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July 7, 2005

You want how much space?!

Now that Solaris 10 is free and all, I thought I'd download it from Sun, toss it on a spare hard drive, and give it a shot. After all, it's got a lot of neat features. I also thought it would serve as a nice introduction to Solaris now that I've considered getting involved with the OpenSolaris project.

Erm, no.

The spare drive I had around is a measly little 5 gig model from before the dawn of time. Inexplicably, you need a whole load of desktop applications to install server programs. The default Solaris x86 installation is larger than my drive's usable space.

No probem, I figured, I'll just pare down all the crap I don't want, like Gnome.

Erm, no.

The list of packages is in a mile long, isn't sorted beyond alphabetically (so *everything* is in the same list, be it questionably vital or just a load of crap), and harasses you about dependencies you've broken every time you choose not to install something.

Fine, I thought, I'll go back, choose the minimum install, and build up from there.

Erm, no.

While the installer's smart enough to know about dependencies, it can't fulfill them for you. So when you decide you want, say, Java, it then blathers on about how you need to add packages X, Y, and Z.

I'm sure it would have been a pleasant experience were I installing on a reasonably large drive, but I'm a bit perplexed by the lack of a "headless server" install option. I never install a GUI on systems that are going to be servers. Yet the grandaddy of UNIXy operating systems forces you to unless you want to play click-a-million-checkboxes.

Posted by Colin at July 7, 2005 7:42 PM

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