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OpenSolaris Logo.svg
OpenSolaris desktop using the GNOME desktop environment
Company / developer Oracle Corporation
OS family Unix-like
Working state Current/Stable
Source model Free and open source software
Initial release 2008-05-05
Latest stable release 2009.06 / June 1, 2009; 9 month(s) ago (2009-06-01)
Latest unstable release build 134 / March 8, 2010; 8 day(s) ago (2010-03-08)
Available language(s) Multilingual
Supported platforms SPARC, IA-32, x86-64, PowerPC (under development), System z on z/VM (under development), ARM (under development)
Kernel type Monolithic
Userland GNU
Default user interface GNOME
License Mostly CDDL with proprietary components[1]
Official Website
OpenSolaris 2009.06 x86 LiveCD GNOME with terminal

OpenSolaris is an open source operating system based on Solaris created by Sun Microsystems, now a part of Oracle Corporation. It is also the name of the project initiated by Sun to build a developer and user community around it.

OpenSolaris is derived from the Unix System V Release 4 codebase, with significant modifications made by Sun since it bought the rights to that code in 1994. It is the only open source System V derivative available.[2] Open sourced components are snapshots of the latest Solaris release under development.[3] Sun has announced that future versions of its commercial Solaris operating system will be based on technology from the OpenSolaris project.[4]



OpenSolaris is based on Solaris, which was originally released by Sun in 1991. Solaris is a version of SVR4 (System V Release 4) UNIX, co-developed by Sun and AT&T. It was licensed by Sun from Novell to replace SunOS.[5]

Planning for OpenSolaris started in early 2004. A pilot program was formed in September 2004 with 18 non-Sun community members and ran for 9 months growing to 145 external participants.

The first part of the Solaris codebase to be open sourced was the Solaris Dynamic Tracing facility (commonly known as DTrace), a tracing tool for administrators and developers that aids in tuning a system for optimum performance and utilization. DTrace was released on January 25, 2005. At that time, Sun also launched the web site, and announced that the OpenSolaris code base would be released under the CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License). The bulk of the Solaris system code was released on June 14, 2005. There remains some system code that is not open sourced, and is available only as pre-compiled binary files.

A Community Advisory Board was announced on April 4, 2005: two were elected by the pilot community, two were employees appointed by Sun, and one was appointed from the broader free software community by Sun. The members were Roy Fielding, Al Hopper, Rich Teer, Casper Dik, and Simon Phipps. On February 10, 2006 Sun reestablished this body as the independent OpenSolaris Governing Board.[6] The task of creating a governance document or "constitution" for this organization was given to the OGB and three invited members: Stephen Hahn and Keith Wesolowski (developers in Sun's Solaris organization) and Ben Rockwood (a prominent OpenSolaris community member).

On March 19, 2007, Sun announced that it had hired Ian Murdock, founder of Debian, to head Project Indiana,[7] an effort to produce a complete OpenSolaris distribution, with GNOME and userland tools from GNU, plus a network-based package management system.[8] Several independent distributions are also available.

On May 5, 2008, OpenSolaris 2008.05 was released, in a format that could be booted as a Live CD or installed directly. It uses the GNOME desktop environment as the primary user interface. The later OpenSolaris 2008.11 release included a GUI for ZFS' snapshotting capabilities, known as Time Slider, that provides functionality similar to Mac OS X's Time Machine.

In December 2008 Sun Microsystems and Toshiba America Information Systems announced plans to distribute Toshiba laptops pre-installed with OpenSolaris.[9][10]

On April 1, 2009, the Tecra M10 and Portégé R600 come preinstalled with OpenSolaris 2008.11 release and several supplemental software packages.[11][12]

On June 1, 2009, OpenSolaris 2009.06 was released, with support for the SPARC platform.[13]

Version history

Version Release date End of support phase[14]
General Availability (GA) Post End of Version (EOV) SunSpectrum End of Service Life (SS-EOSL)
2008.05 13 May 2008 13 November 2008 13 May 2011 -
2008.11 25 November 2008 25 May 2009 25 November 2011 -
2009.06 1 June 2009 1 December 2009 1 June 2012 1 June 2014
2010.03 March 2010 - - -
Colour Meaning
Red Release no longer supported
Green Release still supported
Blue Future release

System usage

Development versions of OpenSolaris that include all known patches, upgrades, newer techologies and more applications are released on period of usually every 15 days inside /dev repository.[15][16]

Paid support with backported updates for stable release are available from Oracle, ending with OpenSolaris 2009.06 release.[17]

A hardware compatibility list Hcl for OpenSolaris should be consulted when choosing hardware for OpenSolaris deployment.

Extensive OpenSolaris official administration and usage documentation is available online[18] as well as community-contributed information[19]


Sun has released most of the Solaris source code under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), which is based on the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 1.1. The CDDL was approved as an open source license by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) in January 2005. Files licensed under the CDDL can be combined with files licensed under other licenses, whether open source or proprietary.[20]

During Sun's announcement of Java's release under the GNU General Public License (GPL), Jonathan Schwartz and Rich Green both hinted at the possibility of releasing Solaris under the GPL, with Green saying he was "certainly not" averse to relicensing under the GPL.[21] When Schwartz pressed him (jokingly), Green said Sun would "take a very close look at it." In January 2007, eWeek reported that anonymous sources at Sun had told them OpenSolaris would be dual-licensed under CDDL and GPLv3.[22] Green responded in his blog the next day that the article was incorrect, saying that although Sun is giving "very serious consideration" to such a dual-licensing arrangement, it would be subject to agreement by the rest of the OpenSolaris community.[23]


Legal status

Judge Dale Kimball made a ruling on July 16, 2008 in the legal case SCO v. Novell which included these statements:

After entering into the 2003 Sun Agreement, Sun released an opensource version of its UNIX-based Solaris product, called "OpenSolaris." As its name suggests, OpenSolaris is based on Sun's Solaris operating system, which is in turn based on Novell's SVRX intellectual property. Absent the removal of the 1994 Sun Agreement's confidentiality restrictions, Sun would not have been licensed to publicly release the OpenSolaris source code

...In this case, Sun obtained the rights to opensource Solaris, and SCO received the revenue for granting such rights even though such rights remained with Novell. If the court were to declare that the contract was void and should be set aside, the court could not return the parties to the same position they were in prior to the 2003 Agreement. Sun has already received the benefits of the agreement and developed and marketed a product based on those benefits. There was also evidence at trial that OpenSolaris directly competed with Novell’s interest. The court, therefore, cannot merely void the contract.[24]


Recently efforts were made to organize the first OpenSolaris conference. It's aimed at programmers or people interested in development issues and it took place February 2007 in Berlin, Germany. The OpenSolaris Developer Conference[25] is organized by the German Unix User Group (GUUG).



  • Belenix, Live CD[32]
  • marTux, Live CD/DVD,[33] first distribution for SPARC
  • napp-it,[34] free Browser managed internet/ san/ nas/ project, based on nexenta3 or eon/opensolaris
  • Nexenta OS, Ubuntu-based with ZFS[35]
  • NexentaStor, optimized for storage workloads, based on Nexenta
  • SchilliX, Live CD
  • MilaX, small Live CD/Live USB[36]
  • AuroraUX, Live CD with userland rewritten in Ada; support for x86/x64 and an experimental PowerPC port.
  • Jaris, Live DVD and also installable. Pronounced according to the IPA but in English as Yah-Rees. This distribution has been heavily modified to fully support a version of Wine called Madoris that can install and run Windows programs at native speed. Jaris stands for "Japanese Solaris". Madoris is a combination of the Japanese word for Windows "mado" and Solaris.
  • StormOS, a lightweight desktop OS based on Nexenta.

Live USB

It is possible to create a Live USB of OpenSolaris.[37]

See also



  1. ^ "OpenSolaris Binary Licensing FAQ". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  2. ^ Bruce Hill (2007), Introduction to OpenSolaris,, p. 3,, retrieved 2009-11-21 
  3. ^ "What version of the Solaris OS has been open sourced?". OpenSolaris General FAQ. 
  4. ^ "What is the difference between the OpenSolaris project and the Solaris Operating System?". OpenSolaris General FAQ. 
  5. ^ Sun Microsystems (September 4, 1991). "SunSoft introduces first shrink-wrapped distributed computing solution: Solaris". Press release. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  6. ^ Simon Phipps (February 10, 2006). "Open Solaris Independence Day". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  7. ^ Simon Phipps (March 19, 20067). "Charting the Next 25 Years". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  8. ^ Timothy Prickett Morgan (August 2, 2007). "Q&A: Sun's Top Operating System Brass Talk OS Strategy". IT Jungle. 
  9. ^ Tom Espiner (December 12, 2008). "OpenSolaris now on Toshiba laptops". ZDNet Australia.,130061733,339293785,00.htm. 
  10. ^ Sun Microsystems (December 10, 2008). "Sun Microsystems Launches Latest Version of OpenSolaris; Unveils Time Slider Visualization Tool and New Partnership with Toshiba to Build Line of OpenSolaris Laptops". Press release. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  11. ^ "Toshiba OpenSolaris Laptops". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  12. ^ "Get the Toshiba OpenSolaris Laptop". Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  13. ^ "What's New In 2009.06". June 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  14. ^ "End of Service Life Status for OpenSolaris Operating System". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  15. ^ OpenSolaris development release upgrade
  16. ^ Genunix-newest development release downloads and information for Opensolaris releases and distributions
  17. ^ [ Oracle ends paid OpenSolaris support
  18. ^ Opensolaris documentation page
  19. ^ Opensolaris information resources home wiki
  20. ^ "Can code licensed under the CDDL be combined with code licensed under other open source licenses?". OpenSolaris FAQ: Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). OpenSolaris. 
  21. ^ "Sun Opens Java" (OGG Theora). Sun Microsystems. 
  22. ^ Galli, Peter (January 16, 2007). "Sun to License OpenSolaris Under GPLv3". eWeek.,1895,2084284,00.asp. 
  23. ^ Rich Green (January 17, 2007). "All the News That's Fit to Print". Rich Green's Weblog. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ OpenSolaris Developer Preview on USB flash drives

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Table Of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. User
  3. Developer
  4. Reference Manual


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