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Solaris to Linux Migration 2017 Amid Layoffs

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OS
Server
  • Solaris to Linux Migration 2017

    Many people have contacted me recently about switching from Solaris (or illumos) to Linux, especially since most of the Solaris kernel team were let go this year (including my former colleagues, I'm sorry to hear). This includes many great engineers who I'm sure will excel in whatever they choose to work on next. They have been asking me about Linux because I've worked for years on each platform: Solaris, illumos, and Linux, in all cases full time and as a subject matter expert. I've also done some work on BSD, which is another compelling choice, but I'll discuss that another time. The following is my opinion and not an official guide to any OS.

    Switching from Solaris to Linux has become much easier in the last two years, with Linux developments in ZFS, Zones, and DTrace. I've been contributing (out of necessity), including porting my DTraceToolkit tools to Linux, which also work on BSD. What follows are topics that may be of interest to anyone looking to migrate their systems and skillset: scan these to find topics that interest you.

  • Oracle staff report big layoffs across Solaris, SPARC teams
  • Sun set: Oracle closes down last Sun product lines

    None of this is a real surprise. Oracle had cut former Sun engineers and developers by a thousand employees in January. In Oracle's most recent SPARC/Solaris roadmap, the next generation Solaris 12 had been replaced by Solaris 11.next and SPARC next -- incremental upgrades.

    Former Sun executive Bryan Cantrill reported, based on his conversations with current Solaris team members, that Oracle's latest layoffs were, "So deep as to be fatal: The core Solaris engineering organization lost on the order of 90 percent of its people, including essentially all management." James Gosling, Java's creator, summed it up: "Solaris ... got a bullet in the head from Oracle on Friday."

postmarketOS is a Touch-Optimized Linux Distro for Smartphones and Tablets

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OS
Linux

The same situation does not happen with old computers, though, mainly thanks to GNU/Linux distributions. You can actually take a 2007 computer and install a basic Linux distro on it, and it’ll run through most tasks (including web searching, multimedia playback, social networks and more) without a hitch. You will even get the latest security patches and most new features on your old computer. These distros also keep resource usage to a minimum, so while it definitely won’t be faster than a newer computer, it will work just fine for most of your casual needs. There is a small project hoping to bring that kind of support to Android phones and tablets, and that project is called postmarketOS

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Oracle Layoffs and Analysis of Impact on Solaris

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OS
  • Solaris update plan is real, but future looks cloudy by design

    Ever since Oracle quietly announced it would not deliver any more point-zero upgrades to its Solaris operating system and instead move to continuous delivery, The Register has wondered exactly what Big Red plans to deliver, and when. Our interest grew after Solaris boss John Fowler left Oracle and then grew again as soon-to-be-former Oracle staffers told us of big cuts to he Solaris and SPARC teams.

  • Oracle Cuts More Jobs in Its Hardware and Solaris Units

    Oracle has laid off what appears to be a significant number of employees working on its hardware and Solaris operating system efforts, according to anonymous posts on TheLayoff.com, the gist of which were confirmed to Fortune by former Oracle employees.
    Both Oracle's server and Solaris efforts emanated out of Sun Microsystems, a company Oracle acquired in 2010 for $7.4 billion. Before then Oracle had been a software company specializing in databases and financial applications, so jumping into computer servers and SPARC microprocessors—another Sun business—was a stretch. Solaris was Sun's version of Unix, a powerful operating system that powered its servers.

The sudden death and eternal life of Solaris

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OS

As had been rumored for a while, Oracle effectively killed Solaris on Friday. When I first saw this, I had assumed that this was merely a deep cut, but in talking to Solaris engineers still at Oracle, it is clearly much more than that. It is a cut so deep as to be fatal: the core Solaris engineering organization lost on the order of 90% of its people, including essentially all management.

Of note, among the engineers I have spoken with, I heard two things repeatedly: “this is the end” and (from those who managed to survive Friday) “I wish I had been laid off.” Gone is any of the optimism (however tepid) that I have heard over the years — and embarrassed apologies for Oracle’s behavior have been replaced with dismay about the clumsiness, ineptitude and callousness with which this final cut was handled. In particular, that employees who had given their careers to the company were told of their termination via a pre-recorded call — “robo-RIF’d” in the words of one employee — is both despicable and cowardly. To their credit, the engineers affected saw themselves as Sun to the end: they stayed to solve hard, interesting problems and out of allegiance to one another — not out of any loyalty to the broader Oracle. Oracle didn’t deserve them and now it doesn’t have them — they have been liberated, if in a depraved act of corporate violence.

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Oracle Layoffs and Sun Projects/Staff

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OS
  • Oracle Layoffs Hit Longtime Solaris Developers Hard

    It looks like the Oracle layoffs just before the US Labor Day indeed hit the SPARC and Solaris groups hard.

    There hasn't been any official announcement from Oracle, but unconfirmed reports put it at 1,000~1,500 Oracle staff losing their jobs, particularly in the Solaris and SPARC divisions.

    Solaris has been slowly dieing and these latest layoffs seem to further reinforce that and some anonymous reports as well that Solaris 11.4 isn't going to happen, or at least not as planned, and Solaris 12 can definitely be kissed goodbye.

  • Oracle could leave Java EE to an open source foundation and more news

    Database giant Oracle wants to hand Java EE over to an open source foundation. With this move, Oracle hopes a foundation will be able to "adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing and change the governance process." Possible candidates are the Apache Software Foundation and the Eclipse Foundation, to which Oracle has passed software in the past. Oracle got Java EE as part of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems back in 2010.

ReactOS 0.4.6 released

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OS

The ReactOS Project is pleased to release version 0.4.6 as a continuation of its three month cadence.

0.4.6 is a major step towards real hardware support. Several dual boot issues have been fixed and now partitions are managed in a safer way avoiding corruption of the partition list structures. ReactOS Loader can now load custom kernels and HALs.

Printing Subsystem is still greenish in 0.4.6, however Colin Finck has implemented a huge number of new APIs and fixed some of the bugs reported and detected by the ReactOS automated tests.

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Petition Asks the Developers of Phoenix OS to Open Source the Kernel

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OS
Android
OSS

Android is mainly considered an open source mobile operating system, but there are a number of closed source elements that hundreds of millions of people use every day. The actual requirements of Android is that the kernel be open sourced for the public. This is enforced by the GPL but sadly this is one of those gray areas where someone actually needs to take legal action to enforce it. Some companies have violated this time and time again, and a new petition is calling for the developers of Phoenix OS to do the right thing.

For those who are unaware, Phoenix OS is one of the only full desktop versions of Android that is still being maintained. We’ve covered another popular platform, RemixOS, on a number of occasions but even they dropped out recently to focus on being a 2B2 company. This has left a lot of people to look towards Phoenix OS as their desktop Android solution, but there’s one glaring flaw here. The developers have yet to release the source code for the kernel that’s being used.

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Operating Systems Genode and Haiku

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OS
OSS
  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.08

    The flagship feature of Genode 17.08 has been in the works for more than a year: The support for hardware-accelerated graphics on Intel Gen-8 GPUs. This is an especially challenging topic because it is riddled with terminology, involves highly complex software stacks, carries a twisted history with it, and remains to be a moving target. It took up a lot of patience to build up a profound understanding of the existing driver architectures and the mechanisms offered by modern graphics hardware. On the other hand, with the proliferation of hardware-based sandboxing features like virtual GPU memory and hardware contexts, we found that now is the perfect time for a clean-slate design of a microkernelized GPU driver. Section Hardware-accelerated graphics for Intel Gen-8 GPUs introduces this work, which includes our new GPU multiplexer as well as the integration with the client-side Mesa protocol stack.

  • Genode 17.08 Now Supports Broadwell Graphics, Xen DomU Support

    Version 17.08 of the Genode open-source operating system framework is now available with a variety of changes.

    Genode OS 17.09 now features support for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics thanks to its ported open-source Intel Linux driver code and also upgrading to Mesa 11.2.2. They have made other improvements too for their graphics driver stack in Genode, including an experimental GPU multiplexer.

  • BeOS-Inspired Haiku OS Had A Successful GSoC 2017: Swift, Btrfs, Preferences GUI

    With Google Summer of Code 2017 now in the books, the final reports on the various projects carried out within the BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system are now available.

Jolla demos Sailfish OS on Sony Xperia X, software ready for sale soon

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OS

At MWC 2017, Jolla announced that the company was determined to see Sailfish OS in phones of more users this year, and it came up with a plan to put the Android alternative in Sony Xperia devices. Now we have a video from Jolla showing just what Sailfish OS can do on a Sony Xperia device.

Jolla was one of the companies that sprung from the old Finnish giant Nokia, after it decided to stop selling phones. Jolla made Sailfish OS, a software for mobile devices that was based on Linux, but also combining some elements from Android – all the while being totally different from Google’s mobile platform. If you want to see what Sailfish OS can do, check out the video below.

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Asus Tinker Board – TinkerOS Android 13.11.0.5 – Anything Special?

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OS
Android

Asus published their first beta Android release (version 13.11.0.2) for the Tinker Board back in April. It was an important step for this single board computer, as Android is a hugely popular operating system with a phenomenal range of open source and proprietary software available. While the initial release was withdrawn from Asus’s support website, Asus followed up the initial release with some minor updates (versions 13.11.0.3 and 13.11.0.4) boasting some fairly modest improvements.

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More in Tux Machines

AndEX Puts Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 64-Bit on Your PC with GAPPS and Netflix

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has released a new build of his Android-x86 fork AndEX that leverages Google's Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 mobile operating system for 64-bit PCs with various updates and improvements. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Advancing with Open Source
    For today’s system administrators, the future holds tremendous promise. In this ebook, we have covered many technical skills that can be big differentiators for sysadmins looking to advance their careers. But, increasingly, open source skillsets can also open new doors. A decade ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst predicted that open source tools and platforms would become pervasive in IT. Today, that prediction has come true, with profound implications for the employment market. Participating in open source projects -- through developing code, submitting a bug report, or contributing to documentation -- is an important way to demonstrate open source skills to hiring managers.
  • FreeType Improvements For The Adobe Engine
    With FreeType 2.8.1 having been released last week, a lot of new code landed in the early hours of today to its Git repository. The code landed includes the work done this summer by Ewald Hew for Google Summer of Code (GSoC 17) adding support for Type 1 fonts to the Adobe CFF engine. Type 1 is an older, less maintained font format.
  • Are You Fond Of HDR Photography? Try Luminance HDR Application In Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    Luminance HDR is an graphical user interface that is used for manipulation and creation of High Dynamic Range(HDR) images. It is based on Qt5 toolkit, it is cross-platform available for Linux, Windows and Mac, and released under the GNU GPL license. It provides a complete workflow for High Dynamic Range(HDR) as well as Low Dynamic Range (LDR) file formats. Prerequisite of HDR photography are several narrow-range digital images with different exposures. Luminance HDR combines these images and calculates a high-contrast image. In order to view this image on a regular computer monitor, Luminance HDR can convert it into a displayable LDR image format using a variety of methods, such as tone mapping.
  • Opera Web Browser Now Has Built-in WhatsApp and FB Messenger, Install in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
  • Enterprise open source comes of age
    In the age of digitalisation and data centre modernisation, open source has come of age. This is demonstrated by the growth that enterprise open source software provider SUSE has enjoyed over the last months. “SUSE is in good shape,” says Nils Brauckmann, CEO of SUSE. “In the last year, revenue grew at 21%, and it was profitable growth.” Business is positive going forward, he adds, with SUSE now part of the larger mothership Micro Focus group following the completion this month of the HPE Software spin merger. “Micro focus is now the seventh-largest pure-play software vendor in the world, with revenues approaching $4,5-billion,” Brauckmann points out.
  • Red Hat, Microsoft Extend Alliance to SQL Server
  • UbuCon Europe 2017
    I’ve been to many Ubuntu related events before, but what surprises me every time about UbuCons is the outstanding work by the community organising these events. Earlier this month, I was in Paris for UbuCon Europe 2017. I had quite high expectations about the event/location and the talks, especially because the French Ubuntu community is known for hosting awesome events several times a year like Ubuntu Party and Ubuntu install parties.
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today's howtos

Korora 26

  • Korora 26 is Here!
  • Linux Releases: “Lightweight” Tiny Core 8.2 And “Heavyweight” Korora 26 Distros Are Here
    Korora Linux distro is a derivative of popular Fedora operating system. It ships with lots of additional packages that are provided by Fedora community and helps the users to get a complete out-of-the-box experience. The developers of Korora Linux distro have just shipped Korora 26 “Bloat.” Bloat codename has been derived from the characters of the movie “Finding Nemo.”
  • Based on Fedora 26, Korora 26 Linux Debuts with GNOME 3.24, Drops 32-Bit Support
    Korora developer Jim Dean announced the release and general availability of the Korora Linux 26 operating system for personal computers, a release based on the latest Fedora Linux version and packed full of goodies. Dubbed "Bloat," Korora Linux 26 comes more than nine months after the release of Korora 25, it's based on Red Hat's Fedora 26 Linux operating system and ships with the latest versions of popular desktop environments, including GNOME 3.24. Also included are the KDE Plasma 5.10, Xfce 4.12, Cinnamon 3.4, and MATE 1.18 desktop environments, all of them shipping pre-loaded with a brand-new backup tool designed to keep your most important files safe and secure from hackers or government agencies.