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Sun Microsystems Portables Hardware

Toshiba To OEM Laptops With OpenSolaris 226

ruphus13 writes to tell us of Sun's latest attempt to drive OpenSolaris adoption. The company has inked a deal to pre-install OpenSolaris on Toshiba laptops. "Slowly but surely, major laptop vendors are taking to the idea of shipping systems with pre-loaded open source operating systems. The latest case in point is Toshiba — one of the longest-standing players in the market for portable computers — and its new plan to pre-install Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris on its laptops. The machines are supposed to ship in early 2009."
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Toshiba To OEM Laptops With OpenSolaris

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  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:10AM (#26172105)

    Why go with Solaris and not Linux?
    In terms of usability and functionality for a Laptop Solaris would be at a disadvantage to Linux and even Windows. Unless you job is to write and compile and or run Solaris X86 Apps. Then you are in general at a disadvantage to Linux which has more application written for it, communicates very well with Solaris Based Type Networks, As far as End User is concerned Linux and Solaris really look so much alike that it wouldn't be much of a learning curve.

    Solaris is superior as a server OS. But for a desktop Laptop OS... Why?

  • Selling point?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stupido ( 1353737 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:13AM (#26172123)

    What exactly is the selling point here? I can see how ZFS is enticing for servers, and perhaps a narrow range of power users, but most FOSS stuff is more work to install on Solaris (Open or otherwise).

    Perhaps on a two-harddisk laptop ZFS is an interesting option.

  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:16AM (#26172159) Homepage Journal

    Not totally. Java isn't going anywhere (Microsoft hates Java), OpenOffice.org isn't going anywhere (Microsoft hates OpenOffice.org), OpenSolaris isn't going anywhere and Sun's partnerships with Canonical (Ubuntu), Red Hat and Novell/SuSE aren't going anywhere either.

    Everyone thinks Microsoft is the only company to play dirty and use alliances as a means of a trap. Companies like Sun and IBM invented these tricks.

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:21AM (#26172199) Homepage
    Sun wants OpenSolaris to expand into the desktop market and perhaps they paid Toshiba enough and or Toshiba trusts Sun to support the OS more than other companies.
  • by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:49AM (#26172489) Journal
    Okay Flamebait ;)
    Toshiba is a pretty good brand imho. Much better than the crap eMachine and HP/Compaq crap you'll find at most electronic stores. I can't speak for OpenSolaris, but it looks nice from the review at ArsTechnica.
  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by javacowboy ( 222023 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @10:59AM (#26172579)

    Nobody's asking the right questions.

    1) Why is Toshiba doing this? This will make them money either directly (Sun is paying them with either money or services) or indirectly (Toshiba wants to get a better deal from Microsoft).

    2) Why is Sun doing this? I think they want to drive adoption of OpenSolaris among the open source developers that would normally use Linux. The low-hanging fruit is probably Java devs like me who would otherwise prefer to use Linux.

    The market for developer workstations is not small, even the market for Java developers. Just look at how much of a stink Apple created when they left initially Java 6 off Leopard (now it's available for 64-bit Intel Macs only).

  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:13AM (#26172767) Homepage Journal
    OpenSolaris automatically detected my HP Photosmart printer by name and instantly installed the proper driver while displaying a nice, comfortable, professional-looking message window. That alone should win over skeptical Windoze fanatics.
  • by labmonkey09 ( 992534 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:22AM (#26172895)

    I bet Sun is 'paying' for this with a guarentee of a minimum customer base - expect to see Toshiba notebooks in the hallways at Sun facilities. Right now I see allot Macs running Solaris at Sun facilities and most Sun employees have XP installed on their non-Mac notebooks.

    I like Solaris but there is essentially zero market demand for Solaris on notebooks.

  • Re:Wonderful... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:23AM (#26172913) Journal

    Speaking as someone who lives and breathes in the Solaris world...

    True enough that it's a niche market, but let's not forget that Linux was just as small (if not smaller) of a niche some time ago. Also, OpenSolaris ties directly into developers for back-end enterprise software--there's a lot of gear running Solaris out there!

    But I have to ask: What _is_ the 'cost of giving people the choice'? Assuming that Toshiba has set up the environment to efficiently install OpenSolaris on their boxes, it's a matter of one command to choose between Solaris, Windows, or Linux.

  • Re:just remember... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thatskinnyguy ( 1129515 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @11:54AM (#26173285)
    True. All I've used Solaris for has been servers and it can be kind-of annoying having to edit the /etc/network/lpp file instead of the old reliable ifconfig route. I guess I'm just set in my ways. If you don't mind, I have to tell some kids to get off my lawn.
  • by itomato ( 91092 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:07PM (#26173443)


    If I could have Solaris as an option, I would take it. There's a justifiable niche here.. Solaris is a supported alterna-UNIX with class
    leading development tools.

    If OpenSolaris provided the second-best iPhone application development environment, it would be strong enough to justify the move.

    If Sun takes the opportunity to bundle and better integrate OpenOffice with their new Enterprise Desktop, and add all sorts of security and platform robustness choices, it might have a chance.

    There's enough technology present in Solaris to make a reasonable case for allowing it to compete against the much unloved Vista for Business, especially when Linux has taken the first wave of public criticism (Eee PC, Ubuntu, et al.)

    If they can somehow coordinate a "Shake 'n' Bake" style maneuver with Apple (iPhone/Solaris/Dev with Apple/Sun/ZFS backend and iPhone integration) it could be a very good thing.

    Apple will never take the Corporate Desktop summit, and I seriously believe they have stopped caring. Perhaps Sun recognizes this as well.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:17PM (#26173567) Homepage Journal

    I'm not sure if it's that the OEMs think they can sell that many, it's that they think Microsoft can't stop them any more.

    We'll not know how many they could have sold before, because it's only recently that they've dared to try.

    Microsoft is like a castle under siege, there's an attack from Asus on one wall, then IBM on another, then Dell at the main gate, now Toshiba... Each wave is beaten back, but the defenders look increasingly shaky.

  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot.davidgerard@co@uk> on Friday December 19, 2008 @12:22PM (#26173629) Homepage

    Depends. We use a lot of Sun boxes and a lot of Dell boxes. Solaris 10 on a Sun box (even an x86) is way easier to administer than Linux - particularly when things go wrong. The OS indicates problems very nicely in messages and syslog, better than RHEL does.

    The downside is that modern open source software is too often written by coders who think "cross-platform" means "works on Fedora and Ubuntu."

    So we end up doing things like running Solaris 10 on Dell boxes and RHEL on Sun servers ;-)

    Sun's hardware is competitively priced and their service is really good (I'm in London), so we're very happy to stay with Sun boxes even running Linux.

  • Re:Poor Microsoft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdot@NosPam.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:24PM (#26174333) Homepage

    What needs to go down is the fucking unions. They're bleeding the companies dry, they're the reason that GM/Ford/etc. can't compete with Toyota and Honda and Subaru.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:27PM (#26174365)

    This is kind of a BS argument, in that other than the kernel what is different between the two? Both Linux and Opensolaris run the same open source desktop, and applications.

    Solaris has a stable userland ABI going back to about '94?

  • by Zemplar ( 764598 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:29PM (#26174391) Journal
    I use OpenSolaris for development on my ThinkPad T61 laptop and it's an excellent platform and ideal combination. For one required Windows development app (project dependent), I run XP as a VirtualBox VM and it works better and faster than if XP were installed to bare metal. ZFS is really slick. Turning ZFS compression=on means more laptop hard drive space AND faster performance since the HDDs are relatively slow (even my 320GB 7,200 rpm) and now having to read/write less to disk.

    Sun's new packaging system, IPS, and the new repositories are growing with software selections and software is as easy to manage as Debian's apt-get.

    Anyone here that thinks OpenSolaris will fail obviously hasn't used it. Give it a try and I bet a large portion of you Slashdot Linux zealots will move to OpenSolaris or at least give it the respect it deserves.
  • by rbanffy ( 584143 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @02:19PM (#26175047) Homepage Journal

    Actually, by being licensed under GPLv3, I think OpenSolaris is a morally superior choice.

  • by johnnnyboy ( 15145 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @02:30PM (#26175203) Homepage

    Really, I personally think OpenSolaris is coming along quite nicely since Ian Murdock is managing things but that's a different comment.

    If they can make a toshiba laptop suspend and hybernate flawlessly that would be awesome. Maybe I'll even make the switch. Unix is Unix.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19, 2008 @03:34PM (#26176115)

    First, this is about OpenSolaris, not Solaris. The differences are staggering.
    *gasp* a live CD [opensolaris.com]!

    Unless you job is to write and compile and or run Solaris X86 Apps.

    s/Solaris/Solaris & OpenSolaris/
    That's actually a very big reason Sun is spending all this time on OpenSolaris, AFAIK. Solaris is a very strong server OS, and they want more developer mindshare. OpenSolaris aims to fix the problems Solaris has on the desktop. It really is a shame that Linux is replacing Solaris in the datacenter in many cases because of its desktop exposure to sysadmins. I work with sysadmins that overlook every SINGLE feature of Solaris that deviates from Linux's offerings. "Jumpstart is just a poor kickstart imitation", silly userland GNU tools (that can are often are installed on Solaris servers) are more important than SAN management, tight hardware integration, better filesystems, per user/application limit settings without reboots (/etc/system stuff), RBAC, SMF init, the list goes on.
    You know, for that mater, we could use the same argument for Linux & Windows or Linux & Mac OS X. Unless you need to write, compile, run Linux apps, what is the point? You have real desktop systems on one hand, and a real server systems on the other. In the middle is Linux. The argument for software freedom only goes so far. I don't think it's even part of the equation for Linux in the datacenter but it gets selected anyway while offering... well, I don't know if it offers any real features above these others OS's that concerns typical datacenter operations.

    communicates very well with Solaris Based Type Networks, As far as End User is concerned Linux and Solaris really look so much alike that it wouldn't be much of a learning curve.

    The picture I'm drawing here is SSHD == communicates well, and end user concerns == bash? I think your shallow view is right if 'end user' refers to Linux server admins. I've had to remind annoying Linux pushers that to the real end user, Windows looks the same as UNIX servers. I'm not switching a Solaris server to Linux until they demonstrate they understand the technical pros/cons of at least ONE other OS :)

    See, this is one of the problems I hope OpenSolaris solves. Solaris is so poorly understood. There's a heaping ton of value there, but Linux steals the spotlight because of geek desktop penetration. Maybe it's just the general desktop IT culture mixing with datacenter IT culture that's to blame. If one honestly thinks sudo scales to infinity servers/users, then I suppose they wouldn't look very far beyond sudo - that is the kind of person who would see no value in Solaris.. or any other OS. It always starts with "X is ideal, and less practical than Y, but X is just good enough for Z", then Z grows stupefyingly to "everyone and everything". What causes that, religion?

    Solaris is superior as a server OS. But for a desktop Laptop OS... Why?

    For developers. Are there that many people running Linux on a laptop for a different reason? Yah, some of you are going to tell me you use it and aren't developers. I want to know how many different languages you wrote a "Hello World" program in, and then you can turn yourselves right around. ;)

  • Re:Poor Microsoft (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19, 2008 @05:19PM (#26177511)

    Stop right there. It's not just ruining Michigan. It will hurt ohio, Tennessee, Minnesota, Arizona, and any other state with a Ford, GM, or Chrysler plant. It will also hurt foreign auto makers who will have part vendors go out of business on them. Anyone who thinks this is just about Michigan is wrong.

    Mid-Michigan is screwed anyway.. GM mostly pulled out of Flint years ago. I know, I grew up there. The Volt engine plant is about it and it's been postponed.

    I'm also sick of the republicans fighting this bailout. Bush proposed the damn bailout of wallstreet and they were quiet then. Until they lost the election, they didn't care about the fiscal conservative roots, it was only what one religion (and a subset) wanted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 19, 2008 @09:09PM (#26180083)


    just an example: Excluding myself, I personally know 5 persons with Toshiba laptops running Linux. We are all unable to use the build in Toshiba SD card controller because bl**dy Toshiba flat out refuses to release *ANY* information for this bloody SD card controller. Does anybody think that this ignorant attitude would get any better with Open Solaris ? I don't think so.

    So until this controller finally gets supported for Linux by Toshiba they will never again see any money from around here - not with Windows, not with Linux and not even with Solaris.

    01:0d.0 System peripheral: Toshiba America Info Systems SD TypA Controller (rev 03)


  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @10:48AM (#26183647) Homepage Journal

    Gnome is being tightly integrated with ZFS, you will have functionality in OpenSolaris that you will not see for a while, if at all, in Linux.

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Saturday December 20, 2008 @10:53AM (#26183661)

    I had xubuntu 8.1 running om my old HP ze4220 with 512mb or ram, and 1.7ghz celuron processor. I decided to try opensolaris 2008.5.

    Xunbuntu won hands down, in every measurable way. I could never get music, or movies, to play on opensolaris. Also, I was never able to read .chm file on opensolaris. Xubuntu was also faster to install, and booted up faster. Opensolaris was not terrrible, it just wasn't as nice as xubuntu.

    Neither OS could detect my wireless NIC. XP runs noticeably faster than either xubuntu or opensolaris, and xp does detect my wireless nic.

    Again, just my experience.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2008 @02:55PM (#26203691)

    $3000 of a new American vehicle go to paying pensions.. that's not a problem though?

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito