Masoud Kalali has a software engineering degree and has been working on software development projects since 1998. He has experience with a variety of technologies (.NET, J2EE, CORBA, and COM+) on diverse platforms (Solaris, Linux, and Windows). His experience is in software architecture, design, and server-side development. Masoud has published several articles at and Dzone. He has authored multiple refcards, published by Dzone, including but not limited to Using XML in Java, Java EE Security and GlassFish v3 refcardz. He is one of the founder members of NetBeans Dream Team and a GlassFish community spotlighted developer. Recently Masoud's new book, GlassFish Security has been published which covers GlassFish v3 security and Java EE 6 security. Masoud's main area of research and interest includes service-oriented architecture and large scale systems' development and deployment and in his leisure time he enjoys photography, mountaineering and camping. Masoud's can be followed at his Twitter account. Masoud has posted 82 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Win your Copy: OpenSolaris Bible

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Published by: Wiley
ISBN: 0470385480

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One Minute Bottom Line

This book is for anyone starting from someone curious about OpenSolaris to someone who like to refresh his or her knowledge of the new features and functionalities for the well known Solaris Operating System. This is useful for those who want to experience a new operating system in addition to windows, Linux and Mac OS.

Covering everything from early installation process down to file system, network, virtualization and security makes this book a must have for anyone who is going to involve with OpenSolaris in development, day to day use and deployment environment.


This review covers first elven chapter of this book. These chapters mostly cover introduction and basic administration tasks. summarizing and explaining each of these eleven chapters is as follow:

Chapter 1: This chapter provides an introduction to OpenSolaris from different viewpoint including how OpenSolaris project formed, what are its outstanding features, how an individual can contribute to the project and get involved with overall process. The other good topic included in this chapter is a simple comparison between OpenSolaris, Solaris, BSD and Linux.

Chapter 2: Making it simple, this chapter discuss OpenSolaris installation both on bare metal and inside a Virtualization product like VirtualBox. Authors use this chapter to introduce several other distributions which are based on OpenSolaris core. Reading this chapter clearly shows that OpenSolaris is widespread enough to have several other distribution on top of it.

Chapter 3: This chapter is first chapter which directly involve the readers with OpenSolaris. The chapter explains basic tasks like file management, basic shell concepts, installing new packages, network interfaces, boot process, basic administration like users, storage and administration. 

Chapter 4: After chapter 3 which introduces the basics of the OpenSolaris navigation  this chapter concentrate on Gnome Desktop system and introduces more advanced topics like desktop customization, user, group and passwords administration, multimedia management and playback, and finally  it  discuss some troubleshooting concepts.

Chapter 5: Chapter 5 deals with peripheral management and administration. This chapter explains everything that a user many need to know about installing peripheral devices including but not limited to USB devices, printers, scanners, power management and UPS.

Chapter 6: Every advanced Operating system has a package management system, OpenSolaris  uses pkg(5) IPS for package management tasks including upgrading OS version, installing new packages, removing installed packages, dealing with dependencies and broken installation, etc. This chapter explains package management both trough the GUI and command line interface provided for this task.

Chapter 7: This chapter generally covers file system and storage management in general. The chapter discuss disks in general, UFS, and volume management. This chapter discuss command line tools and utilities for file system administration. 

Chapter 8: This chapter covers one of the most interesting features of OpenSolaris which can be named one of the features which make OpenSolaris distinguished between other UNIX variants. The chapter covers Pools, DataSets, Snapshots, Clones and everything else related to ZFS file system like mirroring and creating raid file systems. The chapter explains command line utilities to utilize ZFS features and capabilities.

Chapter 9: progressing toward more complex topics, this chapter cover the networking related subjects like network interfaces and configuration and administration of common network services like DNS, mail server, FTP, HTTP, etc. The chapter shows how we can use OpenSolaris as a network router and firewall in addition to introducing all related utility commands and common troubleshooting instructions.

Chapter 10: Chapter 10 take a closer look at network file systems and directory server protocols and services which are provided in OpenSolaris. NFS, CIFS, NIS ad LDAP are discussed thoroughly in this chapter along with introducing related commands to configure and administrate these services.

Chapter 11: This chapter takle another common administration topic, security, the chapter provides information related to user management, transport security, and system resource protection. Topics like SSH, IPSec, provisioning and audition are also discussed in this chapter.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Masoud Kalali.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


stewart adcock replied on Fri, 2009/06/19 - 11:33am

Thanks for your review.

How much of this book covers "general UNIX" topics, that anyone familiar with a different varient of UNIX would already know, and how much is specific to exclusive features or differences of OpenSolaris?

If you already had a bookshelf full of UNIX/Linux-related books, how much of this book would cover completely new material?

Masoud Kalali replied on Fri, 2009/06/19 - 12:35pm in response to: stewart adcock

If we exclude Gnome, Prepheral, Some networking and security and general file system content from the book;  almost all other materials are Solaris/ OpenSolaris specific. Topics like SMF, Zones, XVM, ZFS, Logical Domains, D-Trace, etc are discussed which are Open/Solaris only features.

For OpenSolaris 2009.6 which released couple of weeks ago, A whole new virtualization layer for network stack is introduced which can result in many new thing to learn in even networkig area. (Project CrossBow



donald bleyl replied on Fri, 2009/06/19 - 10:10pm

The virtualization features showcased at JavaOne this year were pretty impressive.  Does the book cover project crossbow as alluded to by your comment?  Does it describe how to use vnics etc, to set up a virtual network on a single machine?  If so, approximately how many pages are devoted to the subject?

Masoud Kalali replied on Sat, 2009/06/20 - 12:03am in response to: donald bleyl

The book does not cover CrossBow but it fully covers Zones and Logical domains in addition to VirtualBox and xVM. Crossbow introduced in OpenSolaris 2009.6 and Book published few months before that.

Robert Munteanu replied on Tue, 2009/06/23 - 8:35am

OpenSolaris has just lost a deal-breaker - native support for Eclipse. Now just waiting for GWT OOMPH to make the move...

Min Wong replied on Tue, 2009/06/23 - 12:01pm

It's interesting to find out that Linux was independently build and I have always thought that it is a derivative of a Unix based OS.

iain shigeoka replied on Fri, 2009/06/26 - 10:47am

Is there any discussion of creating minimum kernel configurations and/or installation of opensolaris within the new cloud computing environments like Amazon EC2? I know Sun has released some OpenSolaris AMIs for EC2 and would love to find coverage of tweaking the kernel to keep it lean and mean in these environments.

Basil Bourque replied on Sat, 2009/06/27 - 6:51pm

Does the book have detail about installation, such as screen drivers? I've tried installing 2 previous version of OpenSolaris in a virtualizer (Parallels on Mac OS X). Both attempts nearly succeeded, but I could never get the correct screen resolution set.

Martin Spasovski replied on Wed, 2009/07/22 - 4:22pm

The Michelle Olson's Students Guide here is also good. Maybe it's not up to date, but it lays some concepts, and for those who read it, 'OpenSolaris Bible' is a great book for gaining more knowledge (assuming by the chapter descriptions).

Also there was a great server guide, for free as a pdf, from a Sun's employee posted on his blog (it also coveres OpenSolaris features) named as 'Less Knows Solaris Features'.

I really like OpenSolaris, and use it for developing in NetBeans, but if in the next months, OpenSolaris development slows down, we the community have to get our hands dirty and start contributing. (Drivers and packages for start, at least to reach the state of availability and support GNU/Linux has.)

Ri Sec replied on Sun, 2009/07/26 - 4:01pm

The virtualization and VirtualBox chapters are welcome -- but does this book cover Crossbow?

vois org replied on Mon, 2009/07/27 - 5:07am


Sample chapters are welcome -- but does this book cover 2009.06


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