I tried running Oracle Solaris on two of my machines, and was going to use it as the OS of choice for the next few weeks. Unfortunately, the test was cut short, so the evaluation will be written here instead of in the next issue of the magazine.
The Live-DVD was used for installation.
The Interface and Included Apps
Gnome 2.3 is used for the desktop interface. It comes with Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP, Rythmbox, Brasero, and a handful of other applications.
What I Liked and What Needs Improvement
The live environment worked on the Breeze. All the relevant hardware was detected and I was able to go online. The Intel/Nvidia desktop on the other hand was a different story.
Either the driver was missing or was not loaded properly. I was in no mood to either hunt down the driver or try some other fix to force the hardware to work correctly. On the upside, the Nvidia drivers worked and I had 3D acceleration.
What was also perplexing was the fact that there was a category for Office in software management, but no word processing listed. I know Solaris 11 is not supposed to be used on productivity machines, but why not have Abiword at the very least?
After all, GIMP 2.6 is included.
Then again, this is Oracle we’re talking about here. This company is known more for their enterprise driven database products than operating systems and programming platforms.
Unfortunately, it seems that Oracle has ruined a potentially good product. Even for developers, it can be a bit cumbersome to compile all the desired software from source just for the sole purpose of having the desired applications installed.
The online repositories are sparse. The version of Firefox ESR is also out of date. For that reason, this review will be on this site while the next stop on the Distro Journey for 2013 will be Linux Mint Debian Edition.