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 Post subject: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:58 am 
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Hello,
I have been wanting to try Solaris for a long time. A month ago or so, I found an fork of the defunct OpenSolaris called illumos. I am think of taking an illumos distro, OpenIndiana, and making that my main OS. Anyone here used illumos?

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:37 am 
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I've used Solaris, and there's absolutely nothing to recommend it over Linux or FreeBSD for a workstation.


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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:36 pm 
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Perhaps, but the over complexity and mainstream part of Linux (and its ties to GNU) makes me not like it. Somebody trying to really delve into Unix probably can't do so with Linux. Solaris may not be much better, but it's worth a shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:25 pm 
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If you really want to delve into Unix, I would say that FreeBSD is a better choice. It's completely open source and there is an excellent book detailing its design. I believe there is also a wider range of software available.


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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 5:36 pm 
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I'll probably stick to Linux for now, as there is more available info. With that being said, I have a book describing more high level parts of Ubuntu, and a book describing tools like awk, sed, and friends. A couple questions. What is the best book for
- bash scripting
- Linux internals (i.e. how the kernel works, how to interface with procfs, how to manage shared libs, how to configure system details, etc
- POSIX API stuff
- And Linux network management
Thanks,
nexos

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:20 pm 
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The only book I ever had on Linux was Dr. Linux, a gigantic paperback, and I didn't read all of it. :) Mostly, I learned from the man pages, some of which were terrible in the 90s. Thanks to the Debian documentation project, Linux man pages have been better since about 2000, but I think FreeBSD's man pages are much better still. Providing and maintaining the manual pages is taken more seriously, especially for system parts which aren't shell commands. It helps that FreeBSD commands and drivers have more sensible interface design. As a career sysadmin put it: FreeBSD is Linux for grown-ups.

OpenBSD will be somewhat simpler still, and its manual pages are just as good if not better. However, in the last few years, they have started to sacrifice simplicity for security. At one point, someone told me he thought more people use OpenBSD than FreeBSD for desktop systems and thus OpenBSD was better suited for it. This would have been around 2017.

Networking I'm pretty sure you'll find much more straightforward in Free- or OpenBSD than in Linux. However, it's been a long time since I really messed with it.

I learned bash from its man page, but I didn't really get comfortable with the quoting rules. I'm told it's not bad when you understand them. You need to use quotes a lot. (This goes for any Bourne shell.) If sh(1) is readable, try learning from that first as it's a generic Bourne shell reference, omitting Bash's extensions.

Incidently, FreeBSD defaults to the C shell for non-root accounts. I think this is a mistake in modern systems, the C shell being rather clumsy and a little less powerful than bash. It made more sense when there was no Bourne shell with full-featured command-line editing and completion.

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2021 4:08 pm 
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nexos wrote:
I have a book describing more high level parts of Ubuntu,

I was thinking there was something off about this, and I just remembered what it is. I know a guy; kernel and language developer, has contributed to the Linux kernel, staunch open-source activist. (Can't remember his name just now. Aram something. He's Romanian.) He went to work for Canonical -- makers of Ubuntu -- sounding proud to have got the job. Once he started work, he was miserable! In just a few months, he left to go work for a closed-source company, saying "It's better to work with misguided smart people than idiots doing the right thing." You know that line on our wiki; "People who join a project are usually worse codes than the people for whom this list was designed [OS devs]"? Most distro devs are like the people who join rather than successfully start OS projects, but I get the impression Canonical devs are around the bottom of the barrel of *those* guys. :/ FreeBSD books and documentation will definitely be more professional than this. OpenBSD documentation is much more professional, and OpenBSD devs are famously obsessional!

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:52 pm 
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Yes, I am thinking about switching to OpenBSD. It seems secure and easier then Linux.

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:21 am 
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Coolio. You might find yourself with the Korn shell under OpenBSD. (I don't remember the default.) It has some extensions over the Bourne shell, but its man page is still very much shorter than Bash's. It'll either be mksh or pdksh or a choice of both. There's not much to choose between them that I recall, but I very slightly prefer mksh personally. (I don't have anything against bash other than the vast extent of its man page occasionally making it hard to find things and being perhaps too much for new users to take in. Apart from that, it's relatively well-written.)

Incidentally, if anyone's looking for a public-domain POSIX shell, pdksh is one.

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:32 pm 
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Before I switch, do you know if OpenBSD supports Broadcom ethernet adapters? I currently am using a USB WiFi adapter (as my desktop is far away from a router), but I could make something work, but I don't if it supports Broadcom adapters as Broadcom is horrible with documenting hardware.

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 Post subject: Re: Any users of illumos?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 2:51 pm 
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nexos wrote:
Before I switch, do you know if OpenBSD supports Broadcom ethernet adapters? I currently am using a USB WiFi adapter (as my desktop is far away from a router), but I could make something work, but I don't if it supports Broadcom adapters as Broadcom is horrible with documenting hardware.

Possibly! See the bwfm and bwi pages in this list. Each page has a list of supported hardware; chipsets on the bwfm page and OEM cards (such as Apple AirPort) on the bwi page. Do see the caveats at the bottom of each page.

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