[OpenIndiana-discuss] I figured this deserved a separate thread

Tom Kranz tom at siliconbunny.com
Fri Nov 5 10:39:49 UTC 2010

Hash: SHA1

Allan E. Registos wrote:
>> No, OpenIndiana both targets Desktops and Server
> That is what most GNU/Linux distributions have done since the dawn of
This is what Solaris (and IRIX, and other UNIXs) have done since,
well, as long as I've been playing with them, almost 20 odd years now.

As IRIX in particular has shown, an OS optimised for heavy desktop use
(stability, balanced use of resources, huge I/O optimisations,
efficient memory management) is also the same class of optimisations
that a server requires.
> But the recent(well not quite recent) spat between Ingo Molnar and Con
Kolivas (Linux kernel developers) does represent the major problem of
Linux desktops : _responsiveness_. OI for desktop needs to be optimized
for the desktop to IMO, unless there are technical issues.
No, it doesn't. It may need specific drivers to be installed to
support specific desktop hardware - but unless that hardware is
detected, the drivers won't be loaded and won't be installed. Wrapping
those drivers up in a seperate installation 'bundle' might make sense,
although with the way IPS and the installer handles things, I don't
see a pressing need to return to the "Entire Distribution plus OEM
support" option that Solaris provides.

There's a big chunk of Solaris history that newcomers to OI probably
aren't aware of - but the Solaris kernel is hugely performant and is
very much self-tuning to load. There is not much that can be tweaked,
there's even less that it is advisable to tweak, and features like
projects and other resource controls enable most common things like
size of shared memory segments and number of semaphore to be tuned on
the fly.

We haven't needed to recompile the SunOS kernel to change settings
since the dark days of SunOS 4 - and the world is much better for it.

Focus on drivers and bundled apps, and let the kernel sort itself out
for load and hardware - it's pretty good at it (after all, it's been
doing it since 1992).


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Tom Kranz
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