If you are approaching SmartMachines from a Linux-perspective, you may notice some subtle difference between a SmartMachine and a Linux VM. SmartMachines generally include most of the GNU tools Linux system administrators customarily use. However, you may find that tools you prefer to use are not configured on a SmartMachine by default.
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Solaris is the ancestor of SmartOS, so much of this article applies to SmartOS as well: Solaris Eye for the Linux guy... or how I learned to stop worrying about Linux and Love Solaris (Part 1)