Just announced: the Fourth NEOSUG meeting. It will be on Nov 1 starting at 6:30 at the Sun campus in Burlington, MA. This month’s meeting has two great topics and some fun.

Talk 1: The Solaris 8 Migration Assistant is a software technology that enables a Solaris 10 Container to behave like a Solaris 8 system. Most applications that run on Solaris 8 will run in a Solaris 8 Container without recompilation or other modification. S8MA enables a consolidated platform to run both Solaris 10 and Solaris 8 applications, and both can benefit from the innovative features of Solaris 10. This session will describe and demonstrate the S8MA technology, and will discuss the types of situations for which S8MA is  an appropriate technology. Jeff Victor will present this talk.

Talk 2: Project Indiana. This meeting is scheduled to coincide with the first preview release of Indiana. Dave Miner, one of the leads on Indiana, will give a talk about the project and then we’ll have an “install fest” where NEOSUG attendees can try out this new distribution of Solaris. Dave will have live CDs to allow exploration without installation. We are also planning on having VMware images, so VMware-happy laptops are welcome as well.

The meeting should run until 9:30 or so. Snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!

Here are some useful links:
OpenSolaris Indiana project
NEOSUG discussion forum
NEOSUG homepage


Sun, rather quietly, has released Solaris 10 update 4. It’s available here. Note that it’s currently only available for download. Media kits are not yet available.

Update – the participation of Usenix at SANs conferences was postponed so I won’t me making this conference.


I’ll be teaching my Solaris 10 Administration Workshop and Solaris 10 Security Workshop at the SANSFIRE conference – the major SANS event. It’s in Washington D.C. this year. USENIX and SANS are working together to provide more training on varying topics at their conferences and my classes are part of that cross-polination. I’ll be there July 28th through 30th (at least).

Just a couple of weeks until Usenix ’07 in Santa Clara, CA. Hope to see some of you there. I’m teaching two courses there and taking some vacation time as well. Solaris 10 Admin and Solaris 10 Security.


From the Usenix Ad:

2007 USENIX Annual Technical Conference

June 17-22, 2007, Santa Clara, CA

Early Bird Registration Deadline: June 1, 2007



USENIX ’07 is coming to Santa Clara, CA, June 17-22, 2007. As always,

the breadth and quality of this year’s tutorials, refereed papers, invited talks, and

participants is excellent. Some highlights:


The 6-day training program at USENIX ’07 provides in-depth and

immediately useful training on the latest techniques, effective tools,

and best strategies, including:


— Richard Bejtlich on TCP/IP Weapons School, Layers 2-3

— Peter Baer Galvin on Solaris 10 Security Features

— AEleen Frisch on Administering Linux in Production Environments

— Steve VanDevender on High-Capacity Email System Design

— And more . . .


The full training program can be found at


In addition to the training, 3 days of technical sessions include

top-notch refereed papers, informative invited talks, expert Guru Is In

sessions, and a Poster Session.


* Our invited talks feature our most impressive slate of speakers to

date. They include:


— Keynote: “The Impact of Virtualization on Computing Systems,“ by

Mendel Rosenblum of Stanford University


— Plenary Closing by Mary Lou Jepsen, One Laptop per Child,

“Crossing the Digital Divide: The Latest Efforts from One Laptop per



— Rob Lanphier, Linden Lab, “Second Life“


— Luis Von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University, “Human Computation“


— Werner Vogels, VP and CTO,, “Life Is Not a State-

Machine: The Long Road from Research to Production“


* The Refereed Papers track provides a look into current research and

practices on in-demand topics.


For complete program information and to register, see


USENIX ’07 promises to be an exciting showcase for the latest in

innovative systems research and cutting-edge practices in technology.

We look forward to seeing you in Santa Clara in June.



WHAT: USENIX ’07: 2007 USENIX Annual Technical Conference

WHEN: June 17-22, 2007

WHERE: Santa Clara, CA

WHO: Anyone interested in state-of-the-art computing issues

WHY: To get to and stay on the leading edge of practical and actionable research and tools


Just released at SysAdmin Magazine (both in print and on the web) is my latest column. This being part one of a two parter on virtualization. Here is the link. Also in this same issue of SysAdmin is an article by my colleague, Chris Page, about the cluster technology that is part of Oracle’s RAC product. Well worth a read.

SANS has reported a verifiable zero-day exploit for Solaris 10 and beyond (Nevada et al). There is a vulnerability in telnetd that can allow attackers to login without a proper account and password.


Note that in recent releases of Solaris Nevada which are “Secure by default”, telnetd is disabled during installation. Earlier releases have telnet enabled and it should be disabled in almost all circumstances. The command to disable is

# svcadm disable telnet


Here is the Information Week article describing the problem and linking to SANS.

This is rather esoteric, but I’ve seen posts asking for a solution to this problem so thought I’d document my experience here.

Problem – Trying to install Nexenta (Elatte) Alpha 6 within Parallels on the Mac. Nexenta is an open source distribution of Solaris that has the Solaris Nevada kernel and the Debian userland. It installs cleanly in Parallels beta RC1, but X fails to start cleanly. It appears that the xorg.conf is missing and the default Xorg is not sufficient.

Solution – I ran Xorg -configure to generate a new /root/
Then I followed some advice from the parallels forums as to changes to make and saved the file as /etc/X11/xorg.conf

I changed the Monitor section to be:
Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
VendorName "Monitor Vendor"
ModelName "Monitor Model"
HorizSync 31.5-100
VertRefresh 59.0-75.0
Modeline "1440x900" 108.84 1440 1472 1800 1912 900 918 927 946

And the Screen section:

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Card0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 1
Modes "1440x900"
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 4
Modes "1440x900"
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 8
Modes "1440x900"
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 15
Modes "1440x900"
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 16
Modes "1440x900"
SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 24
Modes "1440x900"

Finally I changed parallels via the “configuration” section to allow a custom resolution of 1440×900.
Net result is Nexenta is up and being graphical on my MacBook Pro. Very nice.

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