Feeds

Sun sets on Solaris Express Community Edition

It's OpenSolaris from here on out

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Despite the public-relations muzzle on employees at Sun Microsystems these days, the OpenSolaris project has announced that it will discontinue the Solaris Express Community Edition distro of the Solaris Unix variant.

According to the posting on the OpenSolaris site, Sun will stop spinning Solaris Express Community Edition "by the end of the October timeframe," which is New American for "by Halloween," or Old American for the date "October 30," the last Friday of the month. Sun also decided that the proper abbreviation for this software was SXCE.

Anyway, the plan is to start kicking out SXCE distros every two weeks, with the latest goodies from the "Nevada" development project inside Sun, which eventually gets merged into OpenSolaris to become Solaris 11, being rolled into the distro just like always.

Sun will package-up Unix SVR4 images with the SXCE distro, but will begin packaging-up the distro using its newer Image Packaging System (IPS) packages alongside SVR4 images, and by the fall SXCE will only be available in the IPS format.

The reason why Sun's techies have broken radio silence is that Solaris Express is one of the tools that developers have used since 2003 and the days of Solaris 9 to get a sneak peek at upcoming Solaris features. And the very developers that Sun - and soon Oracle - is trying to court with Solaris, Java, and other key software need to know that the software they might be using is coming to the end of the line.

So what is the difference between SXCE and OpenSolaris? SXCE has some closed source features that Sun licensed many years ago but does not have the right to open source and distribute as part of OpenSolaris. And like Solaris 10, SXCE is only distributed in binary form for Sparc and x86/x64 machines.

Sun has not been able to kill off SXCE until now for one good reason: the OpenSolaris "Project Indiana" complete and installable distribution, which debuted in May 2008 with the OpenSolaris 2008.05 release, did not support Sparc platforms. In fact, it wasn't until OpenSolaris 2009.06 came out on June 1 that Sparc iron could install binary versions of the OpenSolaris distro.

OpenSolaris can now run on Sun or Fujitsu boxes using UltraSparc-II, UltraSparc-III, UltraSparc-IV, and Sparc T series chips. (Fujitsu's Sparc64 family of processors was not mentioned as being supported with OpenSolaris 2009.06 back in June. Go figure. No one at Sun answers questions these days.)

As El Reg previously reported, Sun is not expected to put another OpenSolaris rev into the field until early 2010. However, customers who want to compile their own version of the latest-greatest code can use the OpenSolaris repository and IPS to spin one up any old time their little hearts desire. This future OpenSolaris release is expected to be grabbed by Sun - er, Oracle - and hardened and certified on iron and with middleware, database, and application stacks and become the next commercially supported version of Solaris.

Back in April, just after Oracle made its $5.6bn bid to acquire the company and the PR muzzle went on, the word from sources inside Sun was that Solaris Next (can we stop messing around and just call it Solaris 11, please?) was due around the middle of 2010. Who knows what the plan is now, or what it will be once Oracle comes in with its clipboards, red pens, and stopwatches axe. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.