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Sun Microsystems Operating Systems Oracle

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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  • Bugger. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:24AM (#31257362)

    Can somebody show me something good to come from the Oracle-Sun deal? Anything?

  • Re:FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Michael Kristopeit (1751814) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:34AM (#31257414)
    to some decision makers, that is the same thing...
  • by Per Wigren (5315) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:08AM (#31257578) Homepage
    As you probably are aware of, there are TONS of mission critical servers out there running Debian, CentOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and other "there is no company you can blame and/or sue" operating systems, just as well as they run PostgreSQL or MySQL without support contracts for their mission critical databases.

    For many companies that's not a problem because they have competent server admin staff and the community support is often way better than what you'd get for money.

    An unsupported "debian-testing-style" OpenSolaris would make a lot of sense for both Sun/Oracle and many users. If you want support and someone to blame, just pay for Solaris instead. This model is already proven to work great: Fedora vs RHEL (vs CentOS), openSUSE vs SUSE Linux Enterprise, PostgreSQL vs EnterpriseDB, and so on.
  • Hardware/apps (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cbuosi (1492959) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:13AM (#31257604)
    I, like others, tested OpenSolaris and the 2 main problems that i saw where, 1) lack of support for fancy/new hardware. 2) not so many native programs as Linux/BSD. I think that OpenSolaris will live forever, but not as a OS, its bests features (ZFS, others) will be incorporated in linux/free bsd/ others)
  • Re:Bugger. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Michael Kristopeit (1751814) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:17AM (#31257622)
    postgres?
  • Re:Hardware/apps (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedrick (701605) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:27AM (#31257670)

    Again, Solaris and Opensolaris are not currently desktop/laptop OS's. For a server you buy appropriate hardware.

    Actually hardware support for desktops is acceptable. It's laptops that are weakest. You really have to choose your laptop carefully. But I can understand that this wouldn't be a priority for developers.

    At any rate, the original posting is FUD. It's true that there is concern in some of the Opensolaris forums, because Oracle hasn't said anything about Opensolaris. But there's no particular reason to believe there will be trouble. The article that the posting points to says nothing that would imply problems for Opensolaris. To avoid developing Opensolaris, Oracle would have to come up with some other way to develop and test new Solaris features. The approach that would cause problems for the Opensolaris community would be to close the process. I wouldn't think having less testing of new features would in their interest, but we'll see. Oracle has a number of current opportunities to shoot themselves in the foot with Sun-related issues. This is one of them.

  • Re:Bugger. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by segedunum (883035) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:47AM (#31257764)

    Can somebody show me something good to come from the Oracle-Sun deal? Anything?

    Errrrrr, survival and preventing Sun from going bust, just off the top of my head?

  • Re:FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:52AM (#31257804)

    s/decision makers/sensationalists/

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @07:55AM (#31257822)

    You see exactly the same on desktops except there Windwos runs on almost any desktop, OS X only comes on its supported hardware and Linux is fail.

    Linux is fail?

    I have an 8 gig USB stick that boots into a fully-installed version of Ubuntu. I have used it on at least 6 completely different desktop computers, 4 laptops, and 2 netbooks. Each time I plug it into a different computer it boots and detects the new hardware without a problem. Out of all of those systems, the only exception has been an Asus EEPC on which the wireless card wasn't detected.

    I'm not sure how you can consider that "fail". I've yet to see anyone do something comparable with windows.

    That's not to say that linux isn't without it's problems - I still use windows as my primary OS - but it certainly does run on just about anything you can throw at it. The only thing keeping me from switching to it permanently is a problem with ATI graphics cards - mine works great ... but causes a memory leak which forces me to reboot every few days (annoying, but not an issue for users who actually like to turn off their computers).

    It's just as unfair when people expect to plug in any USB printer or gadget in Linux and have it work, but the world isn't fair.

    All of my USB gadgets work just fine on Linux. It even detects my old wifi usb dongle, which windows doesn't.

  • Re:Bugger. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:04AM (#31257866) Homepage Journal

    Can somebody show me something good to come from the Oracle-Sun deal? Anything?

    Errrrrr, survival and preventing Sun from going bust, just off the top of my head?

    Is that really good? I just met someone who now works for Oracle; they worked for a company acquired by Sun prior to the merger. Sun fired all their best SEs because they made good salaries, while there are people all over Sun (or at least, were) making big bucks for doing nothing. UltraSPARC has its uses, but mostly it is an also-ran. Solaris' claim to fame is ZFS. Under Oracle, Solaris is doomed to either fail (as it was heading towards anyway, due to Linux's increasing dominance) or to become an Oracle RDBMS engine, which is much the same thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:04AM (#31257870)

    The kernel is fairly compatible with the BSDs and OpenBSD at least has superb 100% free support for most documented and many undocumented devices. Especially for laptops. When I looked into OpenSolaris it seemed that they were trying to follow BSD driver development.

    However, let's face it. Nobody cares about Solaris enough to spend time porting drivers.

    It has a horrible base system, and the alternative is using GNU tools. If it had been more consistent and attractive to Unix fans, like BSD derivatives are, it would still have a decent following. As it is, even Linux beats it in elegance and internal consistency.

    A pair of features are coveted by some people, but as vocal as they are, they just want to transplant them to their favorite system. They don't care if the donor dies. Especially if he has an incompatible blood type.

  • by h00manist (800926) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:08AM (#31257890) Journal

    However, it didn't detect: the wifi adaptor the ethernet adaptor the sound

    If there's one thing that would make the computer industry move ahead faster, it would be more standards. Why on earth can't simple mundane things like ethernet, sound, etc interfaces come with some sort of descriptors or standards which allow at least basic functionalities to be found more easily by an OS? Couldn't chipmakers, driver and OS writers try to save some work for themselves and talk? Every new OS version has to re-create, re-test, etc every driver for every device on the planet. The mere discussion of standards seems to have been killed by the whole 'de facto' notion, which is basically quitting. Even if we exclude MS, there enough active people now to have some debate over some driver and chip detection standards. VMware, linux, xbsd, the livecd scene, motherboard, device, and chipmakers, etc.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:11AM (#31257898)

    there are TONS of mission critical servers out there running Debian, CentOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and other "there is no company you can blame and/or sue" operating systems

    Absolutely false inaccurate information, at least for Debian.

    As per

    http://www.debian.org/consultants/ [debian.org]

    "811 Debian consultants listed in 64 countries worldwide."

    Now, you can hire a consultant whom might actually moonlight as a debian developer, perhaps even the maintainer of something that is critical to you. And, as a private citizen or at least small consulting company, you could sue them when/if they screw up.

    On the other hand, if you think you you can sue microsoft, and win, next time exchange falls over, you are in for a BIG surprise.

  • by Per Wigren (5315) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:11AM (#31257902) Homepage

    FOSS is FREE only if you don't value your time.

    *gasp* I value my time but I also value flexibility and independence from vendor whims.

    I have an equally naive cliche for you right here: Proprietary software is only cheaper if you are incompetent.

  • by Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:25AM (#31257986) Homepage Journal

    Well according to the wikipedia info [wikipedia.org] (not sure how up to date it is) - the problem is that Sun chose (on purpose) an open license (CDDL) that makes distributing a derivative work of it and GPL software illegal.

    Even a clean room implementation may have issues due to patents.

    You can apparently try to run it in userspace (that's the FUSE stuff the other posters are talking about) but that's a messy solution for sure.

    Chances are we'll have a production btrfs [kernel.org] before we get an in-kernel ZFS implementation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:44AM (#31258090)

    The article doesn't quite say it, and it doesn't have the smoking gun of "We're canning OpenSolaris", but that end of life page for OpenSolaris looks pretty damn final to me and there is little room for interpretation.

    The Oracle page lays out a software support policy for OpenSolaris releases and, following the policy, specifies end-of-support dates for existing releases. Oracle generally does not talk about specific release or support dates for future versions of software.

    Given those facts, what on the page makes you think that there won't be another OpenSolaris version? What on the page is different from the end-of-support date pages for the Oracle RDBMS?

    I detect a whiff of speculative FUD coming from both articles.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:56AM (#31258144)

    isn't it funny that there are bits of freeBSD that are not BSD licenced. So if you though you could take freeBSD and use it for whatever you want, you have to check the licence of every component.

  • by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:58AM (#31258152)

    Proprietary software is only cheaper if you are incompetent.

    And then only if your vendor is competent.

  • by turing_m (1030530) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @08:58AM (#31258154)

    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.

    My interpretation of part of the point of OpenSolaris - Sun were using it as a testing ground for concepts that would make it over to Solaris, e.g. ZFS. AFAIK it's not exactly Solaris beta, but it is at least somewhat analogous. Both Fedora and OpenSolaris are unsupported, RHEL and Solaris are supported. I don't think you'd use either Fedora or OpenSolaris if you fear cutting edge stuff breaking on you, and if you fear that sort of thing enough to want something more stable, you might also buy support contracts, which would be less costly to provide because less stuff would break (hence RHEL and Solaris and their support contracts). But the utility of OpenSolaris/Fedora in business - someone in IT could get their feet wet for free with either Fedora or OpenSolaris and then make a case to management that they want to go with RHEL or Solaris after they have done proof of concept.

    I could be wrong though.

  • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:24AM (#31258344) Homepage
    Is there a way I can filter all KDawson articles out? Rather than endlessly whine about it, I'm looking for a way to return slashdot to the way it used to be. That is, with some integrity. I think I've read three piece of shit, antagonistically misleading articles posted by this bastion of all that is wrong with journalism today alone.
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @09:28AM (#31258374)

    Nobody cares about open solaris. Nobody in their right mind would have chosen it as a platform.

    I'm not surprised that IBM is the last company, AIX the last proprietary unix platform. Power the last proprietary hardware platform...

    HP & Itanium? Laughable... And Linux on x86 has eaten the rest.

    IBM 'get' services in the way the rest never have. They get that it's the bloody hardware which matters. This is why power is hitting 5GHz. The OS is just there to make it work. You want the fastest, lowest latency, highest throughput. You use IBM. You just want it to work and are on a budget? Linux.

    The 'executives' of the rest of the companies clearly didn't know or care what their customers want, or what their business really is.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:05AM (#31258694)

    Not the same thing. I've been dicking around with such images since BartPE first came out. It can be useful for certain things, but it's nothing like having a complete OS running from flash.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:09AM (#31258752) Homepage

    There's really no good excuse for an x86 Unix to not have robust ETHERNET support.

    This sort of nonsense is what kept Solaris x86 on the sidelines to begin with.

    Not supporting the desktop frills is one thing, but ethernet is pretty fundemental to a Unix.

  • Re:Bugger. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by durdur (252098) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @10:53AM (#31259242)

    Sun was going to get acquired. The only alternative to Oracle was probably a deal with IBM. You can speculate if IBM would have been a better owner, but IMHO they'd have had many of the same corporate priorities: making money and cutting losses on things they couldn't make money on. If Sun had focused on these things earlier, rather than doing crazy stuff like spending $1B on mySQL, they might have had a chance surviving on their own.

  • Pure FUD (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @11:03AM (#31259350)

    This is why I hate the Slashdot community.
    Half retarded FUD posts like this spread like wildfire over the web.

    Is there paid for support/software updates for Fedora? No you get your 6 months and then on to the next release. How much of stretch is to assume that the same will be true of OpenSolaris? OpenSolaris will have a similar relationship with Solaris 11 as Fedora has with RHEL.

    So quit crying wolf. It makes you all look like terribly uninformed scaremongers.

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @11:13AM (#31259462)
    On the contrary... if you want zfs, and stability under load, there's nothing wrong with it.

    I wouldn't disagree, but there are usually alternatives. I would personally never make a choice of OS on the availability of zfs (though I have no doubt the filesystem is quite nice). And stability under load can be had with any Linux or BSD with an appropriate configuration. So yes, there's nothing wrong with OpenSolaris, but then there's nothing so right with it that we can't afford to do without it.

    I know there's a resistance among the various *Solaris/SunOS communities about the other UNIX variants, but it's time for these people to get over themselves. The world has moved on, and the alternatives are plenty mature enough to cope, and whining about them just makes these people look like craniorectal adolescents.
  • by butlerm (3112) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @12:30PM (#31260546)

    ZFS was designed as a huge blob of interdependent code

    Not true, any more than the claim that Linux is. ZFS has internal layers and an architecture that is as sane as any system out there.

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