A week ago we reported that a second preview release of Project Indiana, Sun's attempt at creating an operating system for the desktop based upon OpenSolaris and led by Ian Murdock, was on track to be released in the near future. Thursday afternoon that became true with the test image surfacing for Developer Preview 2 of Project Indiana, or what will formally be called OpenSolaris. Officially, this new release is known as the OpenSolaris Developer Preview 1/08 edition. The general availability release of Project Indiana is expected in March, but today we have up a tour of this new Indiana release.
When the first developer preview for this OpenSolaris binary distribution was released on October 31 of last year, we had provided a review of it, which can be read here. In that review we had found the usability of Solaris to be improved greatly for the desktop user. Ian Murdock and his team of Solaris engineers have been working to improve the Solaris experience with everything from the downloading and installation of this distribution to the package management. With this original preview release we had ran into an array of hardware compatibility issues, even on systems that were trouble-free running Linux since the early 2.6 kernel days, and Indiana didn't even like to mount a few of our flash drives. This first preview release, however, was by far the most consumer-friendly Solaris desktop distribution we had ever tried -- with Nexenta OS and BeleniX being the main competition. We had found this release though lacking a charisma or any real advantages for a normal desktop user. Now onto the test release of Project Indiana Developer Preview 2, it is not exactly a night and day difference between the two preview releases but there is some moderate changes.