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Sun Microsystems Operating Systems Software Unix

Sun COO Schwartz Promises Open Source Solaris 371

Alapan writes "According to C-Net Asia, Sun plans to make Solaris open source soon. While I hardly expect Sun to make it GPL compatible, I wonder how much restrictions Sun will place on distributing modified solaris systems. And will we some integration of Solaris' strong points into other open source OSes like Linux and BSD?" Update: 06/02 14:16 GMT by T : Correction: Schwartz is Sun's COO and President, but not CEO (as the headline originally had it).
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Sun COO Schwartz Promises Open Source Solaris

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  • by CreamOfWheat ( 593775 ) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:41AM (#9313979)
    Doesn't anyone else find it strange that we have a Microsoft and Sun deal and now Sun starts touting, "You should not be using Linux, as some day we are going to be making Solaris open source." Yeah sure but are we certain that "some day" will arrive? It has long been a tactic of M$ to announce something as being "almost ready" to forestall interest in a competing product that they really have no answer for. Then by creating enough uncertainty and doubt, they repeatedly harm their competitors with vaporware announcements.
    • by Allen Zadr ( 767458 ) * <Allen DOT Zadr AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:53AM (#9314109) Journal
      Personally, I've come to think of the MS/Sun deal as mostly a P.R. move. It sounds good to potential Sun investors. It sounds good to Microsoft haters and Java writers - (finally, they've worked out something about this damned Java thing).

      Sun is responsible for purchasing and open-sourcing Star (Open) Office. They've actually had success with this, and are probably thinking that open-source will really help sell more hardware.

      • by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:15AM (#9314336) Journal
        But, Sun says that hardware will be free. My question is, if they open source Solaris and provide hardware for free, what's left? Pure support? Companies stopped paying big bucks for support years ago. That's why DEC died.
        • Companies stopped paying big bucks for support years ago. That's why DEC died.

          It's also why IBM died. Oh wait.

          • I would hardly think that IBM gives the hardware for free. You'll get some cool sounding discounts for also buying something else from them (e.g., a dysfunctional app server), and... still end up more expensive than a faster computer from Dell. Then you end up needing uber-expensive consultants to just make that dysfunctional app server work.

            But somehow clueless PHBs just love discounts. If you told one "we'll give you this top-of-the-line mainframe for 1000 bucks", it wouldn't sound so cool as "it normall
            • by potus98 ( 741836 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:57AM (#9315510) Journal

              ...But somehow clueless PHBs just love discounts.

              Sometimes true. But it's worth mentioning that many PHBs (purchasers, CFOs, etc.) are fincancially rewarded based on the percentage or number of dollars "saved". Sure, it may not be the best technical (or financial) solution for their business, but if they are able to negotiate 30% savings on solution A versus 10% savings on solution B, they may get a much larger end-of-quarter bonus if they "save" the company the 30% by choosing option A.

              You may want to chat with the folks (read: Board of Directors) who establish potentially counter-productive incentives like this.

            • by j3ll0 ( 777603 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @05:50PM (#9319720)

              I don't know what support you've gotten from IBM, but some of the stuff I've seen is pretty damn impressive.

              At the hosted DRP site down here in Sydney .au, there is a little 620 AS/400.

              It stands at a 45 degree angle to the ground.

              The story goes, a Warehouse guy for one of the car manufacturing firms down here got laid off, so he drove his forklift into the main building, picked up the AS/400 on the forks, and dropped it out a 2 story window. He then drove out of the building and down to the gound level and repeatedly rammed it.

              Now, it turns out that in AS/400 land (at least back then), the only controller that could read from an array was the controller that wrote to it. So the IBM support guys literally rebuilt the card. They then pulled the data off of that box and recovered.

              That machine still sits there just to show potential customers I guess how far IBM will go to recover their data.

              Say what you want dude, but IBM support, at least at the corporate end of the market, is worth it. GSA on the other hand.....*bleh*
    • by TheLinuxWarrior ( 240496 ) <aaron.carr@aa r o n c a r> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:07AM (#9314265)
      Sun isn't saying "Don't use Linux". In fact, if you want Linux, you can get it on Sun (X86) hardware.

      Sun is also producing turn key Linux cluster solutions for pharmaceutical companies. How does that say "don't use Linux"?

      I think you're getting the wrong message. The message is, we've always prided ourselves on our committment to open standards and open source, and that trend will continue with Solaris.

      I for one don't see anything bad coming from that.

      • by Curtman ( 556920 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:06AM (#9314911)
        Its neat to see Sun employees popping up on various mailing lists [] more often. Also, the Gnome HIG [] is an invaluable resource, contributed by Sun. I say give them the benifit of doubt for now.
    • In the mean time, it looks like Solaris will be employed to put downward pricing pressure on Red Hat [] et al., possibly even with free servers thrown into the bargain.
    • by formal_entity ( 778568 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:36AM (#9314535) Homepage
      I dont think its strange at all, I could even imagine that Microsoft wanted this to happen. If Solaris servers are cheaper than IBM/RedHat ones then it will be harder for RH to grab a serious place in the enterprise server market. This also prevents "desktop RH" by (A) preventing RH from getting serious funds, (B) decreasing the RH-is-a-good-thing buzz among company management.
      • Divide and conquer.

        Excellent strategy.

        What MS has to worry about is not SUN. Sun is going to disappear(probably absorbed by MSFT).

        I don't think StarOffice would be as successful as it is if there weren't an OpenOffice.

        What happens to OpenOffice if MS acquires Sun? (not now, but in 2007 after SUN has laid off half its staff and lost most of its reserves?)

        What happens to Java for that matter?

        And honestly, if Solaris is opensourced like Java is opensource, it's not going to mean much.
        • What happens to OpenOffice if MS acquires Sun? (not now, but in 2007 after SUN has laid off half its staff and lost most of its reserves?)

          What happens to Java for that matter?

          IF, Microsoft were to acquire Sun... (given that I find this a remote possibility)

          1) Star Office would be officially pronounced (as in Medical Examiner) within days.
          2) Open Office would continue more or less unaffected
          3) Java on the other hand, in the form we currently know it, might also die for entirely BS reasons provided by Mic
          • Open Office would continue more or less unaffected? I don't think so - 95% of the development effort that goes into OOo is done by Sun employees - when Sun pulls out of OOo the loud thud you will hear is a hugely inscrutable codebase hitting the floor with nobody around that can support it.

            How much do you think it is worth for MS to have OOo out of the way? 2 billion? 20 billion? OOo is the single component that makes corporate desktop linux work. It is the kingpin of Open Source software.

            Think about it..
        • How the hell did you get moded up? This ALL speculation with no facts at all.

          There is no evidence that Sun is going to disappear, just becuase it is doing poorly now does not mean its doomed. Just look at Apple.

          Microsoft will not buy Sun. What would MS gain by this? A bunch of RISC technology that they don't want to even exist? Some more OSes? Another language? MS has thier product line and has shown no intention of devation. MS's motivations aside - the antitrust courts would never go for it.


    • by justanyone ( 308934 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:50AM (#9314726) Homepage Journal

      Please don't flame me! I love Solaris!

      BUT: I humbly predict that when Solaris is opened, people will pour through the code and find (a) many old security holes, unpatched, and (b) many new security holes, due to the number of eyes on the code.

      This will probably result in:
      • Frequent patching for a while;
      • Frequent security alerts for a while;
      • Many hacks into existing unpatched systems;
      • Cross-polination of good (security and other) ideas from Solaris into xxxBSD and Linux;
      • Gradual settling down of security problems to even lower numbers than before.
      This is not a dire prediction - Solaris is already Pretty Damned Secure - and it'll be an unmitigated Good Thing once the initial flurry of patches come through. I'm just concerned for the interim timeframe when "Security Through Obscurity" goes away and hasn't yet been replaced by "Security Through Code Quality".

      --Kevin (at justanyone dooooooooootttt cooooommmmmmm).
    • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:39AM (#9315280) Homepage
      Doesn't anyone else find it strange that we have a Microsoft and Sun deal and now Sun starts touting, "You should not be using Linux, ...

      It wasn't a "deal". It was a settlement. As in, Microsoft acknowledged that they had done wrong and owed compensation to Sun to the tune of approximately $2 billion in cash and stock and other stuff.

      And you can buy supported versions of Linux from Sun. I hardly see how that is them saying you "should not be using Linux". You can buy an AMD64 server running Linux, right now, today, right on their website [].

      You might also notice that they have certified their AMD64 servers to run Red Hat Enterprise or SuSe Enterprise (or Windows 2003 *cough*). Sun doesn't prevent you from installing and running competitor software on their hardware. Though of course, they won't support any software except their own.

      You can also get Sun's Java Desktop which is NOT just a rebadged SuSe Linux. There is a fair bit of value-add on top of SuSe, including all the nifty enterprise management software. The EMS won't mean anything to you unless you have 1000+ seats to maintain. But if you are in that space then NONE of the other Linux distros come anywhere near JDS. Of course, dimwitted reviewers who expect JDS to be in the same space as Lindows and Mandrake are inevitably disappointed when it doesn't support their SATA hard drives. But that says volumes about dimwitted reviewers and very little about Sun's commitment to Linux.

      I realise Sun-bashing is extremely popular right now but honestly it's entirely unjustified.

  • apple and legos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheese_wallet ( 88279 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:41AM (#9313980) Journal
    Addressing the question of how Sun plans to make money with an open-source Solaris, he simply said that Sun doesn't have to rely on only the operating system. "We have hardware, storage, services and support. What we are doing is taking that whole thing and selling that whole thing," he said.

    This looks like the exact opposite approach of Apple, who makes really cool closed source software to sell their hardware.

    It seems to me that it's pretty easy to slap together hardware systems, but developing software systems is a little more daunting of a task. In hardware, it's like putting legos together.

    Software tries to do that too, but everybody and their brother tries to make a better lego, and so you end up with millions of incompatible partial solutions that are very difficult to build up into a complete solution.

    • Re:apple and legos (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Allen Zadr ( 767458 ) * <Allen DOT Zadr AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:49AM (#9314070) Journal
      I would agree with you, when speaking only about X86 systems, but the SPARC line has long been a place where Sun excels

      Well, when I say excel, I should really say it in the past tense. Being, really, since the SPARC platform went PCI the whole thing went downhill. But, sun still has some good offerings on the hardware side, and are (supposedly) working on new ones. I think building your own CPU is orders of magnitude harder than writing a "Yet Another Unix Clone" (especially now).

    • It seems to me that it's pretty easy to slap together hardware systems, but developing software systems is a little more daunting of a task. In hardware, it's like putting legos together.

      What drugs are you taking? You have the argument completely fuck ways. Anyone can churn out software at little or no cost, building a FAB is an plant entirely different matter.
    • Sun doesn't have to rely on only the operating system. "We have hardware, storage, services and support. What we are doing is taking that whole thing and selling that whole thing,"

      Oh im sorry. Did I not understand yesterday's Slashdot story []? So they will make money from hardware, which they are saying will be free in a couple of years? Does Sun ever pay attention to what they release?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      It seems to me that it's pretty easy to slap together hardware systems, but developing software systems is a little more daunting of a task. In hardware, it's like putting legos together.

      You're uninformed. Actually designing software involves drawing up an interconnect of black boxes and picking a language to write the boxes in. The actual coding can be done anywhere by anyone, as long as the black boxes and interconnects can work.

      Hardware design has some of the black box elements, but once the bla
  • comments to sun (Score:5, Informative)

    by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:42AM (#9313988) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if sun will accept comments on their system from those who write linux and BSD?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:43AM (#9313994)
    Open Source Java is on its way?
    • I do know that Eric Raymond went to speak to Sun UK a couple of months ago and it was strongly rumoured that it was about open sourcing Java.


    • God, I hope not. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Liselle ( 684663 ) *
      That's a disaster waiting to happen. Java needs to be under strict control, else we'll have a dozen forks that won't play nice with each other. Open Source and Free Software are all well and good, but when it comes to Java, I'm drawing a line in the sand. It's a noble goal, but not worth the risk of shattering the language. The "write once, run anywhere" mantra would go right out the window. It'll be like 1997 again.
      • by clump ( 60191 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:11AM (#9314300)
        Java needs to be under strict control, else we'll have a dozen forks that won't play nice with each other.

        Yes because C/C++ are such unsuccessful disasters. We wouldn't want Java to be anything like those languages.
        • by Omega1045 ( 584264 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:45AM (#9314667)
          They may not be unsuccessful, but the (sometimes wildly) different implimentations of C++ turns my stomach a bit. I think the way C++ evolved into its "stanard" over the 90s was analogous to watching a car wreck in slow motion. C++ is very, very powerful but also very fragmented by varying levels of support of templates, etc, etc, etc.

          That said, I think that there could be an "official" Java release similar to Linus's official kernel, which the vast majority of the world use. I think plain old GPL Java would work very well.
        • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:15AM (#9315030)
          Sorry but how is C/C++ code inherently cross platform or even cross compiler compatible? Can I take an MS C++ 6.0 program and compile it on Borland running on windows?

          I have not even mentioned compatibility with other "platforms" yet.

          The great thing about real Java (not that MS Java crap) is that it will run on any current JDK on any platform.

          • Re:God, I hope not. (Score:3, Informative)

            by peawee03 ( 714493 )
            You can take an ISO C++ program and compile it on just about any standards compilant compiler across multiple computers of different makes / models. For example, I can write code in C++, and compile it with Sun CC on a SPARC, gcc on a FreeBSD Alpha box, and icc on an Linux x86 box. MS Visual C++ was designed to lock you into the Windows x86 platform, and force you to use Visual Studio tools to boot.
      • by mbonar ( 676365 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:14AM (#9314325) Journal
        "else we'll have a dozen forks that won't play nice with each other." That's what we have now. They're called JDK releases.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:20AM (#9314380)
        Why? I dont see PHP, Python and other OS languages having this problem, why should Java?
      • by DavidNWelton ( 142216 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:30AM (#9314461) Homepage
        Oh, come off it.

        All it takes is them retaining the rights to the Java (TM) name, ala TeX. I.e. you can't call it Java (TM) if it's not compatible. Same thing goes for TCP/IP - that's been open source for a long time, and you don't see a million incompatible versions.

        Enforce compatibility through test suites and (open) standards, not by grabbing everyone by the balls via a proprietary platform.
        • Oh so the name is so important? If IBM forks Java and calls it the WebsphereVM you don't think people will buy into it? That's the biggest concern, not microsoft anymore.

          Open standards are important and if one vendor can gain too much control then they can control the market and screw others. Concidering how Sun isn't ruling the java market as a vendor I think they're doing a good job as a steward.

      • So you think that Sun has done such a good job with Java that the only thing a bunch of hippie hackers could do would be to ruin it?

        If I recall correctly, the most advanced technology in the world comes from the mind of hippie hackers, and I don't think Neil Armstrong would have walked on Luna if there had not been hippie hackers to help him get there.

        Yeah, under strict control. My bum. Things under strict control stagnate and get all tangled in ret tape.

    • No, Given the fact that soon after IBM public requested that Sun Open Source Java, Microsoft mysteriously give them a $2Billion settlement, I think it's fair to say that would have been on the basis of NOT open sourcing JAVA. Do you actually think that settlement was on the basis of Microsoft caring about its past -anticompetitive- misdeeds, and saving a competitor thats bleeding revenue like river and would most likely not survive to see a true settlement through the court system? Afterall, it would pret
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) *
    On the subject of a probable licensing model for the open-source Solaris, John Loiacono, executive vice president of Sun's Software Group, said: "We have to consider what licensing model we use and what levels of free usage we want.

    I'll tell you what level of free you should use. The only one that exsists. FREE. Not free with reservations, not free with restrictions, not free blah blah blah, FREE.
    • by shadow303 ( 446306 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:52AM (#9314096)
      Oh, so you also support the MIT/BSD license.
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:55AM (#9314140) Homepage Journal
      Is that free as in beer, speech, GPL, or BSD? Not everyone agrees what FREE means. The BSD crowd claims that the GPL is not free because you force people that use GPL code to release the source so you are limiting their freedom to do what they want with the code. The GPL people claim that the BSD people are letting the code be locked away. A lot of people only want free as in I don't pay for it.
      Sun could say that it is GPL but only from the Sparc chip AKA QT. Which many feel is free but I do not.
      Or it could be you get the source code but you may not sell your changes and must give them back to Sun so they can distrubute it to other Solaris users. This is Free as in getting free labor. Could it be free as in GPL but only for a single CPU?
      I do not see it as free as in pure GPL or BSD but who knows.
    • The only one that exsists. FREE. Not free with reservations, not free with restrictions, not free blah blah blah, FREE

      You mean public domain? That's not gonna happen.. even RMS isn't that extreme.
    • I think that the approach may be similar to the MPL (as I understood the 1.0 edition, the 1.1 Mozilla Public License [] is different) requiring people to submit to the Mozilla foundation the alterations that they had made to the code-base.

      This allowed the foundation to maintain centralised control of the project without forked copies damaging it. I think that will allow Sun to nicely control Solaris.

      Take care.
  • Sun has gone mad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TyrelHaveman ( 159881 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:43AM (#9314004) Homepage
    Some time in the last few months, Sun Microsystems has lost their collective mind. Not that I don't agree with their decisions, but they have changed quite a bit. I'm just not sure yet whether it's good or bad.
  • I wonder how long until solaris is ported to other archicecture. Could this be a full functioning 64 bit supported OS on the x86 systems?
  • Odd.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jwthompson2 ( 749521 ) * <james.plainprograms@com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:45AM (#9314021) Homepage
    Just yesterday we were talking about this []...which just leaves me saying huh!? Unless they meant Shared-Source and not really OSI-Style open source...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:45AM (#9314024)
    So if the software is free and the hardware is free...

    1. give away everything
    2. ???
    3. profit!

    no seriously, do they think they can pull off a profit from providing support services a la red hat, or will they try to squeeze profit from their other software offerings? makes no sense to me... have then gone insane?
    • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:52AM (#9314103) Journal
      do they think they can pull off a profit from providing support services

      Yes, they have the experience and cred in the industry to do just that, unlike Red Hat who were (are) viewed as an upstart by many CTOs.

      One thing holding back the adoption of Sun (and it was true in my office when we started looking to replace HP-9000 MPE based systems) is uncertainty as to the future of the OS. If we drop a boatload of cash into a bunch of Solaris boxes, and MSFT buys up and dissolves Sun tomorrow, then what?

      Hell forget the hardware, what happens to our all our apps that we've tightly integrated into Solaris? Do we port all that stuff yet again to another unix?

      With the source, that worry is gone. This is why Linux is succeeding, and because of Linux and the various free BSD's, folks who write checks are nervous about proprietary Unixes. Thing is, they want the support and expertise of a company like Sun, but they see the value in the openness of systems like Linux.

      This is a very smart move on Sun's part, it'll push a lot of folks onto their side of the fence, and they should net a metric assload in support contracts and hardware sales.
    • by nightsweat ( 604367 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:04AM (#9314237)
      1. give away everything
      2. ???
      3. profit!

      The Nineties are back! Hoorah!
  • "And will we some integration of Solaris' strong points into other open source OSes like Linux and BSD?"

    Mmmm. Some integration will we make.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:46AM (#9314030)
    Sun's idea of "open source" is sometimes a peculiar one. What license will Solaris be OSed with?

    Great news though... free hardware AND software from Sun. How does Sun make money? Volume!
  • by stephenry ( 648792 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:47AM (#9314041)
    Would it be possible -and I'm no expert by any means- that this is a direct attack on Linux. By that I mean that in all likelyhood Sun will probably use a GPL incompatible license, and aim to steer development effort away from Linux and on to Solaris; over which they would have more control, causing, in essence, a fork in Linux Kernel Development. I bet Microsoft got a good deal of influence on Sun's business decisions for $2Billions.
  • Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by countach ( 534280 )
    Firstly, I really really doubt that it will be real open source, so much as Sun's pseudo open source (aka Java). I can understand Sun's desire to prevent forks and retain compatibility, but that doesn't make it real open source.

    Secondly, won't SCO have something to say about this? I would have thought there were some contracts to do with Unix that would prevent them open sourcing it. I know Sun "bought out" the rights, but surely that didn't include open sourcing the whole thing and destroying SCO's abilit
  • by signe ( 64498 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:49AM (#9314062) Homepage
    I guess he hasn't been talking to his COO lately, considering that just yesterday [] we were reading that Sun says that hardware will be free. So if Sun's hardware is going to be free, and their OS is going to be free, where do I sign up?

  • This is just an obvious attempt to keep Linux from taking their market...

    10 years ago, it might have worked but it's too late now.

  • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:50AM (#9314077)
    ...Considering how they licensed their Gnome-based Java Desktop System []. And that software was LGPL to begin with! Pray tell, what kind of god-awful monstrocity of a license are they going to come up with Solaris!?
  • from TFA... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:50AM (#9314081) Homepage Journal
    "Look, you only need to look at what we've done with Java to understand how Sun views the value of incorporating community feedback. Java could not exist if only Sun is supporting it. It exists because there are hundreds and thousands of partners. We need to now take the model with Java and bring it to Solaris," he said.

    Ok, so ... according to Mr. Schwartz, Solaris will be open source soon, just like Java is open source today. Evidently this is some new definition of "open source" that I was not previously aware of.

    I want some of whatever he's been smoking.

    It's a shame, because if they would truly open source Solaris and Java, the open source community would rally around both products and actually help Sun get out of the death spiral they seem to be in right now. If they have any doubt about that, all they have to do is look in their own source repositories to see how well it's worked for

    Sun needs a regime change. The current crop of morons are not fit for management.
    • according to Mr. Schwartz, Solaris will be open source soon...

      Actually, despite the headline's claim, Schwartz never actually said "soon"; in fact, he was very vague: 'I don't want to say when that will happen. But make no mistake, we will open source Solaris.'
      So, what does that mean? At the latest possible hour, when all other options are exhausted?

      And before we get too excited about an open Solaris, consider this: "one problem that Schwartz wants to avoid is having Solaris splintered into different di
  • Huge. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 1lus10n ( 586635 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:51AM (#9314085) Journal
    This is an epic thing. If Sun does what Sun usually does and makes Solaris available under the BSD style licenses this will boost all unix like OS's. However I think they will end up using a Sun specific license (one that was developed for this specific purpose). I also think they did this because by opensourcing solaris they can start some serious cutbacks, a large amount of the OS can be handled by the community, and this might be a major cost cutting move motivated to save sun's ass.

    Solaris has probably the best security and stability out of any of the widely used *nix's. Not to mention the superior threading of the actual OS and its core.

    However the article makes mention of using something similar to java's licensing, which is *NOT* open source in any way shape or form. This sounds like another wait-and-see thing from the leader of wait-and-see (although not leading in much else these days.)
  • *sigh* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El_Ge_Ex ( 218107 )
    According to C-Net Asia, Sun plans to make Solaris open source soon.

    Yep, just like they'll open source Java soon. []

    This is just another half-assed attempt of SUN trying to compete with IBM []. Move along, nothing to see here...

  • Java you morons, not Solaris. Almost nobody gives a flying fuck about whether Solaris is opened or not.
  • by drizst 'n drat ( 725458 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:52AM (#9314100)
    I don't know, but in my humble opinion, Solaris has a lot more going for it than does Linux. No, this isn't meant to be a troll or flamebait. I've used Solaris since 4.1.3 and through 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, and now 2.9 and can tell you that this is a really nice operating system. Simple, logical, and extremely robust. Granted, I've used it on SPARC machines and that is where it really shines. I have used 2.7 and 2.8 on the intel platform with decent results. Maybe it's just the familiarity and comfort level associated with working on Sun hardware, but Solaris is solid and a dream to work with. I've used (and still do) RedHat and SuSE and though they look good, and in many cases is more suited to the intel platform, I can't believe that if Sun took to making Solaris more available that more folks wouldn't use it. I know, you need applications and other vendor support, but still ... this is welcome news!
    • Yes, and that's probably what this whole thing is about! To steal developers away from the Linux Kernel, and concentrate them on a system that -ultimately- be under supreme control of Sun; and of significant control of that mysterious benefactor of Sun whom recently donated $2Billions to them.
    • Every solaris install I have seen in the field has had the GNU development chain and/or tools installed to it. When I ask the developers/users why?

      Because the GNU tools are easier to use and have more features (and are free)

    • I'm sorry, but once you've used GNU/Linux, you'll find Solaris sucks very badly.

      • Where are all the useful tools? You have to download them from some unofficial site called Sunfreeware. Oh now, apparently you get some ancient GNU software compiled on an extra CD these days - great leap forward guys!
      • No command-line editing anywhere in sight! I once saw a Solaris consultant configuring a box, and using the mouse to cut and paste command lines every two seconds. Man I felt sorry for him.
      • The pkg
      • by Cajal ( 154122 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:02AM (#9314872)
        I suggest you check out Blastwave []. They've created a Debian-esque wrapper around Sun's package format and have a network-aware installer. So, to install, say, PostgreSQL, you just do `sudo pkg-get install postgresql` and it will connect to a repository, fetch pgsql and its dependecies. You can also upgrade all of your Blastwave packages by doing a `sudo pkg-get upgrade'. It's pretty nice. They've got a decent amount of packages [] available.

        Sun has announced that GNOME will be their new default desktop. In fact, I believe they are porting Java Desktop (which is GNOME with a Sun theme) to Solaris.

        Regarding speed, have you checked out Solaris 10? It's a lot faster than 8 and 9. Sun is making the betas of 10 available for free - check out Solaris Express [].

        Also, an Ultra 5 is hardly an ideal system to use. It's about 7 years old, and even then was extremely low-end. I used to use one as a Kerberos server. It worked fine as a lightweight server, but I'd never use it for interactive work. Linux is probably faster than Solaris on it, but Solaris is hardly optimized for that level of system.
      • Solaris has always had ksh, which includes command line editing. Sounds like a bad consultant. Solaris 8 and up now includes bash as well.
      • you'll find Solaris sucks very badly

        As a desktop, maybe. But Solaris doesn't shine as a desktop O/S, it shines on a server where uptime, stability and scalability are the primary concerns.

        now, apparently you get some ancient GNU software compiled on an extra CD these days - great leap forward guys

        I personally install many of the GNU tools over their Solaris counterparts. However if Sun up and replaced the Solaris tools overnight then thousands of scripts would break because they depend on the beha

      • Some incorrect information here (mostly from ignorance):
        • No command-line editing: It's an SVR4 Unix -- it has all the tools that any other SVR4 Unix flavor has. Just because you saw some windows consultant playing with Solaris doesn't mean that it's a bad OS.
        • pkg has its strengths, some of which are better than RPM. Your post shows that you've very rarely used it, so you not would know.
        • I very seriously doubt that solaris ran slower than debian on a SPARC platform. You were probably seeing slowness in
    • logical? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrWhizBang ( 5333 )
      $ uname -a
      SunOS armageddon 5.8 Generic_108528-14 sun4u sparc SUNW,UltraSPARC-IIi-cEngine
      $ /bin/sh
      $ thiswontwork=$(echo $LOGNAME)
      syntax error: `thiswontwork=$' unexpected
  • After R-ingTFA this move is just a FUD announcement against RedHat and Mirosoft who are kicking Sun's ass in thems of name recognition, performance, price, availablity, compatibility, etc.

  • by molnarcs ( 675885 ) <> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:55AM (#9314132) Homepage Journal
    This is from Jem Matzan, in his review of SUN JDS (rel2).
    "Sun JDS Release 2 is the most heavily restrictive software package I have ever seen. Sun takes the heavyweight championship belt for the worst software license ever to have crossed my desk. . . .
    So don't hold your breath.
  • INCORRECT TITLE (Score:5, Informative)

    by bstil ( 652204 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:57AM (#9314169)
    Jonathan Schwartz is Sun Microsystems' president and chief operating officer, not CEO as the title, "Sun CEO Schwartz Promises Open Source Solaris" suggests!
  • Think Java (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:57AM (#9314172) Homepage Journal
    Solaris may end up open source, but you are going to find it work very much like Java.... if you want to make your own implementation, you have to follow VERY VERY strict guidelines as to maintain PERFECT compatibility.

    I am sorry, but I dont want another linux mess, where there is a "Debian Solaris" and a "SESolaris", etc. I am happy with a single one... maybe two... for workstation and server.
    • I would have to agree with this. I use Solaris on Ultra 2 at home for learning purposes, the last thing I want is umpteen different Solaris versions. Solaris may be proprietary, but it's still better than Windows.

      MPAA/RIAA The festering boil on the buttocks of America

  • Riiiight (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jimfrost ( 58153 ) * <> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @09:57AM (#9314173) Homepage
    I'll believe they open source Solaris the day it actually happens. It's pretty unlikely since Solaris is SVR4 based. Unless Sun has a really unusual license they don't own the code in the first place and cannot open source it without the blessing of SCO.

    What do you suppose the odds of that are?

  • by gspr ( 602968 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:00AM (#9314196)
    Open source but non-free (as in Freedom) software has its problems, even for those of us who love openness. There will always be some idiot developer who has been reading a lot of non-free, open Sun code who decides to contribute something to a GPL'ed project such as Linux - and boom, there you have it - disaster! It's "impossible" for the maintainers of Free software to be 100 % sure that contributed code is not already distributed under a non-Free license.
  • priceless (Score:5, Funny)

    by evocate ( 209951 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:05AM (#9314241)
    sun hardware: $0
    solaris: $0
    java: $0

    watching the Sun go down: priceless
  • Integration (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PrimeNumber ( 136578 ) * <PrimeNumber@exc i t> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:07AM (#9314256) Homepage
    And will we some integration of Solaris' strong points into other open source OSes like Linux and BSD?"

    I hope not, as unpredictable and indecisive as Scott McNealy is, Darl McBride is relatively stable.

    One week McNealy likes Linux, the next week he doesn't. That and the fact after years of slamming Microsoft (as much as they deserve it), and making himself appear like a raving lunatic to the detriment of other important business decisions, Sun and Microsoft kiss and make up, and everything is suppossed to be OK now.

    Well, its not OK, this looks like another desperate move by a company seeking something, anything to gain mindshare and revenue. If solaris becomes free, and their hardware will be free [], how exactly is Sun supposed to make money again? And why should the open source community use source from Solaris from a company with such conflicting outlooks on open source and Linux?
  • The SCO group announced today that it will be unleashing an army of lawsuits against SUN for distributing SCO's property to a large groups of code sharing hippies who are completely against the American ideals of profit and litigation as a means to profit.

    Also, I'm not wearing any pants. Film at 11.
  • Janathan Schwartz is Sun's Cheif Operating Officer (COO) not CEO. Scott McNealy is still (and has always been) Sun't CEO.
  • Be wary. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Geekenstein ( 199041 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @10:39AM (#9314599)
    As a community, the OSS kernel writers need to be very wary of this. Let's try this scenario:

    1). Sun releases its code as a "open" with a non-GPL compatible license, possibly a license that states clearly that you cannot use the code in any other product.

    2). OSS kernel contributor writes something similar to a Solaris feature into his patch, having read or not read the Solaris code, just because it "makes sense".

    3). Sun pulls a SCO and starts suing everyone they can find for the misuse of its IP.

    This move could very well poison the free kernel projects out there.
  • by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:01AM (#9314862)
    Sun is not doing anything Free or Open Source as we know it. they aren't even doing anything free or with open source. Yesterday they redefined "free" to mean "subsidized". today they are redefining "open source" as "all your base..." followed by "someone set us up the bomb"

  • by Geisel ( 12180 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @11:20AM (#9315079) Homepage
    Because SUN has partnerships with other vendors, they cannot release all of their OS code.

    This is similar to when they released the Solaris 8 source code. I believe anyone could download it for some period of time, or at least it was really easy to get (partners || edu). However, even limiting their distribution channel, they were bound by contracts to vendors to not release parts of their code. I.e. a lot of the fibre source was written by Qlogic or JNIC, so none of that will be released, Open Source or not.

    I have to think Sun will release their code, since the Solaris 8 code was pretty publicly available for quite some time. It wouldn't be a major step to release the code publicly now.
  • by ciggieposeur ( 715798 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:58PM (#9317721)
    I'm not excessively familiar with Solaris from an admin standpoint, but I have done quite a bit of porting C/C++ stuff to it and a lot of admin'ing AIX. To be blunt, I don't care much for Solaris and should I ever be in the position to authorize a purchase I'd almost certainly look at Linux first and AIX second. Here's why:

    1) Linux is pretty darn good. It would take some *unusually* serious needs before you *have* to look outside the Linux camp to find a workable solution. Linux has XFS, JFS, and ReiserFS, really good support for reliable and fast high-end SCSI, SMP, Beowulf'ing, and a huge community to provide free-as-in-beer help.

    2) On a per-processor basis, Linux-on-Intel/PowerPC is faster than Solaris-on-anything hands down. (This will probably change after the next generation of Sparc chips comes out.)

    3) Solaris tends to be a pain to port code to. Much like AIX, it's got the AT&T-derived libraries and proprietary crud that doesn't function with as much polish as the GNU stuff. So you end up installing a huge set of GNU tools and libraries on Solaris and ... geez by this time you've almost got GNU/Linux again on Sun hardware. AIX 5L has at least started to reverse the trend -- you can get most of the GNU tools pre-installed. (Yes, the native compiler on Solaris and AIX produces much faster code than gcc. Most of my apps don't need the speed, they need the portability. I can optimize at the higher layers and get the speed I need.)

    I see plenty of places where *today* Solaris has a great role, but I don't see much in the future. And Sun hardware is nice, but certainly not extraordinarily better than IBM hardware.

    This just seems like "too little too late". (Of course, this leads right into the critical question: is there *anything* Sun can do that would be worth paying for?)


  • by hardaker ( 32597 ) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @04:22PM (#9318610) Homepage
    A while ago Sun decided to use the Net-SNMP open-source (BSD-licenced) SNMP agent instead of their proprietary one that they had been distributing for a long time. Being the lead-developer of the project, they contacted me about how to best work with each other. They were wonderful to work with, accomodated all my requests of them and submitted more patches and bug fixes than probably anyone else (under a BSD license, which I required). Our users were certainly pleased with all this, as a large number of our users were sun users that had swapped in our snmp agent for theirs. Tighter integration meant better support for them. (not to mention better security as our code supports SNMPv3, and theirs did not to my understanding).

    Unfortuantely, the tale turned sour when Sun downsized and the entire team that did all this wonderful work (and probably will have saved Sun money in the long run) got laid-off.

    So, this story is both good and bad news. They've done smart things before in the OSS realm, but they've also laid off some of the people that really made it happen.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"