In the days of packages and Solaris 10 (i.e., what is used now
and will be for quite a while)...

A) Much less time to install and instantiate whole root zones
    if you get rid of a lot of dross. This includes service instantiation.
    Less disk space used for the zone. Disk space savings of more than 50%
    and often 75% can be achieved.

I have run into this at one major retail corporation and several financial
    institutions. Disk space concerns were common to all of them and
    there were also concerns at some of them about the time it would take
    for dynamic container provisioning in response to load conditions.

B) Concerns about security holes. If you don't have something on the system,
    you don't have to patch it or update it on the off chance someone could
exploit it. If something is not on the system, you don't have to worry about
    as yet undiscovered security holes.

    This is a serious concern for many customers.

C) Less time to install and less time to patch.


Jeff Victor wrote:
On Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 11:07 PM, Anon Y Mous<> wrote:
One thing I've found to be true though: either a machine is all zoned, or not.
It gets horribly confusing to have real activity in the global zone,
where you can half see the non-global zones, so if you have zones
on a machine then it's easier to run nothing in the global zone and
just use it as an administrative container.
Since you brought it up. I think what we really need is an officially supported 
OpenSolaris Indiana 2009.xx SERVER distribution from Sun Microsystems that can be 
downloaded from and does what you just described: i.e. it installs itself 
with no X-windows and just runs as a command line only minimal "administrative 
container" for zones with no GNOME desktop, no Thunderbird mail reader, no GNOME 
games, etc. etc.

There is humorous irony here, given how much 'flak' Sun took over the
years for its outdated GUI - until Solaris adopted Gnome. Now that
[Open}Solaris have a modern UI, you want to get rid of it... ;-)

Seriously, it would be helpful for Sun to understand the advantages of
a release that doesn't have a GUI as an option. In other words, what
problems are caused by the existence of the GUI software (besides
wasted disk space)?

Instead of a separate distro, perhaps it would be simpler for
everybody if there was a "no-GUI server" installation option that
simply doesn't install the GUI tools. Would that meet your needs?

Another option: Have you tried using the Automated Installer to
install OpenSolaris without X, Gnome, etc.?

A lot of my paying clients are big time Linux users, they pay $$$$ for RHEL and for the 
long term supported versions of Ubuntu Server, etc. and they have been wanting to try 
migrating some server instances over to OpenSolaris Indiana within the last six months or 
so to gain benefits from zones and ZFS, they like OpenSolaris Indiana for the most part, 
but they've been very turned off by the fact that OpenSolaris Indiana forces them to have 
all this desktop software installed when what they really want is a minimal server OS 
(similar to Ubuntu's "Ubuntu Server" distribution that comes without a GNOME 
desktop) and they also didn't like the fact that I wasn't able to deploy any new zones 
for a while when the IPS repository went down a while ago.

I believe that you can now create a local repository. This might help:
("Setting Up and Maintaining Package Repositories").

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