Sun Continues Quest to Provide Linux Apps Under Solaris

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-06-24 Print this article Print

Execs say Sun's support of Xen virtualization isn't slowing down the company's Project Janus efforts to run Linux applications in Solaris containers.

Recent technology moves toward virtualization have led some industry insiders to question Suns commitment to letting users run Linux applications under Solaris. However, executives say the company isnt backing off its home-grown efforts. Project Janus, recently renamed the LAE (Linux Application Environment), will enable Linux application compatibility as an optional Solaris kernel service. Recently, however, Sun Microsystems Inc. started working with Xen, a popular open-source virtual-machine project. Superficially, LAE and Xen provide almost identical services.
However, Tom Goguen, vice president of platforms software, assured users in a recent interview with Ziff Davis Internet News that while Sun is very interested in Xen, its not abandoning Janus.
"Were continuing to work on that technology. In particular, were working on making it work with containers. So, for example, with a Janus container for Linux you could run a Linux application." Read more here about delays in Project Janus. In November, John Loiacono, Sun executive vice president for software, said support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and above will arrive first. Later, however, users will be able to "have five containers with five different distributions, including Red Hat Linux, running right beside SuSE Linux and Mandrake Linux all on one copy of Solaris, and they will all be firewalled from each other," he told eWEEK. Click here to read more from Loiaconos November interview. That vision may need to wait for a while, though. "Right now, were working on getting a Janus technology preview out this year," Goguen said. At this point, Goguen said, he cant give a hint on when Janus will appear. "Were in a replan right now about our Solaris 10 updates. Since there have been no major security problems, were not in a major rush to get an update out now." Next Page: Xen and Janus are complementary, but are they necessary?

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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