Feeds

Sun's Solaris for hippies to arrive next week

New open source license approved

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

After years of hype, it looks like Sun Microsystems will finally unveil its open source version of Solaris at an event next week or at least make some new rumblings around the project.

Sun is holding a conference call with reporters and analysts on Jan. 25 to discuss "the company's Solaris open source initiative." Sun will most likely package the core parts of Solaris under its new Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), which was approved last week by the Open Source Initiative's (OSI) board. Sun is hoping the open source move will inspire more developer interest around Solaris, particularly its version of the operating system built for chips from Intel and AMD.

The company won't say exactly what will be discussed next week, and a final, open source version of Solaris could still be months away. Insiders, however, indicate that Sun will at least talk about how the CDDL will come into play and how certain parts of Solaris might be governed by the license.

Sun has spent the last couple of years debating the idea of this Solaris for hippies. Its largest customers like the tight controls Sun maintains over the version of Solaris for SPARC processors. This, at times, made the company reluctant to open up Solaris to non-Sun coders. In addition, Sun's legal staff has had a hard time stomaching the idea of an open source OS in the wild.

Sun, however, needed a bold move to spur interest in Solaris x86 and sees the open source model as one way to attract outsiders to its version of Unix.

Developers should think of OpenSolaris as a new distribution of the OS. The CDDL will likely be used to cover the Solaris kernel. Sun will then wrap other licenses around the various packages that plug into the OS. This will let the company protect the millions in research and development its pours into Solaris, while still giving developers a chance to make their own additions.

One source described the new CDDL as an "exemplary copyleft license that is a good, functional replacement for the MPL (Mozilla Public License)."

The OpenSolaris effort is often billed as Sun's attack on Linux. Many Sun insiders, however, are hoping to avoid this discussion, billing OpenSolaris as just a customer-friendly product.

In the most practical of terms, opening up Solaris provides a way for Sun to get advocates of the OS to work for free. There are a number of developers out there writing drivers to help Solaris x86 run on a wide range of hardware. Now they can all rally around the same product and have a peace, love and Solaris call to cheer. ®

Related stories

Red Hat Q3's 'validate' Linux subscriptions
Sun must acquire Red Hat or Novell - analyst
Sun shooting for double-digit piece of the x86 market
Sun begs partners to sell more Opteron servers
It's do or die time for Sun and Solaris x86

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.