Home > Solaris > Project Janus: Solaris runs Linux applications easily Project Janus: Solaris runs Linux applications easily Submitted by joe vanmeter 2004-08-04 Solaris 38 Comments A new feature of the Solaris 10 Operating System lets you run Linux applications, unchanged, on their own or side by side with Solaris applications. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 38 Comments 2004-08-04 7:08 am There are such things as commercial linux programs… /me votes for forced registration :/ 2004-08-04 7:34 am Businesses invest in Solaris for a variety of reasons. If Sun can increase the perceived value of their operating system by implementing some form of middleware to help its users get the best of both GNU and their proprietary Unix, then what’s the harm? 2004-08-04 7:54 am Most free software can simply be recompiled for Solaris and run natively. You can even get binaries for a lot of programs from http://www.sunfreeware.com So, I guess this is only useful for commercial apps. But Solaris is mostly targetted toward servers and most commercial server applications already have native versions. Maybe I’m missing something, but what apps would people want to run on Solaris that only have linux binaries available? 2004-08-04 7:58 am In other words: you’re broke but seriously, like brian said, there’s a great deal of commersial software for linux. I’m not familiar with Solaris but I would suspect that porting linux apps to it isn’t always just a matter of configure/make. So a linux support layer can come handy. FreeBSD also has one right? 2004-08-04 8:00 am A friend of mine got OSX, where you can do approx the same thing with projects like fink. He is quite happy being able to use Linux-apps in addition to the OSX-apps. In this sence the advantage of “everything” based on Unix is quite clear. 2004-08-04 8:45 am I wonder if they’re using any FreeBSD code to do this, considering they’ve had Linux binary compatibility for awhile. I know it is completely legal for them to do so – I’m just curious whether or not they did. 2004-08-04 8:46 am there’s a difference between wine and what sun did: most important linux software comes with sources so one is able to compile on posix compilant systems. yes, there’s commercial sofware but i cannot believe one’d run, say oracle, in an emulation mode. what’s the point?! i use os x and i like fink very much however again, the packages provided by fink are compiled for os x. so there’s no emulation. only i do not need compile everything myself. i was very happy switching from debian that os x doesnt lack apt-get ) anyway once i read: ‘soon there’ll be three unices and two of them will be binary compatible with the third one’ so, bsd can run linux apps. so does solaris now. to make the prophecy fullfill one needs to wait till ibm switch to linux completly and so do other players (like hp, sgi). 2004-08-04 9:09 am FreeBSD has a linux-compatibility layer. I remember running RTCW on it. 2004-08-04 10:27 am *counts the days until someone greps the binary kernel for any BSD license noticies* 2004-08-04 10:34 am I think AIX have some similar feature. This means that you could develop for Linux and you could run it on eiter platform without changeing a single line of code. Now, if only windows could ship with similar features out of the box. 2004-08-04 10:46 am Perhaps you can run binary only versions of drivers? I’m not sure how the Sun’s hardware platform goes, but as GPUs are used more in more in processing data, a feature like running Linux binaries could be handy if it is found that the Linux drivers for GPU xyz are better than the Sun drivers. / Just a thought… albeit a stretch. 2004-08-04 11:23 am So is this *similar to* or *the same thing as* what FreeBSD does? Just curious. 2004-08-04 12:00 pm from News.com Sun’s Solaris 10 to run Linux apps, too http://news.com.com/Sun%27s+Solaris+10+to+run+Linux+apps%2C… 2004-08-04 12:09 pm This is not that exciting since it only runs on x86. There are some applications (Maya is the first to come to mind) that don’t run on Solaris, but do on Linux, but if you’re doing serious 3d work, you will probably either get a Sparc machine, or something without Solaris. On the other hand, I can’t come up with a single commercial Linux app with support for Linux/Sparc… 2004-08-04 12:27 pm Sun already has the linux emulation. It’s called Lxrun and is available at http://www.sunfreeware.com/lxrunlist.html It’s nothing new. It’s just updated and now officially supported. 2004-08-04 1:16 pm I’m not a big Sun fan either, but OpenOffice does come from Sun. So they’ve given quite a lot. 2004-08-04 1:24 pm NFS = Sun NIS = Sun autofs = Sun Linux VM allocater = Sun OpenOffice = Sun .. and more 2004-08-04 1:33 pm Because it makes it look like they’re innovating — like Project Looking Glass. This is probably more for PR than anything else, because a lot of their true innovations are hidden under the surface. 2004-08-04 1:35 pm There wont be any support so no thanks. 2004-08-04 1:47 pm Does Sun not make a big contribution to Gnome as well in terms of Accessibility, usability and other non-sexy areas? 2004-08-04 2:05 pm not all Linux users use Wine, i never install wine, i prefer native Linux applications (mozilla, openoffice, gimp, plus many Gnome & KDE apps), i also do not even have a FAT or NTFS disk paritition,my harddrivers are all ext3 & a linux swap partition 2004-08-04 2:14 pm Hi, Hey guys, stop it with the silly herd-mentality Sun bashing. Seriously, instead of stupidly repeating what you heard someone else said, how about some actual constructive discussion, okay? With regards to lxrun etc.: I’m not claiming to be an expert on the matter, but I think you might have got it wrong. Lxrun, according to it’s own author (http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~steven/lxrun/) is a user-space tool. This, on the other hand, is part of the Solaris kernel. Furthermore, the fact that Sun is certifying may meana *lot* to companies – eg with RH AS. Also, what on earth is this cr*p about Sun leeching off the community, and all that rubbish? IBM, my arse! If anything, they’re the ones who are posturing, about their ‘support’ for the open-source movement, when, in reality, they’ve done comparatively little. Sun, as mentioned above, have contributed OpenOffice, NIS, NFS and Gnome HIG among other things. Seriously, without OpenOffice, Linux wouldn’t even have a usable office suite. Neither KOffice or Gnome Office are in a comparable state of completion (although I quite like AbiWord and Gnumeric), nor do they have the same level of compatability with MS formats (e.g., Abiword) – much as I might dislike MS Office for all its faults, it is an unforunate fact that it is more or less an entrenched standard. So, yes, we need something like OpenOffice. Bye, Victor 2004-08-04 2:44 pm The linux compatiblity layer could have come from SCO, sine the Linux kernel personalities is one of things that SCO was working on when they were still in the software business. Given that Sun is an SCO licensee, it would not surprise me one bit. 2004-08-04 3:35 pm .. to see so many independent thinkers in here. The majority of Solaris installs are on x86. Full support for Linux binaries makes Solaris a much stronger offering on that platform. This is good news for people that use Solaris as a workstation, which is more people than you might think since they tend to be non-vocal. 2004-08-04 3:59 pm > The linux compatiblity layer could have come from SCO, sine the Linux > kernel personalities is one of things that SCO was working on when they > were still in the software business. Given that Sun is an SCO licensee, it > would not surprise me one bit. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this does not come from SCO. I understand that Sun bashing is ‘tres de rigeur’ nowadays, but maybe you should look at Solaris before opinionating… 2004-08-04 4:18 pm heads up there people… AIX does have a similar feature (coming?), and it should allow you to run LINUX binaries directly under AIX… The problem is that AIX *only* runs on POWER CPUs… so you would now require a pSeries linux executable to run in this scenario. Now I haven’t really seen anything out there commercially that is available *just* for linux-pSeries without being available for some other OS version. (like AIX native, or stock linux-x86…) If there was an AIX for x86, a linux-run feature such a this would make sense for AIX. Since there is *no* x86 AIX version, it really doesn’t make much sense. * note: Solaris-SPARC is *not* going to run your x86 linux executable. You will *not* be able to run WINE on your SUN-SPARC machine, to then run windows…. 2004-08-04 4:22 pm I said, it could have come from it… Do you have any evidence that it doesn’t? If so, would you kindly point it to me? Otherwise, your assumptions are as good as mine. Actually, no, they would be worse, since I at least provided an explanation for my assumption, which is that SCO was working on this type of functionality. 2004-08-04 4:23 pm Why the held would someone report my previous comment about the origin of Sun’s compatibility layer as being abusive? This place is too funny… 2004-08-04 4:26 pm Why wouldn’t this linux compatibility layer come from SCO? SUN is a SCO licensee and they purchased/licensed some goodies last year. SCO maybe lost in its delusions of becoming top dog through litigation, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have technology inhouse that would be worth the while to license. SUN certainly is able to develop this kind of thing on their own, but they could easily license it as well. The only question that is interesting is, is the compatibility from inhouse development or did they get it from outside. If SUN snapped it up at SCO it wouldn’t tarnish SUN. They are a tech company and they need new tech to keep driving development. Nothing wrong with them licensing outdoor tech. 2004-08-04 4:28 pm I doubt they would have used SCO code, the fact is, the amount of dicking around required to get it working and the cost of acquiring the code probably wasn’t worth the effort. IIRC, kernel driver modules apparently will be loadable; thats a rumour, however, if would be nice if there were a greater effort to port drivers to Solaris, be they under GPL or BSD. I am sure it wouldn’t be too complicated peeling off the drivers from the Linux tree, porting and making them available for download as a seperate pkg for installation 2004-08-04 4:34 pm (from CNET news mentioned above) N1, DTrace: “The Janus performance penalty of about 5 percent will be offset by the ability to use Solaris features such as N1 Grid Containers to run multiple operating systems on a single computer or DTrace to find software bottlenecks, Wettersten said.” —- Red Hat: “To start with, Janus will provide 100 percent compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and even complicated programs such as Oracle’s database or BEA Systems’ Web server, said Jack O’Brien, a group manager of x86 operating system marketing at Sun. Sun also plans to make compatibility with Novell’s SuSE Linux later in an early update.” —- ‘Support’: “Sun wouldn’t quite guarantee that Janus will run all Linux applications. “What Sun is saying is if it works in the Red Hat 3.0 environment, and you run that on Janus and something is not working correctly, Sun will fix it,” Wettersten said.” 2004-08-04 4:36 pm 5-7 yrs ago Corporations saw Linux as a Joke. A hobbyist OS that could never de-throne the kings of the OS world. Now Linux Servers are replacing machines from all OS’s and Arcitectures. Dont be fooled. Its an outright threat. You either capitalize or buy it out. It’s the business way. See Novell, Sun, and even IBM have fingers in the Linux Jar for sole the reason to make money. Its a corporate battlefield. The only one of the three that I have seen remains truly Open is IBM. Though Novell is giving back to the comunity more than I ever expected. The fruit on the vine is the result of where its roots are buried. This is MHO. 2004-08-04 4:46 pm /me agrees totally with you Victor. Sun Microsystems has contributed more in the way of useful technologies that many other companies, and the open source community combined. I’ll admit Sun does have its serious flaws, as do most large corporations, including my favorite, Apple Computer, Inc. 2004-08-04 6:15 pm “I doubt they would have used SCO code, the fact is, the amount of dicking around required to get it working and the cost of acquiring the code probably wasn’t worth the effort.” How do you know this? That’s right, you don’t. So again, you offer sheer speculation. I didn’t imply certainty in my statements, but at least I provided some supporting evidence for them, which is that SCO was working on a similar project and that SUN claimed to need an SCO license for some of the work they were doing. If they didn’t need the license, well, I guess they lied and just wanted to fund SCO’s assault on Linux. And if they did need it, well, then my statement that this could have come from SCO has more credence. 2004-08-04 7:52 pm this is a great idea 2004-08-05 1:51 am I didn’t imply certainty in my statements, but at least I provided some supporting evidence for them, which is that SCO was working on a similar project and that SUN claimed to need an SCO license for some of the work they were doing. If you are not certain and are just speculating, all those who disagreed with you also have equally vaild points. You can’t claim proof based on speculation as support for your argument. Kaiwai’s point that there are significant differences in the Solaris and Unix ware kernels has more value than your speculation about licenses. For the record, I know for a fact that Janus was not licensed from SCO. 2004-08-05 3:15 am Kaiwai’s point that there are significant differences in the Solaris and Unix ware kernels has more value than your speculation about licenses. For the record, I know for a fact that Janus was not licensed from SCO. True, the thing is, if they used SCO IP which they purchased under the agreement last year; wouldn’t one think that they would make a issue over it? point it out not only to the potiential customers but shareholders that the investment they made has yielded a result; namely project Janus. In terms of compatibility, one must remember, its not all that complex to create a Linux ABI, create a module, add compatibility to libc and appropriate libraries; make the appropriate symbolic links between Solaris libraries to what an application would expect if it were to be running on Linux. To make out, as some people have, that adding Linux is a complex indevour is nothing short of ignorance. Also, the differences between Linux and Solaris aren’t really that big interms of getting an application and compiling it. 2004-08-05 6:17 pm It does me no good from what I see. I run Solaris on SPARC, where it runs best. I run Linux on x86, where it works good and the hardware is cheap. I do that because I don’t need another reboot-box, I need something that gives better functionality to what I have. Perhaps it’s just another sign that Sun is keeping options open in case SPARC gets too expensive for them to produce? I believe someone else is already doing a better job of manufacturing it than Sun. Victor is right, Sun has done a lot for the Open Source world, they just do it from a decidedly commercial point of view, not as charity. To Jim: >.. to see so many independent thinkers in here. The >majority of Solaris installs are on x86. Full support for >Linux binaries makes Solaris a much stronger offering on >that platform. This Independent thinkers? Independent of what, reality? With all the hardware Sun has put out, Solaris x86 can’t have caught up this quickly in # of installs could it? I’m sure it’s coming, with less reliance being put on SPARC, but I think it’s more like a race to see if it can happen before Linux eclipses it.