Well the holidays were great and I'm glad it's 2007. This has been a pretty busy month and there's lots to blog about. First off, it's great to see that Sun is back in the black! This is really great news to see after all of these years of hard work and restructuring. What's really interesting is that the Niagara based servers are selling better than the thumper systems. This should prove to the world that there is still a market for SPARC and it's on the rise again. Sun just needs to put out an affordable Niagara2 workstation:)
So I completed the upgrade of my Sun Blade 2000, home laptop, and my work VMware instance to SX:CR build 54. I'm really impressed with build 54, there are lot of improvements (StarOffice 8, Gnome 2.16.1, FireFox 2.0, Java 6, etc.). Finally, Rsync has made it into the WOS. Gnome is shaping up nicely and getting cleaner. One of the big changes back in build 53 was the replacement of vold with dbus and hal. In build 54, this has improved and now CD audio works on X86 again with Sound Juicer. However, that is not the case with SPARC and hopefully it'll get fixed soon. I did run into a one issue with jumpstarting build 54 on my Sun Blade 2000, which seems to be a problem with the boot image. However I found a way around this. I'll have to test if it's fixed in build 55.
Speaking of build 55, it has a new installation feature for developers where it will install Sun Studio 11 as part of the install. Unfortunately, this is only for x86 and not SPARC. Hopefully, that'll get corrected soon. I did read that the memory requirements during installation are greater with this option because it launches the very bloated java installer for Sun Studio. I would recommend that Sun just install the packages and patches in the right order and not add the bloat ontop. I'm holding back on upgrading because build 56 is around the corner.
One of the annoying things I found is that some java apps that use to work require proper paths to work now. For example, to install Sun Studio 11 with build 54, you have to append /usr/jdk/jdk1.5.0_10/bin before /bin. So a command like "PATH=/usr/jdk/jdk1.5.0_10/bin:$PATH ./installer" will work. This issue also plagues Sun's download manager.
When it comes to JET, it supports secure by default now, so I don't have to include my custom JET smf service to get things moving. I've also removed my custom sendmail.cf since it's not required any longer with SBD. I'm working on finishing my changes to the zones module for JET and will post shortly. After that, I'm working on a ZFS feature for JET.
Also in the area of contributions, I've created packages for logcheck 1.1 for SPARC and x86. I've used logcheck for years to scan my logs. I've forwarded these packages to the SunFreeware.com site. Hopefully, they'll pop up soon. Interestingly, logcheck seemed to have disappeared for a long time, but it looks like newer versions have appeared. I'm planning on checking out the current release to see how it works. If I like it, I'll make new packages and try to contribute to it.