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Oracle Has Yet To Clarify Solaris 11 Kernel Source

Oracle

Published on 09 January 2012 02:14 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Oracle
38 Comments

It was one month ago that Phoronix was the first to note the Solaris 11 kernel source-code was leaked onto the Internet via Torrent sites. One month later, Oracle still hasn't officially commented on the situation.

A user in the Phoronix Forums was the first to point out the source-code had been leaked for Solaris 11, which was the latest Solaris OS finally released in November after being in development for years and then closed-up by Oracle (when they abandoned OpenSolaris) following the Sun Microsystems acquisition.

After I pointed out on Phoronix itself the Solaris 11 kernel source-code appearing online, the news quickly worked its way around the Internet on other high-profile sites. However, even after appearing on Slashdot, Ars Technica, and other outlets, there still isn't any official commentary from Oracle about the kernel source-code being available, with some parts of it still being marked as CDDL licensed, which only makes the situation more confusing.

The source to this latest Solaris kernel can still be found via Torrents, but Oracle just isn't commenting -- or they might just not even care at all.

This though has led to some confusion among what's left of the open-source Solaris community. The OpenIndiana developers have been discussing the situation. Until Oracle officially blesses an open-source Solaris 11 kernel or provides an answer about this situation, they're staying as far away from this kernel source as possible. These developers obviously fear legal repercussions if this source leak was unauthorized and the legal-happy Oracle takes action.

Alan Coopersmith, the X.Org engineer now at Oracle who works on Solaris going back many years in the Sun Microsystems days, did comment in the OpenIndiana thread. However, his comments weren't really anything to fully clarify the situation and just talking about the CDDL, though his words do make this leak wasn't officially sanctioned. "Without any sort of Oracle statement that this is an intentional release, and with no links to it from an official Oracle site (including opensolaris.org), you have to assume it's unauthorized."

Additionally from Alan, "Have you checked every file in it for such markings? Preparing the source releases is not a simple process, and if someone unfamiliar with that process was to just grab it, they might well include such files, either by mistake or malicious intent."

The ones really at a loss here is just the Illumos / OpenIndiana communities that could benefit from the advancements made within the Solaris 11 kernel. At least for many, Solaris is becoming less relevant with Linux having a ZFS file-system port (in way of a FUSE implementation and an out-of-tree kernel module; Btrfs also serves as an open-source alternative to the Sun file-system), SystemTap as an alternative to DTrace, and Oracle is supposedly bringing DTrace to Linux in some form (these are all Solaris selling points at the moment).

The FreeBSD project has also picked-up and integrated key CDDL-licensed components into their operating system like ZFS and DTrace, but without carrying the baggage of Oracle. With Oracle continuing to push harder on Oracle Enterprise Linux (their Red Hat Enterprise Linux based distribution), hopefully Solaris 11 will be the last and finally mark the end of the SunOS days.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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