One of the weirdest times in computing was during the mid-90s, when the major RISC vendors all had their own plans to dominate the consumer market and eventually wipe out Intel. This was a time that led to overpriced non-x86 systems that intended to wipe out the PC, Windows NT being ported to non-x86 platforms, PC style hardware paired with RISC CPUs, Apple putting the processor line from IBM servers into Macs, and Silicon Graphics designing a game console for Nintendo. While their attempts worked wonders in the embedded field for MIPS and the AIM alliance, quite a few of these attempts at breaking into the mainstream were total flops. Despite this, there were some weird products released during this period that most only assumed existed in tech magazine ads and reviews. One such product was Solaris for PowerPC. Now Solaris has existed on Intel platforms for ages and the Illumos fork has some interesting ports including a DEC Alpha port, but a forgotten official port exists for the PowerPC CPU architecture. Unlike OS/2, it’s complete and has a networking stack. It’s also perhaps one of the weirdest OSes on the PowerPC platform. I love machines from this era. There’s some seriously weird hardware from that time floating around eBay for serious prices.
OpenIndiana Hipster 2020.04 has been released. All OpenIndiana system software was rewritten in Python 3. Installation images now don’t deliver Python 2.7 interpreters or libraries, however some software still requires Python 2.7. We’ve moved to GCC 7 as the default compiler. OpenIndiana Hipster is a rolling release distribution of illumos, which in turn traces its roots back to OpenSolaris. The original intent of illumos was to replace the closed source parts of OpenSolaris with open source ones, but after Oracle discontinued OpenSolaris, illumos grew into a full-blown fork of OpenSolaris.
We’ve just released SRU 20 for Oracle Solaris 11.4, the April 2020 CPU. It is available via ‘pkg update’ from the support repository or by downloading the SRU from My Oracle Support Doc ID 2433412.1. The administrator of my organisation needs to supply me with a Support Identifier before I can do something as simple as read the documentation about this new version, so I have no idea what to tell you. I guess Solaris technically isn’t dead yet?
A few weeks back I managed to pick up an incredibly rare laptop in immaculate condition for $50 on Kijiji: a Tadpole Technologies SPARCbook 3000ST from 1997 (it also came with two other working Pentium laptops from the 1990s). So, what makes this the coolest laptop of the 1990s? I used to long for a Tadpole SPARC laptop about 15 years ago, when they came with dual processor models. Amazing technology.
"Oracle today announced Oracle Solaris 11.1, delivering over 300 new performance and feature enhancements to the Oracle Solaris 11 product family." This stuff goes way over my head.
If you have ever administered Sun machines, updates were a big part of your work. In the past, information about them were available on SunSolve, the Sun support website, to help sysadmins sort everything out. SunSolve has been decomissioned by Oracle and its replacement hasn't received a warm welcome from the Solaris community due in large part to technologies used (Flash,...). We Sun Solve was created to avoid this problem.
The OpenIndiana project has been officially announced. OpenIndiana is part of the Illumos foundation and a community distribution which aims to to continue OpenSolaris, previously shut down by Oracle. Some details of the announcement were published on c0t0d0s0.org.
The OpenSolaris governing board fell on its collective sword Monday and resigned en masse after Oracle continued to ignore its ultimatum to appoint a liaison guy to work with it on the future of the open source project. The move was anticlimactic to say the least. Oracle last week leaked an internal e-mail into the wild effectively saying OpenSolaris is dead. The news of the mass resignation, coupled with Oracle suing Google claiming Android infringes on its Java patents, had Adobe's director of open source and standards David McAllister casting Oracle as the New Microsoft and saying "the axis of evil has shifted south about 850 miles or so".
The Nexenta Core Platform marches on with the release of version 3.0 of the OpenSolaris based distribution, based on b134. It has also officially unveiled plans of moving from OpenSolaris to Illumos, the fully open branch of OpenSolaris. It will also now plan on moving to a new userland release. Grab the iso here.
Well, Oracle went from one of those big enterprise-serving companies most of us don't deal with to one of the more hated companies in our little community. Not only did they just sue Google over Android and its use of Java-related technologies, they also just officially killed off OpenSolaris. Solaris will still be open source, but source code will only come after each major release - development will happen behind closed doors.
Due to me not working for OSNews these past eight weeks, I've been a bit out of the loop, as I didn't really follow technology news. I did notice that a lot is going on in OpenSolaris land, and today, Oracle has outlined what it has planned for Solaris 11 - and according to some, the fears about OpenSolaris' future were justified.
A recent vague announcement on osol-announce hints that something big is rumbling for OpenSolaris: "A number of the community leaders from the OpenSolaris community have been working quietly together on a new effort called Illumos, and we're just about ready to fully disclose our work to, and invite the general participation of, the general public." They have a website, and they're going to be hosting a conference call on August 3.
Oracle has announced that rival hardware vendors Dell and Hewlett-Packard intend to certify and resell its Solaris and Enterprise Linux operating systems as well as Oracle VM on their x86 servers. The announcement "demonstrates Oracle's commitment to openness," company co-president Charles Phillips said in a statement.
A Computerworld blog speculates that the open-source Unix distribution may live on, but Oracle won't be supporting it. At this point, "OpenSolaris' only real future is as a fork, which would not be easy to pull off. Still, with enough interest from developers it could be done. OpenSolaris is licensed under the
GPLv3 CDDL and various other OSS licenses, so the base code is available."
This morning, at the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) meeting, the following was proposed and unanimously resolved: "The OGB is keen to promote the uptake and open development of OpenSolaris and to work on behalf of the community with Oracle, as such the OGB needs Oracle to appoint a liaison by August 16, 2010, who has the the authority to talk about the future of OpenSolaris and its interaction with the OpenSolaris community otherwise the OGB will take action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter that will return control of the community to Oracle."
Pavel Heimlich has announced the release of an updated version of Korona 4.4.3: "Korona is the live DVD adding KDE4 packages on top of OpenSolaris. It is intended to be the showcase of the current state of the kde-solaris project, definitely not a distribution for any serious use."
Frustrated by Oracle's delay in releasing the latest version of OpenSolaris, the OpenSolaris Governing Board is growing uneasy over Oracle's lack of communication regarding the future of the Unix OS code. At least two members of the board have even said they would be open to forking the code base from the Oracle version.
It appears that Oracle has lost interest in supporting the Solaris port for IBM SystemZ machines: "The SystemZ port of Solaris is dead. Oracle pulled all plugs and refused to further help the authors." In two years, the project has been downloaded only 1000 times.
"Hot on the heals of Oracle's revamp of Solaris support, the licensing agreement for free downloads of Solaris 10 have changed. Here is the bit in question: "...Please remember, your right to use Solaris acquired as a download is limited to a trial of 90 days, unless you acquire a service contract for the downloaded Software". So far the OpenSolaris license has not changed, it's still CDDL."
The NexentaStor project has released version 3.0 of the NexentaStor Community Edition. Based on the Nexenta Core Platform, the CE release is targeted at the home storage user. With its feature set of easy to use, ZFS based features like multiple raid configurations, inline deduplication, compression, integrated search, many plugins, it is a feature-rich gratis storage distribution. Grab iso and VM images from here. Release announcement is here.