OpenSolaris: Even the download system puts you off
Like many out there, I’ve got an itch to check out what OpenSolaris has to offer. With DTrace (something I’ve played with extensively in OS X Leopard betas), ZFS (something that might show up in OS X for file system storage), Zones, and a whole bunch of other features, I’d be a luddite not to check it out.
But I must admit, Sun has got a way of confusing you. Going to the Downloads page tells you that their main intent is to confuse users. How am I supposed to choose between Solaris Express Community or Developer edition? The former is updated every other Friday, does that necessarily turn me on? Then there’s NexentaOS and the like.
An OpenSolaris newbie like me, ended up picking the Community edition as well as NexentaOS. I think I’ll get them to dual-boot on my soon-to-be-dedicated Solaris box. Now, once you’re done getting their Community edition (the Sun download system doesn’t allow you to get all 3 segments at once as well, mind you – you’re limited), all 3 1GB zip files, you get the pleasure of unzipping each and every one of them, and then (get this, its really funny), use cat to make them into one large DVD ISO.
Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this sucks. Ian Murdock has adressed this (or well, is open to comments on how to address this). Glynn Foster has also spoken about building the community mojo – Ubuntu’s ShipIt program was a great success, maybe Sun should consider this for OpenSolaris? Time-based releases are better than “builds every other Friday”. Take a cue from Ubuntu’s download page. Redmonk’s Stephen O’Grady has his traditional Q&A on Project Indiana – a must read.