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Some notes on OpenSolaris 2009.6

As I mentioned previously, I’ve updated some of my machines to OSOL 2009.6. Only some, though. It refuses to start on my AMD 760G based machine — gets through grub, shows the splash and then hangs. I haven’t sat down to debug that one. It does run quite nicely on my new laptop (some folks asked: it’s an MSI GX620, which is nominally a “gamer’s laptop”. Poor battery life, but I realised that I don’t use the lappy in planes and on the longer train trips I have there’s power. GF9600, P8600, 4GB, 320GB — it’s slightly more powerful than my desktop machines. The keyboard is OK, takes a little getting used to because some of the punctuation is slightly smaller than usual. It has a numeric keypad, which as far as I’m concerned could have been left out for some bigger keys. The machine is a little noisier than I might have wanted, too.). There’s also a really nice VirtualBox image for OSOL 2009.6. That one only gets you a text login, though.

On the KDE4 front on OSOL, we hit some issues similar to what happens on Windows (and to a lesser degree on FreeBSD). I’ll quote Christian Ehrlicher from his recent “stopping Windows development” blog entry:

Another problem I’ve is that I could not fix bugs in kdelibs just because the dependencies are moving fast and since we have to take care for all system libs (png, xml, openssl, pcre, …). Making sure that they’re up-to-date can take a lot of time. And when I finally managed to compile a KDE program I hit compiler errors. This is all fixable but not when you’ve only a little amount of time for KDE development.

Pavel has been hacking up a veritable storm in updating our KDE builds to 4.3-beta, and I’ve been following along trying to update dependencies (gpg and friends, lzo, akonadi, …) as well. And then we hit new dependencies (what is openslp?) all of a sudden, which means backtracking and packaging some other bit of Free Software first.

All this hacking happens in the publicly writable kde4-specs-42 Mercurial repository on solaris.bionicmutton.org. It’s publicly writable so that anyone can contribute, but that also means that it sometimes gets screwed up. By me, for instance, because I pushed something last week that broke all 64-bit builds in it. Gah. Anyway, that’s cleaned up now, and the current status is: KDE 4.3-beta builds, runs ok (oh joy of konsole compared to GNOME-terminal). In VirtualBox there are rendering issues. Those will go away in time, I imagine, or once someone fiddles around with default themes and such.

My intention is to release a OSOL 2009.6 KDE 4.3-beta VirtualBox appliance as soon as I have something that works “well enough.” That means that you need to be able to log in from a display manager (gdm or kdm, I don’t care — I haven’t gotten either of them to start up properly on the appliance yet) and get at least the KDE Plasma Desktop functionality, with Konqueror and Konsole as applications. That would make me happy, as a new milestone in the ever-shifting race to keep up with KDE development.

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2 Responses to “Some notes on OpenSolaris 2009.6”

  1. illissius Says:

    I was seriously considering getting a GX620, also. The weird-looking keyboard and the fact that it costs money are why I eventually didn’t — sticking with my HP nc6320 for a while yet. Can’t play UT2004 on this, but them’s the breaks.

  2. Links 09/06/2009: Fedora 11 Released | Boycott Novell Says:

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