I ran the HW compatibility tool. It gave me all green. Clean sailing, right? I've used Solaris systems before, although I've only done minimal administration.
Solaris 10 did, in fact, manage to autodetect my network card. Except there's a bug in the driver where Windows or the BIOS netboot code can put the card in a state that the driver can't understand, requiring a complete power off to reset.
It failed miserably to get X windows set up. I tried installing a driver from nVidia. The install process somehow managed not to create one of the device files. Other people ran into the same problem but I can't seem to make their advice work. The best I managed was some miniscule resolution (not big enough to hold an 80x25 text window) and a partially-functioning mouse. So I managed to figure out how to turn the automatic graphical login off.
The install process was slow and stupid. After each CD is inserted, it churns for about half a minute and then asks you if you want to proceed. This means you can't just pop it in and go on with life.
I tried running the "useradd" command. This added a user but didn't create a home directory. Then I had to figure out that /home was actually some sort of funky automount, and I actually needed to create the directory in /export/home. Then I edited the automount to have /home/mark link to localhost:/export/home. I don't think that is how it's supposed to work.
Did I mention I did all this using vi? And I really hate using vi.
I knew gcc had to be there somewhere. /usr/sfw/bin? How intuitive. Glad to see wget was there too. No emacs, though, had to download that from sunfreeware.com. (Oh, and they STILL don't bundle Sun's C compiler.)
Some of these are fairly easy to fix. Every modern Linux installer does a better job. Suppose I was a startup company without much Solaris expertise--- would this experience make me more likely to choose Linux or Solaris? If my development environment is Linux, how much better does Solaris have to be to make it worth using for my production environment?