Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Jul 2009 19:16 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris The Linux desktop has come a long way. It's a fully usable, stable, and secure operating system that can be used quite easily by the masses. Not too long ago, Sun figured they could do the same by starting Project Indiana, which is supposed to deliver a complete distribution of OpenSolaris in a manner similar to GNU/Linux. After using the latest version for a while, I'm wondering: why?
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Some true things, some misinformation...
by cjcox on Mon 20th Jul 2009 22:29 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

OpenSolaris is a kernel plus apps much like openSUSE or Fedora. At the heart of OpenSolaris is the SunOS base which is essentially the kernel, much like Linux sits at the heart of openSUSE and Fedora.

So... OpenSolaris is NOT a Linux distribution because it does not use Linux.

Remember, that some of your favorite Gnome and KDE apps work on Windows... that doesn't make it Microsoft Linux... right?

SunOS/Solaris have been around for quite some time. Solaris I think first came out in 1988, 3 years before Linus had something. And before than the kernel that Sun used was BSDish... and dating WAY back.

So... is OpenSolaris a Linux... NO. It would be better to consider it another *ix out there in the world.

The reason why HPUX and AIX can run circles around Solaris/OpenSolaris is because they are both SVR2 derivatives, whereas Solaris was a SVR4 derivative (back when Sun and AT&T were trying to take control of all of Unix... leading to the formation of the OSF, etc, etc.).

One could argue that OpenSolaris has more contemporary kernel features than their HPUX, AIX, etc. bretheren, with perhaps the exception of SCO Unixware (but that thing has a LOT of warts... hard to see anything worthwhile).

OpenSolaris is just another OS... like BSD, like Windows, like AS400, etc. It is Unix, so it compares well to other commercial Unix vendors and since Linux is very Unix-like, it compares well with it and even with the shell and GNU applications (and even more so since OpenSolaris has replaced a lot of the Unix standard apps with their GNU equivalents).

Personally, I wouldn't choose OpenSolaris just because they sort of gave up on being good over the past few years. Thus they are now part of Oracle...

With that said, I do have access to OpenSolaris where I work... it no longer has a root user... which is different, it has a strange init (actually present from 10+)... but all in all, it's not horrible.

I doubt I'd consider it for a desktop though. The Sun approach has always been to PAY for their drivers... the whole GNU/freedom thing is still pretty foreign to them. And therefore, a Linux based distribution will likely work with tons more hardware out the box than OpenSolaris.

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