Solaris is still a thing, even though it’s now developed by a company nobody likes and seems to have lost all of the momentum among enthusiasts, so much so that I doubt anyone will even really care about this news item. Oracle released Solaris 11.4 almost three years ago, and is still updating it with monthly updates. Solaris 11.4 SRU30 is the latest one, released on 16 February.
The update consists mainly of updates from upstream packages, but there seems to be little in the way of new features or big improvements. For those, we have to most likely wait until Solaris 11.5 or 12.0, if Oracle ever makes it that far with the formerly open source operating system that they closed back up.
I don’t think it’s (just) because it’s a company nobody likes. It’s because as far as I know getting updates like this requires an Oracle support contract, which basically locks enthusiasts out. Oracle aren’t a company that’s set up to handle a support contract for a single node run by an enthusiast – their position is that enthusiasts don’t need updates but production servers do, and restricting updates is a way to ensure anyone using Solaris in production pays up. It may prevent people running Solaris in production without paying, but it also turns away a lot of enthusiasts too.
Also, I thought Oracle had basically confirmed no Solaris 12 by saying they were operating on a continuous release model. That happened at the same time as the layoffs, so the real question now is whether it’s a no release model. Updates like this are basically to components Oracle didn’t develop in house, although that obviously raises the question of why anyone would pay Oracle to get them.