os2008.05#2: working, tweaking, sharing files and paper…

The second day of my “working-with-opensolaris” week mainly happened to be a day of almost undisturbed / uninterrupted work, not really reminding me that I am working with a different environment right now, just making me stumble across a few minor things I had to deal with but no “real” problems…

First off, more package fun: This Tuesday started out searching (and fortunately finding) the Midnight Commander, one of these ancient tools still at the core of my daily toolbox, in the IPS repositories:

kr@n428:/$ pkg search -r mc
basename file usr/bin/mc pkg:/SUNWgnu-mc@4.6.1-0.89
basename file usr/bin/mc pkg:/SUNWgnu-mc@4.6.1-0.90
basename file usr/bin/mc pkg:/SUNWgnu-mc@4.6.1-0.91
kr@n428:/$ su
kr@n428:/# pkg install SUNWgnu-mc
Completed 1/1 104/104 2.22/2.22
Install Phase 121/121

Good show, there you go. I almost considered manually rebuilding the package from source. Next on the list is a decent visual irc client; I still tend to use xchat while working in a GNOME/GTK desktop environment. Using the IPS tools, it seems there any packages for xchat available this way, but a quick search reveals “old-fashioned” SVR4 .pkg’s for download here. Straightforward pkgadd, installing is a matter of a couple of seconds:

kr@n428:~/download/xchat$ ls
OSOLxchat-2.8.2.i386.pkg.bz2 OSOLxchat-l10n-2.8.2.i386.pkg.bz2
kr@n428:~/download/xchat$ bunzip2 *
kr@n428:~/download/xchat$ ls
OSOLxchat-2.8.2.i386.pkg OSOLxchat-l10n-2.8.2.i386.pkg
kr@n428:~/download/xchat$ su
kr@n428:~/download/xchat# pkgadd -d ./OSOLxchat-2.8.2.i386.pkg
The following packages are available:
1 OSOLxchat XChat IRC Client
(i386) 2.8.2,REV=
Select package(s) you wish to process (or 'all' to process
all packages). (default: all) [?,??,q]:
Processing package instance from
XChat IRC Client(i386) 2.8.2,REV=
This is an open source package.
Use and redistribution subject to license terms as described in the

Also a good thing, even though the list of applications available to be downloaded this way is, errm, very limited… Last but not least, asides the stock, I also would like to have Firefox 3.0 around on my system, be that for testing purposes only (as not all of the extensions I’d like to have are available to Firefox 3.0 yet…). Because Mozilla officially doesn’t provide packages for the Solaris platform, it’s searching a little again, but not for very long: The package to be added using pkgadd (according to the xchat installation…) is to be found here, the German locale / language pack might be from here to then be installed following the usual Mozilla addon installation procedure. Only manual thing to be done here was, using Firefox’ “about:config”, setting the general.useragent.locale key to de-DE to make things work. Plus, it’s worth mentioning the firefox binary provided by the Firefox 3 package is installed to /opt/sfw/bin/, thus also not interfering with the stock browser installation provided by the OS 2008.05 installation medium. Fine.

Another thing I have stumbled across today is file sharing in a Windows ActiveDirectory domain / network. Being a painful and ugly process back when I dealt with Linux for the first time, this has somewhat changed ever since, and OpenSolaris is no exception to that rule. Being in need of accessing some corporate document across the network, the most “straightforward” solution using the “Network” environment in the GNOME “Places” menu worked seamlessly, letting me browse all across our environment to finally find the machine (and, subsequently, the document) I was searching for. Given we still keep some things stored not in our wiki our internal system but in a plain file system hierarchy (mainly tailored to meet tne needs of the Windows workstations), this is a rather convenient way to go. Asides this, in order to make better use of the command line (in Ubuntu I mainly utilize fusesmb to connect to the Windows world), OpenSolaris also provides an obviously new, custom, rather well documented SMB/CIFS filesystem client (along with a CIFS server) ready to be used in OS 2008.05. One might wonder why not simply use / incorporate Samba but possibly that’s another story – CIFS client works, and so things aren’t that bad I guess.

Last but not least a piece of work not that unimportant: Printing. We do have a networked printer in our environment, along with PPD files provided by its manufacturer, and, browsing the OpenSolaris menu, the “printer administration” icon looks somewhat like CUPS. The CUPS administration panel (usually to be found at http://localhost:631/) didn’t work however, so back to reading documentation (the whole online documentation available for (Open)Solaris is exceptionally good in most respects). Getting CUPS enabled and started this way, the only thing I again stumbled across is the fact that, in OpenSolaris, root is just a role but not an account, subsequently logging in to CUPS administration in order to do anything using the root credentials didn’t get me anywhere. Adding my default user to the sys group, however, did, and from that point adding a printer to CUPS was completely straightforward.

To cut things short: A pleasant and productive day, not really making me worry about whether OS 2008.05 is or isn’t ready for everyday real-life use…

more days of this week:

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1 Kommentar

  1. Thanks – I have been struggling with the CUPS browser interface on OpenSolaris 2008.11 – I suspected the security model so started to try get my head around it however simply adding the primary user to the sys group appears to have worked.