Goodbye Linux, I'm in love with OpenSolaris

I first installed Linux in 1996 or 1997. I even translated some pages in 1998. And I've been using Linux since then. Almost ten years now. I'm getting old, I assume.

By the time I was doing some research at the University, and I used HP-UX (9.05!) and Digital UX too, doing some PVM on top of Debian, HP-UX and DG-UX. Doing C++ templates in 1998 was a real risky thing, as there was no standard for C++ at the time.

I've seen Linux evolving during a great part of its lifetime. During these ten years HP-XU and DG-UX have died, and Linux has survived.

Linux 1.2.13

I don't know why I remember specially the Linux 1.2.13 release. Maybe because at the time it was a really usable Linux version, or maybe because I used it as a cheap print server for Macs, emulating an expensive LaserWriter with a cheap DeskJet.

The rise...

During these ten years I've installed Linux lots of times, even in weird environments (I once installed Linux emulating a network through the parallel port using 'plip'. That was fun!).

I've been a fan of slackware, redhat, debian, mandrake, mandriva and kubuntu. Using mainly KDE most of the time.

And I've enjoyed (and spread the word) all the time. It's been a fantastic decade.

Until now.

... and fall

I tried out the recently released Kubuntu 8/10, to find that KDE4 required too much an effort for me to adopt.

The fact is that KDE4 is not up to the task. Not jet. Take, for instance, the Konsole application. KDE3's Konsole can replicate text input to different tabs, making cluster administration a snap. But this (great!) feature of Konsole has been just removed in KDE4! I can't believe it.

And the kernel is not getting better at all either. At least not for me. Kubuntu 8/10 installation CD won't install on my laptop (I'm using an unexpensive, super-light LG E200), because the video card (ATI XPress 1250) is not recognized.

So I had to download the alternate CD...

... to find out that my wireless card is NOT recognized, and that I had to seek for a Windows ".inf" file to run ndiswrapper.


OpenSolaris 8/11, a serious challenger

OpenSolaris 8/11 was not difficult to install (on a primary partition, though). My wifi card is working well with the "ath" driver (version 0.7.3). So is my ethernet port. Sound is very good.

And they have ZFS, and boot environments, and SMF, performance is very good.

But, best of all: there's a great community that is very helpful. And all the system is well documented in a central place. They even have robots compiling packages, and a well defined process for porting software.

Future blogging

Take it easy with me while the transition. I'm still migrating some stuff. As a bonus in the future I'll also blog about my experiences with OpenSolaris.

So good bye, Linux, and thanks for all.

Hello, OpenSolaris.

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