Showing posts from November, 2009

Bad sound in Virtual Box in recent builds

Its been pointed out to me that if you use Virtual Box and Solaris guests with recent builds (say newer than 124), that you might get a bad sound in the Solaris guest. Turns out that the problem is that the Boomer stack has increased its timing accuracy to a higher limit, beyond what Virtual Box can provide. We're going to fix this properly soon... but in the meantime, you can just edit /kernel/drv/audio810.conf and change the play-interrupts to 30 in the guest. This is CR 6901849 in case anyone is tracking it closely.

Jack of all trades, master of none

While I probably say this about other things (C++, perl), I think I've found something else it applies to -- the OpenSolaris Live CD. The Live CD attempts to offer both a "Live Use" environment, and a "full" (for some value of full) installable copy of OpenSolaris. The problem with this is that we have way, way too many things duplicated on the Live CD. For example, two copies of Mozilla, two copies of Evolution, and two copies of Thunderbird. (One copy each to run in the live environment, and one copy in packaged form for installation.) This is crazy . People who want to play around with an operating system don't need two different mailer packages. In fact, one could argue that if I'm going to use a Live environment, the CD is not going to be my method of choice. I'm going to want eithe a DVD, or (more likely) USB media where I can get faster performance and have more options. Trying to keep a live demonstration environment in the confines of

sar graphical output - do you use sag?

In the process of trying to "clean house", one of the hiccups we've run into is "sag", which is used to generate graphical output from "sar" data. (If you don't use "sar" or "sag", you can stop reading now.) sag generates Tek 4014 mode output, which can (through some contortions) be viewed either in xterm, or converted (using "posttek") to PostScript. The results are actually fairly unpleasant to work with, and rather ugly, as the results are generated through some rather ugly abuse of "graph" and "plot". I'd like to eliminate sag altogether, because I believe far superior alternatives exist. One example is kSar , which is a Java application which generates a variety of graphs and has both interactive and scripted operation. (It can also process sar output from the Sysstat package used on Linux, or AIX which is a plus.) It can generate output in a variety of useful formats as well, making

nice ZIL device....

Working together with James McPherson, I've been able to get a driver for a really nifty device from DDRdrive -- see here -- working with OpenSolaris. The device itself has interesting applications -- but I suspect the real killer application for it is in use as a "Logzilla" ( ZIL ) to accelerate synchronous write loads with ZFS . The only limitation on performance is the software and the single PCIe lane. (We're really right up against the PCIe single lane limit.) From the driver perspective, its really interesting because it works with only modest changes to blk2scsa (which I'll be integrating into Nevada soon). The driver itself is tiny -- only about 950 lines of code. Its proven to be a great validation of the concept of blk2scsa -- while I never intended blk2scsa for use with high performance devices, I'm ecstatic that its as performant as it is. (Sorry, I can't post performance numbers here -- at least not yet.) If you already have one of th