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Open Source Operating Systems Oracle Sun Microsystems Unix

Illumos Sporks OpenSolaris 161

suraj.sun sends in this news from The Register. "If you were hoping that someone would fork the OpenSolaris operating system, you are going to have to settle for a spork. You know, half spoon and half fork. That, in essence, is what the Illumos, an alternative open source project to continue development on the core bits of OpenSolaris, is all about. ... Development on OpenSolaris has all but stopped, so Garrett D'Amore, a former Sun and Oracle software engineer who worked on Solaris for many years, decided to do something about it. ... What Illumos is doing is taking the core OpenSolaris kernel and foundation, which is called OS/Net or ON inside of the former Sun, and creating a repository and development community around that. ON includes the kernel, C libraries, shell and shell utilities, file systems, and networking functions of OpenSolaris. 'We are not a distribution in a normal sense,' says D'Amore. 'It is more of a code base.' And one that Nexenta, Belenix, and SchilliX, who do create alternative distros for OpenSolaris, can in theory base their future releases upon if they don't like what is — or isn't — coming out of OpenSolaris."
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Illumos Sporks OpenSolaris

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  • by SlashdotOgre ( 739181 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @03:34PM (#33128780) Journal

    While I applaud this effort, I have to wonder if enough folks with the requisite skills to do kernel/driver development will be motivated to assist. It was an excellent product with some cool features (ZFS, Zones, Dtrace, Crossbow, etc.), but it was very clear that the vast majority of the development came from paid Sun engineers. The OpenSolaris community was never anywhere near the size of the Linux community, and even with Linux a significant portion comes from corporations (see "The Myth of the Isolated Kernel Hacker" from last year: []). I really do hope OpenSolaris continues (or Oracle changes the license to be GPL compatible), but at this point I wouldn't be basing any new projects on the platform.

  • by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @03:38PM (#33128844) Homepage

    Development on OpenSolaris has all but stopped

    Except it hasn't?

    I mean biweekly, binary development builds haven't been released since 134 in March, but development clearly marches on. [] [] [] []
    Think for yourselves..

    Community (outside Oracle) development may have been frozen, and it might be worthwhile to have a liberal, free spirited fork to try new things, but if Oracle wanted OpenSolaris dead, there's a very fast an efficient way of doing that, and they have not. Don't call something dead unless you're pretty darned sure it aint going to wake up the next morning.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @03:39PM (#33128876)

    Yes. Zones, ZFS, SMF, dtrace, RBAC, and zero effort porting to Solaris on x86 or sparc. Linux has at best half-assed simulacrums for these features. The first three features alone are enough to justify OpenSolaris over Linux in many situations.

    That said, Oracle's ham fisted approach to Solaris is effectively going to kill it. Lack of movement on OpenSolaris and new draconian licensing for Solaris means I'm going to be pushing for Linux to replace Solaris at my sites. I can deal with the reduced features if it means fewer licensing headaches.

  • R.I.P. Solaris (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @03:44PM (#33128954)

    I am a user of Solaris (formerly known as SunOS) for 20 years now. Most of the time, i have worked for a Sun partner. But now i have said my goodbyes to the company that once was Sun. While i still think that Solaris has the best kernel in respect of networking and multicore usage, i just cannot afford to let my attachment cloud business decisions. I should have cut my ties the moment Oracle anounced the takeover.

    While it is well known that being a partner and being treated like a partner are quite different things, Oracle has taken this to new unexpected heights. That someone intentionally breaks the business model of partners (while not profiting oneself from that decision) is still something that puzzles me. I know what they intend, but they are really, really busy making enemies. If it were just me, but i have dozens of once loyal customers profanely swearing now, if the name Oracle/Sun is mentioned. I have seen IT managers, who controll several dozen million $ IT budget, vowing to never purchase a system from them again.

    Solaris is dead, no fork or spork will change that. Even if they manage the code side, the well upon they sit is well poisoned. May Solaris rest in peace.

    CU, Martin

    P.S. Hate to post anonymously, but i don't dare other.

    P.P.S. ... and it hurts like hell to write it.

  • Re:R.I.P. Solaris (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @04:27PM (#33129628)

    Solaris is dead, no fork or spork will change that. Even if they manage the code side, the well upon they sit is well poisoned. May Solaris rest in peace.

    Same opinion here. 15 years as a Solaris admin. Solaris is an admirable OS, but Oracle has already started destroying it with their licensing. I've been a Linux admin for 15 years too and I'd rather have fewer features if it means simpler licensing. It's going to hurt to lose ZFS and Zones in particular. But what really scares me is the half assed vendor support for Linux. If I get a Dell or HP or IBM system, they might let me install Linux, but it's never going to be the same as getting Sun hardware running Sun Solaris.

    Posting anon because I still sub-contract to Sun/Oracle.

  • by mr_da3m0n ( 887821 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @04:45PM (#33129910) Homepage

    If you want the analogy, it's like Microsoft saying "don't use Apache, we've got a webserver too" and pointing to IIS. In theory, true. In practise, bullshit.

    I am annoyed at how I have been 'defending' Microsoft lately -- but you might want to revist that analogy since IIS7 is actually a pretty decent web server now :)

    On topic, I think it's worth mentioning that the current OpenSolaris codebase doesn't support sparse root zones, which makes me sad. IPS apparently doesn't account for them at this point. Last I checked, they were still discussing wether to implement them or just scrap them in favor of full root zones with ZFS deduplication.

    OpenSolaris is still useful, though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @04:54PM (#33130030)
    How do you count premiere? Features? How about code quality? Compare these two for a trivial example:

    FreeBSD cp.c: view []
    Coreutils cp.c: view []

    The latter is embarrassing and the person should be ashamed to call himself a programmer. And this is, by far, one of the better-written GNU parts. I have long felt that the FreeBSD tools are better suited to being paired with Linux than the GNU tools are, as they both (FreeBSD & Linux) maintain similar coding standards, and the FreeBSD tools are better documented and undeniably more secure & bug-free.
  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @05:20PM (#33130486) Homepage

    Feature parity? THat's being generous. Linux has nothing that compares with those features (or containers) in and of itself. (And this coming from someone who loves linux and has used it for almost 15 years.) Particularly, (Open)Solaris ZFS is light years ahead of any other filesystem - and yes, I'm excluding the other ZFS implementations from being awesome, because they really aren't yet.

    OpenSolaris has also done some work integrating VirtualBox into Containers; it supposedly works very well.

    If nothing else, SOlaris provides (or rather, Sun provided) a single, clean, understandable interfacing tool (or set of tools) for their architectures (ZFS, zones, DTrace, VirtualBox) which is something Linux tends to lack. BSDs do it, too (well, mainly NetBSD), but Solaris's is very nice.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @05:32PM (#33130676)

    Well, and the BSDs also like to ignore standards like POSIX, e.g. OpenBSD having an nm without the -P option, some other BSD deprecating od in favour of some other tool that is even less standardized and certainly not part of POSIX.
    They also since years don't manage to get such simple things like includes in the system headers right, you usually need to sprinkle random #include into code that works on almost all other systems (almost since in that regard they are quite similar to Solaris).
    Not that I doubt you can find a lot of faults in GNU stuff, just saying that the BSD tools often are quite a PITA in their very own way.

  • Re:R.I.P. Solaris (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @06:05PM (#33131116)

    Believe me, despite some of the postings here, I'm sure there are a lot of Linux admins (and just *nix in general) that are standing with hat-in-hand, covering their heart, head bowed in remembrance... It's like loosing a cousin you meet with for twice a year. You didn't know them as well as you wanted to, but you know damn well it's not going to be the same once they're gone for good...and watching them die slowly is just fucking painful.

    Now, a parting message for Oracle:

    You have just fucked the pooch royally. Yeah, your large bloated government contracts and fortune-50-contacts will carry the day and you'll continue to milk those teets of all they're worth. But for everyone else "below your level", you just royally fucked yourself in the ass, in full Technicolor.

    Enjoy your shell-of-a-zombie OS, after everyone has left...

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