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C|net's has reported that Sun Microsystems is releasing parts of the OpenSolaris code today licensed under the OSI-approved CDDL . The release consistes of over 5 million lines of code for the base system OS/Net (kernel and networking). OpenSolaris is based on Solaris 10, the current version of Sun's Unix Operating System. Back in January, Sun released the code for DTrace, a dynamic tracing tool for analyzing and debugging kernel and userland events. DTrace is one of the big features in Solaris 10. Some other highlights include the GRUB bootloader, SMF (Service Management Facility) which replaces init.d scripts, it starts up processes in parallel for faster boots as well as providing features for automatically restarting.

OpenSolaris provides support for x86/x86-64 processors as well as Sparc. The Blastware guys are working on Polaris, which is an OpenSolaris port to PowerPC. Sun has been working on opening Solaris for over a year now. The OpenSolaris project started with a pilot group of Sun and non-Sun users. During the pilot program a lot of info including screenshots could be found on various OpenSolaris member blogs. (My favorite is Ben Rockwood's blog).

Teamware is the source code management system Sun uses for Solaris and OpenSolaris. Which was designed by Larry McVoy (now of BitKeeper) while he was at sun. No word yet on if Teamware will be available for OpenSolaris developers or not. Sun also uses CollabNet for it's Open Source project websites so that might be a possibility as well.


Congratulations. CNet found this amusing analyst quote: "The real challenge for Sun is: They have top computer scientists. Will it be possible for someone outside that organization to contribute a patch and not have that patch rewritten by someone more experienced at Sun?" Are we talking about a software project or a self-esteem exercise? Meanwhile someone from Sun is quoted as saying, "the number of new distributions will be our metric for success." Because it just wouldn't be proper open source without gratuitous incompatibility.

Well, Open Solaris has only been available a matter of days and already there are new projects available. SchilliX is an OpenSolaris-based live CD and distribution that is intended to help people discover OpenSolaris. When installed on a hard drive, it
also allows developers to develop and compile code in a pure OpenSolaris environment. More details are available on the author's blog.