OpenSolaris dead at age 5

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On Friday an email leaked out of Larry’s fortress of solitude indicating that Oracle has decided to shut down the OpenSolaris project. This follows public statements by the OpenSolaris board in mid-July that they were being ignored by Oracle and had had just about enough.

The leaked email is long, and shows Oracle’s business strategy with respect to Solaris

Oracle logoSolaris is the #1 Enterprise Operating System. We have the leading share of business applications on Solaris today, including both SPARC and x64. We have more than twice the application base of AIX and HP- UX combined. We have a brand that stands for innovation, quality, security, and trust, built on our 20-year investment in Solaris operating system engineering.

…We are increasing investment in Solaris, including hiring operating system expertise from throughout the industry, as a sign of our commitment to these goals.

…Solaris must stand alone as a best-of-breed technology for Oracle’s enterprise customers. We want all of them to think “If this has to work, then it runs on Solaris.”

Then the bit about OpenSolaris

All of Oracle’s efforts on binary distributions of Solaris technology will be focused on Solaris 11. We will not release any other binary distributions, such as nightly or bi-weekly builds of Solaris binaries, or an OpenSolaris 2010.05 or later distribution. We will determine a simple, cost-effective means of getting enterprise users of prior OpenSolaris binary releases to migrate to S11 Express.

The OpenSolaris developer who posted the note headlined it “OpenSolaris is Dead.”

This isn’t a huge issue for HPC, at least insofar at the TOP500 list is representative of the broader HPC community: there are only two OpenSolaris machines on the current list, and none that run Solaris. But it does show the degree to which Oracle is willing to grind up past sacred cows and slap them on the barbeque.


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  1. Actually I didn’t understand why u say “at age 19”, cos OpenSolaris as a project was started in 2005, and the first distro OpenSolaris 2008.05 came in 2008. So where did u get 19? Maybe u talk ’bout Solaris, not OpenSolaris that was invented in 1991? Then u could have tried to recall SunOS, which was even much earlier, or even UNIX itself…

  2. Gleb – yes, actually, I was counting back from Solaris’ birthday in 1991. I think it would make more sense to count from 2005…