Nexenta: Debian + OpenSolaris

This is interesting. From the posting:

What is Nexenta OS today

Several things:

1) A working prototype that runs on our 32-bit laptops and AMD64 box; the
latter is used for development of the system itself, and it in turn runs our
entire development environment, and hosts the web portal (below).

2) 2,300 Debian packages available for immediate usage.

3) Developer's portal at - fully functional, with
downloads, APT repository, discussion forums, developer's "hack zone", bug
database, blogs, and numerous Solaris and free software related resources.

This will be 100% open and free-of-any-charge easy-to-install easy-to-use
distribution. Coming out soon!

I'm glad to see that the opensolaris community continues to grow. I hope this will make it easier for the traditional news media (and a few people here at Sun) to understand the relationship between open source software, Linus's kernel and Open Solaris. This new distribution was also mentioned on Slashdot, though for some reason they put it in the Linux category.

Brian, I see an obvious legal conflict here, DEBIAN is GPL while OpenSolaris features SUN's novel CDDL. CDDL is excellent for 'value add' (business) code but not applicable to unencumbered code transfer among global programmers. (Free as in beer!) Lawyers will clearly enjoy this new 'mixed license' offering!

Posted by William R. Walling on November 02, 2005 at 06:30 AM GMT+00:00 #

Debian is opensource but opensource doesn't necessarily == GPL. AFAIK even GPL can cohabitate with other licensed software, they just can't statically link together.

A few months ago, Alo had a good explaination of why "> this could be good for Debian and openolaris.

disclaimer:I'm not a lawyer and I don't personally know any lawyers who really understand software. (especially not in the U.S. patent office)

Posted by bnitz on November 02, 2005 at 07:24 AM GMT+00:00 #

Brian, My clientle are lawyers and include a USPT consul. STC employs 'copywrite' or 'trade secret' protection because our USPTO now presents patent APPLICATIONS on their web site for comment. (FREE U.S. IP!) No question that additonal 'eyes' for DEBIAN and OpenSolaris is GREAT news. However, review of 'mixed license' issues cause me concern on a daily basis. Example: The popular KDE GUI requires an underlying QT code for operation. TROLLTECH (QT owner) could decide at any time to revise their license impacting ALL KDE clientele. I install and use a GNOME GUI avoiding this potential 'sword of damocles' issue. ANY commercial company WILL, when deemed appropriate, alter licensing effecting clientele. SUN employs CDDL which is fine for business related deployment, DEBIAN is GPL'd by intent. A mixture of both is additional 'fodder' for legal types!

Posted by William R. Walling on November 02, 2005 at 12:26 PM GMT+00:00 #

I don't know about the trolltech GPL issue at all. The QT library is GPL'd itself. Any applications that must link to it have to be GPL'd. Trolltech can't take that away from anybody once they give it out to the public, unless they violate the terms and agreements to the GPL license. Anyways. Mixed licenses suck. The GPL may have strong political part to it, but there is a very real and practical reason to why it doesn't allow non-compatable licensed software to link with it. Now a large part of the GPL 'viral' nature is political, but it's VERY practical also. With the GPL and GPL-compatable licenses it's easy to understand for the average person. Either it works or it doesn't. It makes legal issues and mistakes a relatively rare accurance. Now I've seen a couple smaller Mozilla-based projects that have 4 or more licenses associated with them. This is very confusing. If you take that and project it out to a OS you can end up with hundreds of different licenses with different restrictions and clauses. It would be a nightmare. Now I understand completely the choice for the CDDL. There is a lot of code people have that link against Solaris-provided software and to make it GPL would be a huge blow to them. As well as drivers and such. Maybe it would be nice for Sun to work with the FSF/whatever on the GPL 3.0 license and maybe modify version 2 of the CDDL or whatever it takes to get both licenses compatable. It would certainly spur much more interest in Sun from the OSS/free software comunity.

Posted by guest on November 04, 2005 at 12:03 AM GMT+00:00 #

sorry about that. I didn't realise I had to make html-style line breaks and such. It now looks like a huge insane rant and I had it all nicely formatted. :(

Posted by guest on November 04, 2005 at 12:04 AM GMT+00:00 #

Good comment. Sorry about the default formatting, roller defaults to html line breaks.

I was also wondering about the possibility of GPL 3.0 adopting some elements of CDDL which are good for developers. Politics may prevent GPL from changing much, but there are developers (of drivers and application software) who are afraid of GPL. I've even heard of developers who wish Sun had released some of its other open source software under CDDL rather than GPL.

Posted by bnitz on November 04, 2005 at 02:22 AM GMT+00:00 #

William, Sorry if I offended any patent lawyers. My sister is a lawyer with an above average understanding of computers. So when I first heard about the XOR blinking cursor patent (Raytheon?), I told her I didn't think PTO lawyers understood what 'trivial' means in this field.

Posted by bnitz on November 04, 2005 at 03:04 AM GMT+00:00 #

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