Solaris, OpenSolaris, Nevada, Indiana, SXDE, SXCE - What ?

Several people ask and asked me about what different Solaris version and distributions actually exist, and what are the differences.

Having seen this very good entry on the great - German - Solaris blog "Das Solarium", I thought I take the freedom and translate it into English:

Solaris 9

  • It's still shipping
  • Supported by Sun Services
  • No more innovations or updates
  • Source code is maintained by Sun Services
  • Needs a valid license
  • For SPARC and x86 platforms

Solaris 10

  • Current version
  • Supported by Sun Services
  • Typically a six month update cycle
  • Current update is Update 5 (Solaris 10 5/08)
  • Updates typically bring new innovation, performance gains, fixes, new hardware support, etc.
  • For SPARC and x86 platforms

OpenSolaris - The Source

  • That's what's called "Nevada"
  • Available at, and everything you need to know, at: opensolaris.org
  • Source code and tools to produce Solaris binaries and distributions
  • Source code maintained by OpenSolaris community developers
  • Great innovation that might eventually be built into future Solaris releases
  • Ongoing source code updates
  • No support available, bugs and defects can be discussed at opensolaris.org
  • Free to use
  • Participate !

SXCE - Solaris Express Community Edition

  • Binary distribution of Nevada source
  • Ready to be installed, like Solaris
  • Test new features without having to build them yourself
  • Typically, a new build by Sun Solaris Engineering ca. every two weeks
  • Free to use
  • For SPARC and x86 platforms

SXDE - Solaris Express Developer Edition

  • Binary distribution tailored specifically for developers
  • To test some features, which also includes developer tools
  • Release 1/08 (January 2008) was the latest and last release (now, OpenSolaris 2008.05 is available - see below)
  • Free to use
  • For x86 platforms only

OpenSolaris 2008.05

  • That's what's called "Indiana"
  • Binary distribution released by Sun Microsystems
  • Bootable LiveCD available
  • Great for developers and students !
  • Lots of new features and innovations, such as IPS, ZFS boot, etc.
  • Several package repositories available
  • Release cycle will be ca. every six months
  • New 18 month support model, specifically for OpenSolaris
  • Free to use, pay for support
  • For now on x86 platforms, SPARC to follow soon

Other OpenSolaris-based distributions do also exist, and can be checked out here.

Comments:

Markus,
Excellent post, it really helps to clarify what we are working with and what our customers see :)

Posted by Angel on July 11, 2008 at 07:59 AM PDT #

Hi Markus - Your blog looks cool. I've bookmarked it!

Posted by HL on July 16, 2008 at 04:04 AM PDT #

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