Open Solaris - the desktop?
By dar on Jun 23, 2005
My own personal wish for OpenSolaris is that it will finally enable Sun to provide a desktop solution that will compete with Linux and Windows. Solaris is a good OS, but it's been highly server focused for some time now, which means that while it supports hotplugging of disks and CPU units, functionality that is really good for a server to stay up 24x7x365, it fails to provide the good enough support for things that really matter to the desktop (or laptop) user like PCMCIA, hotpluggable devices, wireless networking or even ACPI power saving.
As someone said to me today, if you were to take OpenSolaris and put opensource tools and desktop on top of it (some porting will be required, but not for everything) then how would your average user tell the difference between, for example, a GNOME desktop running on SuSE Linux and OpenSolaris? In the end Linux is really just a kernel - everything else that surrounds it are libraries and applications - OpenSolaris, even in it's current form, is a kernel and the tools for the kernel, if you put the same libraries and applications on top of it you can have a desktop that can compete with Linux in the desktop market.
SchilliX has made a head start on this already, with Open Solaris now in a form that you can boot from a Live CD. Jeorg has done some good work on this, and is making good headway at achieving what I've already described... I'm sure that there will be others, maybe even Sun could do this, afterall we do intend on posting the rest of the sources of Solaris in the near future, such as JDS so it will quickly be come a fairly complete OS sooner rather than later...