Illumos Interview

Illumos has reinvigorated the OpenSolaris community.

Jessica Thornsby

JAXenter speaks with initial Illumos leadership team member Anil Gulecha on this new, community maintained derivative of the OpenSolaris ON source.

It’s been a worrying few months for the OpenSolaris community,
with members of the OpenSolaris Governing Board
that “the OpenSolaris project is on life support. Or
dead already,” and the recent news that the OpenSolaris Governing
Board are considering
disbanding in August
, if they have had no contact with Oracle.
However, project Illumos is hoping to change all that. JAXenter
spoke to Illumos team member Anil Gulecha, about this new

JAXenter: What is the Illumos project?

Anil Gulecha: Illumos is a community maintained
derivative of the OpenSolaris ON source, including open source
replacements for closed bits, and additional changes. It aims to be
community built and governed, and API compatible with

JAXenter: At the website, you state that
Illumos will closely follow upstream ON, but will remain
independent. Which areas do you anticipate the development of
Illumos, differing from the development of ON?

Anil Gulecha: Initially, we will replaced the
closed binaries with open source code. Going forward we’ll be
maintaining this open code. Once we have fully open ON (very
shortly), we’ll work on maintaining additional new drivers, and the
drivers that Oracle may drop from the upstream codebase.

JAXenter: What is your impression of the
current state of the Solaris and OpenSolaris communities?

Anil Gulecha: I cannot comment on the Solaris
community as it has largely remained separate from the community
surrounding OpenSolaris. The OpenSolaris community itself has
remained in a limbo over the past few months, due to the radio
silence from Oracle about it’s future, and also the postponement
and silence of the OpenSolaris binary distribution release.

Illumos has reinvigorated the OpenSolaris community, and has
provided a project to rally around and contribute to. This is
easily apparent looking at the immense amount of coverage and
almost universal enthusiasm since the announcement 48 hours ago.
We’ve already seen new patches being filed to Illumos gate, and
communities forming to contribute towards internationalization

JAXenter: You plan to offer your contributions
as an upstream. Have you had any contact with Oracle, about the

Anil Gulecha: We’re very much interested in
Oracle participating in the project, and accepting changes from
Illumos. Oracle has been invited to participate as a peer, but is
yet to get back to us.

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