OpenSolaris 2008.11 Details
Earlier this month we had provided a first-look at OpenSolaris 2008.11 by using an early version that was based upon the Solaris Express Community b93 code-base. Aside from the updated packages, there wasn't much to differentiate 2008.11 from the inaugural OpenSolaris 2008.05 (http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=12269) release. However, a few more details are now available on what Sun hopes to accomplish with OpenSolaris 2008.11 due out this November.
Glynn Foster and other Sun representatives have been working on the "problem statement" for this next version of the OpenSolaris operating system. The statement in full can be read at OpenSolaris.org while below are a few points that had caught our attention.
- OpenSolaris 2008.11 will introduce a distribution constructor. The OpenSolaris Distribution Constructor sounds like it will be quite similar to Fedora's Revisor program for being able to "spin" a custom ISO of packages depending upon your needs. In the problem statement, a use-case for this program would be to create a derivative OpenSolaris operating system geared for a network storage appliance.
- OpenSolaris 2008.11 will have SPARC support. While Solaris and SPARC are closely bundled, OpenSolaris has only been supported on x86 and x86_64 architectures up until now. There will, however, not be a SPARC LiveCD using Project Caiman for this build.
- With the OpenSolaris Image Packaging System (or IPS for short) a number of improvements are planned. Among the areas are making it easier for a user to create their own IPS packages, generate an IPS repository, a GNOME applet for notifying the user when IPS network updates are available, and a web-based viewer for IPS repositories.
- An OpenSolaris 2008.11 goal is to support at least 50% of the currently supported wireless drivers should be able to support 802.11n WiFi. With that, there should be OpenSolaris network drivers for at least half of the top 10 popular (both wired and wireless) network devices.
- OpenSolaris 2008.11 will hopefully be updated to GNOME 2.24 and will ship with Firefox 3.0.
- GNOME will continue to be the default desktop environment for OpenSolaris, but Sun Microsystems is interested in having KDE 4.0 (well, KDE 4.1) available as an alternate desktop that could be installed through IPS packages.
- A GUI for updating ZFS file-system snapshots as well as the ability to browse these archived snapshots and move them to a remote destination.
- A graphical interface to connect/disconnect to wired and wireless networks automatically and manually. This GUI would also facilitate the setting up of basic profiles for preferred networks. Note to Sun: Please just use NetworkManager!
- A typical developer stack should be available for installation from a network IPS repository (read: not on the CD). This includes the libraries and build utilities for C, C++, Java, C#, Python, Ruby, and Perl through GCC. For integrated development environments they are planning on Sun Studio, Netbeans, and Eclipse. DTrace should also be available.
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