During the last couple of days I stressed my internet-line a little and downloaded some CD-images. One of these was Nexenta GNU/OpenSolaris Alpha 6.
I didn't have much experience with Solaris before and it also wasn't very good, because on the Solaris 9 machine we have in the office I missed quite some comfort which I'm used to from Linux.
But since Nexenta groups she GNU-tools around the SunOS-kernel and, according to the website, basically is Ubuntu, just with a completely different kernel I thought it might be interesting to try it.
The setup is pretty straight forward, there are not so many options to choose from, just if you want a base system or a desktop system. I chose the latter because I wanted to see what Nexenta will offer me.
A nice innovation is that you can play Tetris while the files are being copied, it's also shell-based, but it's still good to waste some time.
After the files are copied and the final system is started Gnome 2.14.3 waits for your login, which is a real improvement to what I've seen on Solaris 9.
The system runs on SunOS 5.11 and brings a nice set of applications, like OpenOffice 2.0.2, Firefox 22.214.171.124 and Evolution 2.6.1, just to name a few. These applications already provide you with a system that should be suitable for almost all daily activities.
Overall my impression of Nexenta is good, especially when taking into account that this is an Alpha-version.
The feeling on the shell is, thanks to the GNU-tools, nearly identical to Linux which makes it easier to use for people who are used to Linux.
Nexenta GNU/OpenSolaris definitely made Solaris gain some points on my side, and I might consider trying it some more in future.