Open Source Alliance Cyberjaya

The Linux and Open Source Special Interest Group in Cyberjaya, Malaysia

Project Indiana to Create an OpenSolaris Distro

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When Sun Microsystems took its Solaris operating system open source nearly two years ago, the company was without question trying to emulate the success of Linux in order to keep Solaris from becoming largely irrelevant in modern data centers. Sun has been hinting about something called Project Indiana for some time, and it turns out to be another page from the Linux playbook.

While the OpenSolaris project has done much to convince the open source community that Sun is dead serious about taking most, if not all, of its key software to an open source model, getting its money from support contracts (as Linux vendors do), and proving the freely available binary distribution of Solaris for Sparc and X64 platforms has done much to put millions of Solaris 10 licenses out there in the world, the fact remains that it is way too much of a pain in the neck to grab the OpenSolaris code and create a usable set of binary code. So behind all of the mystery of Project Indiana is an effort by the OpenSolaris team to create its own binary distribution of OpenSolaris without having to wait for Sun to certify the code and distribute it as an official support product.

Up until now, Sun has distributed beta versions of upcoming Solaris versions and updates through its Solaris Express program–a process controlled by Sun itself, not the OpenSolaris community. With Project Indiana, according to a posting by Glynn Foster, a developer working on OpenSolaris, the open source variant of Sun’s Unix–which is now rightly called the world’s variant of Solaris, since Sun no longer technically owns it–will get a binary distribution within the next six months, and presumably OpenSolaris will include a build system that will allow anyone to create a set of binaries for LiveCDs, USB sticks, and different stacks for workstations and servers over the long haul. This is precisely what Red Hat has done with its just-announced Fedora 7 community-driven update to its Linux, which is actually managed by the independent (but heavily Red Hatted) Fedora Project.

The details of Project Indiana are a bit thin, in fact, and the processes behind Fedora 7 are far more slick at this point. You can see a lot of bickering back and forth in Glynn’s posting, which is how Sun–er, I mean OpenSolaris–announced what the project was all about. The idea is not fully cooked, but Sun would do well to just do exactly what the Fedora project has done with Fedora 7. Which is to make a source and binary build system that is Web-aware and that can create personalized distributions that suit the needs of anyone looking to do anything.

Source: IT Jungle


Written by syazli7

Sun, 3 Jun 2007 at 18:28:33 +0800

Posted in News

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