Solaris 2.x on a Pentium?

Rob Miller rmiller at house.med.und.ac.za
Fri Apr 25 06:21:37 EST 1997

Louwtjie Burger wrote:
> Jennifer Steinbachs wrote:
> >
> > Chang Zhou wrote:
> > >
> > > (original comment re Solaris X86 looking better & 
> > > chaper than Ultra-1)

> > <snip>
> >

> >
> > Solaris 2.5 x86 may be stable, but Linux (esp. RedHat) is much
> > more stable, has much more documentation, and is FREE :)
> >
> > We had Solaris x86 on our machine at home, but recently ended up
> > wiping it off and replacing it with Linux.  Until Sol. x86 is
> > more supported and more documented, we'll be using Linux on the
> > Intel machines, and keeping Solaris on the Sparc machine at work.
> >
> > -jennifer
> I have to disagree with you here....

I think both sides here may have some admin problems on the 
systems they don't like.  I'm working on both platforms, and
each has been perfectly stable for me (and I've done things 
on both which make them come back saying "ga ga goo go ?")

> 1) I picked up a copy of Solaris 2.5 X86 for R 1000 which is about
> $200... so it's not that expensive...

The last linux CD I bought was US$2.99 + $10 s&h here to RSA

> 2) Having no Space based Solaris machines I will not comment on the
> performance...

I believe that's Sparc, yes ?  I too add this caveat as our Sun 
is a Sparc.

> 3) However... the MUCH MORE stable bit is nonsense.. have you tried
> running Linux on Token Ring ? We have a DNS server on a Pentuim based
> machine, and the uptime on the machine is something Linux will only
> dream  about

No, I haven't used it with a token ring, but my linux box here in
Durbs has only gone down under my direct orders, and those times
I was merely too lazy to determine which daemons needed restarting.
(true, the Sun would likely have a GUI for administration which
says "restart the foobar daemon now ?")

>... Another thing is the support and Applications... every
> application written for Sparc (unless Sparc dependent) will also be
> ported to Solaris.. which totals 12000 apps. I can't think where to
> begin naming applications... 

then if it runs on X86 Solaris, you may well be able to make it run 
under linux with IBCS -- though you'll probably need to purchase 
some libraries like Motif.  The problem with the Solaris Apps is 
they too cost money.  Despite what most vendors seem to be shipping,
I don't think a unix box without a C compiler is a very useful 
object.  Yes, you can get source for gcc, but what compiler and 
libraries do you use to compile it ? (hint: there's a binary Sun 
gcc distrib at sunsite.unc.edu, but it's not something mirrored 
at the .za sunsite).

> Solaris X86 also holds a number of
> benchmark records and a hevent seen Linux there recently.

This thread has been going on in the Linux groups recently, so 
you aven't been looking for the comparisons.  My impression of
the conversations has been that they're both pretty equivalent
until you start getting into the 100s-1000s of logged in users.

A big problem with linux is the multiple distributions in terms
of stability and administration; some certainly are better than 
others.  The features of Linux which make it good (price, doc,
support) also apply to the various BSD variants which are 
freely available as well, but linux is more likely to support 
`funky new pc hardware' (under `unix') first.

> No, I have to dissagree.. I've found Linux NOT to be more stable than
> X86, and support and applications is actually officially available.

There exist official/commercial linux support organizations.


Robert T. Miller, Ph.D.                               
rmiller at sanbi.ac.za
Manager, Durban Satellite, South African National Bioinformatics
Department of Molecular Virology,  University of Natal,  Durban, S.
h: www.sanbi.ac.za   p: +27 (0)31 2604580  f: +27 (0)31 3603744 or

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