Saturday Jun 21, 2008

OpenSolaris 2008.11 snv_91 X86

I updated to build 91 of OpenSolaris from build 86 (which is what we shipped in May). The download and install seemed to go reasonably well. I don't think I broke anything, but I had a few questions. Instructions to update in this thread right here [indiana-discuss] Repository update: snv91.

Thursday Jun 12, 2008

Three Cheers to OpenSolaris

Just found this video from Kumar Abhishek showing the guys in India who first tested OpenSolairs Release Candidate 0 a while back. Just great.

Friday Apr 25, 2008

OpenSolaris Review

Here's a five page review of OpenSolaris -- OpenSolaris 2008.05 Gives A New Face To Solaris. We're making progress. Slowly but surely. Actually, pretty darn quick. :)

OpenSolaris 2008.05 RC2 Test Image

Stephen posted a link to the test image for the new OpenSolaris distribution -- release candidate 2.

Friday Apr 18, 2008

OpenSolaris Photos from Sun Business .Next

Some images from OpenSolaris at Sun's Business .Next Conference today in Tokyo.

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

OpenSolaris at .Next OpenSolaris at .Next

Tuesday Apr 15, 2008

Learning from Each Other

Sun touts big plans for OpenSolaris as first release nears: "As a Linux enthusiast, I'm convinced that competition from a robust OpenSolaris ecosystem will strengthen and enrich both platforms. There is a lot that the communities can learn from each other." -- Ryan Paul, ars technica, commenting about Ian Murdock's presentation at LugRadio Live.

Thursday Mar 20, 2008

OpenSolaris Developer Summit: Part II

I just registered for the second OpenSolaris Developer Summit in Santa Cruz. See you there.

Wednesday Feb 13, 2008

OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2

Just installed OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2. Very easy and fast download and install. Give it a try. Thanks, guys. Very nice.

OpenSolaris OpenSolaris

Indy 2

Glynn announced the availability of Indy 2 -- [osol-announce] OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2 Available. Humm. Now I'm really behind. I think I'm still on build 74 or something. I have to upgrade my SXDE and also now OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2. So many operating systems. What to do?

Sunday Feb 03, 2008

Indy 2

A Tour Of Sun's Project Indiana Preview 2: "Thanks to the OpenSolaris Project Caiman, the GUI installer integrated with this Indiana LiveCD is quite nice and could even be compared to Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer -- it's magnificent compared to Solaris 10. " -- Michael Larabel

Thursday Jan 17, 2008

Second OpenSolaris Summit: Book Now

The Spring 2008 OpenSolaris Developer Summit will be May 3rd and 4th in San Francisco. If you go, take an extra day and stop by CommunityOne on the 5th. Photos from last year's Community one here. Links to last year's OpenSolaris Summit here.

Wednesday Jan 16, 2008

Japanese OpenSolaris Articles

One of the things that the Sun engineering team in Japan does is write technical articles as part of their community-building efforts here. The guys work in Sun's Tokyo Software Center, which is where I sit as well. In fact, I have a very cool view of Tokyo from up here on the 21st floor. Anyway, there is a growing source of Japanese technical articles about the very latest technology and projects that make up OpenSolaris. Here are some links:

Building an Enterprise Class Server System Based on OpenSolaris (2008 Series)
  1. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3: Akira Ohsone. An introduction to OpenSolaris and the Apache Roller server, including a discussion on Project Indiana, ZFS, and Zones, and issues around installing OpenSolaris on servers (such as mirroring your disk and preparing for live upgrade, etc). 
  2. To come.
  3. To come.
  4. Etc ...
Building an Enterprise System with OpenSolaris (2007 Series)
  1. Introduction to OpenSolaris: Akira Ohsone
  2. Installing OpenSolaris: Akira Ohsone
  3. Effective use of open source software: Daisuke Tsukada
  4. Getting started enterprise middle ware: Katsuya Tanaka
All these articles (and more) are being posted to the Japan OpenSolaris Portal.

Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

The Name

Seems the naming conversation for the new Indiana distribution is coming to fruition --  Project Indiana and the OpenSolaris name. It will be called "OpenSolaris Developer Preview" and it's coming soon. Cool. Even more importantly, though, is Ian's suggestion that everyone "continue working together as a community to develop a set of branding guidelines so that other distributions may also use the OpenSolaris brand...."

Thursday Oct 18, 2007

IPS in the Press

Sun tries to flex R&D muscle with homegrown package manager: "Sun, however, thinks it's going past today's Linux package managers by having IPS tap into fancy bits of Solaris. For example, IPS can use Sun's ZFS file system to let users rollback to a previous version of the operating system if an upgrade goes wrong." -- The Register.

Sounds very cool. All about IPS here and here.

Tuesday Oct 16, 2007

Indiana Press

Some nice press coverage starting to flow about the upcoming binary release of OpenSolaris that will include new package management software:
This is all very welcome news, and I have a feeling there will be a lot more coverage in the coming months about all the open source projects.

For me, open source offers the opportunity for individuals to benefit as well as the entire community. Simon Phipps sums that thought in a quote in the InfoWorld article: "Contributions are given back to the community to enrich everyone, like the craft guilds of the Middle Ages, he said. 'This has been called communism by some speakers. It's been called a cancer on society by others. I would suggest to you that this is more like capitalism, it is more like a connected capitalism where people synchronize their self interests so that they are collaborating together.'"

Monday Oct 15, 2007

Indiana in Tokyo

Here is some press coverage from the Tokyo Open Source Conference -- OpenSolaris最新事情. Sun's Takanobu Masuzuki talks about Project Indiana (インディアナ), ZFS, pNFS, and other projects on My pics from the conference are here.

Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

Nexenta & Indiana

Martin and Moinak present Nexenta & Indiana @ BOSUG in India. I met both of these guys in Germany last winter, and I was extremely impressed. Great guys. It's fantastic that they are both working on distributions of OpenSolaris technology.

The Solaris Revival

Sun and a Solaris revival: Talking with Ian Murdock: "The fact that Sun has been in the enterprise for several decades means that we understand our customers very well. We have the experience and expertise to provide global, true enterprise-class support. We also know how to patch and upgrade without breaking backward compatibility. These are compelling differentiators that no Linux vendor can match." -- Ian Murdock talking with Matt Asay

That's just one quote. Check out the whole Q&A. Good stuff.

Saturday Oct 06, 2007

OpenSolaris at Tokyo OSC

Here are some OpenSolaris images from the Tokyo Open Source Conference. Takanobu Masuzuki talked about Project Indiana and about a half dozen key development projects on -- What’s Happening with OpenSolaris? ホットな話題のプロジェクト. He also did a ZFS demo with four USB memory sticks that I couldn't explain for my life, but he somehow ended up playing an audio clip of his own guitar riffs, which was very cool. The guy can play! Also, Reiko Saito presented the latest in the Japanese language translation community. I just took pictures. It all sounded pretty good, though. :)  Hey, I'm lucky I found the damn place. Took four trains to get there! Photos on Flickr.

Monday Oct 01, 2007

OpenSolaris and Project Indiana in Tokyo

If you are in Tokyo this Friday, October 5th, stop by the Tokyo Open Source Conference for a talk on OpenSolaris. Sun's Takanobu Masuzuki will be presenting OpenSolaris, and he'll also give an update on Project Indiana, virtualization, NFS, and other key projects underway in the community. See What’s Happening with OpenSolaris? ホットな話題のプロジェクト. Also, see all the presentations at the conference here and here. I'll be there for sure. :)

Friday Sep 28, 2007

An Excellent Candidate

Quote: Sun Solaris Express Developer 9/07: "If you are looking to dive into Solaris for the first time, Solaris Express Developer Edition 9/07 is an excellent candidate for now. We're on the brink of what should be an interesting couple of months as Project Indiana approaches the limelight." -- Michael Larabel, Phoronix

Very nice review of SXDE with a dozen or screen shots. I think this release of Solaris Express is a real turning point for Solaris. There seems to have been a lot of really interesting engineering in this release from the community, and the marketing has been kicked up a bit too. "On the brink" may be accurate ....

A Simpe Code Repository

Quote: Sun packs out Solaris developer support: "Sun told The Register that Project Indiana is 'adding the concept of a distribution' to OpenSolaris, which is a 'code repository.' Apparently, OpenSolaris was always meant to be a code repository and not a free, open version of Solaris, which is what Sun had led us to believe OpenSolaris would be during the years leading up to release. Project Indiana will feature new packaging systems and Solaris features such as ZFS." -- Gavin Clarke, The Register

That's the last paragraph of Gavin's story, and he touches on some of the confusion around OpenSolaris for the past few years. There have been many community conversations on various OpenSolaris lists with "what is OpenSolaris" in the subject line, and there have been many press articles and blogs about OpenSolaris positioning it as an operating system. It is ... but it isn't. As a practical matter, the code from OpenSolaris is used to build a few distros as well as Sun's developer distro, which is called Solaris Express. (You can get all the distros here) So, in that sense, OpenSolaris is an operating system. But ... not quite. Some closed bits are used in the building process, and the resulting system built from the OpenSolaris source is not called OpenSolaris but it's called something else. So, it can get confusing if you don't deal with this every day. So, what actually is OpenSolaris then? It's source code. And a community. And a website. At the highest level, that's pretty much it.

Now, there have been some random acts of corporate messaging in the past few years around OpenSolaris, but that's normal and should be expected. The project has been opening in stages over a long period of time, and it's taken some time for everyone to understand how to explain everything. No harm, really. Every new project I've ever worked on in every industry has experienced early messaging challenges. After all, we're talking about human communication, aren't we? But what I think is really cool here is that the message that OpenSolaris is an operating system has resonated even when we have not really been pushing that within project itself. What does that mean? It means that the market has looked at our stuff, it has listened to our confusing messaging, and it's made up its mind in a generally positive way. You simply could not ask for anything more given the limitations we've been working under.

But I think things are going to get much easier. Project Indiana, for instance, will help clarify this issue as it grows into a complete system that can be customized from various source repositories and serve as a platform from which other distributions can be built. Critical engineering projects to support Indiana are install and packaging among others, and the final binary distribution should be easy to downland, install, and use. And easy to explain, too! From an engineering perspective, OpenSolaris will always be many things, but from a market positioning perspective OpenSolaris needs to be one thing so that one thing can be communicated around the world to a variety of different audiences. Once you engage the conversation on that one thing, you can drill down into the many things under the hood.

There were many reasons why some of us on the project wanted OpenSolaris to fly under the radar from a publicity perspective during our early years. This is one of them. A lot of engineering and community building work had to be done first before we could really bring the conversation and the technology to large numbers of users and developers globally. That's what's happening now. One step at a time. And you will see the site start to evolve to reflect this as well. The number of people hitting the site is really escalating and diversifying lately. We are, quite simply, maturing as a project. Hopefully, in this next phase we can learn to explain ourselves better as well. I think we will.

Thursday Sep 27, 2007

The Indiana Brand

If you know about the art of branding and are interested in OpenSolaris and Project Indiana, go here and here. Glynn started a conversation to specify what the brand experience should be for the Indiana distro. I think it should be based on the culture of the OpenSolaris community, it should be as simple as possible, and it should be as globally inspired as possible. Simple, right? Ha! Good luck, guys. But really, I'm sure whatever comes of it will be quite beautiful. For a more general update on Indiana, Glynn has a nice update here, and it's linked to here as well

Wednesday Sep 05, 2007

Headlines! Headlines! Headlines!

Solaris raring for a fight with Linux: "And we thought it was all about peace, love, and ... Solaris. But no, Sun is gearing up for one of the classic open source battles. We've had the various Linux distributions duking it out, and we've had MySQL versus PostgreSQL. Now we're getting Solaris versus Linux, and this is a fight that I believe may actually be worth having." -- Matt Asay


This "battle" tone is all over the web now. I'm not sure where it started, but it seemed to flame up last night around midnight. What I find interesting is that Matt uses the phrase "we're getting Solaris versus Linux" to point to an article titled "OpenSolaris will challenge Linux says Sun" which is actually an abridged article from the more aptly titled "Sun: Coders key to Solaris' rise" published last week.

I blogged about that original article because I loved the quote in there about the OpenSolaris Community. But the version that has people all worked up today is missing eight paragraphs of text from the original. Why? Read both of them and you'll see the clear difference in tone. And why all the wild headline changes, too? Even if you read the version Matt points to you'd be hard pressed to find anything in the article to substantiate the headline. I mean, really, this is silly. Sun's Ian Murdock and Marc Hamilton were talking about how the OpenSolaris community is growing, how the technology is improving, and some of the plans we are kicking around to improve things. That's pretty much it. So, where's the war here?

Oh, and also, the OpenSolaris community isn't taking the bait, which is very cool. This is now the second or third time recently where the community has utterly ignored media and/or blog flame fests. Heck, we've had enough of our own flames in the past, so perhaps we're moving on and just focusing on the job at hand -- building the OpenSolaris community organically and improving this technology openly.

Sunday Sep 02, 2007

The Community is the Key

Sun: Coders key to Solaris' rise: "Williams is impressed by the community that's already grown up around OpenSolaris. "It's the most productive community I've ever been a part of," he said, with a posted query drawing 4 to 5 informed responses within an hour from both third parties and Sun engineers. Sun's approach to open source is "very mature and adult," Williams added, largely because Sun engineers are used to fielding customers' questions and know it's important to respond rapidly." -- Jason Williams, CTO and COO of DigiTar.

It's great reading comments recognizing the OpenSolaris community. Not the technology. Not the company. But the people who make up this nascent community around the world and who have been working to build the community all along. Community building takes time. It takes time to reach critical mass. It takes time whether it happens organically or via organizational resources from companies and/or foundations. And we've been at it for a while with OpenSolaris. Four years, in fact. That's how far back the planning started. Very few people realize that and very few know the full history. But I'm excited to see the community start to move to the center of the conversation around OpenSolaris. That's really what we had planned all along.

Another interesting bit from this article is way at the end. Solaris Marketing VP, Marc Hamilton, hinted at discussions with OEMs to further expand the market for OpenSolaris technology. That, too, will help the community grow significantly -- especially when you are talking about mega deals with Intel and IBM. That's an entirely new area for OpenSolaris, and it's very cool to see coming to fruition.

So, we have a community growing not only in size with individuals contributing code and companies contributing code but also with users running the code. Growth is now occurring in all areas, and that will only increase as work progresses on the university programs, the conference programs, and the core engineering projects around SCM, DTS, install, packaging, Indiana, and many others.

Thursday Aug 30, 2007

OpenSolaris to Surf Santa Cruz

Check out the OpenSolaris Developer Summit in Santa Cruz in mid October. Santa Cruz is one of my favorite places in California.

Monday Aug 06, 2007

Perspective and History

Interesting article on Project Indiana -- Indiana's Calling, Is Anyone Listening? The first sentence of the article is most fascinating for me: "Telling the story of Project Indiana is not an easy one."

Ha. I'll bet. The article then goes on to talk about how many commentators are seeing all this from the perspective of Linux. Well, of course they are, my goodness. That's been the case for several years now. In fact, this is probably the most significant messaging issue around OpenSolaris -- and Solaris, for that matter -- since we started the project. I can remember arguing for a year before we opened that we should not fuel this issue by criticizing or comparing ourselves to Linux in any way whatsoever. Just get people focusing on OpenSolaris, growing our community organically, and praising the Linux community for the outstanding job they've done (which they clearly have). Not that anyone listened, but that was basically my pitch. In other words, we should just shut up and build our community, which we knew would take years so just get started. I figured that we needed to lead with humility as the single most important element in order to have any shot at earning our own credibility so we wouldn't always be seen from the perspective of Linux.

Well, two years later I can see that my efforts in this area were basically meaningless -- for both good and bad reasons. The Good: The engineers participating all along didn't need the lecture since they got the concept of community building because they were already a community. That's been cool to see (but we have a lot more to do). The Bad: Market perception had already moved well beyond seeing OpenSolaris from the perspective of OpenSolaris. Instead, it would be compared to Linux in almost every way possible, and changing this would take years. Plus, our own flamers (the distinct minority who clearly lack credibility) did their very best to continue picking fights with Linux and distracting the OpenSolaris community on our very own lists. Oh, well. What saved us? A few things. OpenSolaris was credible early on because of the advanced nature of the code and the distinct lack of hype from Sun. Plus, everyone thought we'd fail. Also we didn't have a king or anything, so everyone who participated shared pretty equally in the conversations. That's what defines the leadership model on OpenSolaris, by the way. It's distributed widely and not focused on any one individual. Anyway, OpenSolaris was just an engineering project focusing on the phased opening of code and infrastructure to build a little community around the concept of open development. That's it. In that respect, we've been successful, and we've been slowly earning our credibility as we build our community. Cool.

Yet as Sun hired a big Linux name in Ian Murdock a few months ago, we've clearly started generating a lot more press coverage as a result, and along with that comes the inevitable comparisons to Linux. Yet again. Sigh. The increased attention is good, of course, and it will be interesting to see how much longer the media market sees OpenSolaris through a Linux lens. Clearly, a lot more coverage is coming, so I hope we can finally overcome this Linux perspective because the project has been standing on its own feet for two years now and deserves to be seen from the perspective of it's own successes and failures. So, if Indy's ideas can successfully build on the good work that has gone before, that would be a welcome contribution.

Ok, back to the article and this quote right here: "'We came into this with an understanding of what we needed to do, which was in a world where so many more people know Linux than Solaris, how do we figure out how to make the wonderful technology in Solaris more accessible?' Murdock explained. To break the Project down, Indiana is meant to create a binary distribution of OpenSolaris within the OpenSolaris community, not inside Sun proper. This is not to say Sun employees aren't involved in the process. Teams within Sun are working on various aspects of the project, such as installation, packaging, and GNU userland. In fact, Murdock said, some of these efforts have been going on for some time."

The "distro" part of that paragraph is somewhat confusing since Sun already has a binary distro (all distros here), and we've been working toward open development for two years, so none of that is new. But I think people get the point that the distro model will be changing, and that's explained pretty well elsewhere. And there are parts of that change that are very appealing and will help grow the OpenSolaris community significantly. Regardless, the most important, part here is the recognition that much of this work has been underway for some time now. And the fact that it's being highlighted now is cool.

Anyway, it's a pretty good article on some of the evolutionary changes coming to OpenSolaris. A lot of us are looking forward to the Indy project coming to fruition along with many other projects in the OpenSolaris community that have been underway for a couple of years. The SCM migration is probably the most important, actually, and the most challenging, too. But as we grow and evolve and look forward, we need to keep looking back from time to time to understand the perspective of our history. It's difficult to keep these things straight in a world of so many changing messages.

More on Indy here and more on some of the related projects here as well. Many additional links at both locations.

Thursday Aug 02, 2007

What's Wrong?

Linux Non-compete Agreements?: "What's wrong with Sun trying to build a Linux clone with OpenSolaris?" -- Savio Rodrigues

Well ... we're not. We're just making a better Solaris, that's all. It's that simple. This is just the natural evolution of the OpenSolaris project. We opened the code to build a community, improve the system, and expand the market. And, well, we're doing just that. What is different lately, though, is that a lot more people are noticing us.

Monday Jul 30, 2007

An Evening of Heavy Drinking

I love great quotes. Here's one from Ars at Ubuntu Live: Sun's booth in the exhibit hall: "I'm sure the folks from Sun were taking notes at Ubuntu Live and gaining some insight into the Ubuntu community-building process. Sun had a pretty strong presence at the conference. They even hosted a party with free beer, which is a pretty good strategy for Sun, because an evening of heavy drinking is probably the only thing that could make a current Ubuntu user think that installing OpenSolaris on a personal computer is a good idea at this point. We can only hope that Project Indiana will close the gap and make OpenSolaris a stronger choice for the desktop." -- Ryan Paul

So, it takes getting really drunk before you'd think if putting Solaris Express (Sun's distro of OpenSolaris) or any of the other four OpenSolaris-based distros on a laptop? Oh, it's not that bad, my goodness. :) If I can install Solaris Express than that means we've made gigantic headway because I know next to nothing about Unix technology. And things are improving (here, here, here) all the time. I have Ubuntu on one of my laptops, and it's quite nice, no question about it. But being open for just 25 months, I'd say we're doing quite nicely, too. Have people forgotten that?

Great quote, though ....


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