openSolaris - Dead and Buried?

openSolaris - Dead and Buried?

Summary: We are well into the current burst in the release cycle now, with Slackware 13.1 released over the weekend, Fedora 13 due out today, and Mandriva 2010.


We are well into the current burst in the release cycle now, with Slackware 13.1 released over the weekend, Fedora 13 due out today, and Mandriva 2010.1 and openSuSE 11.3 coming soon. All of this activity makes it even more obvious that openSolaris is falling seriously behind, with no clear information about the next release available.

The release was originally called "2010.02", and was due out in February. Until the end of last year, it seemed to be moving along pretty well. With the Oracle takeover of Sun, and the ensuing activity and uncertainty, it wasn't too surprising that it was changed to "2010.03", and the date pushed back to March. But March came and went without a release, and no new release date was announced. April came and went... and still nothing. Now May is almost over, and there have been a few (very few) rumors about a "2010.05" release, but still no release, and no information. Perhaps it is time to just give up on it...

This is of more than passing interest to me, because my new employer (well, not so new now) is a mostly Solaris shop, and I came here with high hopes of helping in a transition to openSolaris at least on our desktop workstations, and perhaps even on some of the servers. That is looking rather unlikely now, and those here who have been pushing all along for Windows on both the desktop and servers are looking rather smug.

jw 25/5/2010

Topic: Linux

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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  • Unlike Windows Linux is still evolving, its to be expected that the number of Linux distros falls as time goes on, and people congregate to those that best serve there needs. The front runners definitely appear to be Redhat/Fedora & Debian based Ubuntu. If I were you I'd switch to Redhat/fedora for the servers and Ubuntu for the desktops.

    Might be worth reminding those smug Windows guys that MS haven't bought out a genuinely new O/S in about twenty years, and that perhaps if MS had had to face competition pre-Linux instead of wiping it out to gain a 99.99% monopoly then they might have an O/S that works properly & is safe & secure enough for business use.

    MS reminds me a lot of General Motors, a dinosaur that refused to adapt to competition, kept on pedalling the products it wanted to sell instead of what its customers wanted....
  • @AndyPagin - Thanks for reading and commenting. Unfortunately, openSolaris is not a Linux-based distribution, so some of what you say doesn't actually apply, but I see your point and I had some of the same thoughts. I think, though, that the Oracle takeover of Sun has made it even more clear how important it would be to have and OPEN Solaris alternative. It is easy to say "use some other Linux variant", but getting that sort of thing approved in a very large organization can take a very long time and a lot of work. But when the organization is already using Solaris, getting approval to move to an open-source variant of the same operating system is not likely to be as difficult. The result is, if Oracle decides they don't want Solaris any more than they wanted openSolaris at some point in the future, we are going to have a tough battle on our hands.

    I'm not saying that will happen, and I really hope that it doesn't. But no one can say that it won't at this point, either.