Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Why OpenSolaris

20120329_212842Ian Murdock came by in the past week to talk about his open source journey from Linux at Purdue University, founding the Debian project, and now working as the Chief OS Platform Strategist for Sun Microsystems. I suppose he couldn’t help sounding out some of the advantages of Solaris. Things like DTrace, Containers and ZFS are neat.

There was a passing comment about how OpenSolaris and the Indiana project was going to make Solaris more friendly. Such as having a graphical install. Oh how funny. When I installed my first SunOS 4.something over a decade ago, it was already a graphical install.

It’s 2007 now. We are still talking about graphical install. (Ok ok I know, Solaris on x86 was not a graphical install then, but it was on the SPARC.) It set me thinking. How much has Solaris advanced in all these time? I couldn’t help but think about Linux, which evolved from nothing into something that has become pretty common place.

Everyone talks about Linux. Every IT company has thought about what they’d do with Linux. Even Microsoft, though of course in their case it is about how they would kill Linux. I don’t think the same can be said of Solaris, “open” or not.

I’m not even a crazy fan of Linux. I use Linux, but I don’t evangelize Linux… at least not like how I did for OS/2 and possibly might have for the Mac OS except that Apple had enough evangelists.

But honestly, Linux has certainly made tremendous headway. Perhaps if Sun wanted to be nice and “open” up their stuffs, how about contributing directly to the development and evolution of Linux?

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