Sun release source code for Solaris 8

Thor Lancelot Simon tls at
Fri Jan 28 00:26:41 AEST 2000

On Thu, Jan 27, 2000 at 06:04:06PM +1300, Joerg B. Micheel wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 27, 2000 at 02:56:02PM +1030, Greg Lehey wrote:
> > On Wednesday, 26 January 2000 at 17:42:54 -0800, Steven M. Schultz wrote:
> > >> From: "Joerg B. Micheel" <joerg at>
> > >> I think, popularity of Solaris might rather be restricted by its
> > >> performance. I have run Solaris x86 on my desktop for a while for
> > >
> > > 	Agreed.  I have run Solaris (only up thru 2.6 though) in its
> > > 	"native" environment (Sun hardware) and even there the performance
> > > 	is not anything one would write home about.  The difference between
> > > 	SunOS 4.1.x and Solaris 2.x is dramatic in favor on the older leaner
> > > 	system.
> > 
> > That's my experience too, but it may not be typical.  For a large
> > system with a large number of processes (e.g. ftp server) the
> > comparison could be very different.
> That would make quite an interesting test. How much does
> gain by running FreeBSD instead of Solaris ?

How can anyone know that it gains anything at all?  To begin with, it's
never *run* Solaris, so there's no way to draw any kind of meaningful

The dirty little secret of Linux and *BSD is that their ascendance has
been tightly coupled to Sun's utter inability to build fast, cheap
uniprocessor machines.  Any way you slice it, a single-processor top-of-
the-line x86 box is just going to be a *lot* faster and cheaper than
Sun's entry-level multiprocessor.  The great gamble they made was to
turn their kernel into a highly-multithreaded thing of beauty -- but
that *has* to cost some (even some small) amount of uniprocessor
performance, and since they can't build cheap multiprocesors that are
as fast as the high end of the commodity uniprocessor x86 boxes,
for a lot of applications they lose.

Even on a 2- or 4- processor machine, Solaris is demonstrably far
faster than *BSD or Linux for many workloads.  But you can buy a
single-processor x86 that's cheaper than Sun's 2- or 4- processor
box now, which is why people run Linux or FreeBSD or NetBSD.  There
is still a point at which the only way to get enough performance is
to add more processors, and at that point Solaris still wins, and
will for the forseeable (by me, at least) future.

Thor Lancelot Simon	                                      tls at
	"And where do all these highways go, now that we are free?"

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