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Solaris to Linux Migration 2017 Amid Layoffs

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  • 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 In Oracle's most recent SPARC/Solaris roadmap, the next generation Solaris 12 had been replaced by Solaris 11.next and SPARC next -- incremental upgrades.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."

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Firefox takes a Quantum leap forward with new developer edition

Earlier this year we wrote about Project Quantum, Mozilla's work to modernize Firefox and rebuild it to handle the needs of the modern Web. Today, that work takes a big step toward the mainstream with the release of the new Firefox 57 developer edition. The old Firefox developer edition was based on the alpha-quality Aurora channel, which was two versions ahead of the stable version. In April, Mozilla scrapped the Aurora channel, and the developer edition moved to being based on the beta channel. The developer edition is used by a few hundred thousand users each month and is for the most part identical to the beta, except it has a different theme by default—a dark theme instead of the normal light one—and changes a few default settings in ways that developers tend to prefer. Read more

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GNU/Linux in Ataribox

  • Ataribox will run Linux and AMD custom processor, will cost $300
    In June, Atari declared itself "back in the hardware business" with the announcement of the Ataribox—a retro-styled PC tech-based console. One month later it emerged Atari plans to crowdfund the project, and now we have some hard facts on cost, and what's under its hood. Speaking to VentureBeat, the Ataribox creator and general manager Feargal Mac says an Indiegogo funding campaign will launch this year, and that the final product will ship in spring of 2018. When it does, it'll cost between $250—$300 and will boast an AMD custom processor with Radeon graphics.
  • Atari are launching a new gaming system, the 'Ataribox' and it runs Linux
    Another Linux-based gaming system is coming, this time from Atari. The Ataribox [Official Site] will run on an AMD processor and it sounds quite interesting.

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