After using OpenSolaris for a day, some things have really become clear to me. For one, OpenSolaris is a new system, and one that does not have all the functionality found in other Linux distributions. I won’t go as far to say that it is bad system. After using it in VirtualBox, I couldn’t resist installing it on my computer. It works rather well, but there is no available driver for my printer (which is found in Ubuntu) or drivers available for my wireless card or graphics card. The system is also a little slow, especially when loading a web page. There are also only a few over 1000 programs in the repositories, compared to the 24,000+ programs in Ubuntu’s repositories. I also could not install my printer, which is an HP Deskjet 3845 (all that is missing is an hplip package). Seeing as this is the first release, there are bound to be bugs and missing features.
OpenSolaris has a release schedule of 6 months, just like Ubuntu. This regular release schedule has often done well for distributions, such as Fedora or Ubuntu. It will be interesting to see where this system goes. One writer says OpenSolaris is what Ubuntu wants to be when it grows up. After using OpenSolaris for a day, that whole statement should be flipped around. Ubuntu, is what OpenSolaris wants to be when IT grows up. Painfully slow, missing drivers, incomplete functionality, eesh. I don’t plan on using it for a while. The writer of the article I linked to brings up a interesting point, the fact that OpenSolaris borrows a lot from Ubuntu. In my opinion, they don’t borrow enough, but it will get better, and it will be usable probably after this release or the next.
OpenSolaris has a lot of potential, but like most other systems, it will take some time for it to mature. Applications need to be included, and drivers need to be updated if OpenSolaris is to be taken seriously as a system to be used by average users.