[CS-FSLUG] OpenSolaris Users?

Jonathan E. Brickman jeb at joshuacorps.org
Sat Dec 27 09:45:46 CST 2008

This is all the basic rub, with Linux packaging+library standards.  And 
non-package app delivery standards run into Linux P+L as a brick wall.  
Just for one instance:  I have an old eight-core server with two gigs of 
RAM, built for RH Enterprise 3 and still running it nicely.  I would 
have loved to add a number of things into it, convert it into an 
application server, but the glib is so old that many things just won't 
go without a complete recompile, which would mean getting a whole lot 
more dev libraries, et cetera. 

This is rather different than Windows 2000 Terminal Server running on 
the same hardware.  And it is also why desktop Linux is right now 
suitable only for building (a) very functional toys for technicians like 
me who feel like spending the time every year or less to reload, (b) 
systems for people who are happy without the latest applications, 
especially web multimedia content and other application features of 
every description, and (c) applications servers for very specific items.

To see it in action, all one has to do is to try to download, and also 
compile and run, the latest apps on 64 Studio, a really excellent 
Debian-based desktop distro aimed at audio professionals.  64 Studio 
gives the lowest latency, hands down, of four different audio-oriented 
distros I tried.  But just try to install Adobe Flash from Adobe, on 
it.  Try to compile the latest stable versions of its own apps.  You'll 
descend into a nightmare.  And it is based on the "stable" Debian: far, 
far less than eight years old.

For general U.S. office needs, I could easily imagine using one 
substantial server running a good desktop Linux, to serve OpenOffice and 
an Outlook replacement.  It would give much better ROI than Microsoft 
Office, although it would have to be a location whose people which was 
willing to consider one of the drop-in Exchange replacements out there 
with very functional web 2.0 interfaces.  There are a few, and they do 
work very well.  Might do well for a large church.  I would plan on a 
complete software rebuild every three to seven years, and rebuilding one 
server is a lot better than MSOffice on all those desktops.

But a commodity desktop replacement, Linux just isn't right now.  If the 
architecture were expanded to permit multiple glib versions -- a 
seriously huge addition, I do recognize it, it could perhaps constitute 
a glib replacement with something different -- then it could be.  And 
the server level would also benefit.


> Timothy Butler wrote:
>> Do they do security backports? That's the big deal, in my 
>> estimation.  When upstream quits doing pure security updates for a 
>> given package,  RH continues to make sure that security updates in 
>> later major/minor  releases get backported to the distro's 
>> major/minor version.
> I seem to recall they simply bump up the version of the affected 
> application, built on the same lib environment as the main release. 
> RHEL has done this on a few items. For example, in the 4.x release 
> they moved from Mozilla 1.x to Seamonkey 1.x, changing all the 
> dependency tags, etc.
>> Debian also isn't very well supported by cPanel, which takes it out  
>> of consideration for me as a web hosting environment. I like Debian  
>> though, no doubt about it.
> It seems they prefer you do servers the hard way. For example, I'm 
> testing their Lenny AMD64 port, and the only way you'll get any 32-bit 
> action is to build a jail for it. The entire system and available 
> userland stuff is pure 64-bit.

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