Sunday, May 27, 2007

I tried to dirty my hands on OpenSolaris Belenix 0.6



Ever since Sun Solaris had gone open source, I had desperately wanted to try a hand on it. I tried to install Solaris Express Developer Edition in my multiboot-multi-partitioned machine but nothing worked. Recently I learned that OpenSolaris new live CD version had been released. I simply could not stop myself to download the ISO image of OpenSolaris Belenix 0.6 live cd.

At first, I tried to run it in MS Virtual Machine environment. My machine's hardware spec is quite new and good - 3.2P-4 with HT, 1GB RAM. The OpenSolaris Lice CD refuses to boot in to my Virtual Machine and it keeps rebooting automatically after initial splash screen and a few dialogues. I tried to change various settings of both virtual machine as well as OpenSolaris Belenix 0.6, but it simply failed to boot, and that too, without giving any reason.

Then I tried to boot My PC through OpenSolaris live Belenix 0.6 CD. In initial dialogues I had chosen KDE as my desktop. Here again, the OpenSolaris live Belenix 0.6 failed to boot in to graphics mode. I tried different types of X configuration in its initial X-11 configuration dialogues but it failed every time. Even, selecting SVGA failed - and strangely enough, its initial VGA splash screen worked well. I had in my machine - hugely popular, basic, medium end Graphics card - Intel i-845.

This reminds me of my initial days with Linux - about 8-10 years ago - when we were forced to configure each and every aspect of Linux configuration to simply work out things. Today, most Linux distribution do not require any advanced tweaking during their initial installation - most things work out-of-the-box and distributions like Xandros have simple, 4 click install options.

It looks like OpenSolaris needs to travel a real long way, and journey has just begun.

Tag ,,,

3 comments:

Moinak Ghosh said...

Can you please detail what error you saw, any messages on the console ?
Did you try the Vesa mode ?
BeleniX/OpenSolaris uses the same Xorg 7.2 that is present on Linux.

Raviratlami said...

moinak,
I had tried all the options, but it keep saying-
configuring X Fingers Crossed

and never goes beyond that.

I think I need to boot in to command line mode and try to manually configure Xorg :(

system5 said...

Raviratlami, it sounds to me like your computer has bad Ram in it. The big difference I've noticed between System V UNIX operating systems like Solaris and AIX and other operating systems is that Solaris and AIX like to use all of the un-used RAM to aggressively cache things to make the system run faster as a server. This trend is especially true with the ZFS file system on OpenSolaris and how it uses the otherwise un-used RAM as ZFS arc-cache to cache file system data. What I suspect is happening is that ZFS and the live CD and the OpenSolaris kernel are using 100% of your computer's RAM on the first boot and that there is bad spot in your RAM that you don't normally run in to when using Linux or Microsoft Windows (because those operating systems don't utilize 100% of your RAM). When OpenSolaris hits the bad spot in your RAM, the computer reboots, resulting in a continuous never-ending reboot cycle.

What I do when this continuous reboot happens to me is I use an Ubuntu CD to run memtest86 and I test one stick of RAM at a time until I find the bad stick of RAM and replace it, and once I've replaced it, OpenSolaris boots up fine and actually runs quite well.

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