A few words on solaris

As things go as planned, I will get another computer in some time from now. The principle OS which I will install on it, will be – of course – a Linux distribution. However, I intend to run a couple of other operating systems using virtualization (kvm, to be precise). I have compiled a list of some guest OSes, including some other Linux distributions, but also a few other OSes:

  • Haiku
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • FreeDOS
  • Solaris

Solaris, originally known as SunOS, is one of the many unix(-like) operating systems in existence. As its former name suggests it was developed by Sun – which was acquired by Oracle a few years ago. From 2005 to 2010 Solaris was more or less open source, but since then Oracle made solaris 11 proprietary once more – though one can download it for no charge.

As I said, there are many unix and unix-like operating systems available. These includes open source variants like Linux and BSD, but also commercial systems like mac OS and IBM’s AIX. Among this competition that solaris is only a minor player and hence it is no surprise that this OS has little priority for Oracle.

Apparently solaris has such a low priority, that Oracle has recently laid of the solaris development team. This move is understood by Simon Phipps as a sign that Oracle will terminate solaris completely. Though I have seen no official statement by Oracle that they will end solaris, it seems the only logical explanation for laying off the developer team.

My opinion is that if Oracle really intends to terminates solaris, it should release the solaris source code. Apparently solaris is a commercially unviable project, so I see no reason why Oracle should not donate the solaris source code to the community. This would useful for the many open source forks initiated by the acquisition of Sun by Oracle, of which Illumos is the most significant one.

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