eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: OpenSolaris 2008.11

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eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: OpenSolaris 2008.11

by eWEEK Labs

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Time Slider

The new Time Slider tool wraps the snapshotting capabilities of Sun's ZFS file system in an elegant and useful tool for accessing previous versions of files and directories on one's system.

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Nautilus Time Travel

The Time Slider is accessible through GNOME's Nautilus file manager. Hit the button and slide your way backward through ZFS snapshots scheduled through the system's cron service.

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Package Mentality

OpenSolaris improvements center around a bolstered software package management framework that includes both client-side tools for installing and updating applications and back-end facilities for channeling community packaging efforts into the project.

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Package Metadata

The Package Manager is fairly easy to use, but the descriptive information that accompanies packages is often missing or truncated.

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Repository Rigamorole

For packages with redistribution restrictions, such as VirtualBox or Adobe Flash, OpenSolaris users must complete a certificate registration and installation process in order to gain access.

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New Boot Environment

Before applying system updates, OpenSolaris taps ZFS to clone the current environment to allow for easy rollback to previous states through the system's GRUB boot loader menu.

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Network Auto-Magic

OpenSolaris sports its own networking front and back end, which, like Linux's NetworkManager, strives to "do the right thing" and shift among connections as needed.

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System Monitor

GNOME's System Monitor didn't appear to report memory numbers as well for Solaris as the tool does for Linux. Sun might do well to produce a version of the GSM that's tied into DTrace.

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Font Roughness

Some of the fonts that ship with Solaris, such as Lucida, shown here, refuse to render properly on the system.

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