I gave a talk about IPS yesterday to a group of sysadmins from Oracle customers here in Wellington, New Zealand.

The talk itself was limited to 30 minutes, and was based on a much longer internal presentation my colleagues Danek & Bart gave earlier this year to the kernel engineering group at Oracle.

The slides for the talk are here.

I think I tried to squeeze a bit too much content in, barely having time to breathe during the talk. I covered the main reasons why sticking with SVR4 packaging & patches is a really bad idea (with this audience, that felt like I was preaching to the choir).

I covered the basic design assertions behind IPS, then went on to talk about actions, dependencies, variants and facets.

If given the chance to do such a talk again, with similar time constraints, I think I’d simply sit down at a command line, and walk through the various pkg(5) command line tools, talking about the details of the packaging system along the way.

As ever though, the best conversations came after the talk was finished – I talked to several customers who’ve been using Solaris 10 and Zones, have experienced patching them, and were keenly interested in getting something better. They seemed to be happy with the direction we’re going in.

I pointed them to the documentation we’ve got up on the project web page, and encouraged them to have a look at older OpenSolaris builds if they wanted to get a preview of IPS as it will appear in Solaris 11.

They asked how complex it would be to convert between SVR4 packages and IPS packages – ‘pkgsend generate‘ is a good start here. That led to a good discussion of how we’ve been converting post-install scripting in Solaris itself over to SMF services that run once on boot, allowing you to be confident that your scripts will run in the environment they were intended to run in.

All in all, I felt good about the talk, but would definitely have liked more time, if only so that I didn’t have to gloss over as much potentially interesting detail as I did.

For my troubles, I was given a rather nice Oracle Solaris coffee cup – thanks Rob!