Obscure operating systems you can really use today: OpenIndiana

And here we are with this Obscure operating systems you can really use today series of articles; in the first one I’m taking a quick look at OpenIndiana. Isn’t its name so obscure and fascinating?
No. Of course 😉

OpenIndiana is a free and open source operating system derived from OpenSolaris and based on Illumos. Developers forked OpenSolaris after Oracle Corporation discontinued it. At the end of the day, the project intends to deliver a System V family operating system which is binary-compatible with the Oracle products Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express. Just to do something useless.

Solaris is known for its scalability, especially on SPARC systems, and for having originated some innovative technologies such as DTrace and ZFS. Not bad!

You can download the latest OpenIndiana Hipster image file from project’s website.

I tried out the text install image in a VirtualBox environment and the operating system was easy to install. Below, a screenshot of the system while copying files, once all input from the user has been collected. The beauty of minimalism, really.

Of course, I wanted to add a desktop environment afterwards.
And… actually I am still trying to do it: if you please, you can try installing Mate desktop environment (there’s no much else to choose from) following the official documentation and tell me how on hell to accomplish the task…

And the result is should be the gorgeous…

(Oh my gosh, how old we are).


Final notes

Why using this?

I don’t know, at least until I cannot manage to install a desktop environment by myself!


Seriously, OpenIndiana, as OpenSolaris and Solaris of course, has got some arrows in his bow.

ZFS is definitely something database people want. Faster and more reliable storage makes for better databases.
Dtrace is something database people want. If their production system is underperforming, being able to diagnose what’s going on without having to shut it down is a good thing.
Containers are of interest to database people. Instead of needing to buy separate systems for their production, test, and development database environments they can put them in separate containers on one system.

Contaiers evolved in unexpected (and different) ways since the previous artcle was written, of course.

Very powerful features in Solaris for databases and application servers:

IPS make installation/maintain/update very easy.
ZFS snapshot/rollback your config/data/tables, add/remove your storage space.
Zones isolate your apps. clone your apps.
SMF make your apps very reliable.
DTrace observe every thing, from the app to the kernel.

Interesting BSD-ish features, of course…
If only you can manage to properly install and use this undocumented system 😉