I've used Solaris Intel on and off over the years. What can I say about it? It's Solaris--no more, no less. Version for version it looks and feels pretty much like the SPARC version, but without the OpenBoot console or the kewl Stop button. You get your standard Solaris desktops, of which CDE is the only one that's tolerable. Rumor has it that Solaris 9 will sport GNOME, but by then the Intel edition will be gone. The command set is the typical crufty and archaic BSD legacy stuff, although recent versions come augmented with some GNU stuff. At least that's true on SPARC; you may have to install them from a separate CD on Intel.
If you've become accustomed to a more feature-rich environment, you might feel a bit let-down by Solaris, especially the sparse CDE environment. Solaris is more for work than play, and the bells and whistles are at a minimum. Nonetheless it's a good, solid environment.
Solaris Intel is fine for teaching yourself most Solaris aspects. If you're studying for a cert, you will need to beg, borrow or steal a real SPARC machine for at least part of your training, as the tests do test your knowledge of the firmware. If your company uses Solaris Intel for an application, then getting the free version is a way to familiarize yourself with installation and maintenance of the product in an offline environment. But since the binaries for Intel and SPARC are different, there is a good deal of division between the platforms. Just for fun it's a worthwhile endeavor.
Since Sun's new product strategy has changed to make Solaris the SPARC platform OS, and Linux the Intel OS, they have pulled the ISO images off their website. You can still order the media kit, which is what I did when I found out that 10/01 would be the last Intel version.
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