[OpenIndiana-discuss] A potential new Illumos reference distro candidate: IA32, AMD64, sun4u, sun4v

Martin Bochnig martin at martux.org
Tue Dec 18 02:22:04 UTC 2012

Dear Illumos and all OpenSolaris comrades

Sorry that I wasn't online for 2 months.
I did not break my promise: In fact I did nothing else but working on
Illumos' new SVR4 based reference distro for IA32, AMD64 and sun4u as
well as sun4v, with X11, also on _all_ SPARC platforms.

As it was the goal to create sort of reference distro, the standards
needed to be kept high.
For this reason it didn't take 5 weeks, as originally estimated, but 5 months.
FULLTIME(!), night and day, no holidays  ...

In fact I forgot to earn money (just had no minute), for this reason I
lost my apartment.
I needed to live 6 weeks in my old year 1988 built Mercedes.
Therefore I could not go online. I have no clue what has happened here
on our lists.
So far I only had time to read some of today's messages.

I would probably never feel ready to release anything, because
demand_for_perfection bugs me now and then.
However, this time I did not just create a non-installable crappy
LiveDVD as in the past with MartUX.

Instead I ported distro_const and caiman's text-install and
gui-install to use SVR4 instead of IPS, for convenience the excellent
OpenCSW's pkgutil was chosen.
Not just to get it to function "somehow", but to remove all traces of
that IPS stuff, while keeping the useful things in, but to match them
as much as possible with pkgutil  ...

There would have been 2 fundamental approaches: Easy and tougher.
The first would be to take all IPS manifests and convert them
semi-automated to SVR4 prototype/pkginfo/depend files.
And simply to keep all the new pkg sets and pkg names and dependencies
just intact.
This would certainly be nice and interesting. Maybe someone want's to
do that, too  :)
However, this would break dependency resolution backwards
compatibility to all legacy SVR4 packages in existance.

For this reason, I neglected it.

The second one was, to reverse-engineer everything back to the old times.
And that's what I did.

Not just for Illumos/OSnet, but for ___all___ consolidations.
Not just to get old pkgdefs to build without failiure (where they are
available), but also to re-assign more than 15 thousand (!) unassigned
files to new pkgdefs (this number for Illumos ON alone!!!)
Also it was necessary to take older G11N checkouts (just as one
example), because we need the good old /usr/openwin
internationalization stuff as well, for OpenXsun.

OpenXsun's port itself took another 3 weeks.
And also the Illumos kernel needed to
It is an endless endless endless list.
And basicly one never gets 100% finished (depending on how high your
standards of perfection are).
However, originally I promised to come back to you on October 18th.
Today is December 18th. Probablybout time to make a short pre-announcement.

Current Status:

0.) Illumos/Nevada built for x86 and SPARC: YES, Fully packaged: YES

1.) Caiman Sliminstall: distro_const: (always Python based) ported to
SVR4 OpenCSW pkgutil: for x86 and SPARC: YES, Fully packaged into
                                   text-install (Python version):
       ported to SVR4 OpenCSW pkgutil: for x86 and SPARC: YES, Fully
packaged into SVR4: YES
                                   gui-install  (C version)
          ported to SVR4 OpenCSW pkgutil: for x86 and SPARC: YES,
Fully packaged into SVR4: YES
                                  (the rest of Caiman under way, but
stopped due to the other major TODO's)

2.) X11-NV (Xorg): built for x86 and SPARC: YES,  Fully packaged into SVR4: YES

3.) openXsun: ported to SPARC-Illumos: YES, Fully packaged into SVR4: YES

4.) oi-build/illumos-build/sfw: built for x86 and SPARC: YES, Fully
packaged into SVR4: YES

5.) g11n including SUNWxsun-keytables for SPARC, plus messages and
inputmethod: built for x86 and SPARC: YES, Fully packaged into SVR4:

5.) JDS: 80% built for SPARC, 95% built for x86, 100% fully packaged
into SVR4: YES

6.) Hacked pkgutil to finally support SUNW core packages (that are
split into different architecture versions, yet all have the samae
package names in their pkginfo files (without their arch specific
suffix!): YES.
As a result, the patched version of pkgutil can be used to install the
entire new OS, yet still supports installing OpenCSW and Blastwave
packages, if you just add a mirror line! You can tweak the order of
preference at which, by simply changing (or commenting in/out) mirror
Plus: The mirror can also be a simple locally available filesystem
directory. No httpd needs to be running, and it doesn't matter on what
fs type these directories reside.

As time pressure forces me to release something, although I'm not
entirely ready (still missing dependencies, that I still installed
from the old Solaris DVD for internal testing (but which aren'r

I can create a few dirty fake packages to work around this problem for now.
Because I don't really want to use pkgutil's --nodeps option. And to
exclude specific packages doesn't work right now.
Need to look, why.

As said, the last few inches still need to be completed.
But I do understand that you want to see some proof to play with.
The text_install iso's do get released on holy eve, December 24th.
As does the complete openXsun port src.
All the other sources will get 100% released, too. But there is still
a ton of temporary intermediate files in them.
And I so far never cared about adding me or the new project's name to
the CDDL headers (e.g. as Nexenta uses to do). Need to aks a few folks
about that.
All that needs to get polished, and it will.

Project name: You will enjoy it :)
It is not intended to be "my" distro.
It is neither MartUX, nor and other personified variant.
But as I cannot register the new domain without credit card (with some
minimal balance ...), I'm not sure if the name should be spoken out

OURdistro!!!!! That is the vision.
In 6 days you can test the first installable text-install iso's for
SPARC and x86.
The gui-install version that boots into JDS follows a few days later.
As do the sources (except for openXsun, which you get on the first
day, December 24th)

Our distro, our project, our way of life  :)

CREDITS: I thank my family and my wife, mother, grandmother for all
the unbelievable support and financial help and understanding.
Thanks go also to Al Hopper, who always helped me, did all the hosting
work and donated 200$ in 2009.
Thanks also to Volker Brandt, who borrowed me 200EUR 2 months ago
(Volker: You will get them back, somehow, promised ...)
Also to Brian Gupta, who donated 3000$ in 2008 and rescued my life.
Also to Ken Mays, who created the nice Wiki page for us, and helped
forwarding a V490 cpu board to me, from overseas.

kind regards, and till December 24th!

%martin bochnig

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