Some infrastructure notes on the “other” operating systems…

With school over, I can’t believe the time I have on my hands!! I’ve been using that time to dig back into a handful of other small projects that I’ve been dabbling in over the past several months. Here are some useful things I thought I’d write down…

As part of my professional paranoia, I feel compelled to keep up with infrastructure changes – like operating systems and server-side technology. So, I always like to have a brand of Linux and Solaris up and running, because it seems that most companies have these, and I like to be even just basically knowledgeable about how to install and use them.

Now, I’ve had nothing but problems trying to get non-Microsoft operating systems to work in Virtual PC or Hyper-V. They seem to do much better in VirtualBox – so that’s where I started.

Linux (Ubuntu):
Linux has gotten much better over the years. I grabbed the latest Ubuntu image and installed that on a VirtualBox virtual machine (VM).

It looks like since the last time I messed with this – ALL the Unix platforms have standardized on a product called Likewise for joining an Active Directory domain.


I went through the little configuration utility and it worked first-time, with no issues! And sure enough, I can actually log into this Ubuntu system using my Active Directory credentials!


So that installation went off without a hitch. I’m actually impressed that they’ve really streamlined the installer nowadays – and that whole installation went so easy.

Solaris (OpenSolaris):
Since Solaris is based in a commercial product, I’ve always found it to be less… “clunky”, and more professional than Linux. So per normal, the installation of OpenSolaris (the free version) went fine and I didn’t have any network card issues – which is new. Every time (every single time) I’ve installed any version of Solaris or OpenSolaris, it would never detect my NIC, and I’d have to go find and edit some config files somewhere. In this case though, everything went smooth.

Now, to have it join the domain? Well, this is where I found out that Likewise is the solution for pretty much every non-Microsoft platform. Sure enough, I found this page:

and followed most of the directions. One thing that took me a minute is that I was trying to do “sudo” to run the domainjoin command, and it kept saying my rseder account wasn’t in the sudoers file – but I couldn’t edit that file. I try to log in as root as it says that account it disabled. So, I thought after a fresh install, I locked my keys in the car – and didn’t have root access. Then, after some searching, I realized that “pfexec” is the equivalent of “sudo” on Solaris. So I did end up running “pfexec domainjoin-cli join rseder” and that did ultimately work. Sure enough, it joined the domain right away – and I can now log into my Solaris box as an Active Directory account.


Now VMS I have an interest in, because it’s just such a cool operating system. Although it’s pretty much all-but-defunct now (no offense, John!) – that doesn’t mean it’s not a pretty cool thing. For “hobbyist” use, like me – there are a couple of alternatives to run it for free – and virtualized.

First, there is a FreeAXP emulator – which worked right out of the box.


When you start it up, it dumps you right at the triple-chevron prompt:


so assuming I had some OpenVMS media, I could probably mount it and kick off an install – in theory? I ordered the media kit for $30 from the Hobbyist program, and that is supposed to ship later in the month – so I guess I’ll find out.

So that’s basically it in terms of getting these OSes in place. I don’t really plan to do much with them – I mean, what are my choices – host a PHP website? Yuck! But again, I just like to be familiar with these other environments because most companies have at least linux and solaris.

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