I'm about to install a stack on a Solaris box. I have experience installing this same stack on Ubuntu LTS and it has been very simple, but management really wants this to run on a fancy UltraSPARC T1 box.

The stack is as follows

  • Sun Java JDK 6
  • MySQL 5
  • Sun GlassFish v2.1

What are the things I should really know before embarking on this?


You're not really going to have gotchas with package installation. What may trip you up is some of the stuff you do, especially shell commands. If you have shell scripts, most Linux-heads assume /bin/sh is bash. On Solaris it isn't. There are lots of subtle differences in commands. Most of the time, the GNU versions of the tools you're used to are superior to the old-school UNIX ones Solaris has, but not always. You can always install the GNU tools yourself, of course — packages for them exist.

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  • The UltraSparc T1 was announced in November 2005, so it's not even close to 7 years old. It's also not a slow processor unless you're using it for floating-point intensive applications, which is probably not the case here. – Amok Oct 13 '09 at 22:41
  • Ah, of course. My brain got crosswired between 'ultrasparc t1' and 'sun netra t1' — damn Sun for re-using designations! The Netra T1 is an old, low-powered and slow server; the UltraSPARC T1 is what you said it is. I've edited my answer to remove the incorrect info. – Morven Oct 13 '09 at 23:56

You'll be using pkgadd instead of apt?

You're not going to run into any huge gotchas. If anything, you may have a better experience, seeing how much of what you're installing is Sun software (apparently, all of it).

The problems you can have with proprietary Unix are most notable when you move outside the proprietary comfort zone. If you like non-mainstream OSS, you're going to have to learn to love to compile from source, because Solaris binaries may not be available. Otherwise, what? Different gui?

Sun hardware is solid and elegant. Support is responsive like you can't even imagine if you're used to Dell, et al. Solaris is stable and exhaustively tested. Imho, it's not worth the price for anything but a critical application, but if you've got it, it's very enjoyable.

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