As we reported last week, the release of OpenSolaris 2009.06 would come on Monday, and sure enough, it has been released by Sun Microsystems. The OpenSolaris 2009.06 release presents network virtualization support with Crossbow, SPARC support, Intel Xeon 5500 series hardware support, MySQL and PHP DTrace probes, improved usability with its package management system, and much more.
OpenSolaris 2009.06 is based upon the Nevada Build 111b code-base. While there is a lot in this new OpenSolaris release that caters towards enterprise users and those deploying this Sun operating system within data centers, for desktop users Sun has went with Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 for web browsing needs, though sadly not the newer Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 release. Other packages include the (outdated) GNOME 2.24.2 and X Server 1.5.2. In this Sun desktop update, they have introduced improved time slider snapshot management in their Nautilus extension that is used in conjunction with the ZFS file-system. The Codeina program originally created by the Fedora camp has been brought into OpenSolaris for providing legal support for G-Streamer applications through the Fluendo codec store.
When it comes to Sun's Image Packaging System (IPS) that is used by OpenSolaris, there are a few underlying enhancements. Those using the Image Packaging System should see a significant reduction in their memory usage and the capabilities to have multi-platform packages have been introduced. With OpenSolaris now on SPARC, Sun has made multi-platform IPS packages to ease the requirements on package repository maintainers where now they only have to maintain one (larger) package that will detect the platform in use and download what is required. The OpenSolaris Package Manager interface itself has also seen a few improvements.
Besides having support for the Intel Xeon 5500 series, there are a few other hardware improvements too. OpenSolaris 2009.06 is reported to have better laptop support and support for Sun5v (UltraSPARC T1 and T2) and Sun4u (UltraSPARC I, II, III, IV) systems. When it comes to graphics, NVIDIA's binary graphics driver has been updated to support the newest GeForce and Quadro products along with a lot of other fixes and improvements. The open-source ATI driver stack has too been updated with several newer components.