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Sun Microsystems

Sun Opens OpenSolaris.Org 357

An anonymous reader writes "Sun has launched the first version of opensolaris.org, featuring a small initial drop of source code. The idea is to make a display of good faith to the Solaris community while the rest of the source code due diligence is completed. The source code for Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) is available for download under the terms of the newly OSI-approved CDDL license."
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Sun Opens OpenSolaris.Org

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  • by lphuberdeau ( 774176 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:12PM (#11474452) Homepage

    Sun really seems to like the Open-.org naming convention. They are probably trying to oppose Steve Jobs' iNaming.

  • Hot-Swappable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jon_oner ( 753207 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:12PM (#11474453)
    I just want the cool features of solaris (such as hot-swappable processors on a multi-processor system) to be ported to Linux. Honestly, bot OS can and should merge into one entity. less fork, more merge.
    • Re:Hot-Swappable (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      that's not so much software as it is hardware. and merge the two? are you a moron?
    • Re:Hot-Swappable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DShard ( 159067 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:17PM (#11474512)
      Merging solaris code into the linux kernel is a lot more difficult then implementing the feature from scratch. This is largely due to the codebases being wildly different but other difficulties contribute to the problem.

      On the bright side, hot swappable processors, memory and pci cards are already in linux. enjoy!
      • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:37PM (#11474718)
        Sun has an aweful track record of maintaining anything on the web. That includes their external website. A small example, you can't even find sun's Burlington Mass address on the site. Trust me, the list is a mile long. I expect this .org site to be well maintained for about a year at most.

      • Merging solaris code into the linux kernel is a lot more difficult then implementing the feature from scratch.

        write from scratch? Are you mad? lets just copy it over like we did with all that stuff from sco ;-)
    • I agree with the AC, most of the hotswapping is hardware related, and it shouldn't be a huge effort to port over hot-swapping Sun hardware on a Linux kernel.
      • Re:Hot-Swappable (Score:2, Interesting)

        by gnarlin ( 696263 )
        Is the new license from sun gpl compatable?
        If not then doesn't that mean that sun are
        deliberetely trying to sobotache GNU/Linux from
        the inside out by having people peruse the solaris code and then later cry foul when similar code or features creep into GNU/Linux ?
        Perhaps I'm just paranoid.
    • Hot-swapping live components is a hardware capability first, OS must support it as well though. Mainframes have this, hot-swap processors, etc. x86 just does not support it. That isn't Linux's fault.
    • Re:Hot-Swappable (Score:3, Informative)

      by thule ( 9041 )
      I thought Linux already had hot swap CPU support. It just depends on the right hardware.
    • I hate to break it to you, but I get the feeling that hot-swapping processors is a feature rather specific to Sun hardware. It will likely do little good on hardware without this ability, which composes most of the population of Linux machines.

      Of course, there are other hardware brands that do this as well, but the one for Solaris is likely to be written specifically for Sun hardware, and none other.
  • I'm glad that the source code is starting to be released, but could someone more knowledgable explain what Dynamic Tracing is? Is it something that would be useful to a normal user?
    • Re:Dynamic Tracing (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Basically, it's a way of debugging programs. A VERY cool way of debugging programs.
    • I would guess not. Most of those weird-named technologies are only useful on multi-processor systems and servers where CPU cycles are really an issue.

      If I had more cycles I could probably do more posting on Slashdot...

      • Actually now that I look at the docs, it seems more developer-oriented than for desktop users.
      • Re:Dynamic Tracing (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I would guess not. Most of those weird-named technologies are only useful on multi-processor systems and servers where CPU cycles are really an issue.

        False. DTrace can be used to analyze the operation of any system that runs Solaris 10, from 1 CPU to 100+. It can tell you useful information about a single thread's interaction with the system or 1000 threads' interactions with each other. It can even tell you about things that have nothing to do with either the number of CPUs or the number of threads.

    • Re:Dynamic Tracing (Score:5, Informative)

      by nbert ( 785663 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:16PM (#11474506) Homepage Journal
      From the link provided in the article:
      DTrace provides a powerful infrastructure to permit administrators, developers, and service personnel to concisely answer arbitrary questions about the behavior of the operating system and user programs.
      So the answer to your question is: no, it's not useful for a "normal" user.
    • Re:Dynamic Tracing (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Welcome to Dynamic Tracing in the Solaris Operating System! If you have ever wanted to understand the behavior of your system, DTrace is the tool for you. DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing facility that is built into Solaris that can be used by administrators and developers on live production systems to examine the behavior of both user programs and of the operating system itself. DTrace enables you to explore your system to understand how it works, track down performance problems across many layers
    • Is it something that would be useful to a normal user?

      A normal user wouldn't use it directly, but a normal user would benefit from its use.

      It's a very powerful debugging tool. It'll help programmers debug programs.

      Then again, considering how many programmers don't even bother fixing compiler warnings ("eh, it compiles and runs, good enough for me"), it remains to be seen whether or not developers would actually use it.
    • Re:Dynamic Tracing (Score:5, Informative)

      by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:23PM (#11474580) Journal
      The best place to go for this information is the well documented Dtrace FAQs [sun.com].

      From it, I shamelessly lifted the following brief synopsis:

      Q. What is DTrace?

      A. DTrace is a new facility in the Solaris Operating System that adds dynamic instrumentation and tracing to the kernel and can be used on production systems. It's a power tool that can be used by both the entry-level and experienced system administrators to diagnose and resolve problems in hours or minutes that might have previously taken days.


      Q. What are the benefits of DTrace?

      A.
      Faster resolution of performance problems for system administrators
      Quicker time to market and higher quality product for developers
      Greater utilization of existing system resources for IT managers


      Q. What are the key highlights of DTrace?

      A.
      Comprehensive coverage: over 30,000 instrumentation points in even the smallest system; integrated access to both application and kernel data
      Always available: built-in with no need to reboot or otherwise reconfigure system, disable or alter applications, or disable user/client access
      Safe: cannot panic system and has no impact on the system when not being used
      Enable only the trace points you need
      Analyzes data in real time on production systems
      Extensible as new analysis routines can be built for re-use using the D programming language


      Q. What is the performance overhead of DTrace?

      A. When not in use, DTrace has no impact on system performance or other behavior. When being used, DTrace overhead is dependent on the number of probe points being observed.


      Q. How does Sun's DTrace compare with competitive offerings?

      A. DTrace is the only dynamic tracing tool available that eliminates the need for collecting and processing event data. With DTrace a system administrator can query the system experiencing the problem in real time, while in production, and get accurate and precise information regarding the source of the problem. No log files are generated, and there is no data to analyze. This reduces the time it takes to identify and resolve problems by orders of magnitude! Literally from days to minutes.


      Containers are based on software. They offer logical separation with the same OS in each Container. Containers offer enormous scalabilty: while there is no hard coded limit, upto 4000 per OS image are available and is beyond normal requirements today.


      Q. Can DTrace be used without knowing the D language?

      A. You can leverage scripts developed by others (such as those available on the Sun BigAdmin portal). However, it is not difficult to learn D which is very similar to the ANSI C programming language with a special set of functions and variables to make tracing easy.
    • Re:Dynamic Tracing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by burns210 ( 572621 ) <maburns@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @07:04PM (#11475007) Homepage Journal
      Basicly, I think of it as the Ultimate Packet Sniffer command line tool, being applied to processes and your system as a whole, along with a scripting language for your pleasure.

      It lets you track/compare/analyze users and processes in real-time to basicly tell you what your computer is really doing and lets you pinpoint who/why it is doing it, system wide, without configuration changes or restarts..

      Look forward to a lot of REALLY powerful scripts coming from this(there is an experimental rootkit coming out even, that used dtrace to sniff out passwords in system memory, etc). Very powerful, very dangerous.
  • by keester ( 646050 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:14PM (#11474477)
    Is everyone so busy downloading that they don't have time to post their anti/pro solaris comments?

    Shocking, I tell you.

  • by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:15PM (#11474490) Journal
    What a lot of Slashdotters might not realize is that Sun has spent literally millions of hours over the last couple of years "unencumbering" Solaris from patented code that was owned by other companies opposed to the open sourcing of their intellectual property. They did this for no reason other than to prove to the open source community that they are serious about open sourcing Solaris, and hopefully to sell some good Sun iron in the process.

    It would be nice to see some Slashdotters give Sun their well deserved props for a change, instead of ripping on them.

    "What? You gave us OpenOffice? That's not good enough..." I hoping this thread doesn't turn into another Sun bash fest because this time they deserve a little respect for giving away what I see as the crown jewels of their company.
    • I was kind of under the impression that this move was masterminded by Microsoft (via the multi-billion dollar deal they had with Sun) as an attempt to fragment the Open Source community. I could be very wrong, but it seems to make the most sense that way. The real question is whether Sun's license is compatible with the GPL.
      • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:27PM (#11474612) Homepage
        The real question is whether Sun's license is compatible with the GPL.

        That's not a question; it is not compatible.
        • Furthermore, this license is not in the list of licenses that IBM noted when they released the 500 patents.

          If you want to stay clean for Linux, I would not even read about OpenSolaris.

          • If you want to stay clean for Linux, I would not even read about OpenSolaris.

            And your rational for this would be?

            Finkployd
            • It's encumbered with Patents and a license which makes it non-free software.
          • over 1,600 patents are being contributed to the open source community from the open solaris website. now the question remains when the refer to the "Open Source Community" are they referring to Open Source as in their CDDL licence - or Open Source Community as it is normally interpreted? Not that I support software patents at all though mind.
      • > The real question is whether Sun's license is compatible with the GPL.

        From my understanding it is similar (identical) in spirit, but not compatible, as each license enforces derived works under its own license, with no mixing of licenses allowed.

        Points where GPL and CDDL seem similar in spirit:
        * All source (changed and unchanged) must remain
        available under the license (GPL#2, CDDL#3.1)
        * Any modification must happen under the original
        license (GPL#2b, CDDL #3.2).

        My personal concern is that
      • by illumin8 ( 148082 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @08:56PM (#11475935) Journal
        I was kind of under the impression that this move was masterminded by Microsoft (via the multi-billion dollar deal they had with Sun) as an attempt to fragment the Open Source community. I could be very wrong, but it seems to make the most sense that way. The real question is whether Sun's license is compatible with the GPL.

        Microsoft doesn't have any control over Sun at all. You might have thought this because MS paid Sun $2 billion as part of a settlement agreement, but really, they did this because they had to and because Sun was willing to do them a favor and let them off easy. If Sun had wanted to keep fighting that fight forever, they could have, and probably would have ended up with more cash, although they might have gone out of business before any damages were won.

        Believe me, folks at Sun dislike MS business tactics as much as you do.
    • So they're removing SCO code? ;-)
    • What a lot of Slashdotters might not realize is that Sun has spent literally millions of hours over the last couple of years "unencumbering" Solaris from patented code that was owned by other companies opposed to the open sourcing of their intellectual property. They did this for no reason other than to prove to the open source community that they are serious about open sourcing Solaris, and hopefully to sell some good Sun iron in the process.

      No. They didn't explictly done this to prove anything. Without
      • However, it is possible to create a productive, cohesive community that can benifit Sun manyfold without trust?

        • I didn't said that. I mean Sun purpose is to be profitable (to live) its main goal is not to gain open source community trust (but it is one of other goals). Especially when you look at it from the perspective of their stance on Linux - usually they spread useless FUD and stuff around Linux, but on the other hand they want the community to trust them, they wish not to opensource Java, but they want your trust. Is it not developers input to Solaris the thing they really want? Trust is secondary thing - this
    • by acg6764 ( 603692 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:28PM (#11474627)

      On a personal level, I agree. On an investor level, your comment scares me a bit. Sun still makes up for a decent percentage of my tech portfolio. I would like to understand what Sun is hoping to achieve through this investment.

      They are continuing to face declining market shares. They could have used the money to build better hardware and marketing campaigns. They could have also provided enhancements to the existing Linux infrastructure to be better compatible with their hardware.

      Still, the geek in me is happy with Sun and I guess that's a start.

      --
      Discount Cartridges [gatewayink.com]
      • I wouldn't worry on an investor level...

        We recently looked into getting a support contract from Sun at my place of work, and they quoted us $750,000 for 1 year of bronze support, for a modestly sized lab (probably around 100 machines, half of which are V100's/Netra T105's).

        That is for a small lab... I don't want to imagine what bigger labs are paying for their support contracts. I know this doesn't directly address your concern, but I hope it does give you an idea on how much money they are bringing in.
      • I would like to understand what Sun is hoping to achieve through this investment.

        A virtual elmination of software piracy as a concern, and serious respect from the high-skill section of the current and potential userbase.

        Not to mention an apple-like refocusing of their company.
    • "We've already got one."
      "What?"
      "He says they've already got one."
      "Are you sure?"
      "Yes. It's very nice."

      Solaris may be the thing they have of the most value to them, but it's not like the OSS community is sorely lacking in Unix-style operating systems. Even if Solaris were better than any previously-available OSS operating system (which is debateable), it wouldn't be better for developers by the amount necessary to make learning a new set of kernel internals. So this isn't a gift to the OSS community. It is,
      • I'm not really sure how difficult it would be to figure out Solaris kernel code. (ok, maybe for Linux developers, but maybe not BSD ones) A couple years ago, I did some investigation into device driver code. One thing I found was that Solaris and FreeBSD device drivers looked VERY similar in structure. The main differences were the names of the callable kernel functions (names, more than functionality), and that Solaris strongly pushed the philosophy of using mutex locks for all data structures.
  • 1,600 patents (Score:3, Informative)

    by SunFan ( 845761 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:18PM (#11474525)

    Their press release at sun.com said OpenSolaris via the CDDL will make 1,600 patents available to open source.

  • Otherwise it will enjoy a slow death. Obviously maturing and growth of Linux, scared the hell out of Schwartz and his cohorts. Now they are trying to appeal to the OS community to give their precious operating system, which they locked up under layers of safes many many years and expect them to stop or slow down working on linux and make their solaris better instead, which they will be more than happy to incorporate the development and charge the corporations an arm and a leg.

    I am not sure about you but I

    • UNIX was open source long before Linux ever came around. Then things changed and all UNIX was closed source for a while. Now it will be open again. Linux may have affected timing, but hackers and open source would have come around eventually, no matter what.

      I am not sure about you but I am not buying this half-hearted OpenSolaris movement.

      You won't have to buy it--it will be free!
  • Yes, I've already read the wonderful glowing market-speak summary of the CDDL at OpenSolaris.org...

    What I really need, and haven't yet found is a nice overall summary of the key licensing points behind the CDDL from someone who isn't Sun.

    Anyone?

    Thanks in advance!
  • http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/?host=www.open solaris.org OS Server Last changed IP address Linux Apache/1.3.27 (Unix) mod_jk/1.2.6 Linux Apache/1.3.27 (Unix)
    • by dme ( 115268 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:31PM (#11474659)
      Check the machine itself. It says:

      Server: Sun-ONE-Web-Server/6.1
    • by Anonymous Coward
      $ wget -S --spider opensolaris.org
      --00:32:30-- http://opensolaris.org/
      => `index.html'
      Resolving opensolaris.org... done.
      Connecting to opensolaris.org[209.249.116.220]:80... connected.
      HTTP request sent, awaiting response...
      1 HTTP/1.1 200 OK
      2 Server: Sun-ONE-Web-Server/6.1
      3 Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 23:32:31 GMT
      4 Content-length: 12972
      5 Content-type: text/html
      6 Last-modified: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 20:46:16 GMT
      7 Accept-ranges: bytes
      8 Connection: keep-alive
      200 OK
    • netcraft is often wrong.

      nmap -O reports:
      OS details: Sun Solaris 9 with TCP_STRONG_ISS set to 2
  • I run SUSE and Redhat ES server here at work but I can't help being excited about DTrace and what it can offer the whole Open Source *Nix world. Sun is definitely helping the Open Source movement by first reelasing OpenOffice and now, DTrace, the most talkeda bout feature of Solaris 10. Wonder how that will effect this between a Solaris developer and a Linux kernel coder? [slashdot.org]
  • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:22PM (#11474573) Homepage
    Part of this release is the opening of more than 1,600 patents to the open source community.

    link [yahoo.com]

    IBM just got outdone on their 500 patent release. Let's see them come back with 5,000! Come on, it can be a Sun/IBM "who can give away the most patents to open source" war :)

    Finkployd

  • The fifth board member will be Bruce Perens. I think I tipped it with this [slashdot.org]. For the link shy:
    FTA: However, a source close to Open Source Risk Management (OSRM), which commissioned Ravicher's review, claimed to know what the Jan. 25 announcement was and told NewsForge that it had nothing to do with Ravicher's study.

    So, come on Bruce... what's the announcement. We know they meant you! Spill it baby
  • by ChrisRijk ( 1818 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @06:34PM (#11474688)
    Bryan Cantrill, one of the DTrace developers wrote this blog entry [sun.com] as a general introduction to the source code layout and also to DTrace. This post by Adam Leventhal [sun.com] goes into some more detail.

    82678 lines of C were made public. No registration, no click through license before download. The OpenSolaris FAQ is pretty good [opensolaris.org] btw, and there's also a roadmap page [opensolaris.org].

    According to this blog [cuddletech.com] (the entry dated 15:43), those in the pilot program (more than 100 developers out side of Sun) have today gotten access to the entire Solaris source base, and have already built their own version - screen shot [cuddletech.com].
  • The first one [sun.com] is the basic announcement. The second one [sun.com] announces Sun making available the 1,600 patents for Solaris available to the community.

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. - January 25, 2005 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. [NASDAQ: SUNW] today announced the largest single release of patent innovations into the open source community by any organization to date, marking a significant shift in the way Sun positions its intellectual property portfolio. By giving open source developers free access to Sun OpenSolaris related

  • Ok, I read the link to the sun page about D-Trace but that really didn't answer the questions I had. So can any Sun users explain:

    1. Why has Sun open sourced this of all things?
    2. It seems very similar to gdb in role. Is this assumption correct? Does it compare favorably?
    3. Is a Linux/BSD/whatever port of this desirable/attainable? Or does it rely to much on the guts of SunOS? Do we have better tools already on those OS's?

    Please be gentle. :)

  • by pchan- ( 118053 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @07:10PM (#11475074) Journal
    I presume (though I don't really know) that Solaris needs to be built with Sun's C compiler. Is this compiler coming forth as an open source release too? If not, is it going to be freely available? If I remember correctly, you currently need to pay in order to get Sun's cc.

    If it is coming, this is great news. A compiler highly optimized for Sparc may benefit all operating systems that run on it. Who knows, maybe their x86 compiler has some good features too. Sun's libc (probably highly optimized for Sparc) would be a nice thing to have. Anything else?
  • Just out of curiosity, who owns CDE? Is Sun able to release this as open source? I've wanted to get my hands on version that works well with Linux or is open source for awhile now, with no luck...
  • by Mr. Flibble ( 12943 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @07:20PM (#11475154) Homepage
    So, I downoad the code, and I take a look at it - the first thing through my mind, is "OMG - look at all the spagetti code!"

    Then I realized I opened a C file with Unix returns with notepad.

    Oops.
  • by Glomek ( 853289 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @07:50PM (#11475452)
    Wake me when Java goes Open Source...
  • The Solaris operating system is being released under the terms of the OSI-approved, CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License). Millions of development hours worth of code and over 1,600 patents are being contributed to the open source community.


    Ha! Suck it, SCO!
  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @08:24PM (#11475713) Journal
    Sun reserves the right to enforce the patents if you use code under a different license.

    Although the terms of the license would allow you to fork under the gpl or contribute to a gpl'd project sun could still nail you with the patents.
  • by augustz ( 18082 ) on Tuesday January 25, 2005 @11:46PM (#11477161) Homepage
    There is a big difference between the IBM and SUN patent pledges.

    IBM listed a broad range of software licenses, importantly including the GPL, which means linux is covered.

    Sun's license so far is limited to Solaris, or at least it looks that way, where they have contributed code under the CDDL. This means if you take a method (or read about a method) that they use in Solaris and apply it elsewhere you can still get slammed.

    Not a black and white issue though, as the discerning reader will note that the GPL has not patent clause at all, so the CDDL is stronger in one sense there. Not sure if Linux is any worse off.

    But it will be interesting to see how Solaris comes out as open source, incredibly it has gotten to this point for those who remember the Sun of the past (and even some of the current ranting). Losing market share is an incredible motivator it seems :) Fun stuff though, and I think pragmatism will win the day if there good stuff is delivered.

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