Thanks Jim. But the context is OpenSolaris, so time-to-patch is much
less relevant. (Instead, time-to-update is relevant.) I strongly doubt
that Solaris 10 will ever have a "server" distro. It's too late in the
life of S10 for that.

And because we're talking about OpenSolaris, disk space usage
shouldn't matter as much because zone clone will automatically create
a ZFS clone. (This is also true on Solaris 10 10/08 and after *if* you
choose to put your zones on ZFS. But with OpenSolaris it will be the
default because ZFS is the default fs type for the root fs.)

My goal is not to argue that a GUI should always be installed. I like
the concept. And the point about increasing security via package
minimization is a good one that has been discussed many times over the
years. I have occasionally asked for application-specific installation
choices, but that has never happened. But if a 'server-only' option
(like I mentioned last time) isn't difficult to achieve, perhaps
that's the best path to take.

But only if it meets the needs.


On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 5:08 AM, James
Litchfield<> wrote:
> 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.
> JIm
> ----
> 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").

zones-discuss mailing list

Reply via email to