After many months of uncertainty about the future of Solaris / OpenSolaris following Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, this past August there was an announcement of Oracle effectively killing OpenSolaris while being committed to Solaris as an enterprise operating system and standing behind that, but in a much different form than what we had with Sun Microsystems. Coming out of this was Illumos coming about as an OpenSolaris fork (followed a month later by OpenIndiana) and the OpenSolaris board killing itself. Now though there's a new chapter to Solaris with the immediate release of Oracle Solaris 11 Express.
Last week we reported on a new OpenSolaris derivative project would be announced next week called Project OpenIndiana and would seek to leverage Illumos, the recently announced OpenSolaris fork of its source-code now that Oracle killed off the official public development of OpenSolaris. Yesterday afternoon Project OpenIndiana was publicly announced.
While Oracle killed off OpenSolaris and the OpenSolaris Governing Board dissolved itself, the community of OpenSolaris developers have not given up but instead have begun working on their own community OpenSolaris-based operating systems to provide the world with choices beyond the upcoming Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Solaris Express 11. There is already the Illumos Project, which is a fork of OpenSolaris with a fully open-source code-base, that is now being used within the Nexenta and SchilliX operating systems, among others. We have just been tipped off as well that next week another new OpenSolaris derivative is being announced and it's to be called OpenIndiana.
Earlier this month there was the release of Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 as the last likely release of this OpenSolaris + Ubuntu Hardy mix to be based upon the original OpenSolaris Nevada code-base with Oracle killing the project so now they have the Illumos OpenSolaris fork to utilize. Today there's another OpenSolaris community OS release, this time in the form of SchilliX, which is the OpenSolaris derivative created by two German developers.
Following this morning's article entitled Native ZFS Is Coming To Linux Next Month where the work by a small company from India that ported ZFS to Linux as a native kernel module was discussed, we heard from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. As was mentioned in today's ZFS article, the LLNL received a contract from the United States Department of Energy to port Sun's ZFS file-system to Linux.
Last month we reported that the OpenSolaris Governing Board may kill itself if Oracle would not appoint a liaison to the OpenSolaris community to interact with and communicate their future plans. After that OGB death threat was announced, the Illumos project was announced, which is basically a fork of OpenSolaris. Less than two weeks ago, however, Oracle finally announced it would be killing off OpenSolaris and making other changes to how Oracle Solaris is developed and delivered. With that said, the OpenSolaris Governing Board approved the decision this morning to end itself and return control of the OpenSolaris community to Oracle.
Last week we found out that Oracle is killing off OpenSolaris and that there will no be OpenSolaris 2010.xx release as we've been waiting on for months, their Solaris code-base will be developed behind closed-doors, and only after the enterprise Solaris release will there be a "Solaris Express" release intended as the replacement to OpenSolaris. Though derived from the OpenSolaris code-base there has been a few community derivative operating systems such as Nexenta, StormOS (based off of Nexenta Core Platform but shipping as a desktop OS), and BeleniX. While OpenSolaris may now be dead, Nexenta at least is still living and today they're out with their Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 release.
Oracle has finally announced their plans for Solaris operating system and OpenSolaris platform and it's not good. OpenSolaris is now effectively dead and there will not be anymore OpenSolaris releases -- including the long-delayed 2010 release. Solaris will still live-on and Oracle is busy working on Solaris 11 for a release next year and there will be a "Solaris 11 Express" as being a similar product to OpenSolaris, but it will only ship after Oracle's enterprise release.
Last week we reported on the Illumos project that may be a fork of OpenSolaris coming out of the OpenSolaris community being shafted by Oracle. Not many details were known at that time, but now the Nexenta-sponsored Illumos project has formally introduced itself.
There are still a few weeks left before the deadline that demands Oracle appoint a community liaison for their OpenSolaris operating system that is capable of communicating their future intentions to the OpenSolaris community (like where the hell is OpenSolaris 2010.1H) or else the OpenSolaris Governing Board will return control of the community back to Oracle. However, some OpenSolaris community developers have already had enough: they've begun work on a new project.
Since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems last year, the future of the Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems have been called into question especially as the OpenSolaris 2010.1H release was missing and has been that way for months now with no official communication from Oracle. A new OpenSolaris release hasn't come in more than a year and we still are left wondering if or when it will arrive. Even the OpenSolaris Governing Board is out of the loop and they may abandon the cause in August if Oracle doesn't make their OpenSolaris intentions clear and appoint a liaison. This evening though is one of the first signs that Oracle may let the OpenSolaris operating system live on with their support.
Oracle failed to deliver OpenSolaris 2010.1H and it's now been thirteen months since the last official update (when Sun Microsystems still was under its own control) of the OpenSolaris operating system. The next OpenSolaris update was supposed to come in February or March and then it kept getting pushed back with little to no communication from Oracle. OpenSolaris has been M.I.A. and many have been wondering what the heck is going on with Oracle. Well, the OpenSolaris Governing Board is even out of the loop and disturbed by this situation. The board is threatening to dissolve itself by the end of next month.
Once upon a time the successor to OpenSolaris 2009.06 was supposed to be OpenSolaris 2010.02 and then it became OpenSolaris 2010.03 with a release date in March and then who knows what happened. There hasn't been an update to the OpenSolaris operating system now in a year nor has there been any communication at all to developers or end-users by Oracle about their plans after taking over Sun Microsystems. All indications were that Oracle would at least deliver an OpenSolaris update in 2010'1H, but it looks like that won't happen.
Not only is the future for X12 unknown, but there is also an uncertain outlook for OpenSolaris. The successor to OpenSolaris 2009.06 (released last June) was supposed to be OpenSolaris 2010.02 and released in February of this year as implied by its date. However, four months later, there still are no signs of this OpenSolaris update. Sun Microsystems originally planned for the OpenSolaris operating system to be updated every six months, but now we are a year into OpenSolaris 2009.06 and this is clearly no longer the interest of Oracle, Sun's new owner.
OpenSolaris 2010.03 was supposed to have been released earlier this month (in fact, originally it was supposed to be known as OpenSolaris 2010.02 and released in February, but then it slipped to early March). However, March is coming to an end and there still is no sign of OpenSolaris 2010.03. Oracle, which now owns Sun Microsystems, has also not provided us with any comment on the situation nor have they addressed the OpenSolaris community and their discussion.
Since Oracle finished its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, there have been many changes to the open-source projects that were once supported under Sun now being discontinued by Oracle and significant changes being made to the remaining open-source products. One of the open-source projects that Oracle hasn't been too open about their intentions with has been OpenSolaris. Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) already closed up last month and there hasn't been too much information flowing out about the next OpenSolaris release, which is supposed to be known as OpenSolaris 2010.03 with a release date sometime in March.
VirtualBox 3.2 isn't yet around, but the Sun (well, Oracle) engineers are going to be releasing a 3.1.4 release shortly. To get some tests out there prior to the final release they have issued a beta of VirtualBox 3.1.4, which offers 40 fixes/additions. VirtualBox 3.1.4 is positioned to have SMP stability fixes, 3D support improvements, fixes for the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, video mode improvements for X.Org / XFree86, and various other changes.
Alan Coopersmith on behalf of Sun Microsystems has announced this afternoon that they will be relicensing all of their past and present X server work under the canonical form of the X.Org license in its latest form. This is being done to reduce the number of MIT license variants within the X Server. This isn't a major change and will not negatively impact users but simplifies and improves the licensing to some extent. Sun has been pushing code into X11 for over 21 years with their copyright touching hundreds of files in the X Server.
Sun's lead X.Org engineer, Alan Coopersmith, in conjunction with Aaron Zang (a fellow Sun engineer), has written new VT switching support for the X Server. This new virtual terminal switching support is specific to OpenSolaris and future releases of Solaris (likely Solaris 11 and later) and will not impact Linux users or any other operating systems.
Sun's Glynn Foster has announced today on the OpenSolaris Forums that they will be discontinuing the Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) builds. For quite some time now, Sun has been providing bi-weekly updates of the latest (Open)Solaris code in the form of an ISO for those interested in testing out the latest work on this operating system.
For those of you that use OpenSolaris or the bi-weekly snapshots of Solaris Express Community Edition, the just-released SXCE Build 116 contains an updated X stack. In particular, this update brings X Server 1.6 (in particular, version 1.6.1) and Mesa 7.4. This change can be tracked in the OpenSolaris bug database. As part of this upgrade, X Input 1.5 is now supported and some other X.Org modules have also been updated.
For those of you interested in the release of Sun's next OpenSolaris operating system, it is coming next Monday. OpenSolaris 2009.06 has many package updates and improvements to this desktop Solaris operating system since the release of OpenSolaris 2008,11 last year. Some of the changes are shared in An Early Look At OpenSolaris 2009.06 and A Weekend Look At OpenSolaris 2009.06.
Kernel mode-setting has been in development for quite a while on Linux and was finally pushed into the Linux 2.6.29 kernel. Kernel mode-setting allows a clean, flicker-free boot experience, fast VT switching, reliable suspend-and-resume support, and there's also other benefits. We heard earlier this year that KMS may soon come to OpenBSD, since these security-developers would love to run the X Server without root privileges, which is another benefit of kernel mode-setting. OpenBSD or any other operating system has yet to formally implementing kernel mode-setting support, but it looks like Sun Microsystems has been busy at work; kernel mode-setting will soon be introduced on OpenSolaris.
Last month we shared that VirtualBox picked up 3D acceleration for virtualized Linux guests after Sun Microsystems had already delivered OpenGL acceleration and even Direct3D acceleration to Windows guests months earlier. This support for having hardware-accelerated OpenGL support in Linux guest operating systems came in a development release of VirtualBox 2.2, but today Sun Microsystems has officially updated its virtualization platform.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 is currently the latest community operating system release from Sun Microsystems, but by this summer it will be released with OpenSolaris 2009.06. OpenSolaris is updated in a six-month release cycle, but the next release name is being called OpenSolaris 2009.06 and will ideally make it out by the end of May.
For quite a while now, Sun Microsystems had been using X Server 1.3 in their OpenSolaris operating system even though X Server 1.4 has been available for well over a year and X Server 1.5 has also been available for several months. However, with the latest bi-weekly release of Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE), the X Server as well as the Mesa stack have finally been updated.
IcedTea, the free software Java project based upon Sun's OpenJDK code-base, has reached version 1.4. IcedTea 1.4 is based upon OpenJDK7 Hotspot 14 and brings several security fixes, improved support for ALSA / PulseAudio, and a few web-browser plug-in enhancements. However, what is most significant about this release is the X Render pipeline support. With IcedTea now being able to utilize the X Render extension for 2D operations, programs should be much more responsive especially when running over a network.
After years of complaints by its users, last month Adobe released 64-bit Flash for Linux. Now this month Sun Microsystems has come to the table with a Java plug-in that is compatible with 64-bit web browsers. This 64-bit plug-in is coming as part of Java SE 6 Update 12 Build 02, which was released last Friday. This 64-bit compatibility is for both Linux and Windows, while Sun's own Solaris operating system will pick up the 64-bit support once it has a 64-bit version of Firefox.
While OpenSolaris 2008.11 has been available for download for over a week now, Sun Microsystems hasn't officially announced its existence. Sun though will be announcing it this morning at what will be a 9AM PST web-launch. With this day now here, we can share some previously embargoed information about OpenSolaris and its future.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 is now available. As we've shared in our early look at OpenSolaris 2008.11 and OpenSolaris 2008.11 starts coming together articles, there are a number of updates in this Sun operating system worth talking about.
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