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 announcing 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 project……..

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 OpenSolaris.

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 efforts.

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

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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