An evening well spent – BOSUG meet

Hello folks, BOSUG met after a long time and I went for the meet, again at Sun offices Bangalore. It was again an interesting evening, well spent, learning lots of new things. Moinak and Anil spoke on interesting things that held my attention all through the evening.

Continue reading “An evening well spent – BOSUG meet”

My first BOSUG meet

Hello folks, I attended my first BOSUG meet last Saturday(13th June, 2009) at the Sun office(Divyashree chambers).  Though the turnout was less, it was really a nice meeting and learnt quite a bit. And of course had the chance to attend the session of Max Bruning and had a chat with Moinak.

Continue reading “My first BOSUG meet”

Mr.Angelo Rajadurai on ZFS and DTrace

Hello folks, some tech stuff again. This time from Solaris community. Mr. Angelo Rajadurai, Alumni TCE, and presently an employee at SUN Microsystems, Santa Clara, USA, visited the TCE campus on 29th and 30th July. He had the alumni meet on 29th and 30th, He dedicated it to the college and student community. He has been with the Sun Microsystems for the past 14 years and has a very rich experience in solaris tools. So he gave a beautiful talkspread accross 2 sessions on ZFS and DTrace. Continue reading “Mr.Angelo Rajadurai on ZFS and DTrace”

Sun club inauguration

        Hello folks. It is a memorable day today. The Sun Club(Sun forum) of our college has been inaugurated.The function took place at the K.M auditorium of our college. We were glad that we had booked the K.M audi as the number of students who came for the function exceeded 300. This itself is a grand success. The registration for the Sun Club was also done immediately at the end of function and almost all those who attended the function registered for the club activities.

Now, more about the club and todays’ function. This Club will serve as the point of contact for all activities related to Sun microsystems. The Club was inaugurated by our HOD, Dr.R.Rajaram. He gave an excellent talk on the importance of FOSS based tools and softwares. Then there was a talk on computers in the past and present by the HOD of IT Dr. U.Nirai Chandran.

Then there was a twenty minute presentation by our college’s student ambassador for Sun, Krithika. The presentation highlighted the various products of Sun, the way in which the Club will function and so on. The various activities of the Club include arranging for project interns, arranging seminars, workshops and hands on sessions for the various products from SUN including Open Solaris, Java, NetBeans etc.

We had very good support from  our staff-co-ordinators, Ms Subhatra and Mr.Emil Selvan. They spent a lot of time with us and helped us in organising this event.

The Club’s mailing list can be joined .

These are a few activities that have been planned.

  • Certification Programmes
  • Project Internships
  • Workshops/Seminars/Hands-on sessions
  • Lectures from Sun people
  • Regular classes on great sun tech stuff including OpenSolaris, Java, Netbeans

Sun microsystems…

Hello folks, back with some solaris stuff again, this time with a bit of difference. We had a session on Sun microsystems, its histroy and activities . The session was handled by the Sun’s students’ ambassador for our college, Krithika. The session started with what is Sun microsystems and who started it and when was it started and all that. We learnt that Sun was started by three stanford university guys, Vinodh koshla, Bill Joy, Andreas Bechtolsheim(I got this from the comment made below by one of my seniors) and Scott McNealy. A brief history of activities of Sun were mentioned.

Then the talk moved on to various important Open Source products from Sun microsystems. First, the Netbeans IDE was mentioned and is salient feature discussed. But, personally, I am against the use of IDEs and such stuff. But Netbeans seems to be interesting from the list of features that were displayed. Then we moved on to solaris or rather opensolaris. The whole audience were captured by the words “Solaris is the most powerful Operating System on earth”. A brief history of UNIX development and the contribution of Sun microsystems to that were given. Then the contibution of this mighty company to FOSS was also mentioned.

Various features like predictive self healing, ZFS, SMF, Dtrace were given a brief insight. It was decided that, after the formation of the Sun club, classes will conducted at regular intervals on all these topics and more. Finally, a small demo of dtrace was made to all students batch by batch. The demo was run by very very simple scripts like open system call and read system call. The audience were really interested and were keen to learn more on this. The one of the scripts that was run is
#dtrace -n ‘syscall::read*:entry{printf(“%s”,execname);}’

Using this, mouse movements were detected and the read system call changed from one process to another. It was really cool. Likewise, open system call was also dtraced and the output observed for various activities done.

The one unfortunate thing was that, the projector was not detected by the solaris and hence we had to make the presentations using a Linuxmachine. Hope we sort it out soon and make use of the projector from solaris soon.

Exploring opensolaris.

Hello folks, I am continuing my ramblings on opensolaris. I continued exploring it the whole day and at last found and fixed a few things. The foremost being identifying how to configure my ethernet card opensolaris. I got it through people on the IRC and through mailing lists. The commnads are similar to that on a Debian GNU/Linux box but not exactly the same. The command for configuring the ethernet card in opensolaris is

#ifconfig rtls0 plumb

as compared to ifconfig eth0 up in debian GNU/Linux. Doing this automatically got the IP and now I am able to browse from my opensolaris. The opensoalris has a browser from the mozilla project called the Deer Park. But I could not find any notable difference from the firefox that I use on GNU/Linux. But the Deer Park browser crashes too often. Hope the opensolaris community and the mozilla project people correct it soon.

The other great thing that I came accross, again with the help of Ananth anna and a few people on the IRC was the location of the GNU tools. Initially I had thought that there was no gcc in opensolaris. But now, after the help from those poeple, I cam to know that there is a entire collection of GNU tools in opensolaris. It is located at /usr/sfw/bin and can be accessed by adding the above location to the user’s path variable. So I was able to use both gcc and the GNU make, called the gmake on opensolaris. But, I am still having trouble using vi editor.

And I have not yet learnt the system well even now. I still dont know where to edit the users profile and where to mount the partitions etc. Hope I will get used to the opensolaris commands soon. And one area that I have been spending time on is Dtrace. It is really a cool tool from the opensolaris people. I am learning it now and I do hope that I will learn it well soon.

The Solaris GRUB

Hello folks, Again I will be talking on GRUB terms…. The first thing I noted after installing opensolaris was that, it overwrites the GNU/Linux. I had an older version of Ubuntu running in the drive in which I installed opensolaris, and found to my surprise that the GRUB was overwritten by solaris.

Only then I learnt that the original GRUB from the GNU does not understand UFS or ZFS. The GNU GRB can understand only ext2 or ext3…. So the people from the Sun Microsystems have modified it and have released their own versions of it…

So, inorder to get linux back to working, we need to edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file and give the correct path for the GNU/Linux root….. Or the other way of doing it when linux and solaris are in different drives is, install soalris grub in its drive and install GNU GRUB in the MBR… Then do as follows…

root (hd1,*)

chainloader +1



where * denotes the location of solaris root….. then it will work….

Opensolaris on my system :-)

    Hey folks, It was a really thrilling experience…. I installed the Sun Microsystems’ Opensolaris on my     system. The installation went well. The interesting thing in the installation was that I didnt have a proper knowledge in the installation of solaris… Linux , I have done and can manage… But solaris….. this was the first time…. It took almost 1 hr and 20min to install and the great Solaris login screen came up.

I have installed opensolaris previously, but at my college in a system at my favourite lab and with the help of a few friends and seniors. This time I did it all alone…. even there was no one to consult as it was over 12’o clock in the night and i didn’t want to didturn my friends…. The installation process was text based… ( We need over 400 MB of RAM for a graphical installation and my good old system has just 256 MB). Then installation went well untill it came to disk partition. Previously, expecting some disaster, I had disconnected my primary master drive and only the primary slave was on. In that too, i had made a backup of important data and kept it in a CD. Then, the installation started. And ofcourse, when I logged back to the stupid windows, I was sure that the slave was entirely gone…. inspite of me allocating only 15 GB that was already used up by an old version of ubuntu. Anywayz… It was windoze that I lost and I am least bothered about it.

The opensolaris was very nice to use and it was the first time on my system. The cool features that I found in it were that the GNOME is really good and far better than the one in GNU/Linux.Dtrace was really excellent and great. Will sit and learn more of it soon. It too has python, perl, java apart from the good old C language. Then, the important thing to be noted is that the GRUB is a modified one and hence detecs UFS. The normal GNU/Linux GRUB cannot detect UFS.

I still have a list of problems with the solaris. But, I think that is because I am not used to it. Since I had been using Debian GNU/Linux all these time, I am forced to use those commands here. Fortunately, both being UNIX based, most of the commands work. The major problem that I faced was that opensolaris doesnot have emacs 🙁 . It is the one editor that I cherish and I have not even opened vi or vim once…. Will either have to learn vim or install emacs from the source. The other problems were that I was unable to connect to the Internet through my broadband modem. I use a ethernet card and opensolaris says it as rtls0 device.  Hope will configure it soon.Also, I feel there is a bug in lock screen option, either in my copy or in opensolaris itself.

But on the whole, it was a nice experince to install and use an OS that was until recently a server side OS. Will work more on opensolaris these days and will try to spread the message. Hope soon the people of the world dump M$ and turn to GNU/Linux and Opensolaris

First opensolaris installation…

I saw the installation procedure for opensolaris for the first time. It was really interesting.It was also new. Praveen made a demo by installin in one of the systems in the UNIX lab.But still had not got a hands on experience in installing it.But had a few problems after installations. But they were solved, only after some good thinking.

The problem e face was regarding the grub. We installed it in one of the systems which already had Debian and Windows.So after installation we thought the GRUB would display all three options. But due to some mistake, we could not get the grub back. So had to speak in grub terms :(. We went to the GRUB prompt and tried to setupGRUB. After some initial errors and mistakes we were able to restore the grub with all the options.

Innovative in innovations

Had a one day seminar on open solaris.It was conducted in our college by two professionals from the SUN microsystems.They were Ananth Shrinivas and Pradhap Devarajan.It was a really great session.We got BeleniX live CD if we asked a question.So it went really well.

It started with a brief history of Sun and Solaris wuth the mentions of greats like Bill Joy by Mr.Ananth Shrinivas. Then we were introduced to the opensolaris OS.We really looked the very feel of it. I was unable to believe it was the very same GNOME that ran on my Debian that was on that projector screen. The SUN people have really improved it a lot. Then they gave the various salient features of the opensolaris OS.

I was really impressed. Then there was a lunch break.After that we assembled again for a more technical session.The crowd was less as expected. Then an intro to Dtrace was provided by them. Ananth and Pradhap showed us a few startlling Dtrace stuff.A few pre-written Dtrace scripts were also shown.Should learnhow to use Dtrace . Waiting to get my hands dirty with it.

Then we had a even more interesting session on ZFS. An unbelievably great file system. 128 bit stuff without the cumbersome i-nodes stuff. must be really cool :).

Hope to learn all these soon. And before that , a installation session is a must.