Has anybody ever tried running Solaris (natively) on a 13" MBP (mid 2010)?

alpha754293

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I was reading on Anandtech that they've made MacBook Pros become Windows machines. Has anybody ever had any luck on turning/converting MacBook Pros into (native) Solaris machines (i.e. without the usage of VM)?

Most of the research that I've done up to this point have all pointed to some form of VM method; and I was just curious if it could be done (at all) natively.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
You shouldn't need a vm solution. In fact, Apple has included a support "wizard" to install Windows natively, since early in 2007 - called BootCamp. Using that as a prep provides most of the means to get most any OS that will boot and install on an X86-type system.
Here's one method to get there with Solaris. http://gregalbrecht.com/2010/04/06/macbook-solaris/
And, a couple of others here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1391008
Some will be experiences with vms, but you certainly don't need to do that, if you don't need a vm solution
I've not had real experience with Solaris, but I'm sure there's others that prowl around on this site, and you may get other responses, eh?
 

alpha754293

Registered
You shouldn't need a vm solution. In fact, Apple has included a support "wizard" to install Windows natively, since early in 2007 - called BootCamp. Using that as a prep provides most of the means to get most any OS that will boot and install on an X86-type system.
Here's one method to get there with Solaris. http://gregalbrecht.com/2010/04/06/macbook-solaris/
And, a couple of others here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1391008
Some will be experiences with vms, but you certainly don't need to do that, if you don't need a vm solution
I've not had real experience with Solaris, but I'm sure there's others that prowl around on this site, and you may get other responses, eh?
I didn't think that Boot Camp worked for Solaris. Hmmm....
 

DeltaMac

Tech
You did seem surprised that someone has figured out how to install Windows on a Mac, and I though I would point out that Apple knows about that, and has provided tools as a standard install in OS X to simplify that, and it's been in use for more than 5 years. Some folks use the same tool for a quick start on installing other OSes, usually some flavor of Linux. I would think that Solaris would not be that much different to install. In the end, there's not huge differences in the motherboard/chipsets used by Apple, compared to other good quality current computers.
Some will point out that Apple hardware tends to be slightly behind 'cutting edge' in some ways. But, I think that should make the process for installing Solaris simpler when you don't have to figure this out on your own (someone else has likely done Solaris on your specific model, and posted some helps on the 'net, somewhere)
 

alpha754293

Registered
You did seem surprised that someone has figured out how to install Windows on a Mac, and I though I would point out that Apple knows about that, and has provided tools as a standard install in OS X to simplify that, and it's been in use for more than 5 years. Some folks use the same tool for a quick start on installing other OSes, usually some flavor of Linux. I would think that Solaris would not be that much different to install. In the end, there's not huge differences in the motherboard/chipsets used by Apple, compared to other good quality current computers.
Some will point out that Apple hardware tends to be slightly behind 'cutting edge' in some ways. But, I think that should make the process for installing Solaris simpler when you don't have to figure this out on your own (someone else has likely done Solaris on your specific model, and posted some helps on the 'net, somewhere)
No, I already knew about Boot Camp. Like I said, I read through Anandtech's review and it mentions that it used Boot Camp to turn the MacBook Pro into a Windows machine.

And like I said, my search already has only brought about results where people were going through Parallels or some other kind of VM method; but the installation wasn't native.

For example, Boot Camp is able to drive the touchpad so that the multi-gestures that's used in OS X is available in Windows. And per the Anandtech review, it was also saying that if you were to touch the lower right corner of the touchpad; it would be a right click where a right-click button usually resides on a Windows laptop.

Would that option or would Solaris recognize Mac's touchpad gestures? Would Solaris recognize the WLAN adapter or the GbE NIC for that matter. (Solaris x86 hardware compatibility has always been...."sparse" compared to other Linux distros; but when it works, it has always worked well).

Obviously, I can try and run it through VM, but the point of this thread is to NOT go through a VM, but rather natively. Would Solaris recognize Boot Camp or is Boot Camp a Windows-only thing? (i.e. running Linux natively may not work either).

That's the crux of this thread.

So when you have a tool that helps the Windows installation, it's no surprise that it can be done. Now the question is there isn't a tool (as far as I know) for Solaris. Can it STILL be done? (without a VM/Parallels).

Already checked the net - that's why I'm here.

(See my other thread about wanting to replace /usr/bin/top with the /usr/bin/top from Solaris procps.)
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Ah - I see you have the misconception that (somehow) Boot Camp has some function, other that providing a means to install Windows, and provide driver support for that install. If you install Windows (you don't need Boot Camp at all to do that) by simply booting to the Windows installer CD, and erase the hard drive, then Windows will certainly install, and you can boot Windows natively. You can do the same with various flavors of Linux (whatever might support the hardware). It's especially easy if you don't want to continue to have OS X installed, so the ONLY choice is whatever OS you have installed.
The challenge is the various bits of hardware that are, to some extent, unique to the Apple hardware, such as the trackpad, and the multitouch capabilities that may have. You can then get the "Boot Camp" drivers for that (and the other stuff, such as power management/cooling, vid drivers, etc) that may give you the best optimization for whatever Mac model you have. Nothing in Boot Camp will help you with drivers for operating systems other than Windows, and there's limits to Windows versions that are supported, too. I suppose that the multi-touch gestures would be the biggest surprise, if that works in Solaris.

What does top in Solaris pro cps give you that the unix top in your OS X system does not do? Seems like you could simply replace that file, give it the correct permissions, and (assuming it works at all) then hope that it actually would work properly with a unix system. (as you can tell, I don't know - never tried)

Finally - what prevents you from trying Solaris? Boot to your choice of a Solaris install, erase the MBPro hard drive, and install away! I think the Solaris 10 or 11 should get you a booting install. Everything should (mostly) function, and the trackpad would be - just a trackpad (no gestures, probably) Left click/right-click would likely be exactly where you would expect (front left and front right corners), or might need a control key press to get a right click menu.

Have you tried booting the MacBook Pro to a liveCD, and running the Device Driver Utility? That looks like a good way to determine if you will have large challenges for drivers (or not)
 

alpha754293

Registered
Ah - I see you have the misconception that (somehow) Boot Camp has some function, other that providing a means to install Windows, and provide driver support for that install. If you install Windows (you don't need Boot Camp at all to do that) by simply booting to the Windows installer CD, and erase the hard drive, then Windows will certainly install, and you can boot Windows natively. You can do the same with various flavors of Linux (whatever might support the hardware). It's especially easy if you don't want to continue to have OS X installed, so the ONLY choice is whatever OS you have installed.
The challenge is the various bits of hardware that are, to some extent, unique to the Apple hardware, such as the trackpad, and the multitouch capabilities that may have. You can then get the "Boot Camp" drivers for that (and the other stuff, such as power management/cooling, vid drivers, etc) that may give you the best optimization for whatever Mac model you have. Nothing in Boot Camp will help you with drivers for operating systems other than Windows, and there's limits to Windows versions that are supported, too. I suppose that the multi-touch gestures would be the biggest surprise, if that works in Solaris.

What does top in Solaris pro cps give you that the unix top in your OS X system does not do? Seems like you could simply replace that file, give it the correct permissions, and (assuming it works at all) then hope that it actually would work properly with a unix system. (as you can tell, I don't know - never tried)

Finally - what prevents you from trying Solaris? Boot to your choice of a Solaris install, erase the MBPro hard drive, and install away! I think the Solaris 10 or 11 should get you a booting install. Everything should (mostly) function, and the trackpad would be - just a trackpad (no gestures, probably) Left click/right-click would likely be exactly where you would expect (front left and front right corners), or might need a control key press to get a right click menu.

Have you tried booting the MacBook Pro to a liveCD, and running the Device Driver Utility? That looks like a good way to determine if you will have large challenges for drivers (or not)
I don't have my MBP with me at work, but when I get home, I should probably be able to answer that question better.

I kind of grew up with Solaris (to somewhat of an extent) and there are a number of tools from Solaris that I really like that I have found them to be tremendously efficient and useful.

And since OS X is based off of *BSD, I figure that I should be able to get the source (I think -- say from like OpenSolaris or something like that); download it and compile it, or maybe download the binaries; make a backup of the existing copies, and then do the straight-up replace (hopefully it won't drag along too many dependencies).

The live CD is a good idea. Does the MBP automatically try to boot from CD first, or do I have to press a function key to bring up the boot menu?

And it isn't a misconception. It's a "is there something like it"? (of sorts).

But like you said, the live CD should be able to tell me whether it's going to work or not. I should give that a try. Thanks.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
You should be able to boot to the LiveCD - restart while holding the C key (with the disk in the drive). You could also try holding Option during a restart. Any bootable partitions/disks will appear on the screen. Just tab to select the drive, and press return to boot from it.
However, holding the C might work where the boot select screen doesn't always show every possibility.

And, then because the OS X system would be completely gone, and you have then installed Solaris, then the 'top' question is a moot point, eh?

And, finally, Apple has a large amount of info and downloads, that might even give you the information that you need. Keep in mind that Darwin, which is the unix core upon which OS X is based, is open source.
http://opensource.apple.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system)
 

alpha754293

Registered
You should be able to boot to the LiveCD - restart while holding the C key (with the disk in the drive). You could also try holding Option during a restart. Any bootable partitions/disks will appear on the screen. Just tab to select the drive, and press return to boot from it.
However, holding the C might work where the boot select screen doesn't always show every possibility.

And, then because the OS X system would be completely gone, and you have then installed Solaris, then the 'top' question is a moot point, eh?

And, finally, Apple has a large amount of info and downloads, that might even give you the information that you need. Keep in mind that Darwin, which is the unix core upon which OS X is based, is open source.
http://opensource.apple.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_system)
That's IF Solaris works. (And that's a huge IF). I think that for the touchpad to respond to the right-click (without using Ctrl+Click); it requires special drivers.

If Solaris doesn't (quite) work, then the top(1) question is still back on the table. (And as always, I should keep it on the table, as a backup so that way I would have answers to both questions; and I can always bank/keep one of the answers in my back pocket for if I need it.)

(I'm brand spanking new to Mac/OS X.) So I'm still learning about it; although there are a number of things that I do like about it and a number of things that probably might be more because people are creatures of habit moreso than anything else.

For example, not having /proc was interesting. And also OS X having a different standard location for /etc/passwd was also interesting.

I might tinker with installing Samba and some kind of ftpd or maybe apache. Not sure yet. But my favourite part so far - it idles at around 10 W and most of the time; for what I'm using it for right now, it only uses between 20-30 W which is a LOT less than my 7-year-old eMachines laptop.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
looks like you may like to look deeper in OS X ?

Apache is built-in to OS X (since the beginning of OS X)
All you need to do is turn it on:
http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/201104/apache_with_virtual_hosts_php_and_ssi_on_mac_os_x_106/
Samba is mostly deprecated in OS X: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20046383-263.html

Most Mac users that have some interest in FTP activities, look to CyberDuck. It's a great browser for a large variety of transfer types. http://cyberduck.ch
Fetch is good, too... http://fetchsoftworks.com/fetch/
 

alpha754293

Registered
looks like you may like to look deeper in OS X ?

Apache is built-in to OS X (since the beginning of OS X)
All you need to do is turn it on:
http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/201104/apache_with_virtual_hosts_php_and_ssi_on_mac_os_x_106/
Samba is mostly deprecated in OS X: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20046383-263.html

Most Mac users that have some interest in FTP activities, look to CyberDuck. It's a great browser for a large variety of transfer types. http://cyberduck.ch
Fetch is good, too... http://fetchsoftworks.com/fetch/
The last two doesn't look like it's ftpd. It's ftp.

I'm guessing that there's some other way of connecting/sharing files/data between a Mac and PC/Linux/Solaris since OS X can't write to NTFS (still) and besides NFS (or NFS+) and SMB - those are the only two "common" FSes that I can think of that's easy to setup between all four OS types? (Please do correct me if I'm wrong.)

The procedure for firing up Apache doesn't seem too bad.

And here's a sideline dumb question about OS X - I was reading that the Server edition provides some nice GUIs (presumably for some/most/all of this stuff). Does that mean that the OS X Server can do everything that the Desktop can do; but it has the added bonus/benefit of these GUIs or are there other differences as well?

*edit*
P.S. Thanks for the links.
 
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DeltaMac

Tech
NTFS is simple on OS X. Just download and install the free NTFS-3G driver. But, quite slow performance with the free one. There's a couple of paid-for NTFS drivers, such as the commercial version of NTFS-3G, from Tuxera http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/
I don't have a need for some of that, but I've always heard that the Server additions can be duplicated by a knowledgeable user from the command line on OS X client.
 

alpha754293

Registered
NTFS is simple on OS X. Just download and install the free NTFS-3G driver. But, quite slow performance with the free one. There's a couple of paid-for NTFS drivers, such as the commercial version of NTFS-3G, from Tuxera http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/
I don't have a need for some of that, but I've always heard that the Server additions can be duplicated by a knowledgeable user from the command line on OS X client.
I don't know/think that Linux or Solaris can r/w to NTFS though so either way; I'm going to have to add some kind of like a network protocol on top of the host FS.

And also because my array (and soon-to-be it's twin) is 30 TB raw (27 TB RAID5); a lot of the more traditional FS doesn't really work which only left me with ZFS, Btrfs (which is still in beta), and NTFS (or LustreFS).
 

alpha754293

Registered
Still learning about Solaris? I didn't think you would need help with that :D
NTFS-3G is included with most Linux distress, and is used by default
And, certainly, Solaris is supported... (I don't know if Solaris has NTFS support by default, but I'm sure you can find out about that, if you need to know)
http://www.tuxera.com/community/ntfs-3g-download/
Yea....but why do that when I can go through SMB - which is free? (And it works).
 

DeltaMac

Tech
i'm just trying to keep you moving forward, as you didn't seem to know about the NTFS drivers.
Otherwise, your knowledge level is way beyond what I know - some days I'm lucky to spell g-o-o-g-l-e... Good thing I know how to use bookmarks :)
 

alpha754293

Registered
i'm just trying to keep you moving forward, as you didn't seem to know about the NTFS drivers.
Otherwise, your knowledge level is way beyond what I know - some days I'm lucky to spell g-o-o-g-l-e... Good thing I know how to use bookmarks :)
Thanks for the tips about the NTFS drivers. I did a bit of reading on Anandtech because they usually go quite in-depth (and also Arstechnica) about OS X; so I am somewhat familiar with some of what it can and can't do.

But in terms of the intimate details; it's only now that I started using it that I am really starting to learn more about it.

And thanks.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
It's another of those times where a little learning (or even a lot of learning) doesn't go too far, until you can get down n'dirty with the actual system.
There's a bunch of experts here, who can help answer just about any situation that you can encounter with OS X.
 

alpha754293

Registered
It's another of those times where a little learning (or even a lot of learning) doesn't go too far, until you can get down n'dirty with the actual system.
There's a bunch of experts here, who can help answer just about any situation that you can encounter with OS X.
Well...having done SOME advanced research is better than having done none at all. Sometimes.

I actually downloaded Darwin like a realllly long time ago, but never got around to installing it so that I can play with it.

But in some other respects, because of my grossly underqualified UNIX/Solaris administrator experience - jumping into CLI on a Mac is not that big of a deal for me.

Some of the options and flags and how some of the tools behave slightly different than what I expect it to, but there are some other pretty nice things about the Mac.

(Although I will also admit that like the Facebook meme, right now my MBP really is like a $2000 facebook machine. A lot of my bulk technical computing work is still done with Windows/Linux and the Solaris is my backend server - hence why I kind of need something that's cross-platform so that I can transfer files back and forth rather seamlessly between them and natively, OS X can only mount NTFS as read-only.)

Which, as you said, one of my options is to go with the commercial NTFS driver; or I can skirt around the whole thing (basically/almost) through SMB.

*edit*
It looks like that I CAN write to a NTFS share now. Hmmm....interesting. I did not know that. I thought that the buzzing noise was saying that it I couldn't (instead of letting me know that it's done copying the file over). Hmmm....ok.
 

alpha754293

Registered
@DeltaMac

Here's another example of why I would like to download and compile some of the Solaris commands over:

CPU affinity - in Solaris, you can set the processor affinity with pbind(1M). But suppose you have to create a subset of processor that you then want to bind the process to; you can do so with psrset(1M) and then pbind(1M).

And that's been around since apparently, 1993.
 
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