First Impression Fail (part II)

So I downloaded the current ISO for Solaris but it still won’t install correctly in VMWare. The install starts, but stalls at the stage where it decompresses the windowing system. But it stalls in a very peculiar way. The VM doesn’t freeze, as the terminal remains responsive, but the CPU time goes to zero as if it were waiting for something to occur. After googling for tips, implementing a few of them; Solaris still stalls at the same step in the installation process. Is it some interaction between VMWare and Solaris? I don’t know.

A few years ago, being unable to install an OS like that would have driven me crazy. Because at that time, I was an apologist: making excuses for bad software. If it doesn’t boot, it’s surely because I did something wrong. The fact that the install procedure requires many manual steps (most of them improperly documented) that depend in some weird way on the current hardware is normal, is it not? Or is it?

But I’ve stopped being an apologist, you see. If something comes out of the box with a retarded configuration, I don’t want to hear you see, that’s normal, that’s the default configuration. If the default configuration is stupid, it is stupid. It’s not my nor the users’ fault. A default configuration in a terminal must support the installed keyboard. And it’s not like there are tons of different keyboards that have different scan codes. Even the Apple keyboard behaves sufficiently like an IBM PC 1983 keyboard to be supported without drivers. So why should I stand to see ~[[a in my terminal when I hit arrow keys? Do I care to set keyboard scancodes myself? No. Someone didn’t do a thorough job, and I’m not going to do it for him.

I will have to wait to have my hands on a Sun machine to try Solaris. The effort already put into getting it to work almost exceeded the curiosity I have for it. And that’s a shame. Because that surely prevents Solaris from getting new potential users, those who are curious about it but do not care to deal with its basic configuration—or failing to install. It is normal, I would guess, that the OS does not fully support a computer’s hardware, especially if you have fancy extension cards, but I think it’s unacceptable that the installs simply stalls without so much as a warning.

Oh, well, history repeating.

One Response to First Impression Fail (part II)

  1. Nicolas A. B.-N. says:

    Nice post again ! I also tried Solaris and, to my great displeasure, it is a freaking pain in the ass in many respects.

    Small typo: “I don’t want to EAR you see, that’s normal, that’s the default configuration.” (I capitalized).

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