Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Playing with Solaris, Perl, and Virtual Machines

This morning I installed Solaris 10 into a virtual machine in Parallels Desktop on my MacBook Pro. Recently I've had the chance to work on a few Solaris boxen at work, and I've found my Sun knowledge lacking. So, a week or so ago I ordered a free media kit from Sun, who sent it to me very quickly. Although I asked for only the Solaris 10 x86 and Developer Tools DVDs, they also sent the DVD with Solaris 10 for SPARC.

Anyway, the install went pretty smoothly. Before attempting the install I read the blog entry here, which was helpful. I didn't have the mouse problems he mentioned, but the default screen resolution was much to large for my MBP. So, I ran kdmconfig and scaled it back so that my Solaris desktop fits on my screen.

The default GUI in Solaris 10 is the Java Enterprise Desktop, which is really GNOME as tweaked and themed by Sun. It's pretty nice. I like it better than Ubuntu's GNOME desktop. I did try logging in and using CDE, the default desktop for earlier versions of Solaris. It's FUGLY, being based on Motif.

Anyway, I plan to dink around with Solaris a bit, diving under the hood on the command line. I'm somewhat tempted to rebuild Bagend, my Althon XP box at home, with Solaris.

Aside from futzing with Sun stuff today I tested a Perl script which one of our developers wrote for us. We need to login remotely to a few thousand routers and change DNS settings. So, he wrote us a script in Perl using the Net::Telnet::Cisco module. I tested it in my Kubuntu 6.10 VM on the MBP. At first it wouldn't run, so he sent me the Cisco.pm file from his Fedora Core 4 box. I backed up my Cisco.pm file then copied his over. This got it working. Tomorrow, I plan to try it using OS X, and also my CentOS 4.4 box. When I document how to use the script I want to be able to point to a specific, tested setup. That will be some Linux distro, since it's unlikely that whoever actually implements the DNS changes will have access to a Mac. But they should have no problem scrounging up a PC to run the script on Linux.


Anonymous said...

Admit it: Parallels just makes you plain happy. We were having a discussion over here the other about how difficult life was "before VM". (Okay, please, mainframe guys just be quiet. We know, we know..)
Dustin Puryear
Author, Best Practices for Managing Linux and UNIX Servers

Dave Markowitz said...

Damn, busted. ;)