OpenSolaris to be GPL(v3)’d …

Just a short note on things to be read here: Having rumors of Sun Microsystems to eventually use the GPLv3 license as an other option besides their own CDDL for the OpenSolaris project, this might turn the company into one of the biggest corporate supporters of Free Software (not “just” Open-Source) all of a sudden. If this really happens (and I certainly hope so), this would have quite a bunch of very positive effects, possibly making OpenSolaris the first operating systems at all that adopted GPLv3 (and, thus, a tool of choice to those who used Linux because of being GPL-licensed and aren’t all too happy about the discussion about Linux and GPLv3 adoption goin’ on, given that GPLv3 deals with important issues like software patents and DRM in a way needed by Free-as-in-free-speech software). And, it would make a distribution like Nexenta GNU/Solaris being more a “whole”, relying upon GPL’ed software from kernel to userspace applications. Meanwhile, I see my Nexenta GNU/Solaris testbed server gaining uptime rather fast… 🙂

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7 Kommentare

  1. Is it true that OpenSolaris is the Current “Developement Branch” of the next stable Solaris? (so that Open Solaris becomes Solaris 11)?

  2. @mschmidt: I am not sure about this, but I suppose so as it would be reasonable, looking at StarOffice/OpenOffice – development is done in the “open source” branch by both Sun and community people, and the “commercial” release in the end bases upon this code. Given that OpenSolaris already by now is Open Source (though CDDL – licensed), I think pushing forth both “proprietary in-house” development (for Solaris 11) and open-source developer community (for OpenSolaris) wouldn’t make much sense. Plus, Solaris Express by now already contains OpenSolaris code so I am pretty sure this is the way it will go…

  3. Hi … Yes, OpenSolaris is the development version of the future of Solaris. This has been a confusing issue for a long time (internally and externally), so I tried to summarize the relationship here in this updated FAQ answer:

  4. @Jim: thanks for clarifying this! 🙂

  5. Carol from D'dorf


    Difference between distributions, what is Nevada, etc. pp.:

    I’m using SX:CR at home on all of my boxes. The Solaris Express distribution you linked to is from the “Latest and Greatest” standpoint way outdated.

    Just a question: ‘it would make a distribution like Nexenta GNU/Solaris being more a “whole”’

    I don’t see your point. There is not only GNU software being distributed with OpenSolaris distributions. Thinking that way there needs to be a specifically licensed OpenSolaris for each and every license.
    At the end, it’s the GPL that doesn’t play well with others.

    I bet that was just doing some kind of “Resteverwertung” – cutting up left-over veggies and putting them in a Gratin, Stew or something.
    No news.

  6. @Carol: The link to Solaris Express merely was to point Markus (the first one to comment on that) way to SX. And that’s what the site IMHO still does, even though the downloads referred to, there, might be outdated in terms of “being bleeding-edge”. 🙂

    About GPL. Well, I guess this is something depending upon personal opinions and/or attitudes. Those days I wiped out my first machines in order to get Linux installed when I learnt about “Free Software” (in terms of the GPL definition), and as I whole-heartedly agree with the motivation and ideas behind the GPL, I try using software which provides GPL’ed “freedom” as much as somehow possible.

    By now, there has been quite a freedom of choice in most fields of software… except for the kernel, given that Linux probably still is the only GPL licensed kernel ready for everyday use. That’s why I am that much enthusiastic about the idea of OpenSolaris being GPL’ed.

    That aside: I still think about running OpenSolaris (in whichever distribution) as a main operating system, but I am not sure whether this is a good idea especially talking about recent notebook hardware. Do you have any good hints on that?

  7. Carol from D'dorf

    Hey Kawazu.
    Sorry, man, can’t help you with any fancy and brand-spanking-new laptop hardware. I’m still using my trusty PowerBook G4 running Debian.
    The MacBook Pros seem to work well, though. Best thing is to try the latest Solaris Express Community Release and in case something doesn’t work, write a mail to the laptop-community.
    I do understand and respect your preference of “free software”. I’m using GNU software each and every day. But there’s also other software I’m using every day, and it isn’t opensourced or even free of charge. The license under which some software is available is not more important to me than the functionality it can provide. Then I’ll have to decide if I am willing to give up that “GNU freedom” and/or money and exchange it for some piece of superior software – or not.
    I’m not religious about this; anymore 😀
    For the current OpenSolaris-Community-Members, the CDDL seems to work fairly well; it even works for other opensource projects, see the DTrace and ZFS ports.
    There is a place for both, the CDDL and the GPL, but dual-licensing OpenSolaris will cause a messed up license hassle, damaging the project.
    Created by Sun, not compatible with the GPL, that’s what most people know about the CDDL, and hence they think it must me evil. A friend of mine asked me, what license he should use for his pet project and I presented him different options (as in what the licensee can do and cannot do), and he liked the CDDL best. There are a lot of projects out there that could see fit for this license. People need to keep an open mind.