Monday, April 14, 2008

SXCE A decent media play experience..

Songbird, is a media player built on top of Firefox.
Now you maybe wondering why build a media player out of a web browser. Well here is the short answer:

Music is social and so is the internet. It can also be noted that the internet is very big but we have a excellent modern day tool, you guest it, a web browser to navigate this landscape.
However, your media library is not far off the kind of landscape that this internet is, in one word, cluttered. In other words you end up not knowing what you got and what you don't have..
To add to this, much of your media content is now becoming more and more part of your online experience such as internet radio and music/artist blogs. So why not fuse all this together with the web browser ?

Welcome to the Songbird media player (main site) :
(Solaris port) :

Install Howto for "Songbird 0.5 release for Solaris x86" :

$bunzip2 -cd Songbird_0.5_solaris-i386.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -
#mv Songbird_0.5 /opt/
$/opt/Songbird_0.5/songbird &

And that's all.. :~)


Sunday, April 13, 2008

SXCE B86 and Gnome-panel random Crashing fix

Drop down to console login and run:

#strip -x /usr/lib/X11/

SXCE and Basic Networking.

For this instalment we are going to look into basic network knowledge in Solaris.
There are two ways to configure networking in Solaris, the first of which is a tool known as Network Auto-Magic or nwam(1).
By running:

$svcs -x network/physical:nwam

Provides the status if nwam is online or not, Network Auto-Magic is a project to simplify and automate network configuration on Solaris. Basically autoconfigures your NIC from your local DHCP/DNS server.

However, It is some times necessary configure a static IP or provide DNS infomation manually. To to manually configure networking in Solaris one must disable this service in favour of the default by doing the following:

#svcadm enable network/physical:default

Things you should keep at hand are:
* IP Address of the System
* Hostname
* Subnet Files: /etc/netmasks
* Default gateway
* DNS Server list. Files: /etc/nsswitch.conf *and* /etc/resolv.conf

Then you can configure each of the above as follows:


* IP Address ( and Hostname (solarisrox)
#echo ' solarisrox' >> /etc/hosts; echo 'solarisrox' > /etc/hostname.hme0"

N.B. Assuming that hme0 was the interface you wanted to use.
Hint: Can be found with ifconfig -a
*Default gateway (
#echo > /etc/defaultrouter


#echo "" > /etc/hostname.hme0 > /etc/dhcp.hme0 > /etc/defaultrouter
#echo "wait 15" >> /etc/dhcp.hme0


First check /etc/nsswitch.conf for the line "hosts: dns files" is ok.
Then inside /etc/resolv.conf check to make sure it looks something like this:


After all your configuration you can simply restart the network service as follows:

#svcadm restart network/physical:default

Comments are always welcome..


Saturday, April 12, 2008

SXCE on the Desktop

Solaris is a great and highly advanced OS, it has many features that can be used on the home desktop as well as enterprise class systems that run the very core of the Internet, Supercomputers (HPC) and Banks. One of my favourite such features is the ZFS file system.

However, for people who have used GNU/Linux, such as Ubuntu, and are trying out Solaris for the first time may have the first impressions that Solaris is somehow slower then Linux.
This is however not the case. Solaris has many things running under the hood that servers would find useful but Desktop users have no such use for, such as ssh running or sendmail.

SXCE or Solaris Express Community Edition can be downloaded here for free:
You can check your hardware with this neat tool:
(Click "Start Sun Device Detection Tool 2.0" on the page.)

After a default install, login and choice JDS as your default desktop session, now right click on the desktop and run the following in the terminal:

#svcadm disable basicreg cde-calendar-manager cde-ttdbserver cde-printinfo webconsole wbem sendmail sac ssh autofs ipsec/policy ipsec/ipsecalgs
#echo "set maxphys=4194304" >> /etc/system
#dispadmin -d IA
#shutdown -y -g0 -i6

After this your desktop should be both more secure and more interactive.

If you find anything more you would like to add, please comment.
If you would like to learn more, see:


Friday, April 11, 2008

Thank heavens for your neighbours!

Thank heavens for your neighbours!

Its like this, we are using power supplied by coal fired power plants, one of the percularities about the said power plants is that you cant speed up or slow down the enormous turbines in any rush, it takes days, thus if the requirement for power suddenly drop, well, that power is still being generated.

The coal is still being burned, and that power that was going to go to a usefull however it will now have to be spent somewhere (waisted), incidentally that is why we have streetlights and office lights, to sink the power of an evening when industry demands are reduced.

It would seem that the green movement fscks everything it touches, don't it?