FAQ: Where can I find open source freeware for Solaris?

When I talk to customers they frequently relate "open source" and "freeware" with the Linux kernel and are unaware that large portions of Solaris (including the kernel and Java) are also available as free, open source software.

There are many freeware packages built into Solaris and supported by Sun. Some of these include perl, apache, gcc, PostgreSQL, ipfilters, tcpwrappers, samba and many more.  Our Companion DVD includes even more.

If that's not enough for you, there are two sites that provide pre-compiled freeware binaries:

Blastwave has 1587 packages in Sys V package format and both support the pkg-get utility to simpify to collection and installation of packages.

Thanks to Walter for this comment: One more place is sourceforge.net. Much of the open source software out there is portable to Solaris, even including some packages whose authors characterize as "Linux" software. Most programmers don't deliberately introduce non-portable constructs in their code, and it often "just works" on various Linux distros, Solaris, MacOS, and BSD.

Why should you care?

Open source development is a movement embraced by the computer industy, business and DoD world.  Its benefits are derived from the transparency and sharing of technology made possible by openness. It is not limited to the "linux community."  Solaris is a premier platform for the development and deployment of open source technologies on Sparc, X64 and (coming soon) PPC architectures.

Sun is one of the most active contributors to the open source community At SunSource you can find some of the millions of lines of code that Sun has contributed to the community.  When you choose Sun, you are choosing one of the most open companies in the industry.

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About

Jim Laurent is an Oracle Sales consultant based in Reston, Virginia. He supports US DoD customers as part of the North American Public Sector hardware organization. With over 17 years experience at Sun and Oracle, he specializes in Solaris and server technologies. Prior to Oracle, Jim worked 11 years for Gould Computer Systems (later known as Encore).

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