By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-04-05 Print this article Print

When asked if Sun would be reaching out to the Linux community, Tom Goguen, vice president of Suns operating platforms group, avoided answering directly, saying that Sun is "always talking to people at a variety of levels within a variety of organizations. We look at this as a way to gain access to new operating system technology and leverage this in a variety of new and interesting places. As much as we contribute to that, Im sure well be involved with those folk," he said. Hopper was more direct, saying that the boards focus is Solaris and OpenSolaris "so we are really independent of any other operating system development activity that is going on in the marketplace. Obviously people gain ideas from the work done by others, but our focus will be entirely on OpenSolaris, to promote it, to augment it, to add facilities to and innovate on it," he said.
Fielding also noted that while there will initially be a large number of Sun employees in the OpenSolaris community, and that they will be its predominant source of members, they will be identified as individuals and given a voice as such rather than as part of their central corporate function.
"We will also be able to bring in people outside of Sun and create a community of people using Solaris, of the various developers and application shops that are developing drivers and additional applications on top of Solaris," he said. "We want to bring them in and give them the opportunity to participate, just as we have done with Sun employees in the past." Suns Phipps said the OpenSolaris model will focus on contributors and many people from Suns partners contribute to the existence and growth of Solaris. "We fully expect that they will be fully represented within the OpenSolaris community as well and the community will elect their two members to the advisory board next time," he said. Asked if OpenSolaris will be able to be built using open-source tools like GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) rather than a Sun compiler, Goguen said Sun will ensure there is buildable source code and all the tools to allow you to do that. Sun has not yet announced what those tools will be, he said, noting that Sun currently builds the Opteron version of the operating system using GCC today. John Loiacono, executive vice president for software at Sun, told eWEEK recently that Sun is also on track to deliver before the end of June all the OpenSolaris source code, which is most of the code for its shipping Solaris 10 product less some third-party drivers and other technology not legally owned by Sun. Sun has distributed more than one million registered licenses for Solaris 10 since Jan. 31, when the software became available on Suns Web site, he said, but he was unable to say how many of those were paid licenses rather than free downloads. With regard to the two pieces of technology that were not included when Solaris 10 shipped earlier this year—the 128-bit Solaris ZFS file system and the Janus technology that allows Linux binaries to run natively on Solaris—Loiacono said both are coming along and will be available by the middle of the year. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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