OpenSolaris 2008.11

Just so you don’t think that Linux is all that I’m running in an experimental mode, I have also been dabbling with Solaris (in the form of OpenSolaris) and BSD (in the form PCBSD).  I’m not generally any happier with these *nix OSes than I am with Linux from a day to day usage standpoint.

I really like OpenSolaris.  The 2008.5 was a real eye opener, it was better than I expected.  It installed easily and ran smoothly but it had problems.  The automatic network connection applet was non-working and, frankly, I never could figure out how to connect it to a wireless network.  That and an extremely limited set of available applications made me quit evaluating if soon after loading on the hard drive.

Now comes 2008.11 and its even better.  The install was smooth and the automatic connection applet worked out of the box.  Ok, well it worked like a charm while running from the “Live” Disk, but the first boot from the Hard Drive didn’t go so well.  On a second reboot the system finally saw my wireless network.  Lest you think I am running some esoteric equipment, OpenSolaris was loaded on a Latitude D820 (my everyday laptop).

Then, as I began to work with the system, configuring Thunderbird for my Gmail accounts,  trying to add other applications (OpenOffice in this case), the network would go up and down sporadically.

I tried, apparently without success, to add other repositories from which to download applications.  I tried to use some of the repositories listed in 2.3.2 of this page to no avail.  That is really a drag because that applications contained in the base repository, while not exactly lame, leave a lot to be desired in terms of what may be wished for a Gnome system.  I couldn’t find the files necessary to install a large selection of screen savers (the x screen saver collection), or emerald or any number of other apps I consider de rigueur for a Gnome desktop.

So while I’m impressed, I’ll once again wait for the next release.