Over the weekend we had posted our synopsis of Solaris Express Community Edition Build 93, which brings a great deal of needed changes to the Solaris Nevada code-base in order to bring its packages up-to-date. While OpenSolaris 2008.05 is only two months old, work at Sun is already underway in preparing for the second OpenSolaris release, which will be known as OpenSolaris 2008.11 and has been codenamed Jericho. OpenSolaris development packages for this next release, which are currently based upon Solaris Nevada Build 93, are now available through an IPS update along with early ISO spins.
Booting to this very early copy of OpenSolaris 2008.11 doesn't present any noticeable differences compared to the 2008.05 release. Unfortunately, the user still needs to select their language and keyboard in a text-based environment. When the desktop loads, it's now running GNOME 2.22.2 as opposed to the 2.20 series with OpenSolaris Indiana. While the desktop environment has been updated, the theme is currently left unchanged. With this early development spin looking virtually identical to OpenSolaris 2008.05, one of the few references in this early build to OpenSolaris 2008.11 is within /etc/release file. This copy is based upon Solaris Nevada Build 93 and was assembled on July 8, 2008.
In this early OpenSolaris 2008.11 release are many of the same (updated) packages found within Solaris Express Community Edition Build 93. There is Firefox 2.0, GIMP 2.4.5, and the binary NVIDIA Linux driver among them. Stripped away within the OpenSolaris release is the Solaris RealPlayer along with the Adobe Flash plug-in, but there is Sun's other key software project, Java 1.6. While RealPlayer is left out of OpenSolaris due to licensing reasons, there is GNOME's Totem and Rhythmbox continuing to ship with OpenSolaris Jericho for media needs.
Can the Evince Document Viewer fulfill all of your office and document needs? While Project Indiana and Ian Murdock's role at Sun were about making Solaris more friendly to (primarily Linux) desktop users and incorporating some of the innovations conceived by Debian and other distributions, OpenSolaris has yet to ship with any full-featured word processor. The only office application shipping on the ISO is Evince. There is no StarOffice/OpenOffice or even the lighter-weight AbiWord. Granted, a word processor can be installed through their packaging system, but room on the ISO should really be made for a word processor. Other office software can also be installed using the OpenSolaris IPS package repository.