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Solaris 9 To Include Whiz-Bang Linux Features

By Mr. Piccolo in Technology
Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 04:47:46 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)

The early Access version of Solaris 9 is now available from Sun. This in itself isn't a big deal, but...

Among the new features listed for Solaris 9 are two that look rather, well, interesting (quoting from the link):

* Linux APIs, commands, and utilties enabling most Linux applications to easily be recompiled and run Solaris 9 Operating Environment

* Linux compatibility mode which allows Linux Intel applications to run unchanged (no recompilation) on Solaris 9, Intel Platform Edition

But what does it mean? How far are they going to go to build in this Linux compatability? Are they going to reverse-engineer clone() and other Linux kernel calls, or are they just going to repackage lxrun with a few minor improvements?

And, most importantly, why in the world are they doing this? What's their real motivation behind this move?

I think their reason is that by doing this, they can:

1. Tap into the wide array of applications that don't work on anything but Linux

2. Convince developers that developing for Solaris is easy: "It's just like developing for Linux, only better!"

3. Thus protect their marketshare from the "new kid on the block".

But what do you think?


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This move is Sun:
o Genuinely trying to work withthe Linux community 38%
o Aggresively defending their turf 35%
o Admitting defeat to the Linux steamroller 15%
o Other (please explain in a comment) 10%

Votes: 39
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o early Access
o lxrun
o Also by Mr. Piccolo

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Solaris 9 To Include Whiz-Bang Linux Features | 7 comments (7 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Quite inevitable, really. (3.16 / 6) (#1)
by HereticMessiah on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 01:49:34 AM EST

Linux is becoming more scalable every day, Solaris' turf. It has a chance in the desktop market (whatever the nae-sayers say), something Solaris has hardly any chance of doing. It's in Sun's best interest to make Solaris as compatible with Linux as possible.

Disagree with me? Post a reply.
Think my post's poor or trolling? Rate me down.
SunOS vs. Linux vs. BSD (none / 0) (#6)
by ClarkGoble on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 04:46:44 PM EST

Linux doesn't have much of a hope on the desktop unless things change pretty dramatically. The Unix for the desktop is OSX by far. However OSX (BSD in club clothing basically) has the problem that it is stuck on Apple hardware. Unless Apple is able to deal with this (and get better server hardware) Apple will have problems. Sun certainly is smart to make it easier to port Linux programs over though. Usually the difficulties for the average program aren't great. However they can be extremely frustrating.

[ Parent ]
Migration Path (4.33 / 9) (#2)
by supine on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 02:31:26 AM EST

And, most importantly, why in the world are they doing this? What's their real motivation behind this move?

You missed one...

4. Ease migration from Linux/Intel to Solaris/Sun Hardware.

If Linux/Intel isn't scaling for a particular production environment, having Linux compatibility in Solaris allows Sun to sell some of their high end hardware without the pain and delay of porting the application.


"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
This is a Good Thing. (3.66 / 3) (#3)
by Ialdabaoth on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 08:32:32 AM EST

Sun seems to be learning from the mistakes it made in the Unix Wars of the 1980s, where porting apps from one flavor of Unix to another was a royal pain in the ass. It's good that Sun is taking this step (as FreeBSD did) to improve compatibility between Solaris and Linux
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley

Good Thing (TM) (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by strlen on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 01:12:48 PM EST

I'm not a particular fan of Linux any more (more of a BSD guy nowadays), but it's a good idea. Linux is becoming a massive force and a very useable enterprise solution, so I see no reason sun wouldn't want to benefit by becoming more compatible. Compatibility is good, there's never going to be the One True OS, co-existance is a must.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Sun is learning (4.00 / 2) (#5)
by Checkpoint Charlie on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 09:50:48 PM EST

Slowly but surely, they are learning. Sun is a hardware company. They make their money from selling servers and workstations, Solaris is a neccessary evil for them. Thus, it makes perfect sense to let their Solaris users running on their uber cool hardware tap into the massive amount of development that's going on in the Linux world. Make no bones about it, the amount of development for Linux is much much greater than for any *nix platform right now. Although if you are smart about it you should be able to write an app for Linux that runs just fine on a sparcstation (I've done it so I know it's easy) with a simple recompile anyways, as long as you plan ahead for it.

So cheers to Sun, they aren't the quickest company to figure things out, but they do eventually work out what's best for them and act on it.

Now then, time to get your papers out and ready for inspection.

the should instead.... (none / 0) (#7)
by krokodil on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 06:10:25 PM EST

Instead of trying to run Lunux applications they should make their x86 Solaris free and they would get tons of applications ported by developers. They can make money on Solaris for SPARC including OS software price into workstation purchase price.

Solaris 9 To Include Whiz-Bang Linux Features | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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