Following a month that saw software giant Oracle lay OpenSolaris to rest amid a chorus of controversy, a non-profit software community quietly worked to reignite the platform's ailing flame through a new project.
Open-source non-profit organisation, Illumos Foundation, made its official announcement in London yesterday that it will rebuild the community around OpenSolaris under the new banner of "OpenIndiana" — a "100 per cent free and 100 per cent open-source" project.
OpenIndiana's first development build is now available for download, with a bug portal and an active internet relay chat (IRC) channel buzzing with contributor chat.
Linux Australia president John Ferlito yesterday praised the project.
"It's a great idea. [This project demonstrates] the advantage of stuff being released under open source: if the community isn't happy or the software disappears, someone else can come along and do it themselves," he said.
However, Ferlito said that it was disheartening to see an open-source community split itself in the first place.
"It's unfortunate that the community feels it needs to fork and has been put in that situation, but it's always the risk when a big corporate runs into an open-source project."
Illumos responded swiftly to Oracle's decision to discontinue OpenSolaris releases, and announced it would launch a "fork of the OpenSolaris codebase" in late August.
"[OpenIndiana] was conceived during the period of uncertainty following the Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystems," Illumos said on its website.
OpenIndiana assured the community in its announcement today that the project is safe from Oracle's legal reach due to the fact that the OpenSolaris source code was already in the wild under the common development and distribution licence (CDDL).
Ferlito agreed, saying that "the code is out there under the CDDL, so I don't think that Oracle can make a copyright claim for it".
OpenIndiana is available for download now via the community website.