Tag Archives: solaris

gSolaris

Among other things at work, I help look after a small set of Solaris hosts. One of the real frustrations I have with Solaris is the lack of functionality in many of the “standard” applications, things that I’ve come to consider usual (and often essential).

We work around these shortcomings by having GNU utilities installed, but with a “g” prefix so that scripts depending on the native Solaris flags and options still work perfectly.

This naturally leads to many jokes about how much a particular command is painful under Solaris, and “just put a ‘g’ in front and it’ll be fine”.

Amusingly, this is a better plan than you’d expect; it’s not unheard of to construct a long command-line built *soley* from the GNU commands, just to work around Solaris’ limitations (and maybe a little bit just for the fun of it).

eg, our internal documentation for a certain procedure has a very long command that basically boils down to:

gfind -type f -print0 | gxargs -0 gmd5sum | gawk '{..process output..}'

gSolaris: Solaris without the suck. Or, maybe at least with less.

I tease – Solaris has some real nice features that we use heavily, like ZFS, zones, dtrace, and it’s real good at heavy-duty NFS serving. I just feel like it’s stuck in 1988 for much of the rest of the core functionality.