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The Future of OpenSolaris 307

Posted by kdawson
from the setting-sun dept.
jjrff writes "Phoronix has a little piece about the future (or lack thereof) of OpenSolaris. It appears based on the current support lifecycle, OpenSolaris may be going away. There is a fun thread (read: mild flameage) on a ZFS list about it."
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The Future of OpenSolaris

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  • FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:23AM (#31257356)

    Nothing about this says OpenSolaris is going away. Just support for older versions

  • by psergiu (67614) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:41AM (#31257452)

    A/UX
    IRIX
    Unicos
    Xenix
    Ultrix
    OSF/1

    soon: OpenSolaris
    and if Larry Ellison has a bad dream: Solaris

    :-(

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:01AM (#31257546)

    However, it didn't detect ...

    Of course it didn't. It's not a desktop OS, even if it does have a purdy interface. Go check the hardware compatibility list - it's pretty friggin' small.

    When I put together my home file-server, I made damn sure to check the HCL before purchasing any hardware. Even after doing that, I still had an issue with the on-board LAN chipset - had to compile a different set of drivers in order to stop it from dropping the connection every 5 minutes. OpenSolaris is a great server OS, but it's just silly to expect it to be compatible with some random laptop.

  • by turing_m (1030530) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:10AM (#31257584)

    "Hi boss, yeah I'd like to use OpenSolaris. .. No, we specifically can't get support for it from Sun, I mean Oracle. .. Yeah if it breaks we are totally on our own. ... Ok so I guess we're not using OpenSolaris then."

    That's not really any different from Fedora, yet businesses still use Redhat.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:39AM (#31257722)

    If opensolaris doesn't support much hardware then who exactly is it aimed at?

    Small business users, companies like Nexenta which produce their own server hardware/software products, and tech-savvy individuals looking for a home-server solution.

    It's not exactly a huge market, but it is a niche (niches?) that needs to be filled. OpenSolaris is currently the best solution for projects such as mine. The ability to build a redundant array with automatic data corruption detection and a simple yet powerful snapshot functionality is what sold me on it. Nothing else on the market can do that, and the solutions which come close would have cost a lot more.

  • by Architect_sasyr (938685) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:40AM (#31257728)
    So long as it's FreeBSD 8 and not 7, a properly tuned and setup ZFS install is a breeze to put together. It took me maybe 20 minutes to kernel tune mine (i386 chipset and less than the recommended RAM in it at the time) and it's got good stability on a 1.7TB raidz unit. YMMV, but I wouldn't stick 7 back on another box again. I've no comment on FUSE.
  • "Hi boss, yeah I'd like to use OpenSolaris. .. No, we specifically can't get support for it from Sun, I mean Oracle. .. Yeah if it breaks we are totally on our own. ... Ok so I guess we're not using OpenSolaris then."

    That's not really any different from Fedora, yet businesses still use Redhat.

    Uh, what? Redhat is RHEL, for which support is available. Fedora is RHEL beta, and is unsupported. Solaris is supported, OpenSolaris is unsupported. So in fact, it is entirely different.

  • by mr_da3m0n (887821) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:17AM (#31257946) Homepage

    Well it's fairly simple. OpenSolaris is licenced under the CDDL [wikipedia.org], which is incompatible with the GPL, which is the license the Linux kernel is released under. Nothing "supposed" there, it's a fact.

    It is, however, compatible with the BSD license, which is why FreeBSD has ZFS support now.

  • Not likely (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:27AM (#31258000)

    Even if ZFS was GPL'ed I very much doubt it could displace Btrfs in the Linux land. Not only because the COW-friendly B-trees of Btrfs look more clean, but because ZFS is not just a filesystem and would require a lot of work. ZFS is a complete reimplementation of everything between the VFS layer and the disk driver, including cache management. Solaris has two IO stacks living together, the old one (UFS, FAT, etc) and the ZFS one. I doubt the Linux hackers would accept something like that in Linux, they would probably require to drop everthing that it's not the filesystem (if Sun wasn't able to make UFS work with the ZFS block subsystem I doubt you can adapt it to work well with the myriad of filesystems that Linux supports). Btrfs in the other hand it's designed to fit in Linux perfectly, and it's already being used by early adopters anyway (I've been using it for 4 months on my desktop with no problems at all)

  • by crispi (131688) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:31AM (#31258028)

    Yeah - same problem - of about nine or ten systems that I've tried it on (up to snv_133), all of them have at least one hardware problem.

    eg from my memory

    NIC drivers (Broadcom, Even Intel)
    W/LAN drivers (Atheros for instance)
    Display driver support (not just VESA!)
    HW RAID drivers (Compaq, Promise)
    AHCI drivers (including NCQ and hot plug support (slated to fix in snv 135)
    AMD PhenomII support (fixed now since snv 126)

    and I've had issues with the install (eg installation from USB CDROM)

    However, saying all this, the journey is worthwhile - some features really are fantastic - especially together:

    ZFS + snapshots + dedupe + Virtualbox VMs.

    YMMV

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:35AM (#31258044)

    I believe this Wikipedia summary [wikipedia.org] is as good as an update as anyone has of the progress and likelihood of future progress. An alternative is FreeBSD 8 [freebsd.org] (released Nov. 2009), which includes ZFS as an officially supported feature for the first time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:58AM (#31258150)

    Those, who are crying here "OpenSolaris gone", read the fucking article CAREFULLY (never happens on Slashdot, though):

    So use letter-by-letter approach if you're unable to see word-by-word or sentence-by-sentence:"Future releases of the Solaris OS will also be based on the OpenSolaris community codebase."

    That means RedHat/Fedora model. Clear now?

    http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/lifecycle.xml

  • by Alcoholic Synonymous (990318) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:39AM (#31258450)

    Note that FreeBSD ZFS is *not* in FreeBSD core (and never will be?) precisely because of it this, last I checked.

    It's not in the core... but it is in base. FreeBSD ships with full support for ZFS (since 7.0) and only requires zfs_enable="YES" in /etc/rc.conf.

    If you are using FreeBSD in a device and don't want or cannot use ZFS, there are several settings (WITHOUT_ZFS, WITHOUT_CDDL, WITHOUT_OPENSOLARIS) and such that can be dropped into /etc/src.conf to omit these bits completely from your build.

    Sources for ZFS and other bits of non-BSD licensed software (that may be redistributed) are found under src/contrib and src/sys/contrib, where they can be easily segregated from the "pure" BSD bits.

  • Re:Hardware/apps (Score:2, Informative)

    by mikechant (729173) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:35AM (#31259046)

    ZFS will probably have to be reimplemented somehow to go on Linux. We'll have to wait for ext5 or 6 to get a reasonable subset of ZFS feature list.

    Sort of. There will probably never be an ext5, ext4 will be stabilised at some point. The future 'standard Linux filesystem' with ZFS features is intended to be BTRFS and it's well on the way (in the mainline Linux kernel but not ready for general use just yet).

    http://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Main_Page [kernel.org]

    However, the fact that Oracle is the priciple driver behind BTRFS, but now owns Sun and thus could GPL ZFS does obviously cast some doubt on the future of both - although they can both carry on with non-Oracle devlopers, it will obviously be very important which one Oracle throws its weight behind (they're surely unlikely to give them both equal resources).

  • Re:FUD (Score:3, Informative)

    by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:42AM (#31259124) Journal

    Oracle just fired many of the best and brightest programmers at Sun, because they were the most highly paid. So, if long-term is important to you, I suggest jumping ship. As one example, they fired the accessibility guru, Willie Walker. As a result, SunOS will no longer be accessible as it use to be, causing it trouble in winning government contracts. I say good riddance... SunOS was cool, but with Oracle in charge, it's time to move on to greener pastures.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @11:39AM (#31259878)

    Version specific handbooks: http://docs.freebsd.org/doc/ [freebsd.org]

  • Re:Not likely (Score:3, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @11:42AM (#31259906)

    ZFS is available now. Running numerous places including my own home network.

    btrfs still has a ton of "EXPERIMENTAL." "DON'T USE FOR ANYTHING IMPORTANT" warnings everywhere.

    That right there clinched it.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:12PM (#31262932) Journal
    AMD licensed the Alpha (EV6) interconnect from Digital. I'm not sure if the Althlon was ever mechanically compatible with the Alpha, but they used the same electrical signals to communicate with each other and with the the north bridge. There was some talk, before Intel came out with the Itanium hype, of producing motherboards that could take either chip, so that the Alpha could benefit from the same economies of scale as x86 chips. More recently, this idea was revived with IBM and others adopting Hypertransport.
  • by hotfireball (948064) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:01PM (#31267604)

    Anyone has been read the thing at Oracle? They say they will release their Solaris on top of the codebase of OpenSolaris. In other words, commercial Solaris from Oracle is a same as an OpenSolaris++. Oracle will add some proprietary features to Solaris that will be enabled only on their exclusive hardware.

    In other words, this is Fedora/RHEL or OpenSuSE/SLES model. You like generic OS and you like to piss with it yourself, wasting a load of time, then go ahed, get OpenSolaris and GA support, if you like. But if you want advanced stuff and you have no time to waste a time for the cheap mess, then get Oracle Solaris for pay, get Oracle hardware and that's it.

    So that's basically a message. Which is very good: it will actually push generic OpenSolaris to be up to date and financed by Oracle.

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