Solaris and GUI management
Following up on this comment, which gets its roots from some other thoughts.
I've heard this criticism of Solaris elsewhere - it's a fairly common comment.
Is it justified? Well, yes and no. Let me take this on a bit further.
It's true, without question, that Solaris is largely lacking in GUI management tools. And generally I would have to say that those that are present are pretty poor.
So the criticism is justified? Well, not quite.
One reason that Solaris doesn't have and of that fancy management crap is that quite simply it doesn't need it most of the time. The CLI interfaces are pretty straightforward, and if you want to ignore those then just editing a few files won't tax anybody - the files used are in well defined locations with well defined contents, and all this is pretty stable. I've managed Solaris systems for well over ten years and never in that time felt the need for anything more than the tools that are provided.
In that sense, Sun's existing customer base - myself included - must take some of the blame for Sun's failure to provide fancy management tools. We (I know I have and I know other customers who have the same response) have repeatedly told Sun that we don't want dodgy GUI management tools. Given the negative response, is it any wonder that Sun haven't produced much in the way of groundbreaking works of art in this area?
(On the other hand, my experience of trying to do essentially trivial things with networking under RedHat was very frustrating. I can see why why RedHat admins need tools to help.)
One other thing: if you're spending that much time doing trivial things to your systems that the GUI vs. not argument makes any difference, then there's something fundamentally wrong with your admin framework.
OK, so the critcism is completely unjustified? Well, not quite.
The reality is that there are some great graphical admin tools, and the possibility for some additional ones. But there is precious little for the inexperienced or part-time admin. And if Solaris wishes to expand out of its datacenter roles, it must cater to wider markets.