Getting Started With OpenSolaris
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Why Use OpenSolaris?

OpenSolaris includes, among other things, the GNOME desktop, GNU tools, and a network-based software management system. OpenSolaris also includes state-of-the art technology: the ZFS file system, Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) framework, containers and zones for running applications in protected environments, and advanced network virtualization capabilities.

Those who love technology, simply for technology's sake, will enjoy the many features that OpenSolaris has to offer. However, from a practical standpoint, these features are meant to simplify, improve, and streamline your application development and system management.

Some examples include:

  • Using Time Slider to easily browse and recover files from ZFS backup snapshots, without the assistance of a system administrator. (ZFS is the default file system type in the OpenSolaris release.)

  • Speeding up your application development and debugging your system by using DTrace, a tracing infrastructure that provides visibility into system performance. By using built-in measurement points in the operating system, DTrace can display detailed performance characteristics about the operating system or user programs that are running on the OpenSolaris release.

  • Organizing and isolating workloads by using containers and zones.

  • Leveraging ZFS for unprecedented scalability, reliability, and management simplicity.

  • Using sophisticated network virtualization capabilities to maximize resource control, network performance and utilization, utility computing, and server consolidation.

  • Managing system services through the Service Management Facility (SMF), a Windows-like service management capability that supports managing service dependencies, service startup order, and service failures.

All of these capabilities are available through a simple installation. OpenSolaris can be easily upgraded through a networked package repository. You can also explore OpenSolaris on a Live CD, without actually installing it on your system. Or, you can run OpenSolaris in a virtual machine, for example VirtualBox.

For more information, see Related Information.

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