VirtualBox 3.2 isn't yet around, but the Sun (well, Oracle) engineers are going to be releasing a 3.1.4 release shortly. To get some tests out there prior to the final release they have issued a beta of VirtualBox 3.1.4, which offers 40 fixes/additions. VirtualBox 3.1.4 is positioned to have SMP stability fixes, 3D support improvements, fixes for the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, video mode improvements for X.Org / XFree86, and various other changes.
Alan Coopersmith on behalf of Sun Microsystems has announced this afternoon that they will be relicensing all of their past and present X server work under the canonical form of the X.Org license in its latest form. This is being done to reduce the number of MIT license variants within the X Server. This isn't a major change and will not negatively impact users but simplifies and improves the licensing to some extent. Sun has been pushing code into X11 for over 21 years with their copyright touching hundreds of files in the X Server.
Sun's lead X.Org engineer, Alan Coopersmith, in conjunction with Aaron Zang (a fellow Sun engineer), has written new VT switching support for the X Server. This new virtual terminal switching support is specific to OpenSolaris and future releases of Solaris (likely Solaris 11 and later) and will not impact Linux users or any other operating systems.
Sun's Glynn Foster has announced today on the OpenSolaris Forums that they will be discontinuing the Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) builds. For quite some time now, Sun has been providing bi-weekly updates of the latest (Open)Solaris code in the form of an ISO for those interested in testing out the latest work on this operating system.
For those of you that use OpenSolaris or the bi-weekly snapshots of Solaris Express Community Edition, the just-released SXCE Build 116 contains an updated X stack. In particular, this update brings X Server 1.6 (in particular, version 1.6.1) and Mesa 7.4. This change can be tracked in the OpenSolaris bug database. As part of this upgrade, X Input 1.5 is now supported and some other X.Org modules have also been updated.
For those of you interested in the release of Sun's next OpenSolaris operating system, it is coming next Monday. OpenSolaris 2009.06 has many package updates and improvements to this desktop Solaris operating system since the release of OpenSolaris 2008,11 last year. Some of the changes are shared in An Early Look At OpenSolaris 2009.06 and A Weekend Look At OpenSolaris 2009.06.
Kernel mode-setting has been in development for quite a while on Linux and was finally pushed into the Linux 2.6.29 kernel. Kernel mode-setting allows a clean, flicker-free boot experience, fast VT switching, reliable suspend-and-resume support, and there's also other benefits. We heard earlier this year that KMS may soon come to OpenBSD, since these security-developers would love to run the X Server without root privileges, which is another benefit of kernel mode-setting. OpenBSD or any other operating system has yet to formally implementing kernel mode-setting support, but it looks like Sun Microsystems has been busy at work; kernel mode-setting will soon be introduced on OpenSolaris.
Last month we shared that VirtualBox picked up 3D acceleration for virtualized Linux guests after Sun Microsystems had already delivered OpenGL acceleration and even Direct3D acceleration to Windows guests months earlier. This support for having hardware-accelerated OpenGL support in Linux guest operating systems came in a development release of VirtualBox 2.2, but today Sun Microsystems has officially updated its virtualization platform.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 is currently the latest community operating system release from Sun Microsystems, but by this summer it will be released with OpenSolaris 2009.06. OpenSolaris is updated in a six-month release cycle, but the next release name is being called OpenSolaris 2009.06 and will ideally make it out by the end of May.
For quite a while now, Sun Microsystems had been using X Server 1.3 in their OpenSolaris operating system even though X Server 1.4 has been available for well over a year and X Server 1.5 has also been available for several months. However, with the latest bi-weekly release of Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE), the X Server as well as the Mesa stack have finally been updated.
IcedTea, the free software Java project based upon Sun's OpenJDK code-base, has reached version 1.4. IcedTea 1.4 is based upon OpenJDK7 Hotspot 14 and brings several security fixes, improved support for ALSA / PulseAudio, and a few web-browser plug-in enhancements. However, what is most significant about this release is the X Render pipeline support. With IcedTea now being able to utilize the X Render extension for 2D operations, programs should be much more responsive especially when running over a network.
After years of complaints by its users, last month Adobe released 64-bit Flash for Linux. Now this month Sun Microsystems has come to the table with a Java plug-in that is compatible with 64-bit web browsers. This 64-bit plug-in is coming as part of Java SE 6 Update 12 Build 02, which was released last Friday. This 64-bit compatibility is for both Linux and Windows, while Sun's own Solaris operating system will pick up the 64-bit support once it has a 64-bit version of Firefox.
While OpenSolaris 2008.11 has been available for download for over a week now, Sun Microsystems hasn't officially announced its existence. Sun though will be announcing it this morning at what will be a 9AM PST web-launch. With this day now here, we can share some previously embargoed information about OpenSolaris and its future.
OpenSolaris 2008.11 is now available. As we've shared in our early look at OpenSolaris 2008.11 and OpenSolaris 2008.11 starts coming together articles, there are a number of updates in this Sun operating system worth talking about.
The first release candidate for OpenSolaris 2008.11 came out two weeks ago and now Sun has announced the availability of the second release candidate. OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC2 is based upon the Solaris Nevada Build 101b code-base and new packages include the NVIDIA Cg Toolkit and visual panels for MySQL and Sysid. The release announcement for OpenSolaris 2008.11 RC2 can be read on the mailing list.
For those interested in helping out Sun Microsystems with testing out the near-final build of OpenSolaris 2008.11, its release candidate is now available. This build is based upon Build 101a of the open-source OpenSolaris code-base. We previously offered a preview of OpenSolaris build 99.
For those of you interested in running OpenSolaris on Sun's old hardware or new SPARC hardware such as the UltraSPARC T2 (Niagara 2), it will be possible starting early next year. Sun's Tim Cramer has announced they've begun work on bringing this open-source Solaris-derived desktop distribution to their SPARC architecture, which is coming almost a year after the first Project Indiana preview release.
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.
OpenSolaris 2008.05 was released just shy of two months ago, but already its ISOs are "out of date" with the rate of development with the OpenSolaris community and new Solaris Express Community Edition (or also known as "Solaris Nevada") builds coming out on a bi-weekly basis. Granted, once an installation has occurred a user is able to update using Project Indiana's Image Packaging System (IPS). However, we've learned that in the near future Sun will be providing updated ISOs of OpenSolaris 2008.05.
With Solaris Express Community Edition Build 88 never making it out to the public due to bugs, it's been a bit longer than usual before seeing a new SXCE release. However, today Sun and the OpenSolaris community have released Solaris Express Community Build 89. The release announcement and links to the downloads, OpenSolaris "Nevada" kernel change-log, and X.Org change-log can be found on the OpenSolaris Forums.
A new build of Solaris Express Community Edition has been released today. SXCE Build 87 brings a few updates that have been brewing in the OpenSolaris community within the past few weeks and is the first release since OpenSolaris 2008.05. Most interesting with this release -- if you're using ATI hardware -- is the update against xf86-video-ati 6.8.0.
Taking place at CommunityOne 2008 (as part of Sun's JavaOne conference), Sun has released the much-anticipated OpenSolaris 2008.05 "Project Indiana" operating system. This open-source Solaris OS can be downloaded from OpenSolaris.com (not to be confused with the .org that is for the development community). You can read our review of OpenSolaris 2008.05 here. Project Indiana started out with just a lot of hopes, but in the end it's turned out to be an excellent desktop based upon Sun technologies found in Solaris.
The first general availability release of OpenSolaris, but perhaps better known by its Ian Murdock-generated codename of Project Indiana, was planned for March of 2008. If you didn't notice though, Project Indiana never made it out in March. It's now the middle of April and there is still no sign of this first release that aims to reach Sun's goal of putting Solaris on more desktops. Released so far on Project Indiana has just been an initial Developer Preview release last October followed by a second preview copy in February. When testing that most recent test release, Project Indiana wasn't much more than underlying OpenSolaris technologies with a stock GNOME desktop.
For those interested in trying out the latest in OpenSolaris technologies, build 83 of Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) is now available. Some of the changes bound in SXCE Build 83 can be found here for X and the Nevada change-log. Solaris Express Community Build 83 can be downloaded from OpenSolaris.org. If you're interested in something on the OpenSolaris side a bit more stable than a two-week spin of "Nevada", you may be interested in Project Indiana Preview 2 or our Sun favorite being Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08.
Two weeks ago we provided a tour of OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2 (a.k.a. Project Indiana Preview 2), and this afternoon this desktop Solaris operating system has finally shipped. OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2 ships with Nevada Build 79b, pkg improvements, ksh93 is now the default system shell, several new packages (marking the inclusion of OpenOffice.org), the Java Run-Time Environment is also bundled into OpenSolaris, and new hardware drivers. The release announcement and download links can be found on the indiana-discuss list. The first major release of OpenSolaris (Indiana) is planned for March of 2008, but as this second preview is getting out late, we wouldn't be surprised if the release is pushed back.
Released at the end of October was the first preview release of Project Indiana, the Sun desktop distribution being head by Ian Murdock that will officially be known as OpenSolaris. Once at production quality, the Indiana camp intends to push out a new release every six months (similar to Ubuntu's release cycle), but for now it's at three month intervals. The first production release of "OpenSolaris Indiana" is planned for this March, but it's expected that Sun will be releasing an updated "Developer Preview" this month. A release this month has been confirmed by a Sun blog entry and the Indiana mailing list.
If you were hoping to get in on the expected initial public offering (IPO) of MySQL AB, nice try but you're now out of luck. Sun Microsystems has today announced that they will be acquiring MySQL AB, the company behind the open-source MySQL database software. Sun will be putting up about $1 billion USD ($800 million in cash and the rest in stock options) for this purchase and was done to reaffirm "Sun's position at the center of the global Web economy." This news comes as a surprise to us and it will be interesting to see what comes as a result. Perhaps improved integration between Java and MySQL? The press release can be read at the Sun website.
If you're looking to experiment with OpenSolaris but aren't turned on by Project Indiana, the Nexenta team is out with a new Core Platform release. Nexenta is an operating system that combines the OpenSolaris kernel with GNU applications. This new release, Nexenta Core Platform 1.0 RC2, is based upon OpenSolaris build 80+ with support for in-place (live) and safe upgrades. There is also Nexenta Zones improvements. This release also integrates NWS, AVS, COMSTAR, and an in-kernel CIFS client. Download links and more information for Nexenta Core Platform 1.0 RC2 is available from the project website.
Build 78 of Solaris Express Community (SXCE) is now available. This represents the work done in the OpenSolaris community over roughly the past two weeks. The announcement with download link is available from the OpenSolaris Forums. If you're new to Solaris / OpenSolaris, you may be interested in trying out the Project Indiana Preview release.
For the SXCE users out there, build 76 of the Solaris Express Community Edition is now available. SXCE Build 76 contains the latest work done to Solaris "Nevada" in the past two weeks. This also includes work that hadn't made it into the Project Indiana Technology Preview. Download information for this latest Solaris Community release is available here.
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