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Please try to answer in these areas:

  • For what kind of usage is OpenSolaris more suited than Linux?
  • What are the useful OpenSolaris features that Linux lacks?

Personal experiences are welcomed, but please don't start a flame war. Strengths of Linux over OpenSolaris are beyond this topic.

(For Linux, I'm thinking of something like Ubuntu or Fedora, but not RHEL, if that matters.)

(I have used Linux servers for a long time but have never used Solaris, if that matters.)

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Apparently DTrace and ZFS are two of the unique features of Solaris. Please comment on their usefulness. –  netvope Apr 17 '10 at 2:11
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Similar question: serverfault.com/questions/110679/… –  alfplayer Apr 17 '10 at 5:09
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The ZFS filesystem in OpenSolaris was the deciding factor over Linux/BSD for me when I recently built a file server.

Some compelling ZFS features for me were:

  • RAID-Z redundancy
  • Data integrity checksums fundamental to the design
  • Snapshots
  • Simple command line tools

Sure, ZFS can be bolted on to Linux with FUSE but in OpenSolaris it is standard and (so far for me) rock solid.

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Current versions of ZFS also support deduplication, which can save a lot of disk space. –  Marnix A. van Ammers Mar 4 '11 at 22:37
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Also:

  • DTrace support, a very powerful tracing framework.
  • Availability of Solaris Containers, an os-level virtualization technology.
  • ZFS
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Update: Linux also has its own containers (LXC) –  Guido Jan 14 '13 at 15:40
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I'm by no means a expert with OpenSolaris or Linux however, I do know hardware support on most distros of Linux is far greater than Unix(s), and most older hardware is less likely to work.

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Most older hardware on OpenSolaris and other unices, you mean? –  Nathaniel Apr 17 '10 at 5:22
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