My experimentation with Solaris/OpenSolaris is over. Amid the uncertainty that the Oracle purchase of Sun Microsystems has introduced I got some advice at PGCon2009 today that put the nail in the coffin. I asked someone, what OS was the best for running PostgreSQL? His response was, "The OS you are most familiar with". That OS is GNU/Linux.
In recent years Sun has tried really hard to change the image of Solaris from old Unix to Linux killer (specifically RedHat Linux) to Linux like. To drive the point home, the newer releases of OpenSolaris use bash as its default shell. But it's not enough. The biggest problem Sun had with shaking it's legacy image is that it's still legacy. For example, there are about 5 different flavors of the ps command in a default Solaris install. Sun was fanatic about maintaining backwards compatibility. The problem with that kind of religious fervor is that all the mistakes of the past become a permanent part of the system and haunts it in the present. So if you are a newcomer to Solaris and there is no one there to hold your hand, it is difficult to figure out what is the best way to accomplish a task or the best flavor of a particular tool to use. In essence Solaris newcomers are acutely susceptible to The Paradox of Choice.
So for all the great technology that is in Solaris, the investment in trying to learn it just isn't worth the return right now because I can do everything I need to do in Linux in a fraction of the time and with less frustration (i.e., Solaris still doesn't have a decent package manager). And in all the cases that are important to me, Linux and it's applications run faster than the Solaris equivalent.
But although the nail is in the coffin I'm not going to say goodbye. Who knows, one day I may have to call upon the Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei and once again embrace the way of the Sun (err ... Oracle).