Rethinking OpenSolaris

Here’s a change of heart — Rethinking the Value of OpenSolaris — from a guy who has an open mind. Very nice. Thanks for giving us a shot, Michael. We totally recognize that we are in community-building mode, and we also recognize the great strides the Linux community has made over the years.

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6 thoughts on “Rethinking OpenSolaris

  1. Wayne … I don’t see OpenSolaris as “one of the Linux distros” as you suggest. Sun’s Solaris product is an OpenSolaris distro, and OpenSolaris is a code base with a community wrapped around it. Also, I have no clue what you are talking about regarding CDDL and GPL. Sun’s position on CDDL is absolutely clear and has been since we announced the license in January.

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  2. Bill … thanks for the “Sun better get with it, or it will be too
    late.” We get that from time to time. Whatever. I reject your judgment.
    Also, are we really trying to “out Linux Linux” as you say? Or are we
    simply going about the business of responsibly building the <a
    href=”http://opensolaris.org/os/”>OpenSolaris community and
    improving the Solaris product? Hint: we are focusing on <span
    style=”font-weight: bold; text-decoration: underline;”>Solaris</span>,
    not Linux or anything else. You list things that you feel are
    weaknesses in OpenSolaris. Bill … we have been open for <span
    style=”text-decoration: underline;”>8 weeks</span>, man. <span
    style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Eight weeks</span>! Do you think
    you can give us just a <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>little</span>
    change here? Solaris is great. But it’s not perfect. All systems have
    weaknesses. That’s one of the reasons we opened it up. So we can make
    it better. Thanks for your ideas, but I suggest you reserve your
    judgments while we get this thing up and running.

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  3. [Trackback] I wrote a piece the other day stating that I had reconsidered my initial assessment of OpenSolaris, and that it may turn out to be a more powerful project than I had first thought. If you don’t feel like reading what I wrote, the bottom line is…

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  4. Hey Jim-
    Glad you liked my thoughts. I definitely enjoy working on SUN hardware/software, and I’m going to follow the OpenSolaris movement as closely as my time permits. But of course, as an IT professional and UNIX admin, I try to avoid any “religious” opinions pro- or con-. I like Solaris, but at the same time I try to take a broad view of the industry to keep myself marketable and all that good stuff.
    You guys keep up the good work!
    PS- I wrote another little “opinion piece” on OpenSolaris and CPU architectures today. I’ll trackback to this post…we’ll see if you agree or disagree with me this time 🙂
    -m

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  5. I noticed that Sun has very recently made a very smart strategic turn of event by saying that OpenSolaris should be considered as “one of the Linux distros”. As it was noted at SourceForge, Linux represents not just a technological but also social movement. There should not be a “Solaris vs. Linux” mentality–doing this would be suicidal for Sun–but “which is the best Linux distro, Solaris included”? In other words, Solaris should be compared to Fedora/RHEL, Novell, etc., and never to Linux in general.
    Most of the things you mentioned, including installer scripts, hardware support, management tools, etc., should be easily (relatively speaking) ported to Solaris. The most critical task that Sun should do at the presen time, IMHO, is to provide a Solaris-based system that will work without frustration on a specific set of hardware (which must be cheap & widely accepted), so as to generate interests in the community that started the Linux movement.
    So far, this is still not available. & Sun has not made a case of why one should consider CDDL (which allows proprietary drivers to be included in the kernel) vis-a-vis GPL (which essentially precludes participation by device makers).

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  6. The last paragraph in the linked article is the important one. For Sun to out Linux Linux, which is what is required, the installer, the lack of hardware support, the lack of management tools, and a few othe rshortcomings — all those are the achilles heel of OpenSolaris.
    If there were parity in the above, it would be a real horse race.
    Linux has pursued Windows and the windows heritage shows. The chase has been for the better, as a novice has a much better chance of installing and using Linux than they do with any flavor of Solaris. Sun better get with it, or it will be too late.

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