Oracle puts OpenSolaris to rest

Software giant Oracle has closed the book on developer distributions of the open enterprise operating system, OpenSolaris.

Software giant Oracle has closed the book on open distributions of the enterprise operating system, OpenSolaris.

OpenSolaris graveyard

Oracle has come to the decision not to openly distribute source code of OpenSolaris. (Headstones image by Dawn Endico and Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia, CC BY-SA 2.0)

In an internal communication to Solaris engineers published on the blog of one of the recipients, senior Oracle executives Mike Shapiro, Bill Nesheim and Chris Armes described "key decisions" surrounding the future of Solaris.

Those key decisions result in open-source developers no longer receiving daily access to builds of Solaris binaries after version 2010.05.

Instead, Oracle plans to distribute an open-source version of the platform after a full commercial release.

"We will no longer distribute source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in real time while it is developed, on a nightly basis," said the email.

Oracle also plans to hand-pick "technology partners" on a case-by-case basis, who will then be granted access to in-development Solaris source code.

The blogger — Steven Stallion — panned the decision.

"This is a terrible send-off for countless hours of work — for quality software which will now ship as an Oracle product that we (the original authors) can no longer obtain on an unrestricted basis," he said.

He added that Oracle's decision was a "perversion of the open-source spirit".

Oracle did add, however, that it would continue "active, open development" in project lines that accelerate its overall Solaris goal.

"Examples include our activities around Gnome and X11, IPS packaging and our work to optimise ecosystems like Apache, OpenSSL and Perl on Solaris," the three execs added.

Oracle is currently working on the Solaris 11 platform for a 2011 release.