OT: Need some Solaris advice again

Hi folks,
I need some Solaris advice again. Sorry for the OT post, but comp.unix.solaris isn't what it used to be. No one seems to answer
elementary questions there anymore.
My current machine is a Sun Ultra 2. It's got dual 400 MHz processors and 1280 MB RAM, so it's close to being the highest specification Ultra 2 you can get. I've got it running Solaris 9 with a lot of CSW software packages installed. Mostly I use it for web design and surfing the net.
I was having a few problems because my web browser is way out of date (I'm still using Netscape 7.0), so I decided to upgrade all my CSW packages. I did this once before when my machine had dual 300 MHz processors, but I wasn't happy with the performance of the new software packages, so I went back to the old ones. GIMP 2.0 seemed a lot slower than GIMP 1.2, and the latest version of Mozilla at the time seemed much slower than Netscape 7.0.
Now I can't even get the old software packages, so I've got to think again. There are a few other problems with the system too, so I'm thinking of doing a complete re-install with Solaris 10. Do people think a dual 400 MHz Ultra 2 will be fast enough to run Solaris 10 and the latest Blastwave packages? I don't mind if it isn't ultra fast, but I don't want to sit around for 20 or 30 seconds waiting for an application to open. Or is it time to think about getting a Sun Blade of some kind? I'd really rather not replace the machine if I can help it.
Another thing I should probably fix is that I'm always running as root on my current system. I know it's a bad idea, but there were always more important or interesting things to do rather than fix it. Can anyone point me to some resources online which give a basic explanation of how to set the system up with multiple users at the time of doing a re-install?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Best wishes,
Chris
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wrote:

comp.unix.admin is OK though, since the resident troll left.

OK...
I'm not familiar with the TLA of "CSW", can you expand please?

I don't _think_ sol10 will run on your processor.

man useradd ...or is it adduser ... it changed a few years back, I never use it, so I don't recall. But basically you need to edit /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow if you're using that, and make a home directory. Or fire up admintool and add a user that way. As usual with Unix there's a dozen ways to do waht you want to do.

You've got my email, direct questions are fine.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

Community Software, from http://www.blastwave.org .

I was under the impression that it will run on any UltraSPARC II processor. I can't remember the exact version of the Ultra 2's 400 MHz processors, but they're definitely UltraSPARC II.

Thanks. That's a good starting point. I have a feeling that this is a good thing to fix at the time of a re-install, to avoid having to change a million file permissions later.
Best wishes,
Chris
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    The same problem that I had -- cured with a bit of Google work, though it would have been better had he explained his terms. It is one of those repositories of pre-compiled open-source software packages. I normally prefer to compile my own.

    It will. I am using it to type this. That is an UltraSPARC -- 64-bit -- and it (and the Ultra-1) are the minimum systems for Solaris 10.

    Indeed.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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You may find some good help at the newsserver news.grc.com in particular, the newsgroup grc.techtalk.linux
Connection info (anti-spam controls in place): http://www.grc.com/discussions.htm
HTH.
-- Mark
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Mozilla instead ?
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Christopher Tidy wrote:

-
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    Opera is a lot faster.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Kindly explain what is Opera - didn't have a play book on that version. My guess it is a bare bone only one. Where Moz has calls to external files. Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
DoN. Nichols wrote:

-
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    Check out: http://www.opera.com /
It is now up to 9.1, and I am currently running 9.01.
    External files? You mean calling helper applications? You can configure Opera to handle the ones which are not built ins -- or even the ones which are, if you prefer handling them with a separate program for whatever reason.
    I'm now downloading 9.1.
    I would advise downloading the static version in whichever package format you prefer (you've got the choice between ".pkg" and ".tar", with various choices of compression (".z" or ".gz") for a total of eight possible files. The static is larger than the shared lib version, but is less likely to run into problems with versions of shared libs.
    The only complaint that I have is that it is not available in source form, so I can't re-compile it for some of the earlier SPARC machines -- pre Ultra SPARC.
    Anyway -- download it and try it. I think that you'll like it. I certainly do.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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    I don't use that one, so I don't know.

    You can add RAM until you reach 2GB, instead of your slightly over 1GB which you currently have. It looks as though you would have to get rid of some of the smaller DIMMs in the system to max it out.
    Note that the more RAM, the faster the system, because you will have less time spent swapping when processing large things.

    O.K. What is "CSW"? That is not a familiar term to me. (And it may not have been to the comp.unix.solaris people, either, which could be why you did not get an answer.
    Never mind -- I finally went back and did a Google search on that, and among tons of other things, I found that it was another name for Blastwave.

    I don't know about some of the other things, but I would suggest that you download the latest version of Opera if you want a fast browser. That is what I use -- on an Ultra-2, FWIW -- and I am quite happy with it.

    Why didn't you burn CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs of them when you had the install packages?

    I have no idea about Blastwave -- what does it do? However, I am running Solaris 10 on my Ultra-2, so I can testify that it is good there.
    O.K. A quick Google search tells me that it is simply a site where you can download pre-compiled open source packages. And I already *hate* their list of packages -- yellow on black is *really* hard to read. If I wanted to find a package to download, I would tell the browser to override the colors from the web site.
    However -- *don't* install Gnome as your GUI. Stick with CDE -- or compile and install one of the earlier ones if you like them better. But Gnome is bloatware, and will slow the system to a crawl.

    *Try* it. Up the RAM to the full 2GB, and install Solaris 10 (they are up to the U3 relase for downloads now). If you are reinstalling from scratch anyway, you've got nothing to lose. (And if you want to be able to fall back -- pick up some spare SCA drives in spuds, and swap them out before installing.

    No -- because you have to complete the re-install *before* you can start creating users.
    Once done, you can (as root) use useradd(1M) and groupadd(1M) to install user accounts from the command line. Lots of options to control what happens as you install a user. Read the man pages for those.
    Or -- you could try out wbemadmin(1M) *Note* -- that is *not* "web" that is "wbe".
    /usr/sadm/bin/wbemadmin -- but it is quite slow to start, and I've never actually used it.
    One *strong* warning -- disable password expiration, or you will find yourself not able to log into an old account someday -- even possibly the root account.

    You have my initial suggestions.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

I once tried monitoring RAM usage with Solaris Management Console. The most I could ever get this machine to use was around 600 MB, with many, many applications running, and that's the main reason why I've not bought more RAM. Unless there's some way in which my system is misconfigured, or Solaris Management Console tells lies, it seems like a good reason not to upgrade. Any thoughts?

I've got Opera. It works fine, but I much prefer the layout and appearance of Netscape 7.0. Just personal preference.

I did. Unfortunately I didn't burn copies of all the dependencies, and it seems that old applications don't like running with newer dependencies, and vice versa. I might be able to buy an out-of-date distribution DVD from Blastwave, though.

Again this is personal preference. I run GNOME 2.0 with the "Crux" window theme, and although it's slower than CDE I still like it. CDE is just too basic for my liking, but I do occasionally run it if I really need maximum system performance. Ideally I'd like to be able to run GNOME 2.0, or something which looks and behaves like it, under Solaris 10.

I'm tempted to try it. If I lose 20-25% performance by moving to Solaris 10, I don't mind. That's only what I gained by upgrading to 400 MHz processors. I'd rather not replace the Ultra 2 if I can help it, but if I had to I'd probably go for a Blade 1000 or 2000. From my recollection of using Blade 100 and 150s they aren't noticeably faster than an Ultra 2.

Thanks for the advice.
Best wishes,
Chris
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    [ ... ]

    You are talking about running the GIMP -- and that can be a memory hog. Yes, it will keep running (but much more slowly) if you give the system plenty of swap space -- but RAM is faster than swap any time. Ideally -- give the system twice as much swap as RAM if you are going to be running memory hogs like the GIMP. Browsers can also chew up a lot of memory -- especially when you have several pages tiled up. And if you leave JavaScript turned on, that can chew up a lot of RAM and CPU speed running the hyperactive eye candy that some pages are infested with.
    [ ... ]

    Which Opera do you have? I just upgraded from 9.01 to 9.1 this evening. (I have yet to do so for my wife's system and some others -- I've just upgraded this Ultra-2 so far.)
    I find Opera a lot faster than the current Mozilla -- which is what NetScape became.

    That can be a problem. It is one reason why I download the larger static versions of Opera instead of the smaller ones which use shared libs. That way -- I don't have to worry about incompatibilities between different versions of shared libs.
    Though I *think* that the shared lib version keeps its shared libs in a private directory so it doesn't get mixed up by changes in the installed shared libs.
    [ ... ]

    There is a Gnome which comes with Solaris 10. It is a memory and CPU hog. And -- it has another problem which may not matter to you, but it does to me. When you start it, it creates and *locks* some files in your home directory. I have a system set up as a file server, and the home directories are NFS-served over the net from there. (This makes it easier to back up the home directories -- and to have the same environment on whichever system I want to work from.) If you go to another system, and try to start gnome there as well (say if you have gnome as your default GUI, you will automatically try to start it when you log in) -- it will *fail* -- because those files are already in your home directory and are *locked*. So -- you can't log in -- or have only the ability to log in as a single plain-text console.
    But -- if you insist on using Gnome -- I *would* suggest that you get a faster CPU.

    Solaris 10 seems to be *faster* than earlier versions of Solaris. (Of course, the next one back which I am running is Solaris 8, and then 2.6 beyond that.) I think that only Solaris 9 and 10 will run the Ultra CPUs in 64-bit mode. Earlier OS's will run in 32-bit mode, IIRC.

    The 100 which my wife has is equipped with a single 500 MHz CPU instead of our dual 400 MHz CPUs. It can go to 2GB with the 500 MHz CPU, or 4GB with the 550 MHZ CPU or faster.
    It is deadly slow with only 128 MB of RAM as it sits. I really need to get her more RAM to speed things up.
    But yes -- a 1000 or 2000 would be better for you if you insist on running Gnome. Otherwise -- don't complain that the *system* is slow when your choice is loading it down.
    [ ... ]

    For that -- look in /etc/shadow.
    If the entry looks like this (exclusive of the commented-out password:
    root:XXXXXXXXXXXXX:6445::::::
then you are fine. That third field is the number of days since January 1 1970 the password is last changed.
    The rest of the fields contain expiration data, and if you zero them out (using vipw, if you can't do it via admin tools) then you have disabled password expiration. Just make sure that you know how to use the editor which vipw will give you. By default, it will give you vi. If you set the environment variables EDITOR and VISUAL to point to another editor, it will give you that instead. (Lots of other programs also use these to select your default editor.)
    Oh yes -- get more disk. I don't know how big your current disks are, but I like to have at least two 18GB drives for installing Solaris 10. The most recent one I installed on an Ultra-60 is using one 36 GB drive and one 18GB drive. Here are the partitions which I used on that:
=====================================================================/dev/dsk/c0t0d0s0 1.9G 155M 1.7G 9% / /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s3 1.9G 72M 1.8G 4% /var /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s4 7.9G 3.5G 4.3G 45% /usr /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s5 3.9G 1.7G 2.2G 44% /usr/local /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s6 14G 7.0G 6.5G 52% /local-workplace /dev/dsk/c0t1d0s5 3.9G 1.7G 2.2G 44% /usr-local-OLD /dev/dsk/c0t1d0s6 3.9G 2.3G 1.6G 59% /opt /dev/dsk/c0t1d0s7 8.7G 4.9G 3.8G 57% /local-workplace-OLD =====================================================================     Obviously -- you don't need the "-OLD" filesystems, nor will I after I have played with this system for a while, so you can probably work with a pair of 18 GB drives -- though more is always nice. Since I'm going to use this as my tape backup server (with an Exabyte 430 jukebox and two Mammoth-2 tape drives) I also have another disk, a 50GB to serve as the holding space during backups using amanda (which also comes with Solaris 10).
    I also like to have plenty of elbow room in /, /var, and /opt, as those all tend to grow a lot. The thing which chews up the most disk in /var is installing a lot of security patches -- all patches keep information in there to allow backing them out -- and if you try erasing that information -- it gets very confused when it is time to install another patch. It doesn't know where it is in the upgrade cycle.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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Thanks for the advice. Decision made. I'm upgrading to Solaris 10. I've ordered a media kit from Sun and two 36 GB Fujitsu hard drives. I'm going to keep running Gnome. I'll keep the swap space big and if it's using all the system RAM I'll probably upgrade to 2 GB. I'll let you know how it works out.
Best wishes,
Chris
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wrote:

If you need newer hardware and are anywhere near Wisconsin let me know.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

Sadly not. About 4000 miles. Thanks for the offer though!
Chris
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    Out of curiosity -- how much does a media kit cost? You know that you can download the .iso files to burn your own CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs directly from Sun.
    And the disk drives you are paying *new* prices for? How much are they?
    Good luck,         DoN.
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Actually, I got an email from Sun last week that you can get sol10 media kits for free, for yourself. If you can't find the link on sun's site let me know and I'll dig up the URL.
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Dave Hinz wrote:

I found it: http://www2.sun.de/dc/forms/reg_us_2211_391.jsp
Crap. Pity I didn't find it last night before I ordered the media kit. However, it seems to be DVD only, and I don't have a DVD drive on my Ultra 2, so it's not ideal. Anyway, I can't feel too sore about it. This is the first time I've given Sun any money and I've got hundreds if not thousands of hours use out of their products!
Best wishes,
Chris
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    [ ... ]

    Well ... since I already have the latest version (Sol-10-U3) burned, I'll save them the cost of mailing.
    Thanks,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

Media kits are about 20 each. I know I can download Solaris 10, but there are a few reasons why I'm not going to. Our internet connection has been very slow and unreliable recently due to a fault on our phone line. It would likely take me about a day to download Solaris 10, and I'd be suspicious of the files I got. I probably could install the download manager and get it to compare checksums etc., but all in all it doesn't seem a good plan. Especially as I need this machine badly to do stuff. So I don't mind paying a little to get it fixed.

I'm getting them used from a local firm which upgrades/recycles servers etc. 25 each, guaranteed free from grown defects and in perfect working order for three months.
Best wishes,
Chris
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