OpenSolaris

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OpenSolaris

See also: OpenSolaris & illumos derivatives History of OpenSolaris distributions OpenSolaris distributions Tree OpenSolaris distributions list

OpenSolaris is a discontinued open source operating system, based on several software consolidations from Solaris created by Sun Microsystems, a project licensed under CDDL, and a community. The project's goals was innovation, collaboration, and the extension of OpenSolaris technology.

  • Note: OpenSolaris was not 100% open source: Some drivers and some libraries were property of other companies that Sun (now Oracle) licensed and was not able to release

OpenSolaris technical communities maintained the kernel and userland consolidations and launched new technology projects. OpenSolaris was developed by communities working on different projects. Each project focused on one or more specific areas of the system. The OpenSolaris developer project was sponsored by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

OpenSolaris it was also, perhaps confusingly, the name of a project initiated by Sun to build a developer and user community around the operating system software of the same name.

Key OpenSolaris-related technologies

OpenSolaris Source Code

This was the source base for open development. It consisted of several components called "consolidations".
The OpenSolaris source base is not enough to bootstrap an entire system, so developers start by downloading an OpenSolaris distribution and installing the OpenSolaris bits on top.

OpenSolaris OS

This was a community-developed binary distribution of an operating system based on the OpenSolaris source code, and it's the first release from Project Indiana. It runs on Intel and AMD processors on the server and desktop and as a storage platform. It is free to use, modify, and redistribute.

Project Indiana

The Indiana Project worked to create a binary distribution of an operating system built from the OpenSolaris source code, called the OpenSolaris Operating System. The distribution was an integration point for several current projects at OpenSolaris.org, including those to make the installation experience easier, to modernize the look and feel of OpenSolaris on the desktop, and to introduce a network-based package management system into OpenSolaris.

  • The resulting distribution was a Live CD installation image, which allowed users to try out the experience before having to install it on their system.
  • On March 19, 2007, Sun announced that it had hired Ian Murdock, founder of Debian, to head Project Indiana, an effort to produce a complete OpenSolaris distribution, with GNOME and userland tools from GNU, plus a network-based package management system.
  • The new distribution was planned to refresh the user experience and would become the successor to Solaris Express as the basis for future releases of Solaris.

Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE)

This is Sun's unsupported binary release of OpenSolaris plus additional technology not released as source. The release is also known as Nevada and it is updated every two weeks, available as a free download.

This distribution is a bi-weekly binary release created from the OpenSolaris source code. It provides access to the newest bits, and was the base for the OpenSolaris 2008.05 release. It supports both x86 and SPARC. It doesn't have some of modifications done in OpenSolaris 2008.05, such as IPS, LiveCD and Linux customization, so it looks more likes the original Solaris distribution. This distribution is not supported. Some of the folks who have been using Solaris for a long time prefer this distribution over 2008.05 because it is more familiar to them.

Solaris Express Developer Edition (SXDE)

This distribution existed for some time as a special distribution created from SXCE with developer tools but it was been replaced by OpenSolaris 2008.05. OpenSolaris 2008.05 contains many developer tools including gcc, Sun Studio, debugging tools, AMP stack and more in the IPS repository.

Solaris / Oracle Solaris

Solaris was initially SunOS, which was based on BSD UNIX, evolved into Solaris incorporating functionalities from System V. Solaris is a descendant of the UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4), developed by Sun and AT&T, in the late 1980s, to merge features from various Unix systems, and was the only version of the System V variant of UNIX available as open source.

Solaris is a proprietary Unix operating system originally developed by Sun Microsystems. After the Sun acquisition by Oracle on 27/01/2010, it was renamed Oracle Solaris.

Solaris superseded the company's earlier SunOS in 1993, and became known for its scalability, especially on SPARC systems, and for originating many innovative features such as DTrace, ZFS and Time Slider.

Solaris supports SPARC and x86-64 workstations and servers from Oracle and other vendors. Solaris was registered as compliant with the Single UNIX Specification until 29 April 2019.

Historically, Solaris was developed as proprietary software. In June 2005, Sun Microsystems released most of the codebase under the CDDL license, and founded the OpenSolaris open-source project.

With OpenSolaris, Sun wanted to build a developer and user community around the software. After the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January 2010, Oracle decided to discontinue the OpenSolaris distribution and the development model.

In August 2010, Oracle discontinued providing public updates to the source code of the Solaris kernel, effectively turning Solaris 11 back into a closed source proprietary operating system. Following that, OpenSolaris was forked as illumos and is alive through several illumos distributions. In September 2017, Oracle laid off most of the Solaris teams.

In 2011, the Solaris 11 kernel source code leaked. Through the Oracle Technology Network (OTN), industry partners can gain access to the in-development Solaris source code.

Solaris is developed under a proprietary development model, and only the source for open-source components of Solaris 11 is available for download from Oracle.

OpenSolaris Releases History

Version Release date
2008.05 13/05/2008
2008.11 25/11/2008
2009.06 01/06/2009

Active OpenSolaris derivatives

Discontinued OpenSolaris derivatives

  1. BeleniX
  2. NexentaOS
  3. MartUX mBE - BlastwaRe Edition was the first non-Sun OpenSolaris distribution that was available both for SPARC and for x64/x86.
  4. MilaX
  5. SchilliX - A fully open source distribution based on the OpenSolaris source code. The first version of the distribution was created one week after Sun opensourced Solaris, so it was the first distribution created by the community. It is a LiveCD distribution.

BeleniX

BeleniX is a discontinued LiveCD operating system distribution built using the OpenSolaris Source Base. Initially developed as a Live CD along the lines of Knoppix to showcase OpenSolaris technologies. Belenix went on to become the initial base for Sun's OpenSolaris distribution. A number of technologies pioneered in the Belenix project have gone on to become full projects in their own right within the OpenSolaris ecosystem.

It includes all the features of OpenSolaris and adds a whole variety of open source packages.

It can be installed to harddisk as well and can be also booted off the USB memory stick.


Innovations

Over the years a number of critical innovations sprung out of the BeleniX project which were later incorporated into the OpenSolaris distributions from Sun. In fact, the first beta release of Sun's OpenSolaris distribution was largely based on BeleniX. BeleniX was the second OpenSolaris distribution to appear, after SchilliX, and the first to provide an auto-configuring Xorg based GUI. It introduced various missing technologies in OpenSolaris. Some of the important innovations include:

  • Auto-Configuration of interfaces prior to NWAM;
  • Complete working Xorg X11 environment, which later resulted in the Fully Open X project;
  • On-The-Fly Loopback Decompression of CD contents;
  • New Algorithm for file placement optimization leveraging DTrace profiling;
  • Implementation of read-ahead and I/O scheduling in the HSFS(ISO9660) filesystem in OpenSolaris;
  • Live CD built toolkit;
  • First OpenSolaris distribution to provide a NTFS and Ext2fs mount capability;
  • First OpenSolaris distribution to provide advanced Xorg auto-configuration capability;
  • First OpenSolaris distribution to be able to run a fully functional Java 5/6 environment;
  • First OpenSolaris distribution to provide a basic port of GNU Parted;
  • First OpenSolaris distribution to provide a complete KDE 3.5.x environment.

Name

The name and logo are references to the Celtic god of light, Belenus.

BeleniX Releases History
Release Date Version
0.1 Week ~ 01/10/2005
0.2 30/10/2005
0.2.1 06/11/2005
0.3 21/12/2005
24/02/2006 0.4 (alpha)
31/03/2006 0.4.1
09/04/2006 0.4.2
11/05/2006 0.4.3
23/05/2006 0.4.3a
11/07/2006 0.4.4
22/09/2006 0.5
25/11/2006 0.5.1
05/02/2007 0.5.1 DVD
22/05/2007 0.6
13/07/2007 0.6.1
15/04/2008 0.7
19/07/2008 0.7.1

NexentaOS

NexentaOS (officially, Nexenta Core Platform) is a discontinued OpenSolaris derivative, that used Debian's APT tool for package management, an Ubuntu userland with OpenSolaris kernel, that provided many popular GNU/Linux packages.

Nexenta repositories follow the general Debian structure (main, contrib, non-free)

Version 1.0 of the NexentaOS was released ON 10/02/2008. The last version 3.1.3.5, was released on 31/10/ 2012.

In late 2011, the Nexenta OS brand was terminated and replaced with Illumian.

Nexenta OS Releases History.
Version /
Codename
Release Date Kernel version
Package from
Nexenta OS Alpha 1
elatte
21/11/2005 Opensolaris build #27
Debian 3.1
Nexenta OS Alpha 2
elatte
31/01/2006 Opensolaris build #30
Debian 3.1
Nexenta OS Alpha 3
elatte
23/02/2006 Opensolaris build #37
Debian 3.1
Nexenta OS Alpha 4
elatte
29/03/2006 Opensolaris build #36
Debian 3.1, Ubuntu 5.10
Nexenta OS Alpha 5
elatte
15/06/2006 Opensolaris build #40
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
Nexenta OS Alpha 6
elatte
17/10/2006 Opensolaris build #50
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
Nexenta OS Alpha 7
elatte
15/05/2007 Opensolaris build #61
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 1.0 11/02/2008 Opensolaris build #82
Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 1.0.1 11/08/2008 Opensolaris build #85+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 Alpha 2 14/10/2008 Opensolaris build #85+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 Beta 1 20/12/2008 Opensolaris build #104+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 Beta 2 25/02/2009 Opensolaris build #104+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 RC1 01/04/2009 Opensolaris build #104+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 RC2 05/05/2009 Opensolaris build #104+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 2.0 25/05/2009 Opensolaris build #104+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Alpha 1 14/10/2009 Opensolaris build #124
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Alpha 2 17/12/2009 Opensolaris build #129
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Alpha 3 06/01/2010 Opensolaris build #130
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Alpha 4 20/01/2010 Opensolaris build #131
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Alpha 5 19/02/2010 Opensolaris build #133
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Beta 1 06/03/2010 Opensolaris build #134
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Beta 2 31/03/2010 Opensolaris build #134
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Beta 3 26/04/2010 Opensolaris build #134
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 RC1 24/05/2010 Opensolaris build #134
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 RC2 01/07/2010 Opensolaris build #134+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 RC3 29/07/2010 Opensolaris build #134+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 29/07/2010 Opensolaris build #134+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0.1 17/09/2010 Opensolaris build #134+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
Nexenta Core Platform 3.1.3 31/10/2012 Opensolaris build #134+
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS


MilaX

MilaX (formerly: Damn Small Solaris) is a discontinued russian small size LiveCD based on OpenSolaris. The goal of MilaX is to provide a "small" version of OpenSolaris less memory (256 MB for graphical login and 128 MB for command line).

It supports both x86 and SPARC. It provided lots of popular open source software and can be installed on storage media with small capacities, like bootable business cards, USB flash drives, various memory cards, and Zip drives.

  • The last version of MilaX 0.5 was based on OpenSolaris b128a, and was released on 15/02/2010.