I see a download for 2009.06 and a dev download for 2010.03. (current month is 2010-12)

Could this mean that since the Oracle acquisition of Sun.. OpenSolaris has been stalled? (so far)

2 Answers 2


Oracle killed off OpenSolaris. The website remains, mostly unmaintained (last I knew the mailing lists were still active). There are forks springing up, but none seems very dominant yet (Illumos and OpenIndiana spring to mind).

Solaris will return to a closed source product, which is licensed only with official hardware (to my knowledge) and only via support contract (again to my knowledge).

Oracle apparently does plan to release some of Solaris's source as it's updated. But what gets released and when is still unknown. There will apparently be some license for the released code, but they haven't announced it at this point, and haven't released any updates for a while now.

  • It appears you can "register" and download Solaris 11 .iso image. oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris11/downloads/… However, I read the agreement and it says "You may not: use the Programs for your own internal business purposes (other than developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications) or for any commercial or production purposes;..." which indicates it is not free. Dec 27, 2010 at 22:09
  • 3
    OpenIndiana is using illumos just like Ubuntu uses kernel.org, they aren't different forks. Telling Solaris will return to a close source product is a confusing statement. Part of OpenSolaris source code has always been closed source so there is no change to expect on that side. A part of the remaining source code which was under the CDDL is indeed currently unreleased but that doesn't mean its license was changed or will change.
    – jlliagre
    Dec 28, 2010 at 8:14
  • @jlliagre, thank you for clarifing the OpenIndiana and Illumos relationship. There have been conflicting reports/statements as to what Oracle intends to release and under what license; if you have an authoritative source stating what will be released and what license, I would be interested in seeing the question cleared up.
    – Chris S
    Dec 28, 2010 at 13:40
  • The only authoritative source would be Oracle and there has been no official announcement about what would be released and under what license. Any report/statement you can read can then only be speculation.
    – jlliagre
    Dec 28, 2010 at 17:08
  • 1
    By the way, your 'to my knowledge' statements are confusing too. Solaris 11 Express isn't licensed to "official hardware" if you mean Sun/Oracle hardware here. It is supported on all certified hardware listed on the HCL ( sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/data/s11exp ). A support contract isn't required if you meet the OTN Developer license requirements (i.e. use it for the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications). In that case, you obviously do not need to run it on a certified platform, a "reported to run" one would be certainly fine enough.
    – jlliagre
    Dec 30, 2010 at 0:04

Solaris 11 Express (aka build 151a) is technically what could have been called OpenSolaris 2010.11.

It is freely downloadable http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris11/downloads/index.html but not redistributable and its license has changed (see the OTN license agreement on the download page, especially about usage restrictions). If you do not meet the OTN developer licensing requirements, you need a support contract which I believe imply you run the OS on certified hardware. The latter is listed on the HCL ( http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/data/s11exp ).

Only the core kernel and utilities source code (ON) are no more regularly updated like they used to be. The latest ON source code released is around build 147 (August 2010).

ON has one main fork (once dubbed spork) named illumos. illumos goal is to provide a fully open source ON implementation while trying to stay as much as possible compatible with the main Solaris code/ABI. OpenSolaris wasn't fully open source as some components were released under closed source binary form. These components are being replaced by open source ones by the illumos community.

OpenIndiana goal is to provide a full installable distribution based on illumos, as close as possible to what OpenSolaris was. Another distributions which announced it will move to using illumos as its core is nexenta.

Another former OpenSolaris based distribution, Schillix 0.7.2 was released using illumos as its core but their developers have now decided to maintain their own ON fork.

Most of the remaining Open Source code composing OpenSolaris, now Solaris 11 Express, remains developed openly and is still regularly updated on the consolidation repositories, browsable from http://src.opensolaris.org/ and downloadable with mercurial http://hub.opensolaris.org/bin/view/Community+Group+tools/hg_help

For example the X11 related source code is still posted to the OpenSolaris site with even updates newer than Solaris 11 Express: http://hub.opensolaris.org/bin/view/Community+Group+x_win/changelogs-nv_150

The latest OpenSolaris binary stable release is 2010.05 (build 134b) and was made available on november 2010. You can upgrade from 2009.06 (build 111b) to it from the network. It is slightly newer than the latest dev release you are referring to.

Have a look at these blogs for details on how to upgrade from 111b to 134b then 151a (Solaris 11 Express):


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