Sun to Release OpenSolaris Code, New Developer Web Portal

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-06-14 Print this article Print

The move to release the source code for the open-source version of Sun's Solaris operating system drives Sun further into a support and services revenue model.

Sun Microsystems on Tuesday will release the long-awaited millions of lines of source code for OpenSolaris, the open-source version of its Solaris operating system, a move designed to expand the developer base for, and applications written to, that platform. The single source code base covers the core operating system, networking, system libraries and commands for both SPARC and x64/x86 hardware platforms, giving developers and customers access to the code for all the innovations delivered in the Solaris 10 operating system, which was released earlier this year. Among those innovations are Dynamic Tracing (DTrace), the source code for which was made available as open source in January, containers, and predictive self healing.
The move also drives Sun further into a support and services revenue model as opposed to the proprietary model of selling packaged software as Microsoft does with its many Windows products.
Suns goal is to use the open-sourcing of Solaris to drive a turnaround of the companys software business, which has lost mind share, if not market share, in the Linux and Windows crossfire. To read eWEEK Labs review of Solaris 10, click here. Sun wants to foster a better internal software development process, work more closely with the community and then be able to drive innovation outside its own walls, increasing Solaris penetration and pushing it into new markets, its executives have said. Claire Giordano, the leader of the OpenSolaris initiative at Sun, told in an interview that Tuesday was "opening day for OpenSolaris" and that the code would be available for download at the new OpenSolaris community Web site portal from 8 a.m. PDT on Tuesday. Developers would be able to download a full build environment with all the tools they needed to build and develop on OpenSolaris, while the portal would also have developer documentation and the communitys page would be the place where they could join the discussion groups and either join existing or create new communities, she said. Asked what Sun had done about the third-party drivers and other third-party code that Sun had not been able to secure the rights to, Giordano said the Santa Clara, Calif., company had "worked hard to make that technology set as small as possible" and would also be making a road map available on the site that would detail when those technologies that could not be made available at launch would be available. Stephen Harpster, the director of Open Source Software at Sun, added that those things Sun had not been able to negotiate the rights to or had not yet started negotiating for the rights to, would be delivered in binary form on Tuesday "so people will be able to build their own OpenSolaris." Next Page: Community development

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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