Chapter 1. What Is OpenSolaris?


  • Introduction to OpenSolaris

  • OpenSolaris features

  • OpenSolaris licensing

  • History of OpenSolaris

  • Comparing OpenSolaris to other operating systems

  • Getting involved in OpenSolaris

  • OpenSolaris development process

You probably wouldn't have picked up this book if you hadn't at least heard of OpenSolaris or Solaris, but even if you've poked around OpenSolaris or used Solaris for years, you might be confused about what, exactly, OpenSolaris is. Is it an operating system, an open source code base, an open source community, or a distribution? How is it different from Solaris? How is it different from Linux? Is it really open source?

This chapter answers those questions and more. Even if you're an experienced Solaris user, this chapter may be useful in helping you understand OpenSolaris and its differences from Solaris. On the other hand, if you're already involved in OpenSolaris, you might still want to skim this chapter to learn a bit about the history of OpenSolaris and Solaris with which you might not be familiar.

Introduction to OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris is an open source operating system, similar in scope to GNU/Linux and BSD, but descended from the proprietary Solaris operating system from Sun Microsystems. The authors of this book find it helpful to think of OpenSolaris as divided into three distinct but related aspects: the code, the distributions, and the community.

OpenSolaris code

OpenSolaris is the open source version of Sun Microsystems' Solaris ...

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