traction I'd be worried about it pulling back to bing full proprietary again.

That being said, I have a customer who is getting slaughtered by window's utterly poor network & IO and theres a chance solaris may be more palatable than linux as an alternative. However these benchmarks dont show good IO throughput and I've seen enterprise users complain about ZFS integrety issues,
I think the comparison is not quite right since ZFS was designed for taking advantage of the CPU.
The CPU used in this comparison suffers maybe from its "in order" architecture and the complex machinery behind ZFS+IO stack maybe be a bottleneck.
I think you won't have this issues on server grade systems.
I'm not an expert, just my 0.02...

Kind regards,

a.

6. Senior Member
Join Date
Sep 2008
Posts
2,507
Originally Posted by jollyd
In Solaris or BSD when something is reported as "functional" it's true.
No, it's not, but you have to digg in another thread here. Some people even call stable Freebsd 7.1 unfinished beta - data corruption with SATA or SATA/RAID. In Solaris as far as I remember are broken some wifi drivers marked as stable.

Sometimes you discover peripherals working with Solaris which are not listed... the guy from sun was surprised when I reported the successful use of 5.1 audio soundcard and USB scanner plugged on a USB/Firewire PCI card on my Ultra SPARC 60 few years ago.
Nice surprise, but I prefer to have working hardware listed.

Features apart, under OpenSolaris I enjoy the quality of the documentation and manpages which are substantial and structured in a more logical way. Moreover ergonomy of CLI commands is overall far better than GNU and Linux: see zpool, zfs, zoneadm, svcadm, svccfg, svcs, prioconctl. They seem more polished, more logical and well-documented.
First and fundamental question:

documentation is for who? And if it's such meaningful why Solaris almost died?

Sorry, when comes to ergonomy I can't stand Solaris CLI commands.

From a developer viewpoint, I like the design concern behind Solaris which is lacking in Linux. As a by-product backward compatibility is a great advantage over Linux for "stability in time" and avoid wasting time rewriting things or breaking drivers every minor version like I experienced with Debian.
That's maybe why OpenSolaris evolves quickly: I think it's ahead of Linux in term of design but I admit used to lack sometimes some facilities for a GNU newcomer and hardware support (some USB peripherals,Radeon chips). But overall driver quality seems better than Linux (Wifi, Ethernet, USB framework, audio => I dislike PulseAudio and ALSA).
"stable" API/ABI usually buggy and crappy :> When comes to design Linux devs learned on Solaris mistakes. Threads creation is much faster and simpler on Linux. Stop writing bullshit about drivers quality, because you can't proof anything. I can say it's opposite, but it will be childish flame. "stability in time" = stay in the same place for years.

From a user viewpoint, the system is as responsive as under Linux and support swapping better than my Debian GNU/Linux which dies everytime I solve a too big linear system (reboot needed even with recent kernels == pure crap).
Swapping is way faster on Linux, but I have to dig to give you proof. Why reboot needed? It's needed rather when comes to Solaris. Linux has even patches which prevent from memory fragmentation.
Some may say the system may have a little overhead but that's the price for decent statistics, virtualization etc... I use OpenSolaris on two Pentium-M laptops with 1.5-2GB ram and 4200rpm HDD and it's great ! I see no sensible difference w.r.t Debian.
What's better in Solaris virtualization?

Some software is lacking in the repository but I have multimedia support with Mplayer (no issue) and no major problem to compile almost every software which is POSIX compliant. Everytime I have problem it's a matter of disrespect of POSIX or GCCism or Linuxism (bash as default shell, thanks guys...).
Some programs in the repository are not up to date which is sad.
Linux is POSIX compliant. Bash, yeah thanks for this.

Install is as easy as Ubuntu, 3D is ok, sound is perfect (thanks Boomer!), suspend/resume ok, sound with WINE will be supported in a near future but I already run some programs, I run MATLAB in a Linux zone which I can't run anymore on recent Debian,
When comes to drivers and successful suspend/resume Solaris doesn't have a chance. It's Matlab fault.
Last edited by kraftman; 07-17-2009 at 02:34 PM.

7. Senior Member
Join Date
Jun 2008
Posts
197
Originally Posted by DeepDayze
What makes you think that?
Because no one except SUN, Phoronix and a few eccentrics give 2 shits about Solaris

8. Senior Member
Join Date
Jul 2007
Posts
176
Solaris on netbooks? Looks like the next big thing is going to be a cluster of atoms (lattice?) running solaris or bsd. <sarcasm> Mmm, I so much want to run opensolaris (or freebsd) on my netbook/nettop with zfs and dtrace - so that I can browse, chat and watch streaming videos reliably . </sarcasm>

9. Junior Member
Join Date
Jul 2009
Posts
6
Originally Posted by kraftman
No, it's not, but you have to digg in another thread here. Some people even call stable Freebsd 7.1 unfinished beta - data corruption with SATA or SATA/RAID. In Solaris as far as I remember are broken some wifi drivers marked as stable.
As in every OS. Data corruption even occured with Linux and any other OS from time to time when a driver is broken. Issue is when you can't take another version and compile it against you kernel because from a minor to another interfaces had changed.

Never got 2 wifi cards (Linksys to be exact) working under Debian GNU/Linux although they were advertized as working for the same major version.
Maybe it was patched and working under distribution X but Y won't.
Sure it always work 90% of the time but what is the potential issue for the 10%, in particular when you can't trace changes in interfaces without being an expert (which I'm not) ?

Originally Posted by kraftman
Sorry, when comes to ergonomy I can't stand Solaris CLI commands.
As I said it's a matter of taste.

Originally Posted by kraftman
"stable" API/ABI usually buggy and crappy :> When comes to design Linux devs learned on Solaris mistakes. Threads creation is much faster and simpler on Linux.
I think it's matter of granularity of the developement model. Truth stands in the middle.

Originally Posted by kraftman
Swapping is way faster on Linux, but I have to dig to give you proof. Stop writing bullshit about drivers quality, because you can't proof anything.

I don't write bullshit, just figure that I didn't expressed my thought correctly. I dislike when parallel port driver is broken.. then I upgrade and wifi stops working, then upgrade and USB freeze with my USB key (and so on)...
I spend many hours on such problems. I prefer losing few microseconds on thread creation and avoiding spending 2 hours figuring which combination of kernel version /driver version is optimal. Moreover I had in mind that exporting statistics with kstat is nice.

As for swapping issues: with friends we were stunned... we tested on 5 kernel versions and compared with MacOSX, FreeBSD and Solaris. Debian couldn't stand the test and even ssh was unavailable. @ work on the cluster some nodes had the same issue and we had network connectivity issues that administrators couldn't diagnose. An update solved the network problem but not the swapping issue.
I admit maybe it's a Debian specific problem.

On my laptop and desktop under Debian I have problems with USB mass storage: couldn't handle more than on device without freezing.

I gave few example of the drivers that did cause some issues under Linux and no problem under BSD and Solaris.
Didn't meant to judge the quality of the code, but the fact that I fear the uncertainty of a driver working correctly at time $t$ and not at time $t + \delta t$
I'm writing about my experience, which may be different from yours.

Originally Posted by kraftman
What's better in Solaris virtualization?
I was thinking of zones and crossbow.

Originally Posted by kraftman
Linux is POSIX compliant. Bash, yeah thanks for this.
Seems to me that Linux and GNU use a superset of POSIX.
It's not clear to me whether default behaviour is the correct one.
I think linking /bin/sh to /bin/bash was not a lucky choice.

Originally Posted by kraftman
It's Matlab fault.
Agreed, don't take it as criticism (which isn't) but I express the fact that I'm satisfied with brandz.
A positive for one, is not a negative for the other.

Best regards,

a.

10. Junior Member
Join Date
Jul 2009
Posts
6
Originally Posted by hdas
Solaris on netbooks? Looks like the next big thing is going to be a cluster of atoms (lattice?) running solaris or bsd. <sarcasm> Mmm, I so much want to run opensolaris (or freebsd) on my netbook/nettop with zfs and dtrace - so that I can browse, chat and watch streaming videos reliably . </sarcasm>
ha ha ha !

We can think of it as a sequence:

Windows user: Linux on a netbook ???
Linux user: Solaris on a netbook ???
Solaris user: OpenBSD on a netbook ???
OpenBSD user: Haiku on a netbook ???
Haiku user: Hurd on a netbook ???
Hurd user: Minix on a netbook ???
Minix user: Plan9 on a netbook ???

Please, any idea for the next iteration ?

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
•