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I've been reading on Joyent's SmartOS, what is it exactly I read something about it being KVM. With one article saying it could run windows, linux and OpenSolaris because its based on a project which is based on that. What kind of packages would I download to run on it? Linux x64 packages (for the smartos64) for instance? I cant find a clear answer

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closed as off topic by ceejayoz, Sven, Wesley, Ward, MDMarra Mar 2 '12 at 16:45

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SmartOS is just an OpenSolaris fork. It'll run whatever OpenSolaris runs. – ceejayoz Feb 24 '12 at 19:22
@ceejayoz: That should probably be an answer. – nickgrim Feb 24 '12 at 20:17
up vote 6 down vote accepted

SmartOS is an open-source distribution of the illumos operating system, a Solaris derivative. It supports KVM as a first-class citizen. With KVM, you can boot a Linux instance that will appear in most ways just like running Linux on bare metal. You manage the Linux instance entirely yourself, so you can install whatever packages you want.

Similarly, you can boot a Windows instance under KVM and install whatever Windows software you want -- it's a complete Windows install.

smartos64 is something else. That's a template for creating an OS-virtualized instance (as opposed to the above, which are hardware-virtualized). With this, you're essentially running a completely isolated SmartOS environment within SmartOS. It's faster and lets you use things like DTrace and SMF (which aren't available on Linux or Windows), but it has nothing to do with Linux or Windows.

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