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... I was wondering if Sun has an on-demand virtual machine program for developers ...
I'm not aware of such offering.
... what is the easiest way to get access to a Solaris system without having to buy hardware?
How did you post this message ? Internet caffee, system at a public place ? Very likely you are using your PC, how about installing Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris on this system ?
I know very little about installing and configuring Solaris, so I was looking more for a vendor or developer program who has on-demand VM's or something like that. HP does this, so I thought maybe Sun would as well.
No, I am not at an internet "caffee" - I am using my laptop, and installing Solaris is not really an option.
Maybe using a [VirtualBox appliance|http://blogs.sun.com/exoteric/entry/solaris_10_10_09_virtualbox] is an option ? You have to add Sun Studio 11 to get the development system.
I don't know if it's still available for download (Oracle changed the license).